Zenkin, Konstantin. 2020. “On the Integrity of the World of Sounds: Montage and Organic Unity.” In ›Klang‹: Wundertüte oder Stiefkind der Musiktheorie. 16. Jahreskongress der Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie (GMTH) Hannover 2016 (GMTH Proceedings 2016), edited by Britta Giesecke von Bergh, Volker Helbing, Sebastian Knappe and Sören Sönksen. 129‒136. https://doi.org/10.31751/p.9
eingereicht / submitted: 01/10/2017
angenommen / accepted: 01/10/2017
veröffentlicht (Onlineausgabe) / first published (online edition): 01/10/2020
zuletzt geändert / last updated: 26/03/2021

On the Integrity of the World of Sounds: Montage and Organic Unity

Konstantin Zenkin

The purpose of this paper is to track the history of interaction of two fundamental principles of creating sounding musical texts: the organic unity, on the one hand, and the editing, on the other hand, in both composers’ and performers’ artwork. It is likely that the idea of organic unity reached the highest point of its development in Mozart’s oeuvre; later, Beethoven and composers of the following generations started comprehending the idea of a process (or, in philosophical terms, “the becoming”) as something organically integral. According to an opinion of musicians with a romantic way of thinking, sound engineers’ work in general, in particular editing, tends to break an ideal view of integrity as the instantaneous and inimitable life of an artwork. At the same time, as will be presented, the principle of editing an artwork, from the motifs to the entire structure, also reached its highest, though often implicit, expression in the music of Romanticism (Schumann, Chopin). On the contrary, musicians of the post-Romantic era, such as Strawinsky or Gould, preferred the method of montage which can easily explain their general preference for the audio recording, with its almost unavoidable, merely “cinematographic,” editing for the live sound. Having disavowed an idea of the process as a kind of organic development, both composers of the avant-garde and the following trends in new music have engaged a virtuosic playing with the very principle of editing, including the editing of every separate sound, as their most important creative method. Therefore, there are various ways of comprehending an idea of integrity at different time periods of art history as well as fundamentally different methods of implementing this idea in accordance with certain artistic purposes.

Schlagworte/Keywords: Integrität; integrity; Montage; montage; organic unity; Organizität; Stil; style; Technik; technique

Dieser Artikel erscheint im Open Access und ist lizenziert unter einer Creative Commons Namensnennung 4.0 International Lizenz.

This is an open access article licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.