Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Musical Symbolism in the Operas of Debussy and Bartok$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Elliot Antokoletz

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195365825

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195365825.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 October 2021



(p.291) 14 Epilogue
Musical Symbolism in the Operas of Debussy and Bartok

Elliott Antokoletz (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The new musical language that emerged in the early 20th century seems to have been motivated, at least in part, by the need to reflect — even express — the new literary, psychological, and philosophical principles that surfaced in the new art-form of these symbolist operas. The transformation of the more linear, defined quality of the traditional major/minor scales into the more diffuse, static effects created by the use of modality, polymodality, and symmetrical pitch-set interactions resonated with the modernistic conception of the human being, who is perennially divided and threatened by the split between the conscious and the unconscious mind. The symbolic connotation of symmetrical pitch relations has similarities with Matte Blanco's concept of “the unconscious as infinite sets”. Also discussed is the creative process and social context, in which the text narratives are impacted by the ideological trends of the time, not only in what they say, but also in what they omit. Both operas have meanings that must be decoded. Analysis of these works stems from the point of view of dynamic psychology. The chapter touches on various psychological and social (gender) issues as addressed by György Lukacs and Béla Balázs.

Keywords:   modality, polymodality, symmetrical pitch-set interactions, conscious, unconscious, Matte Blanco, infinite sets, creative process, text narratives, ideological trends

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .