Abdokov Yuri

The origins of “orchestral poetics”

Abdokov Yuri (2019) "The origins of “orchestral poetics” ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia V : Voprosi istorii i teorii hristianskogo iskusstva, 2019, vol. 35, pp. 181-207 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturV201935.181-207


This article analyses the nature of comprehension of orchestra writing. It substantiates the morphological correlation between artistic practice and orchestrating theory as integral part of the process of composing music in the context of understanding stylistic etymology in art. It emphasises the symbolic and semiological character of the orchestral language as one of the most perfect means of expression of aesthetical and metaphysical ideas. The methodology of the analysis is based on viewing the art of orchestrating in the context of a wide range of professional and composing-related, historical and aesthetical, philosophical and religious problems. It denies the priority of the linear and evolutionary approach to the study of development of orchestrating. The article off ers arguments for the insuffi ciency of exclusively instrument-related, formal and techicising assessment of the most important factors of orchestral style-formation. It also proposes ways of relevant scientifi c cognition of orchestral vocabulary in a wide historical and stylistic dimension, taking into account the achievements of modern performing practice, including historical (authentic). For the fi rst time, the main categories of orchestral poetics are formulated, i.e. the logic of spatial and proactive thinking, timbral progression, texture agility, coloristic dramaturgy, orchestral tectonics, timbre “optics”, metaphorical and symbolical ontology of orchestra. The poetic basis of orchestral writing is interpreted as an integral unity of universal (generally valid) and personal (author’s individual) aesthetic categories from which the style of the epoch is being derived, as well as poetical originality of specifi c artistic trends and authors. Poetics of orchestral writing is viewed as the mainstay of modern orchestral science, the major principle of which is derivation of analytical inventory from specific (possible to be analysed) artistic artifacts, rather than from unifi ed schemes of general usage.


orchestra, poetics, orchestration, theory of orchestral writing, orchestral style, organology, evolution, style diagnostics


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Information about the author

Abdokov Yuri

Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in Art Criticism;
Academic Rank: Professor;
Place of work: Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory; 13/6 Bolshaya Nikitskaya Street Moscow, 125009, Russian Federation;
Post: professor;
ORCID: 0000-0001-9033-3279;
Email: abdokovgeorg@mail.ru.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.