TRADITIONAL MUSIC AND PROFESSIONAL MUSIC: AN AESTHETIC COMPARATIVE OBSERVATION ON A UNIVERSAL PLAN (2)
Prof. Dr. SPIRO J. SHETUNI
Rock Hill, South Carolina
III. ASSIMILATION PROCESS
EMPIRICAL CHARACTER AND RATIONAL CHARACTER OF ASSIMILATION: Empirical assimilation—simply by listening–, and logical assimilation—by attending schools
The empirical assimilation character of traditional music implies the fact that it is assimilated, usually, simply by listening, from one generation to the next. Thus, within the villages, cities, areas, ethnographic provinces, etc., younger generations of folk singers, instrumentalists, and dancers have adopted and embody local musical heritage, usually simply by listening to their ancestors: great-grandparents, grandparents, parents. Indeed, such a phenomenon is an experience of many centuries. Parents, especially when they are talented singers, talented instrumentalists, or talented dancers, want their children to follow suit. For their part, children sometimes adopt the art of their predecessors, but sometimes they are not much interested in it.
Within professional music, artistic assimilation is usually done by attending special music schools: elementary, junior-high, high, university, post-university. Family artistic tradition in this case also plays a special role, but it seems as if it is not so decisive.
NON-PROFITABLE CHARACTER AND PROFITABLE CHARACTER OF ASSIMILATION: Free-of-charge and paid-in assimilation
The non-profitable character of traditional music implies that it is assimilated, usually, free of charge. It is not hard to assume that the very nature of traditional music assimilation (being conveyed naturally from one generation to another), implies that such a process is done without any kind of payment. Both sides–the oldest generation and the younger generation–are equally interested only in enabling the outline of traditional musical heritage. Meanwhile, within professional music, artistic assimilation is always done by paying. Ever since he begins to take the first lesson of flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon; of trumpet, crown; of organo, piano, clavicle, keyboard; of harp, guitar, mandolin; of violin, viola, violoncello, contrabas, etc., and until the end, the student of music, usually, pays.
IV. INTERPRETING PROCESS
COLLECTIVE CHARACTER AND INDIVIDUAL CHARACTER OF INTERPRETATION: Interpreted by whole mass of people and interpreted by certain people only
The collective character of interpretation of traditional music implies the fact that it is interpreted, more or less, by all the people of a particular ethnic community. Within a village, town, area, a certain ethnographic province, etc., almost all members of the ethnic community know how to sing, know how to play in musical instruments, know how to dance. For this reason, in birthdays, engagements, marriages, various religious and secular ceremonies,
all members of the ethnic community, almost indiscriminately, become active as singers, as instrumentalists, or as dancers. However, such a phenomenon does not mean that they are all equally talented. Meanwhile, professional music is interpreted only by singers, instrumentalists and dancers, who prepare for many years in special artistic schools. However, again, such a phenomenon does not mean that they are all equally talented.
EMPIRICAL CHARACTER AND RATIONAL CHARACTER OF INTERPRETATION: Empirically interpreted and interpreted logically
The empirical character of the interpretation of traditional music implies that it is interpreted, usually, simply by listening. Folk singers, instrumentalists, and dancers, when they perform, have no musical score in front of them, where they can read what to interpret, as it happens in the interpretation of professional music. Of course, they have long recognized the local musical dialects , sub-dialects and styles. However, each traditional song, instrumental piece, or dance, depending on the various factors, also retains individual traits, which only make it difficult. Folk music artists, in contrast to professional music artists, operate simply by listening, by memorizing, by experience.
NON-PROFITABLE CHARACTER AND PROFITABlE CHARACTER OF INTERPRETATION: Free interpretation and interpretation with pay
The non-profitable character of interpretation of traditional music implies the fact that it is, generally, not interpreted to earn income. Along with rhapsodists and poets, the folk singers, instrumentalists, and dancers, historically, never have ever sung, never have ever played in musical instruments, never have ever danced to make money. Most often, they have sung, played instruments, or danced, driven simply by their particular artistic talent, from the desire and passion to deal with art, to aesthetically please members of the ethnic community, as well as themselves. Precisely the opposite happens in art music: professional singers, instrumentalists, and dancers, as a rule, interpret to earn income. They practice musical art to make a living. The mastery by which professional musicians have survived and survive is precisely the musical interpretation.
OPEN CHARACTER AND CLOSED CHARACTER OF INTERPRETATION: Interpreted in open environments and interpreting in closed environments
The open character of interpretation of traditional music implies that it is, generally, interpreted in open environments: logs, squares, public places, and so on. By contrast, professional music is usually interpreted in closed environments: theater venues, private and public schools, religious institutions, conservatories, music schools, colleges, universities, etc. Such a seemingly exterior feature, among other things, influences that, while traditional music is massively experienced, professional music cannot be experienced massively.
V. EXPERIENCING PROCESS
MASIVE CHARACTER AND NON-MASSIVE CHARACTER OF EXPERIENCING: Experienced by all masses of people and experiencing only BY certain people
The massive character of experiencing of traditional music implies that it is experienced aesthetically, usually, by all members of a particular ethnic community. As noted above, the fact that traditional music is often interpreted in logs, squares, public places, etc., makes its enjoyment of massive nature. Usually, almost all members of a particular ethnic community have followed and followes the traditional musical activities. By experiencing, listening and tasting them massively, there is no doubt that historically the common aesthetics, likes and dislikes, have been born. Meanwhile, professional music is usually experienced, heard, and enjoyed aesthetically in a non-massive way: for different cultural, artistic, and educational reasons etc., only certain people go to, for example, the first performance of an opera, the opera in three parts, Nibelungen, of Wagner, at a symphonic concert, in a piano concert, in a concert of chamber music, etc.
NON-PROFITABLE AND PROFITABLE CHARACTER OF EXPERIENCING: Free-of-charge and paid-for experiencing
The non-profitable character of experiencing of traditional music implies that it is, generally, not experienced aesthetically with payment. Its experiencing is always free. Members of a particular ethnic community usually follow the traditional artistic activities in assemblies, social gatherings, religious, and secular manifestations, etc., without any kind of payment: the notion of the ticket is not recognized at all! Meanwhile, the experiencing of professional music in concerts, meetings, festivals, etc, is done, as a rule, only with payment: the notion of the ticket is already known and respected! It is known that following a festival of light music, a pop music concert, a concert of jazz music, a concert of blues music, etc., for example, is always achieved by a certain payment .
NON-DIFFERENCED CHARACTER AND DIFFERENCED CHARACTER BETWEEN CREATORS, PERFORMERS, LISTENERS: Creators, performers, listeners, who are the same people and creators, performers, listeners–different people
The non-differenced character between the creators, performers, and listeners of traditional music implies that, within a given ethnic community, it is created, interpreted, and experienced by the same people. As it can be understood, such a feature is closely related to the collective character of the creation, interpretation, and enjoyment of traditional music. Meanwhile,
in professional music, creators are differentiated by the performers and listeners; performers are differentiated by the creators and listeners; listeners are differentiated by the creators and performers. As it can be seen, such a feature is closely related to the individual, personal, intimate character of the creation, interpretation, and enjoyment of professional music.
VI. STUDY PROCESS
NOTATION CHARACTER AND NON-NOTATION CHARACTER AS A PRE-CONDITION OF STUDY: Notation as an indispensable requirement and notation as an unnecessary requirement
The notation character as a prerequisite for the study of traditional music implies that, in order to be studied, it must first be put into a pentagram. The fact that traditional music exists in an oral way has historically forced scholars, creators, professional and amateur musicians, all the people interested to penetrate into the inner melodic-modal, to notate it. Notation, transcription, placing in the pentagram of traditional music is thus an essential stage, whether of the theoretical-scientific ethnomusicological and musicological process, or of the creative-artistic process. In this regard, the notation is equally valid, both for ethnomusicologists and musicologists, as well as for composers. Musical anthologies, in essence, are nothing more than transcripts of songs, instrumental pieces, and traditional dances. It is clear that they can serve equally for different purposes: theoretical-scientific and practical-artistic ones. Undoubtedly, the notation character, as a prerequisite of traditional music’s study, puts all those involved in a difficult position. In this sense, the study of tradicional music is somewhat harder or much harder than the study of professional music!
Meanwhile, it is superfluous to argue that professional music, since it exists in the pentagram from the moment of its birth, does not need to be notated at a later stage to be studied by musicologists, ethnomusicologists, composers, professional and amateur musicians, etc.
Undoubtedly, the non-notation character as a prerequisite of professional music’s study, puts all those involved in an easy position. In this sense, the study of professional music is somewhat easier or much easier than the study of traditional music!
Prof. Dr. SPIRO J. SHETUNI
Rock Hill, South Carolina