Meaning of Musical Ekphrasis Report (Assessment)

Meaning of Musical Ekphrasis Report (Assessment)

Art is the means of expressing actuality in all its completeness. Art was invented by people as a way of reconstructing reality and the phenomena of the objective reality in a picturesque type. Some scholars keep to the point of view that the notion of art is just like that of culture, thus figuring out artwork with culture. There are numerous types of arts in the world; a few of them are referred to as classical, some others are referred to as modernist or neoclassical. Among the kinds of artwork can be distinguished the following ones, as crucial and the most well-liked amongst people: visible arts (including portray and drawing), literature (prose, poetry), sculpture, structure and naturally varied sorts of music.

Seeing that there are so many different sorts of art, we must clearly perceive that they do not exist in full isolation from each other. All kinds of arts interact with one another and are in close connection to these ones that are the closest to them. This means that arts developed carefully connected and these days, increasingly more pieces of artwork are being created not by a single sort of artwork however by the combination of them that gives the reader or the listener or the spectator with the fullest image of this or that artistic idea. This can be exemplified by the films made after some literary works, like “Hamlet” or “Da Vinci Code,” or poetry created because the completion of a certain portray, like the painting and a poem titled “Hunters within the Snow,” or a musical creation which is a response to some literary work or painting. The latter is just the case that we are going to focus on within the present essay – that is known as the phenomenon of musical ekphrasis. In order to keep away from any possible ambiguity of the phrases on this essay, we should always begin our analytical work by defining the notion of musical ekphrasis.

Musical ekphrasis – is the musical (sound) reflection of a sure piece of graphic or visual artwork. The musical ekphrasis is created by an artist apart from the creator of the unique work. One way to explore the ability of music to render works of visible art is to arrange instruments chosen by the composer in a single work of ekphrasis utilizing an imagined scale between, on the one finish, the iconic and, on the other end, the allusive. Another time period that demands definition is the term of the program music and the musical ekphrasis.

Program music is the sort of music that narrates or paints, represents, or suggests stories or scenes (or even events or characters) that exist or usually are not out there but enter music from the composer’s perspective and from his/her thoughts. The sphere of application for the notion “program music” is broad, starting from the emotional expression associated with nature, through the outline of a historical or literary hero, up to the musical impression of a philosophically considered “world” (Bruhn, 2008). The musical ekphrasis, quite the opposite, depicts a fictional actuality created not by the composer of the piece of music: a painter or a poet. Ekphrastic music typically relates not solely to the plot of the conveyed fictional actuality however to the shape and style of its representation as properly.

After the phrases are outlined, we will move to the analysis of the chosen artworks from the perspective of ekphrasis. These works are the portray Die Zwitschermaschine (Twittering Machine) by the well-known German painter Paul Klee, and the musical works underneath the same title executed by the well-known German composer Giselher Klebe and the Lithuanian composer Rytis Mažulis who is considered to be the “intellectual” artist.

The painting itself presents the image of a twittering machine, i. e. a factor consisting of skinny traces and some springs. It is operated with a movable handle and is supposed to supply sure twittering sounds. Looking on the painting by Klee, every spectator imagines these sounds, however no one can say definitely they are exact or not. It is where the thought of the portray lies – it provides the viewers chance and area for uncontrollable work of imagination and inventing its own ideas. The problem for any composer who would attempt to characterize this painting within the sound kind was the duty of manufacturing the sounds that may coincide with what the audience imagined whereas wanting at the picture and what the painting’s author deliberate to say. The results of the work of the 2 above-mentioned worldwide famous composers will be discussed and compared beneath.

The instrumental interpretation of the work by the German composer Giselher Klebe presupposes the entire range of depictive means of the musical language. Some moments on this work can be thought-about close to onomatopoeia. Sounds all through the piece of music actually resemble the movements of a certain machine consisting of metal particulars and wishes oiling. This machine produces twittering sounds, which do not enable any various when the listener perceives the work. The sound is strictly what the vast majority of the spectators of the respective portray expected to pay attention to from the machine. While music known as “a language,” we know that it cannot describe immediately merely saying “red” or “black.” In order for the listener to know how music responds to the piece of artwork, it’s essential for the beholder to be nicely acquainted with the stimulus. The importance of the listener’s familiarity with the original work of art grows proportionately to the level at which a composer establishes hyperlinks between musical and extra-musical content material of that unique work. In this case, listening to Klebe’s work, we would not be ready to think about precisely the machine painted by Klee if we had not seen the portray sooner than heard the piece of music (Bruhn, 2008).

Considering the second piece of music composed by Rytis Mažulis, we think about a completely different image. The thing is that Mažulis’ work was accomplished over twenty years later than the work by the German composer, and this truth found its reflection in the music. The technique of music manufacturing changed because the first work was accomplished, so did the idea of machinery and the sounds it produces. The people’s minds pictured completely different photographs of the Twittering machine created by Klee. In this case, we are in a position to listen to the music from the computer age, which is executed by a super-pianist who performs with a fantastic many palms. This piece of art additionally possesses some options of onomatopoeia, but now it represents the sounds of a contemporary machine which is the product of technological progress. So, the comparability of those two musical works based mostly upon the picture created by Paul Klee firstly of the 20th century presents plenty of interesting material for pondering. We can clearly observe how art and people’s ideas of it changed with the course of time and the technological development of mankind.

To make the logical conclusion of this comparative essay, we ought to always say that creating the murals that’s planned to be a response to some other piece of painting or a literary work; composers usually set themselves the problem to symbolize not solely the plot of the story, but additionally the inventive language in which this plot was first expressed, its type, and generally stylistic and other particulars of the unique representation (Bruhn, 2008). The musical works by Giselher Klebe and Rytis Mažulis characterize precisely this case of musical ekphrasis, and that is why these works are considered to be real masterpieces of artwork in the entire world.


Bruhn, Siglind. A Concert of Paintings: “Musical Ekphrasis” in the Twentieth Century. Web.

Klee, Paul. Twittering Machine (Die Zwitschermaschine). 1922. Museum of Modern Art, New York.

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