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ISSN 2227-6017 (ONLINE), ISSN 2303-9868 (PRINT), DOI: 10.18454/IRJ.2227-6017
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Скачать PDF ( ) Страницы: 57-60 Выпуск: № 8 (86) Часть 2 () Искать в Google Scholar


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Лин Цай. ПОЗНАНИЕ МУЗЫКАЛЬНЫХ СИМВОЛОВ ЕЕРО ТАРАСТИ И РАННИЕ ПРАКТИКИ ШАРЛЯ РУСЕНА В КНИГЕ «КЛАССИЧЕСКИЙ СТИЛЬ» / Цай. Лин, Ван. Ченю // Международный научно-исследовательский журнал. — 2019. — № 8 (86) Часть 2. — С. 57—60. — URL: (дата обращения: 29.03.2020. ). doi: 10.23670/IRJ.2019.86.8.031
Лин Цай. ПОЗНАНИЕ МУЗЫКАЛЬНЫХ СИМВОЛОВ ЕЕРО ТАРАСТИ И РАННИЕ ПРАКТИКИ ШАРЛЯ РУСЕНА В КНИГЕ «КЛАССИЧЕСКИЙ СТИЛЬ» / Цай. Лин, Ван. Ченю // Международный научно-исследовательский журнал. — 2019. — № 8 (86) Часть 2. — С. 57—60. doi: 10.23670/IRJ.2019.86.8.031




Научная статья

Лин Цай1, *, Ченю Ван2

1 ORCID: 0000-0002-2924-8312;

1, 2 Музыкальная школа, Университет Цзянси, Наньчан, Китай

* Корреспондирующий автор (346069662[at]


В целом, когда речь идет о музыкальном стиле, как правило, анализируется и объясняется языковая форма композиций, а также рассматривается мелодия, тесситура, гармония, лад, аранжировка и их сочетание. Спокойный научный анализ часто представлен диаграммами, за которыми следует краткое описание «трансформаций». Познание музыкальных символов Ееро Тарасти является попыткой разрушить эту традиционную теоретическую модель, в то время как анализ Шарля Русена в «Классическом стиле» реконструирует символизированное музыкальное повествование группового стиля.

Ключевые слова: классический стиль Тарасти, символика, музыкальное повествование, эстетика стиля.


Research article

Lin Cai1, *, Chenyu Wang2

1 ORCID: 0000-0002-2924-8312;

1, 2 School of Music, Jiangxi Normal University, Nanchang, China

* Corresponding author (346069662[at]


Generally speaking, when it comes to music style, people always analyze and explain the language form of compositions, and consider the melody, texture, harmony, tonality, orchestration and form one by one. The scientific and calm analysis is often presented by charts, followed by the summary text “transformation” description. Tarasti’s music symbolization cognitive attempts to break this traditional theoretical model, while Rosen’s “classical style” analysis practice reconstructs the symbolized music narrative of group style.

Keywords: Tarasti the classical style, symbolized, musical narration, style aesthetics.


Literary creation was once regarded as a rhetoric process. The use of various figures of speech (rhetoric techniques), such as inversion, exaggeration, metaphor, irony, paradox, transliteration, etc., highlights the various ways of literary expression. Since the Renaissance, the influence of rhetoric has gradually transcended the traditional field and penetrated into other types of literature and art, such as music, painting and so on. History has proved that rhetoric and symbols can not avoid the cultural fate of “being re-contextualized”. They are gradually changing from the topic of commonality to the discussion of typical styles.

As a study of symbols, modern western semiotics began at the end of the 19th century. Music as a symbol derives “inspiration” from linguistic symbols at the beginning. Although semiotics has a close relationship with linguistics, symbols and words can not be simply equivalent. One focuses on the expression of the thing itself, while the other is usually understood from the perspective of appendage of names.

Although the title of “music symbol” has been frequently seen in various music literature, we are still quite unfamiliar to it from the bottom of our heart, and have a shallow understanding of it. Musicology and semiotics have not yet realized the real concept integration and new cognitive generation.

In fact, music as a symbol provides an ideal case of semiotics full of meaning and communication. It tries to find some rational rules to explain the perceptual expression of music metalanguage. This may be questioned by some people because they think that music aesthetics needs no real analysis and detailed explanation, only to appreciate the unique music touch, but for musicologists, seeking truth and meaning is an involuntary choice and mission. Susanne K.Langer, Jean-Jacques Nattiez, even Heinrich Schenker, Leonard Mayer, of course, as well as Leonard Ratner, V. Kofi. Agawu, and others have deliberately or unintentionally pondered and studied this.

Eero Tarasti and Charles Rosen

The understanding of musical symbols has undergone a subversive change even to Ero Tarasti, the former president of the International Semiotic Society, with a broad academic horizon and rich German philosophical tradition. In the context of the fusion of disciplines and concepts, the weak semantic music symbols are re-placed into the symbolic domain with a broad cultural perspective. He is different from the inductive description of music behavior state, but follows the development of detailed mathematical factor analysis and dynamic observation of space and time in music action, and understands the meaning of music which is difficult to express by the subtle change of psychological state and subjective response.

It can be seen that the contemporary theory and analysis of musical symbols, on the basis of predecessors, put forward a series of theoretical models of musical meta-linguistic discourse more systematically and clearly, trying to build a bridge between the real space of pitch structure and the meaning space of human metaphor.

The common connection and the individuality discovery, is a norm of thinking behavior naturally formed by human beings when they feel, recognize, create and understand things. From the perspective of music style, Charles Rosen’s masterpiece The Classical Style observed, analyzed and constructed a potential semiotics way to understand music from the period, group and individual dimensions, which corresponds to the truth of generality and individuality through transcendental existence and empirical proof. From the perspective of history, it is generally believed that the understanding of commonness is more important than the comparison of differences. From this tradition, it is not the disputes of schools that permeate consciousness, but the common premise. Rosen’s “the classical style” proves this truth again. What’s more interesting is that the western academic world of music is full of new ideas since its publication, but it is still fresh and fascinating. It is not only a treatise but also an art. It leaves personal thinking and writing to history. It attracts us to stop reading and ponder with its unique charm, which confirms the famous saying of French writer Comte de Buffon——Writing well consists of thinking, feeling and expressing well, of clarity of mind, soul and taste … The style is the man himself.

It can be said that the “intertextuality” of symbols and humanities provides an effective way to realize the heterogeneous isomorphism between music language and social culture. Among them, the “microscopic” interpretation of symbol ontology is the basic condition for the establishment of music symbolic analysis theory.

From this aspect, Rosen’s interpretation of “the classical style” is the subconscious representation of symbolic analysis, although Rosen himself has never announced an explanation about his own theoretical ideas. But in fact, the signifier and signified of music symbols construct his communication, blending, intertextuality and narration between music formal language itself and external social culture.

As we can see, his discourse on “the classical style” is a timely work of prose writing to achieve historical insight. He talked about the origin, opportunity, challenge, exploration, retreat, reversion, achievement and influence of the whole classical style in order to interpret cultural synaesthesia with practical musical language symbols.

Retrospect of Style Doctrine

In the 1970s, the study of classical music in Western music historiography has yielded fruitful results. The main directions of research are as follows: First, the mathematical temperament or formal appearance of music makes it mainly follow the scientific tradition, collect and sort out historical facts and materials, research and compile manuscripts and music scores, analyze and comb works and styles, which is the natural selection in accordance with the struction of music itself. Together, they strengthen the foundation and load-bearing body of the research building. The abundant achievements are the foundation stone and wealth, which provide the necessary “water” for the further development of western music research. At the same time, another tendency is also highlighted. Following the philosophical thinking endowed by ancient Greece, these ideologies and metaphysical intrinsic potentials have once again become the object of scholars’ research. They are even better at considering all aspects of music from the external society and human environment, and establishing the chain of association between music and civilization. No matter what kind of research path, the positivist method and tradition always dominated it. As a basis for research, it was understandable, but the situation then was that it had largely evolved into the final result and goal of the research.

The research methods of the predecessors of positivism and the clarification of the expected meaning are confused and reversed. Scholars often indulge in massive “hard” factual textual research, hoping to uncover clear clues and use them as research motivation. In short, the dualistic coexistence of mathematics and philosophy derived from ancient Greek music has now moved towards dualistic opposition. On the one hand, art form are more and more limited to its own material object level, and are not related to those ghostly life, morality and spiritual elements that can not be seen by the naked eye. It seems that the pure form operation of music itself is the research content and purpose. On the other hand, the research is rooted in the summary of the composer’s life, creative background and style characteristics, which is also the narrative mode of music history for a long time. Therefore, there are also two tendencies of “autonomy” and “heteronomy” in the interpretation of music.

It is in this academic research environment that The Classical style comes into being. It neither approves of the work that is only devoted to the analysis of ontology, such as Heinrich Schenker, nor is it dissatisfied with the social, cultural and political background humanistic scenes that do not belong to music ontology. Rosen has publicly expressed his dissatisfaction with Theodor W. Adorno. He intends to reinterpret and criticize the aesthetic purport and unique manifestation of the three masters of the Viennese Classical School, the background, conditions and process of the formation of the classical style, trying to construct its rules of music grammar, scope and boundaries of expression, tap its inner potential and reveal its experimental intentions. Rosen’s rich humanistic knowledge helps him gain more unique insights into the form and meaning of music in a broader perspective and context.Whether it is to do a deep mathematical interpretation of the essence of music, or the extension of humanistic significance (non-musical references such as pastoral situations, dramatic thinking, irony consciousness, sky intentions, time delays, political metaphors, etc.), so as to construct an open interpretation space with multi-dimensional implication and point to a broader cultural field.

The most valuable thing is that all these are interpreted through authentic music symbols, with a humanistic perspective, but always adhere to the original music language to speak, never far-fetched, highlighting Rosen’s strong expression of serious music artistic concept, “I have tried to restore a sense of the freedom and the vitality of the style.” “This is because our expectations do not come from outside the work but are implicit in it: a work of music sets its own terms. How these terms are set, how the context in which the drama is to be played out is created for each work, is the main subject of this book. I am concerned, therefore, not only with the meaning or the significance of the music (always so difficult to put into words) but also with what made it possible to possess and to convey that significance” [5].

Symbolic Reflection on Style Aesthetics

Style has always been the traditional core problem in art theory, and interpretation never stop. According to Rosen, “A style may be described fig­uratively as a way of exploiting and focusing a language, which then becomes a dialect or language in its own right, and it is this focus which makes possible what might be called the personal style or manner of the artist” [5]. At first glance, it shows his recognition of the high autonomy of style itself, so it is a common and serious mistake to determine a style with a specific expression. When thinking deeply, it feels that his understanding of style is full of humanistic consciousness and historical reflection. Exploration and concentration come from human life experience and spiritual field practice, which is conveyed and expressed through music language. However, human life and spirit itself are changeable, and the style problems associated with it are inevitably complicated. Therefore, music style is divided into three levels: period style, group style and individual style.

The Classical style, as a concept with group consciousness, was first proposed by Guido  Adler as “classical music school” in the 20th century, but the group consensus of three classical music masters including Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven had already been formed at that time. Historical experience has proved that the understanding of a group is often a music aesthetic phenomenon before it is recognized as a concept, and it is recognized by form infiltration before it is acquiescing consensus as a certain style. Therefore, a letter of recommendation written by his patron, Count Waldstein, for Beethoven’s going to Vienna is a clear proof of the historical discourse and significance of influence. Thus, The Classical Style as “the style of a group represents a synthesis like a work of art, a reconciliation of the conflicting forces of the period into one harmony. It is almost as much an expression itself as a system of expression.” The relationship between the classical style and the period style is that it not only includes the artistic possibilities of the time, but also purifies and condenses the tradition. Therefore, the composition of the three masters presented the ideal high level of that era, and practiced the coordinated operation of music symbol.

Thus, although the classical style or the Vienna school of classical music had long been accepted, Rosen did not seem satisfied with those consensual explanations. “What unites Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven is not personal contact or even mutual influence and interaction (although there was much of both), but their common understanding of the musical language which they did so much to formulate and to change.” So Rosen goes back to music itself, tracking the perceived, audible, and visual pathways of understanding from inside to outside. This is to gain the right to speak from the most authentic musical notation, rather than to find the agreement with music form for the external way of understanding (literature, society, politics). This does not negate the influence of other factors. On the contrary, there are a lot of humanistic statements and evidence, but the subject must be music, not culture. Thus, although the listeners and composers have a consensus understanding of the grammar of music in a certain period, region or nationality, the concept of the classical style is needed for the construction of music theory.

After analyzing the characteristics and associations of different levels of style, Rosen quickly turned to the symbolic construction of his classical style. The music experience clearly tells him that the overall feeling of music in the late 18th century is completely different from that of the previous period. The classical style is a dramatic style, in which dramatic action is superior to emotional expression. “Dramatic expression, limited to the rendering of a sentiment or of a significant theatrical moment of crisis—in other words, to a dance movement full of individual character—had already found musical form in the High Baroque. But the later eighteenth century made further demands: the mere rendering of sentiment was not dramatic enough”,“It was, in fact, under the weight of this dramatic articulation that the High Baroque aesthetic collapsed.”

What is more amazing and admirable is that he grasps this empirical feeling with authentic and specific music symbols, selects the specific time domain in the late 18th century, returns to the historical site, investigates clues, constructs the understanding dimension and provides the explanation pattern of the established concept of the classical style for history. The author put aside the conventional knowledge, new insights emerge frequently. Intelligence, knowledge and culture complement each other in the construction of music style and the analysis of music works. The combination of music with history, aesthetics and cognition proves that the most important thing for music understanding is analysis and value judgment. It can be seen that for Rosen, the concept of form has been completely and uniquely symbolized in music. The form of music is not empty but substantial, not the direction of blank lines but the will of self-expression from inside to outside, affirming that composition is the spiritual labor of materials watered by vitality.

In short, since the Vienna Classical School of Music, the high autonomy of music language has made music gradually get rid of its long-standing subsidiary or dependency role. Arthur Schopenhauer explicitly endowed music, a vocal phenomenon rather than a hidden mathematical structure, with metaphysical dignity. Both from the perspective of grammar and consciousness, classicism music and romanticism music come down in one continuous line. As a part of western modern civilization practice, classical music is incomparable, irreplaceable and cannot be underestimated in its significance and function, whether as a cultural form expression or as a self-sufficient artistic presentation. It was from this period that western music started its modernity process under the enlightenment idea-practice scene.


It should be noted that Tarasti’s theory of musical symbols is rather abstruse and difficult to understand. Before exploring the symbolic analysis of musical texts, we must thoroughly absorb and comprehend the important concepts and methods in order to learn from and apply this theory of musical symbolic analysis and understand its unique dimension of musical expression. This is also one of the important reasons why scholars still linger outside and keep watching. On the contrary, Rosen’s interpretation of “classical style” perfectly transformed the music symbolized narrative process on the basis of the positivist music language symbol analysis, from the real and understandable signifier creation to the transcendence of the signified of synesthesia imagination. This practitioner of “invisible” music symbolization not only builds a colorful bridge for our usually unspeakable music understanding, but also effectively enables us to understand some of the “structure” points constructed by Tarasti’s music symbolism theory. The two, one focuses on theoretical conception, the other focuses on practical analysis, combined with discussion, complement each other.


Эта работа получила поддержку в рамках проекта по социальному планированию в Цзянси в 2018 году (18YS05) и молодежного проекта по гуманитарным социальным исследованиям в университете Цзянси в 2018 году (YS18104), общего проекта по социальному планированию в Цзянси в 2018 году (18YS05).


This work was supported by Jiangxi social science planning general project in 2018 (18YS05) and Jiangxi university humanities social science research youth project in 2018(YS18104) Jiangxi social science planning general project in 2018 (18YS05).


Конфликт интересов

Не указан.

Conflict of Interest

None declared.

Список литературы / References

  1. Hatten R. Musical Meaning in Beethoven: Markedness, Correlation, and Interpretation / Hatten R. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1994.
  2. Tarasti E.A. Theory of Musical Semiotics / Tarasti E.A. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1994.
  3. Cook N. Putting the Meaning back into Music, or Semiotics Revisited, Music Theory Spectrum / Cook N.Vol.18, April, 1996, pp.106-123.
  4. Ratner L. Classic Music: Expression, Form, and Style / Ratner L. New York: Schirmer Books, 1980.
  5. Rosen C. The Classical Style / Rosen C. W.W. Norton & Company, 1997.
  6. Tarasti E. Semiotics of Classical Music: How Mozart, Brahms and Wagner Talk to Us. / Tarasti E. Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. 2012.
  7. Rosen C. Sonata Forms / Rosen C. New York: Norton, 1980.
  8. Monelle R. The Musical Topic: Hunt / Monelle R. Military and Pastoral, Indiana University Press, 2006.
  9. Hatten R. Interpreting Musical Gesture, Topics, and Tropes: Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert / Hatten R. Indiana University Press, 2004.
  10. Kofi V. Agawu, Playing with Signs: A Semiotic Interpretation of Classic Music / Kofi V. Princeton University Press, 1991.

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