Fragmentation in the music of György Kurtág

Scheuregger, Martin (2014) Fragmentation in the music of György Kurtág. In: Poetics of Collage, 16 may 2014, London, UK.

Full text not available from this repository.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


György Kurtág (b. 1926) is a composer whose concern with fragmentation runs deep into individual pieces, whilst seeming to splinter his oeuvre. His relatively select number of works include many which manifestly deal with the notion of ‘the fragment’: the pinnacle of these is his Op. 24, Kafka Fragments (1985-1986). Kafka Fragments pieces together forty musical fragments to create a collage in which scale is of paramount importance. From the moment-to-moment perception of these tiles of music, to the ‘whole’ work viewed from afar, coherence is achieved at a variety of levels. Throughout the work, there is a tension between the concept of the bigger picture (the whole) and the musical fragments (its parts); this will be explored in order to further understand how a musical collage operates. This paper takes perceptual, analytical and compositional precedents as a starting point for creating a framework in which the notion of fragmentation in music might be understood. Taking on board ideas from Jerrold Levinson, Robert Fink, Heinrich Schenker and others, this exploration will try to pin down exactly what a musical fragment could be. In so doing, the broader relationship between fragmentation and completeness will be explored. The notional foundation that this paper sets up will be illustrated with analytical detail of Kafka Fragments explored in a way that aims to raise broader issues related to the notion of fragmentation in twentieth-century art.

Keywords:Temporality, Time, György Kurtág, Twentieth Century Music, Contemporary Music, Collage
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W300 Music
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Performing Arts)
Relation typeTarget identifier
ID Code:25439
Deposited On:02 Feb 2017 14:37

Repository Staff Only: item control page