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What is NEOCLASSICISM? What does NEOCLASSICISM mean? NEOCLASSICISM meaning & explanation

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Paul Klee Books. Date: Sept. From: Notes Vol. Publisher: Music Library Association, Inc. Document Type: Book review. Length: 1, words. Sign In to view the full article. Gale Academic Onefile , Accessed 24 Sept. At the end of the day, it is precisely the awareness of the otherness of the classics — posited as a model — that also makes us aware of the specificity and novelty of the present.

This emerges most clearly in examples of Neoclassicism of colonial architecture Figs. Neoclassical architecture in colonial settings merely exhibits the invention of the classic, as a normative standard, when such normativity is applied to reaffirm a continuity that is unintentionally, but radically, denied. As Settis , writes, this generation of cultural narrativity and normativity also shows that the classics are re-classified each time in a process of continuous de-signification and re-signification that reflects a specific cultural project.

Even when, as in Busoni , Neoclassicism is not meant as a nostalgic rescue and recovery of past and lost models, but as a means of renewal, Neoclassicism consists precisely in this comeback which posits the classic, while generating a normative validity. Since every neo-movement or neo-style like neo-baroque, neo-romanticism etc. On the other hand, a total identification with the stylistic ideals of the past risks falling into kitsch, as often happens in the Neoclassicism of totalitarian regimes and certain colonial buildings. But it also may occur in other political situations and artistic domains.

Hamilton , restoring the pure jazz of its origins, which was supposedly lost in the development of free jazz, fusion and electronic jazz. This project seems paradoxical: it contributes to fossilizing or musealizing an artistic praxis born of hybridization, inclusion, movement, interaction, and improvisation by selecting a historical narrative devoted to exclusionary purification. There is nothing more contradictory than wanting to pursue an art based on improvisation through the imposition of a canonical model from which to copy.

Moreover, although the desire to attribute the dignity of art to a popular musical practice is understandable, there is a kind of will to power behind this move, assimilating the culture of the oppressed to the ideal normativity of the oppressors. The improvisational normativity of Neoclassicism But what about improvisation?

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What does improvisation have to do with this link between Classicism and Neoclassicism? The thesis I will now defend is that the process of normativity that is at work in that conceptual generative link is clearly and paradigmatically epitomized by the transformational structure of improvisational processes. In fact, in improvisation the sense of the process is constructed retroactively.

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More concretely: A pianist plays a series of notes which, given that they do not depend on a pre-established plan, receive meaning thanks to what follows. Even in other improvisational artistic practices, what happens progressively shapes the normative context for what follows, but the following at the same time transforms meanings and values of what has preceded it.

The norm including the artistic standards of success is formed and transformed procedurally, by its very application in the performance situation, so that even the mistake has a particular status: it does not depend on the violation of pre-existing instructions, but on an ineffective reaction to the unexpected.

Hence, improvisational practices are a continuous dialectic process of de- and re-signification, beginning with the traditions whether of styles, conventions, techniques that constitute their starting points. Their normative force is continuously re-signified in different ways: They may be appropriative, respectful, celebratory, affirmative, ironic, derogatory, etc. Monson , In so doing, improvisational practices epitomize art as whole.

Stravinsky's "Great Passacaglia": Recurring Elements in the Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments

Although artistic traditions and practice offer the background for the new artworks in that each new artwork gets its meaning and value within or in relation to a certain cultural context , each new artwork is ex improviso in relation to art as human practice and, at the same time, re-signifies art as a whole Bertinetto Yet, as Carlo Ginzburg , pointed out, the echo of classical art is recognizable in the shapes of Picasso's figures. It creatively signifies on the classical and the classical, in turn, appears through the filter of the innovation.

This reciprocal feedback between tradition and innovation is in play in every significant new artwork.

As such, this logic is the motivating soul of Neoclassicism as an element of the continuous self- development of the classics. This particular historical fact may be taken as a kind of symbol of Neoclassicism as that cultural phenomenon of re-signification, actualization, appropriation and interpretation of the classic which makes the classic, both narratively and normatively, artistically vivid, aesthetically effective, and, especially, philosophically powerful.

Yet, obviously enough, just as in improvisational artistic practices, the success of this operation is not guaranteed. Neoclassical attempts to generate historical and normative legitimation may fail and instead exhibit a soulless and pretentious self-conceit. Failure tends to happens when neoclassical works show no self-understanding of the historical character of normativity and, reciprocally, of the normative character of history.

CSO Sounds & Stories » Music scholar builds a case for the primacy of Stravinsky

References Bertinetto, A. Bertinetto, A. Ontologia della musica e improvvisazione Roma. Bertinetto A. Busoni, F.

Carr, M. Gadamer, H. Ginzburg, C. Storia, retorica, prova Milano. Gioia, T. Reflections on Jazz and Modern Culture Oxford. Hamilton, A. Santi ed.