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Wednesday 15 October 2003

bad paper

try as you might, you cannot imagine how long and boring the 300 pages are about this one stravinsky piece. the piece is only a half hour long. that's ten pages a minute. ok, myabe it's less than 300 pages, but it feels like 300 pages. the author has figured out where every single note came from and how the plan to include it changed over time and he wants to tell you all about. Stravinsky miscopied a note from a melody that he was stealing. But when he realized it was wrong, he didn't fix it, he exploited it. That note appears in the following 50 locations where it is surrounded by the followign 50 things. Also, people used to think all peseant songs and powems had the following stresses and here are the stresses and here is how every major russian composer before stravinsky transcribed the stresses, but then some guy figured out that they weren't stressed that way at all and look, stravinsky didn't use the odl stressing pattern and he put in rests in the music wherever he felt like it and here's 789362562345796892345 examples of where he put rests with long discussions of the stress patterns of the 23801641036735 poems he may have been quoting.

fall break starts thursday night . . .

Celeste Hutchins
Stravinsky Paper

As a composer, I found Svadebka to be very interesting. Specifically, I was intrigued by Stravinsky's use of source material and how his plan evolved as he worked on the piece. This is a compositional model that I would like to employ with my project around Joan of Arc, by using material that an expert in the field (or a person from that time, or in Stravinsky's case, a peasant) would recognize as appropriate. Stravinsky had an easier time collecting source material, as the tradition that he taped was within the memory of living people and because of the giant book of collected wedding songs that he was able to draw upon.

Taruskin goes into perhaps too much detail regarding to origins of the motifs of Svadebka. It was interesting to read about how Stravinsky became so familiar with the source material that he was able to write prototypical folk songs, but perhaps this could have been expounded upon at less length.

I watched a tape of this piece with new choregraphy and I watched it before I did any reading, so I do not know how much of the "acting" originally written was present in the production. The music, however was superb. This piece has some rythmic motifs that are similar to those in Rite of Spring, but since they both cover similar themes of "virgin sacrifice," this seems appropriate.

(While I question the notions connecting virgin sacrifice and marriage, I understand that they may have been connected Stravinsky's mind.)

The diversity of source material is apparent in the piece. The first clear instance of chanting is somewhat surprising, but also wonderful and perhaps my favorite part of the piece.

It was also interesting to read about how the modes in Svadebka were related to Medieval modes, something that Taruskin assumes his audience to be familiar with. I look forward to re-reading that section as my research project progresses.

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