Romanian Musicology (2)

In this issue I am going back to a focus Musicology Today was proposing back in 2015, namely a set of studies that offered an image (which could only be a fragmentary one) of current directions in Romanian musicology. As I also explained in the editorial I wrote for that issue 22 (2/2015), 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. Therefore, with no obvious thematic connection between them, the studies included in this issue illustrate the ideas, the directions and the mentalities of three different generations of Romanian musicologists.

Composer Nicolae Brânduș has for many decades been focusing on theorising his own composition gestures, being seduced by the multitude of perspectives from which the musical act can be approached. Since his book, Interferences (prefaced by the mathematician Solomon Marcus, in 1984) to this day, he has been insisting on the potential of applying Basarab Nicolescu’s theories on transdisciplinarity to music. The Cluj musicologist Gabriel Banciu is one of the few Romanians interested in investigating musical rhetoric, and the connections between Liszt and Tchaikovsky proposed in his text integrate rhetorical elements, which are unavoidable primarily within the context of the links between music and literature (Byron, Senancour, Pushkin). In turn, Florinela Popa, like a few other of her colleagues at the National University of Music in Bucharest, has for a while been focusing on the connections between Romanian music and the ideologies that have crossed our recent history. In this issue she proposes a completely original topic, namely the rediscovery of the poet, essayist and composer Wolf von Aichenburg, representative of the German minority in Romania and a victim of the communist regime, who left the country in 1980.

A didactic explanation of a musical editing software and a book review round up the diverse landscape of this journal issue. To this, we will add another, similar one, in which Romanian performers reflect analytically on the repertoire they play, going in a direction that is close to what is called artistic research these days.


Valentina Sandu-Dediu
English version by Maria-Sabina Draga Alexandru