Germany Music Part 1

Germany Music Part 1

As for Italy, so also for Germany music has assumed such an importance over the times that a picture of the spiritual values ​​of these nations would result in which music was not sufficiently taken into account.

It should be noted that the function of music is very different in the Nordic countries and in Italy (e.g. in Germany the collaboration exercised in a certain sense by the public in the existence and particular developments of musical theater is much lower than in the peninsula), but it is expressed with equal intensity especially in the love of popular song and in the tendency to instrumental music. Italian immediately understands music under its plastic aspect, in its appearing to the senses as a voice. as a real sound, and is therefore a very keen critic of everything related to interpretation; the German instead sets out to immediately seek the guiding idea of ​​the composition, the intention, rather than, in short, that the how, only to be somewhat indifferent to the means put into use for the execution. Therefore simply loving music is not enough for him (this contrast was put in extreme relief by Ferruccio Busoni): for the German being a musician means being such as to be able to receive (as one receives grace) music; this virtue is inherent in the most profound of human nature. It is therefore natural that he is drawn to put philosophical-moral intentions and thoughts in music. From this arises a singular relationship between form and substance in German music. The German is always a bit wary of too great a formal ease, which he gladly accuses of empty formalism, while he prefers to witness the same struggle that the idea supports for its full explanation: a struggle that, far from having to follow, of course, a predetermined program, the more easily it will be victorious the more directly it follows the course of inspiration. He therefore loves in music above all the expression of dreams, of titanic wills, of anguished problems of the spirit; and he will be moved by those works in which, in the struggle that thought has lasted for its formal explanation, there is still something unexpressed, unattained: for example. Bach’s Mass in B minor, Beethoven’s Solemn Mass, Schubert’s Symphony in C major,Wagner’s Parsifal and A. Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony.

According to, a similarly different tendency from Italian demonstrates German with regard to the proper sonic qualities of music; and this could moreover be connected to the difference, in the two languages, between the bases of vocal articulation: although the German has great admiration for the great Italian singers he will always find their voice too clear and bright, while he will prefer the half tone, darkness and shadows (think by analogy of the difference between Raphael and Rembrandt); he will love complexity instead of transparency, and this is even noticeable in the writing: particularly German we show the appearance of the pages of Bach, R. Schumann, EW Wolf, H. Pfitzner. This is the Gothic complexity of lines, which is already announced in Dürer’s contemporary German lute tablature.

Popular music itself, which constitutes the common ground of all German music, is scarcely brilliant: it is rather naive nor is it distinguished by characteristic national rhythms, as happens in Italy with the tarantella, in Spain with the bolero, in Hungary with the csardas, unless you want to take the place of German dance par excellence the peaceful Ländler in 4. But often a deep passion, a rude ardor, a yearning for freedom emanate from these popular songs, as if to express that need for all or nothing that Tacitus had already referred to as typical of the character of the Germans.

Already in the very ancient narrative poems the singing of the Spirits of the waters, the magical melodies, etc. they are frequently remembered. Even greater value, with regard to the study of the origins of German musical history, have the various discoveries that have been made of instruments, such as hunting horns of gold, Luren Scandinavian (7th-6th century BC), found in the swamps of northern Germany from Hanover to Mecklenburg, superbly crafted twisted trombones, which will probably have been used in pairs (responding to each other). From the time of the barbarian invasions, recorders and harps have also reached us. Not much can be said about the music performed in these early days. From documents offered to us by the deliberations of the various councils, as well as by hagiographies from the century. VI to XII, we can deduce that in pagan worship were practiced choral songs similar to our hymns, sung dances, ringing of bells, and likewise the images of the gods were carried in procession between songs and dances of masks; after all, since the time of Tacitus the so-called sword dance was in use (which was maintained until the 18th century). It is likely that in the origins of Christian worship in Germany it was customary to use ancient pagan sung dances for Christmas ceremonies and functions. Ausonio mentions numerous sorts of songs by artisans from the Moselle, and Venanzio Fortunato recalls the rough Bavarian convivial songs. As for the old magical melodies, one could still get an idea of ​​them by thinking about the refrains and playing songs (pentatonic) of our children.

Germany Music 01

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