ZUZANA MARTINÁKOVÁ RENDEKOVA: Modal thinking in music – past and present



The book Modálne myslenie v hudbe – minulosť a súčasnosť (Modal Thinking in Music – Past and Present) is the result of the authorʼs long-term research of the 20th century composerʼs  work. The author realizes that composers found sources of inspiration for their work not only in ancient, medieval and Renaissance European music, but also in ethnic musical cultures on all over the world.

The author came to the realization that modal thinking is the basis of all past and present musical cultures, and all other forms of musical thinking are the logical developmental consequence. For example, the tonal functional system evolved from cadences in modal compositions of the Renaissance period, serial thinking is a certain restriction of modal thinking, many compositional techniques in the 20th and 21st centuries are based on the regularities of modal thinking.

The book contains the characteristics of modal thinking in music of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, its logical development up to the present, which the author documents by analysing the work of Palestrina, Gesualdo, Mussorgsky, Debussy, Satie, Janáček, Roslavec, Cowel, Bartók, Suchoň, Schnittke, Crumb, Górecký, Pärt, Kančeli, Messiaen, but also of the Beatles.

The expanded 2nd edition from 2019 also contains a final study in English, a substantial part of which was published abroad under the title Development of Modal Thinking from Palestrina to the Present Time (Wroclaw 2014).

The book Modal thinking in music – past and present is intended mainly for musicologists, music theorists and composers, students of musicology and theory, but also for others interested in modal thinking in the music of the past and present. The author believes that this book will encourage the reader to think differently about the given issue.

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