Non-Musical Origins of Musical Categories


Classical instrumental forms are rightly viewed upon as the highest expression of immanent musical essence in composition. Still many of its extremely important categories have been forming themselves gradually for a very long time within syncretic art in which music hadn’t become autonomous yet. Among them are motive and cadency. Their origin is usually associated with verbal text: the forerunner of one strong beat in a motive is found in the stressed syllable of the word, in the metric foot and the preimage of the cadence completion is seen in the endings of verbal lines, sentences (including verse). Still it was not the only specimen. Dance, its movements also formed the accented bases of the motive and cadence endings, which were recorded in choreographic tractates of the 15th and16th centuries. Similar to Yu. N. Kholopov mentioning “wordmotive” or “lexical motive” in ancient vocal music it is rightful to point out dance “step-motive”, or “gesture-motive”. The connection of another most important musical category with dance is directly confirmed by the presence of movement with the same name— cadence (French), cadenza (Italian). Pointing at a jump with a landing (the name comes from the Latin cado— to fall), it also sets boundaries, as cadency in music. Thus, “purely musical” is connected not only with word but also with movement, with dance. And they regulate in their own way time as its own basis— time gets rhythm in word, dance, music.


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