Relationship’s ambiguities in music: Barcelona

In Sondheim’s musical “Company”, the musical scene “Barcelona” is one of the most significant to  understand the relationship that Robert, the main character, has with the women he tries to establish a relationship with. These relationships are dictated more by the social conventions of having a girl and being married at a certain age (“I do not have a girl “) than by a state of actually being in love. The structural form of the song  is A B A’ + short coda. The scansion of the text is binary, it is a trochaic dimeter in the A section, that … Continue reading Relationship’s ambiguities in music: Barcelona

The sound from the silence

“But my words like silent raindrops fell, and echoed in the wells of silence” Extrapolated from the lyric of the song “The sound of silence” written in February 1964 by Paul Simon after  John F. Kennedy’ assassination, these words describe in an exact way the musical conception of the works of the contemporary Italian composer Salvatore Sciarrino, works that are based on the sound that comes from the silence as being part of it. Salvatore Sciarrino, born in Palermo in 1947, began to compose at the age of twelve. Previously he approached pictorial and figurative art in their contemporary form: … Continue reading The sound from the silence

Reason without principles

Dr. Charles Burney, (1726–1814), music historian, wrote a General History of Music that was issued in four large tomes between 1776 and 1789.  At the beginning of volume three he inserted an “Essay on Music Criticism”.  As the third volume was treating about the most recent history, Burney thought that he should define and explain his criteria of criticism, before writing about all the more or less contemporary composers. The intended audience was of course among scholars, composers, musicians. According to Burney, everybody is different in taste: “music is the art of pleasing by the succession of … sounds”. But … Continue reading Reason without principles