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DOI 10.12887/29-2016-1-113-06

Kinga KIWAŁA – Music and Silence: On the Dimensions of Silence in Music

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The subject of the article is a multidimensional approach to the dialectics of silence and sound in music. Musical silence, manifested among others by a rest (pause), should be distinguished both from objective physical silence (which is not part of music) and from the so-called ‘music related’ silence, constituted in the ‘performer–listener,’ relation characteristic of the moment just before and directly after the composition is performed. The inner silence of a musical work has many functions, of which the most important seems to be its constructional and expressional (energetic) role. However, the inner silence of a musical work may also hold semantic and symbolic functions; in exceptional situations Ingardenian metaphysical qualities may also constitute themselves on the basis of such silence. The article also discusses the space and time nature of musical silence, including its crucial role in constituting an impression of depth in music. The article concludes with a short examination of some theological and philosophical approaches to the dialectics of music and silence, including the fundamental treatment of the problem in the phenomenological thought. References to specific concepts and compositions by 20th-century composers (Anton Webern, John Cage, Krzysztof Penderecki, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Eugeniusz Knapik, and others) exemplify the discussed interpretations.

Keywords: sound, silence, musical space and time, musical semantics, metaphysical qualities

Contact: Music Theory and Interpretation Department, Institute of Composition, Conducting and Music Theory, Composition, Interpretation and Musical Education Faculty,
Academy of Music,
ul. św. Tomasza 43, 31-027 Cracow, Poland

E-mail: kinga.kiwala@amuz.krakow.pl
Phone: +48 12 4223837

Pliki do pobrania:

» 113Kiwala.pdf

  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 20.00
  3. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  4. DOI Prefix 10.12887