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Contemporary musical historiography and the problems of the methodological approach

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Author(s): Vasić Aleksandar N.

Journal: Muzikologija
ISSN 1450-9814

Volume: 2005;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 347;
Date: 2005;
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ABSTRACT
The first foreign review of the general history of music translated to Serbian language was Karl Nef's Einführung in die Musikgeschichte. It was published in Belgrade, in 1937. During the '70s and '80s of the 20th century, there were translated popularly conceived histories of music of Luciano Alberti and Nobert Difourc. In 2002/2004 the Belgrade publisher "Clio" issued the second and third volume of Gerald Abraham's Concise Oxford History of Music. It was estimated that the long pause, as well as the choice of the prominent British author, present strong reasons for detailed critical study approach to the latest edition. The character of the study is threefold and interdisciplinary: musicological, philological and bibliographical. The first part of the study is the analysis of the writer's methodological procedure that can be discussed. Namely, next to the significant virtues in expert and style such as conciseness in statements original observations and evaluations, and literate, aesthetic attractiveness, Abraham's book also contains contradictory of methodological character. The writer is not completely consistent in conducting of the chosen methodological procedure. On one side, he does not describe the history of European music with period terms such as baroque, classicism impressionism or expressionism. On the other side, he nevertheless uses period terms in some way, but only in relation to the music of the 19th century. The only style that The Concise Oxford History of Music elaborates is Romanticism. Such inconsistent ness cannot be justified even more from the aspect of potential student readers of this reference book. The second part of disquisition contains analysis and evaluation of the Serbian translation of Abraham's History. That philological section of the work discusses mistakes in translation, controversial examples of transcription and adaptation of foreign names, grammatical, lexical and punctuation omissions. Also, examples show almost complete absence of necessary musicological and literary comments and processing of the original text in Serbian translation.
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