Dissertation Defense: Borislav Čičovački

14Dec2017 10:00


Transformations of West Balkan Folk Music and Serbian Octoëchos (Byzantine Church Music) in the Oeuvre of Ljubica Marić. Supervisor: Rokus de Groot

Ljubica Marić (1909-2003) was a Serbian composer, who explored the transformation of Western Balkans folk music elements and modal scales, originating from the Byzantine spiritual music. She was, generally speaking, the first composer who used modal scales of Orthodox Christian Church to compose pieces which were not liturgical or religious in character. Her works can be divided into five stages: 1. Early stage, during her studies in Prague and afterwards (1929-1944); 2. Stage of extended tonality, tonal fields, modality and folk music of the Balkans (1944/5-1955); 3. Mature or Octoechos stage (1956-1967); 4. Stage of improvised music (1968-1975); 5. Final stage ((1976)1983-1996). Her composing orientation during the first stage was atonality, although the use of modal scales from the folk music of the Balkans and the Orthodox Christian Church was characteristic of all stages that followed. The basic composing methods, by which she achieved the transformation of the folk and church music, was a system of archaization of musical language. She used the following elements of musical archaization: 1. the use of melodic-harmonic characteristics of folk music scales (the Byzantine collection Octoechos); 2. application of the Balkans folk music rhythms, as well as ritual music forms of the same origin, along with the sound combinations which resemble the sound of folk music instruments; 3. application of Western-European polyphony, including medieval and Baroque music forms. Her music had a profound influence on the composers from the former Yugoslavia, especially in Serbia, mostly with regard to the application of musical archaization elements.

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