Switching from Bridges to Fusions
If we look back to the short history of our journal, the four issues of 2010 mainly focused on composers’ anniversaries. Haydn, Mendelssohn, Chopin or Paul Constantinescu were the protagonists of studies and essays signed by German and Romanian musicologists. Another topic seemed to sneak in all by itself, becoming increasingly stronger in the latest two issues: the idea of bridges, either over time or between different fields. Interdisciplinarity can thus be detected by the reader of Musicology Today in those essays and studies that connect music to literature, psychoanalysis and the visual arts, irrespective of the geographical origin of their authors (Poland, Romania, Germany or Canada) and of the music discussed (be it contemporary or traditional).
We are now moving on to paths that establish connections between various fields (or even disciplines) and we would like to propose a whole issue dedicated to fusions. A highly fashionable notion nowadays, when society aspires to so many forms of hybridisation, fusion has also settled comfortably in writings on music, proving itself able to signal fascinating spaces. Bysantinology and musical anthropology are known to explore borders between cultural territories. Dimitri Conomos (Oxford) tells us the story of music at Mount Athos, with unavoidable references to history and Orthodox theology. Another universe is revealed to us by Maria Grajdian (Heidelberg), who focuses on the contradictory aspects of a Japanese form of musical revue. Thomas Beimel (Wuppertal) writes an essay on a Romanian composer, Aurel Stroe, known for bringing together principles coming from mathematics, world music, tuning systems etc. Finally, I myself set out in pursuit of Thomas Beimel, so as to situate Stroe within an important post-war Romanian music trend, marked by composers’ interest in mathematical systems applied to scores.
Music and mathematics, music and Japanese cultural identities, music and Orthodoxy: here are a few suggestions of fusions, which reflect today’s musicological interests.
(English translation by Maria-Sabina Draga Alexandru)