Before launching this new issue, I feel that the title suggested might generate reactions different from what we, the editorial team (all musicologists) originally intended. To avoid the burden of subtitles, here is an attempt at a short explanation. This is meant neither as a description of a historical direction in Romanian musicology, nor as a critical scrutiny of the discipline in a national or even nationalist perspective (useful as these might be). The epithet “Romanian” indicates merely the authors’ origin, not in the least any kind of national content of their research. Three studies written by colleagues born in the sixties or seventies of the past century, exemplifying the sustained efforts of their generation to stay always connected to the current trends of thought in musicology, are simply put together here. Each author proposes a different path, through unique, interesting contributions, thus adding Romanian voices to the world debates on semiotics and narrativity, on the canon or the aesthetic of autonomy.
The three studies demonstrate the viability of a number of nineteenth- and twentieth-century concepts in the different manners of understanding musical creation. Nowadays, as Antigona Rădulescu shows, a complex musical analysis places narrativity in the foreground, taking over musical and linguistic models from Hugo Riemann, Heinrich Plett and Dinu Ciocan (among others), and this type of musical analysis shows its usefulness not only for theorists, but also in the art of musical performance. Oleg Garaz allows himself to be seduced by Harold Bloom’s lists in the configuration of the Western canon, transplanting them into his luxurious vision of music. And Monica Gurău-Mihalache remains one of the few Romanian musicians who have done in-depth studies of Eduard Hanslick’s writings, showing us the enormous potential that the debate on autonomy and formalism in musical aesthetics still has.
To these contributions, we add a portrait of Helmut Loos, in the guise of the Laudatio pages I had the honour to write on the German musicologist’s being awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa by NUMB. In its turn, the book review brought to us by Florinela Popa foregrounds a musicologist who has been the leader of Romanian musical historiography for decades: Octavian Lazăr Cosma.
All these are just a few puzzle pieces in a whole which deserves to be made known, even if it may never come out of unspectacular research: Romanian musicology. Meanwhile, we promise other such episodes to follow.
(English translation by Maria-Sabina Draga Alexandru)