About the Principle of Fortspinnung in Musical Science and Practice


B. Fisher and E. Kurt are acknowledged to be the founders of the theory of baroque Fortspinnung in Western musicology. They laid the foundation of two directions in the interpretation of the term Fortspinnung (its introduction is attributed to Fisher but in fact it was introduced already in 1894 by O. Klauwell in the sonata context). In Fisher’s research of the evolutionary interaction between baroque and classical styles (1915) the structural model of Fortspinnung interpreted as a prototype of a sonata exposition at the same time gets closer to the Satz form and loses its metrical particularity (a similar approach is being developed in American science now). On the contrary, in Kurt’s work on counterpoint melody (1917) the metrical opposition of classical and linear polyphonic thinking is set. Not touching any particular structural model, Kurt emphasizes metrical regularity of classical forms in contrary to Bach’s “linear immeasurability” (and earlier in Protestant and Gregorian chorale); that is why there is different character of musical time and methods of work. Russian musicology takes the idea of structural model from Fisher (nevertheless with different terminology) and the understanding of polyphonic nature of Fortspinnung from Kurt. The observation of particular time condition of baroque Fortspinnung led Russian scholars to the idea of a wider role of Fortspinnung in musical history, including traditional non-European cultures and the newest composer techniques. The study of Fortspinnung in different manifestations is becoming more and more actual.


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