前言: 我已經常常說，香港的現代教育，簡直是混賬到極，不知所謂到不能忍受的地步。香港那所訓練未來老師的最高學府裡頭的 “教授” 們給了 assignment 同學，又驚同學們沒有時間做，又驚他們不識做，又驚題目出得深，就說叫他們抄書就可以了。我有一位私人學生急急 call 我，並告訴我看完 Palisca 那本 History textbook 天書，都沒有直接答案談及有 Beethoven 對後世音樂 和音樂家的影響。現在是江湖告急。嗚呼! 連那些修音樂為主科的學位學生，隨口也不能 present 十分鐘有關貝多芬對音樂的貢獻和影響，還敢說自己是讀音樂，懂音樂的嗎? 看著書本也不懂 “抄”，(應該是偷)，怎辦? 我們常說，熟讀唐書三百首，不會吟詩也會 “抄” 嘛。坦白說，平時我指導這些私人學生，也常常提及不同作曲家和作品的風格特色和對後世的貢獻。些個同學是學 AMusTCL 考試研習的，Set piece 是 Schubert 的第五交響曲，我也談及過這首作品和 Beethoven 的交響作品的相同和不同的關係。我也曾教過同學，舒氏一生以 Beethoven 這位同期的前輩大師為學習對象，連死前也想學習 Counterpoint (這是Beethoven 最精，但 Schubert 最弱的技巧)，皆因要寫偉大的交響曲，沒有精練的對位技巧是不行的。可是同學們就當私人老師是補鑊助理，”求其” 要他們改改 past paper 就算是跟他們學了。他們就只關心學校是否給他們一張證書，所以對校內的課就比較認真，私人嘛….嘿嘿….
Carl Dahlhaus suggested that the development of symphony in the Romantic period could be described as circum-polar; composers had to response to or answer to, to more or less, the challenges and new trends by Beethoven. The following discussion is the Beethovean influences of the development of symphony.
First, large scale, and longer work: All symphonies have to be extended in order to express the aesthetics of Romantic Sublimity. One of the elements that Romantic composers to deal with this expression was to create longer and larger work. In reception to Beethoven’s lengthly symphony ninth, Malher, for instance, created symphonies of almost double the length of his predecessor.
Second, greater emotional contrasts: Emotinal content of the materials ranged more widely than that used in the Classical symphony. Thanks should go to the emergence of the liberal humantistic idea of Individualism in 19th century Europe. Greater and deeper explorations on individual inner emotions were demanded by artists in their artistic creations, claiming for the relief of one’s sentimental burdens and immersed unexplainable passions. The common saying, ” I am not the best, though, I am different” was undoubtedly the incentive for composers seeking their inner emotional expressions through the media of musical art. Symphony, regarded as the highest form of all arts, was taken-for-granted to act as a sharp weapon to achieve this purpose. Beethoven not only expressed his “giant-tyrant” like personality and zeals through his “heroic” symphonies, such as symphony no. 3 and no. 5, but also exerted a large impact on the later followed composers to investigate their thoughts, ideals and dreams of a higher socio-political level through the musical genre of symphony. Mendelossohn’s Symphony 5, Reformation, for instance, can be regarded as a response to the political turmoil of the Post-revolutionary period in the 19th century Europe.
Third, Beethoven established the uniqueness of each symphony: each symphony had different aims and confronts different problems: What is a symphony? When classical composers seek to maintain a balance form and shape of a symphony with the use of sonata-allegro form as the first movement, then following by a contrast lyrical slow movment, Beethoven attempted to extend such a rigid genre and structure by adding more weights on the coda and the last two movments. He replaced scherzo for Haydnean minuet, showing his inventive, however courageous, experiment to challenge the classical formality. How about the classical point of view of the balance of keys? What is the ultimate goal for such balance and well-proportion? Composers after Beeethoven would not hestitate to write any form of symphonic music that went far beyond the boundary of a conventional musical genre. If Beethoven could complete a symphony in five movements (symphony no. 6), instead of a standardized balance form of four movements, why not me! Perhaps, this can help us understand why Schubert ‘s symphony 5 in Bb major broke the normal rule of a sonata principle that the recapituation section returns in subdominant key, instead of the normal tonic key. It seems that this breakthrough just wanted to inform Schubert;s contemporary audience that there is no need to reolve dominant to tonic in sonata principle.
Fourth, The whole symphony becomes unified through its developing emotional content, outlining a psychological journey: To Haydn and Mozart of the Classical period, symphony, was not more than an instrumental piece to let different sounds sounding together. They wrote symphony for the patrons, for the rising middle-class concerts. They wrote because audience liked it. Beethoven, on the other hand, wrote symphony for himself. According to Sir Grove, Beethoven’s music never failed to depict a protrait of Beethoven himself. Symphony no. 3, for instance, although was written originally for the dedication to Bonaparte, an ideal hero liberating the layman people from political monarchy, was undoubtedly a sonic image of Beethoven himself. The music of this “Heroic” symphony can be realized as four stage of the growth of hero, say, first movement, is the born of a naive hero, second movement, is the dead of hero, third, is the resurrection of hero, and then the finale is the triumphant of hero. While Beethoven wrote symphony to seek the issue of hero, Gustav Mahler, on the other hand, followed Beethoven to transcend symphony as a medium to explore the issues of life and death. Richard Strauss, though he wrote symphonic poem, instead of a conventional symphonic genre, tended to complete the ‘definition’ of ‘Hero’, after Beethoven’s attempt to do so, in his famous work ‘Heldenleben’, ‘The Life of a Hero.’ True, Beethovean effects prevails every sorts of musical work, ranging from a tiny toy-like miniature to a monumental symphony in the19th century up to the 20th century.
To Be Continued………..待續
David Leung (theorydavid)
前言: 這兩年 AMusTCL的考試的 set piece，範例作品，是 Schubert 在 1816 年完成的 Bb 大調 交響曲第五號。由於這首作品的風格，跟舒氏自己在約五個月前寫作的交響曲第四號 ( 悲劇，Tragic)，有很大的分別，樂隊編制也相對細少得可憐，很多聽眾都因而感到大為困惑。寫何在同一個時期寫作的作品會有這麼大的差距呢? 當我教授這首作品時，我就提出了當時在維也納一帶湧現的一個藝術風格，稱為 Biedermeier Style。我相信個算是比較突然出現，但看來不大持久 (1815-1830)，並具有地域性限制的風格，是影響舒伯特寫作這首樂曲的主要來源。可是，何為 Biedermeier Style 呢? 同學相信可從以下簡論找得答案。
前言: 這篇文章接上一篇討論民國初年的中國音樂怎樣經歷現代化的經過。這次跟讀者談談第一首被介紹到在國際的音樂界上，並得以揚名的中國現代化鋼琴小品 — 賀綠汀的牧童短笛。早前曾述說過陶傑所喜愛的一個中國歷史時代，也就是我所喜歡的同一年代 — 民國初年。我也曾說過，民國初年 (五四之後至1937 年中日戰爭開始時)，就像一位風華絕代的中年美女，充滿使人感到醇醉的千嬌百媚和風情萬種。只因這個時代是中華民族在藝術文化音樂的各個領域裡經歷真正現代化的時期，或者，更應該說是對峙著西方式的現代化 (western modernization) 衝激。在音樂發展上，是中國傳統音樂接受西方音樂的洗禮的里程埤。我所談及的風韻醇醉，就是從這個音樂現代化開始。賀綠汀的牧童短笛 就是用西方的和聲概念，套以中國民族的五聲音階，以變化了的對位技巧寫成的。敬請各同學留意，不要 copy-and-paste。但 idea 就不妨拿來參巧一下。
Romanticize Buffalo Boy’s Pentatonic Flute
Indeed no one can step out of time into which one was born, as an artist or a composer. It is neither an individual genius, nor the masses, nor the political, social, economic, religious factor singularly inaugurates a cultural environment in a particular place of a particular time. The first few decades of the twentieth-century up to the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) was a great era for China in its socio-political dimension not only because it is a time when China was experiencing its westernized and modernized in all aspects, but also because it is an extraordinary time in its history as the Chinese individual could experience less authoritarian political control but more humanistic freedom in social and cultural dimensions. Although the warlords’ conquests led to great political insecurity and turmoil in many places, the lack of a powerful central authority, ironically, provided space a greater freedom of speech, thoughts and ideas in all aspects of society. Such kind of freedom has never been experienced in the recent history of modern
待續………To Be Continued…..
David Leung (theorydavid)
前言: 這篇文章接上篇討論民國初年發展起來的中國新音樂如何為香港現代音樂的發展帶來動力。香港雖是彈丸之地，但在國際上，她對現代音樂的貢獻卻是無可置疑的。香港的現代音樂，也像民國初年 (五四之後至1937 年中日戰爭開始時) 發展起來的中國新音樂一樣，表現出像中年美女帶有的絕代風華，千嬌百媚和風情萬種。這也因為香港的廣東傳統音樂正對峙著西方式的現代化 (western modernization) 衝激。我這篇文章，就是討論香港音樂早期現代化的發展，看它甚樣與中國的新音樂有著千絲萬縷的關係。敬請各同學留意，不要 copy-and-paste。但 idea 就不妨拿來參巧一下。
Affirming the value of Chinese folk tradition and linking it firmly with musical nationality, Huang Zi (黃自), Head of the Composition Department in NCM, wrote: “Some people make mistakes because they do not really understand that great art is a representation of our nation and society as a whole. The characteristics of our traditional music and folk songs are indeed an expression of our Chinese nationality. They, of course, shouldn’t be overlooked.” Regarding the relationship between the new Chinese national music and folk tradition, Huang continues: “I reckon that it is natural for our Chinese national music to develop along this path [the path of the development of Musical Nationalism in
To be continued…..待續………
David Leung (theorydavid)
前言: 這篇文章接上篇討論民國初年的中國音樂現代化的經過。明眼讀者一看就知道以下文筆是 Academic English，近似論文的寫作手法了。早前曾跟讀者談過陶傑所喜愛的一個中國歷史時代，也就是我所喜歡的同一年代 — 民國初年。我也曾說過，民國初年 (五四之後至1937 年中日戰爭開始時)，就像一位風華絕代的中年美女，充滿使人感到醇醉的千嬌百媚和風情萬種。只因這個時代是中華民族在藝術文化音樂的各個領域裡經歷真正現代化的時期，或者，更應該說是對峙著西方式的現代化 (western modernization) 衝激。在音樂發展上，是中國傳統音樂接受西方音樂的洗禮的里程埤。我所談及的風韻醇醉，就是從這個音樂現代化開始。我這一系列文章，就是討論中國音樂的現代化的發展。其中各篇文章有的是以 Academic 英文寫成，也有用中文以隨筆方式寫成的。敬請各同學留意，不要 copy-and-paste。但 idea 就不妨拿來參巧一下。
During an interview for Music Monthly (音樂月) under the title “On Our New Music Movement”, Xiao
apparently had in mind the value of old traditional music when he said of the national quality of music: “…if
we desire to reform our traditional music or create our own Nationalistic School of Music, then we cannot
completely throw away our old traditional music.” Xiao encouraged the collecting, rearranging and
harmonizing of the folk tunes, reaffirming the value of Chinese traditional folk music. These, he believed,
were the keys in distinguishing the style of Chinese music from that of other countries.
待續….. To Be Continued…..…
David Leung (theorydavid)