The concept of the "unity of music" by F. Busoni and composer techniques of the XX century

Borodin, Boris Borisovich
D.Sc. in Art History, Professor, Urals Mussorgsky State Conservatoire, Yekaterinburg, Russia

In his theoretical works, the outstanding musician-thinker Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924) summarized the results of the evolution of European music and outlined the main directions of its development in the XX century. In the treatise "Sketch of a New Aesthetics of Music" (1907) and in the collection of articles and essays "Of the Unity of Music" (1922), he reflects on the nature of art and its immanent properties. According to Busoni, music is a primordially existing, all-penetrating spiritual substance that develops according to laws similar to those of nature. Composers, only to the best of their ability, foresee and reveal to the world separate aspects of this integrity accessible only to them, embodying them in historically transient forms. The so-called "lawgivers" absolutize these achievements, elevating them to unshakable rules. Music, following its nature, must develop freely, overcoming the limitations of generally recognized scales, ossified "architectonic" structures that contradict the incorporeal essence of art, get rid of naive figurativeness and descriptiveness, from poetic and philosophical programs.
Busoni considered all sides of the compositional process as inseparable parts of an organic whole that grows out of the original idea. The task of the composer is the organization of a homogeneous sound space, the gradual overcoming of the rigid division of the sound range into semitones, the transition to microchromatics, getting rid of the dominance of major and minor. The "unity of music", understood in historical terms, allows the composer to freely use existing scores as the building material of his works. These ideas have become a theoretical confirmation of such phenomena of composer techniques of the XX century as extended tonality, serialism, microchromatics, and polystylistics.

Keywords: history of music of the XX century, Ferruccio Busoni, composition techniques, extended tonality, microchromatics, electronic music