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New Music Concepts 2019

A Mathematical Insight into Balakirev's Orientalism in Islamey

Part of the New Music Concepts book series (NMC volume 6)
ISBN: 978-88-944350-0-9

Author(s): Nikita Mamedov

Abstract: Balakirev's Islamey, composed in 1869 and revised in 1902, consists of three sections and can be analyzed from perspective of form and structure. Balakirev derives three separate motives, represented as mot. a, mot. b, and mot. c. In the A-section of Islamey, each phrase is a combination of variations and fragmentations of the three motives, where a set of four or five such segments commensurate a sole group. The A-section contains ten separate groups, all unique in their structure and form. By applying a mathematical approach to understand the form, it is evident that Balakirev employs three types of group structures. (1) groups that contain mot. a and mot. b; such groups utilize prime, variation, and fragmentation forms. (2) groups that contain only mot. c; such groups use only variation form. (3) groups that contain only mot. b; such groups use only the fragmentation form.

Keywords: Balakirev, music analysis, music and mathematics, music form