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The article is devoted to the dramatic role of “airs parlants” — (fr. „eloquent“ airs) a special citation technique that became popular in the European ballet scores of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.) Airs parlants (also referred as “proverbes musicaux” (“musical proverbs”)) presented as small fragments (phrases, motifs) of popular arias and other vocal genres melodies (solo or choral episodes of operettas, songs from theatrical productions, folk songs,etc.) included in the musical text of the ballet in order to enhance the narrative function of music, to create a certain dramaturgic effect.
The study of the question of the meaning of “airs parlants” is carried out along the lines of the system-historical and intertextual research method. The semantic and intertextual properties of the airs parlants are considered, their role in initiating compositional interest in the development of polystylistic means of musical expressiveness. A conclusion is drawn about the special artistic significance of this method of citation, which makes it possible to carry out preparatory work consisting in “training” theatrical audience’s musical memory, forming the experience of musical perception in the era of the musical leitmotifs formation.

About the Author

G. A. Bezuglaia
Vaganova Ballet Academy
Russian Federation

Cand. Sci. (Arts), Ass. Prof.

2 Rossi st., Saint Petersburg, 191023, Russian Federation


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Supplementary files

For citation: Bezuglaia G.A. ON THE DRAMATIC ROLE OF QUOTATIONS IN BALLET MUSIC OF THE FIRST HALF OF THE 19TH CENTURY: ‘AIRS PARLANTS’. Bulletin of Vaganova Ballet Academy. 2018;(5):6-17.

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