This editorial concerns resuming the issue of a periodical that was established in 1985, initiated by a group of musicologists, musicians, composers and researchers. Musicology (Musicología) has been the first periodical on musicology in the post-war Greece and – as we see now (ten years later) – it remains the only attempt to express musicological discourse in our country. Obviously, the endeavor to describe the course and the “adventures” of Musicology would lead to an analysis of the sociological and artistic dimensions of the history during the last decade that has been very important for musical life in Greece. The number of publications and recordings has been significantly increased. Research has been developed, Greek and foreign musicians as well as scholars came from abroad, important festivals have been opened, conferences and congresses have been organized, attempts for reforming music education have been undertaken, the Athens Concert Hall has been established (something that seems to introduce radical changes in Greek musical life) and finally Departments of Musical Studies have been established in several universities.Nevertheless, other periodicals have not been established. Musicology (Musicología) – as an object and subject of these processes (seven members of the editorial staff were elected in the meantime at various universities) – has undergone the test of internal “fermentation” and questioning about its function in today conditions. On several occasions questioning about the meaning of such a publication jeopardized the whole attempt, considering also external difficulties, such as the understandable slowness of the publishers when it is about non-commercial publications. The questions we faced could be summarized in a variation on Adorno’s question about philosophy: “what is the use of musicology”? Is it possible for this Geisteswissenschaft to develop in our country on the threshold of the year 2000? What are the contemporary dimensions of this field, what are its particularities, its character and efficiency for the fields of research, for the institutions, the education and the social context in general?It is known that musicologists worldwide that write are far more less, compared with scholars from other disciplines. In our country these musicologists are quite a few. Yet, even with a delay, it is ascertained that there is awareness of the importance of musicology and that the practical prerequisites for its development are created step by step.We believe that especially the establishment of Departments of Musical Studies (the first musicologists have just graduated from the Department in Athens University) is – even with certain delay – very important, because this is the first time in Greece that an institutional academic context for communication is created. This context will allow certain critical consideration of the (often invaluable) spontaneous and amateurish occupation in this field. “Traditional” universities abroad became for a long time past conscious of the necessity for research on the relation between musicology and other contemporary fields, as well as between musicology and musical praxis and life.Considering the character and the functions of Musicology (Musicología) today, we are realizing that the necessity for communication and openness to the field worldwide is stronger than ever and constitutes a prerequisite for the development of the discipline in our country. The main principles of Musicology have not changed, even though certain issues have been emphasized. The best way to understand this is to compare certain parts of the editorial published in the first issue (1985) with the directions set by Musicology in the context of the conditions at present. As it was stated in that editorial:“Musicology (Musicología) – initiated by a group of musicologists and researchers of music and in collaboration with Odysseas publishers – makes its appearance today. The initiators – based on certain objective facts – feel that there is a hope for a contemporary Greek society and education to develop, counting not only on the initiative and work of particular persons, but also on the establishment of institutions with stable functions for musical life (institutions for the spread of music, conservatories, research institutes, institutes for higher musical education, cultured audience). This attempt is undertaken with the hope to promote the development of musicology in our country and to contribute for the contemporary needs of musical education and its cultural context to be realized. […] This is why the title Musicology – Review of Theory and Praxis of Music implies the scientific discourse about the object, as well as the attempt to identify this type of discourse with a general consideration of music as a phenomenon and as the practical reality of live music – of the art of music.[…] Composers, musicians, students of music, educated amateurs, are the vehicles of musical communication and modulate the relation between music science and musical life. Musicology applies to them, with the ambition to constitute a fruitful forum for scholars, musicians and researchers in an international cultural context that facilitates the exchange of ideas. Musicology is also oriented towards the research on Greek music creation and on its specific multicultural identity. Thus, Musicology represents an attempt to constitute a forum that will promote discussion between Greek musicologists as well.[…] Musicology is interested in a pluralistic representation of views, trends and methodologies, on the basis of a common discussion and of the common interest about the development of music education and research in our country. It is an intention of the initiators to contribute to the formation of prerequisites for music education on a higher level and to help the music departments in Greek universities that are to be established”.The pretension of Musicology to be a pioneer means that its members intend to surpass the conditions and themselves as well. It also means to “disturb the water” and to encourage research. What did Musicology achieve during its first period? In the first four issues (published by Odysseas thanks to Mrs. Myrsini Zorba) and in the next two double issues (published by Paratiritis of Mr. Petros Papasarantopoulos in Thessaloniki) appeared about 70 papers:
- 25 papers were about Greek music.
- 5 papers were on ethnomusicological and methodological issues.
- 15 papers were published on European aesthetics, on interpretation and music theory.
- About 10 papers were historical-philological and hermeneutical.
- The rest of the papers were on history and sociology of music, on the management of musical institutions, on methodology, musical pedagogics (especially the papers in issue 5-6/1987 – on French music and musical life) and translations (Adorno, B. Bartók, C. Floros, Jean and Brigitte Massin, A. Sychra, and others).Musicology today is interested mainly in the fields of the aesthetics, sociology and philosophy of music. These fields include issues on music theory and epistemology of musicology. As interdisciplinary fields, they also include methodological issues on music history. Musicology will also publish papers on the aesthetics of Greek art music, a field that is included in the history of European music. Papers on ethnomusicology, on folk music, on social anthropology and Byzantine music will be published to the extent they bring forth methodological problems of the comparative dimensions of these fields. The pluralistic character of Musicology concerning methodology (and ideology) does not exclude selection criteria. Contemporary musicology and aesthetics are impossible without – for example – ethnomusicology (a field that has always caused research and methodological reflection on the criteria used by European musicological thought). Yet, ethnomusicology is an independent and wide research field that cannot be fully represented – as it deserves to be – in a periodical like Musicology (Musicología).
In this issue the emphasis is laid on papers concerning the aesthetics of music. The first section includes papers with common methodological directions and with a common denominator: to link the systematic and historical dimensions of the Aesthetics. In the second section methodological criteria concerning the systematic dimensions of contemporary aesthetic theories are considered. In the next two papers dominates the historical-philological method of musicology that analyses the concepts of general theory of culture and aesthetics concerning the problem of style in music. In this issue are covered fields concerning Greek art music, the aesthetics of music and musical pedagogics as well.Finally, in this issue Musicology opens a section for book review. We think that this is very important nowadays in our country, because the variety and the growth of publications in almost every musicological field has as a result certain difficulties for the readers, the students and even for the specialists in neighboring fields. Considering that it is not always easy to conclude with a fair judgment about the originality and the educational function of a publication, Musicology aims at the establishment of an appropriate context for the discussion about the level of research in our country and worldwide. We feel that this will have some effect on our search and the directions of research we choose. Apart from that, Musicology aims at the formation of a context for reliable bibliographical information. It is our hope that this will have a positive effect on the policy for publications and translations.Book reviews will include mainly outstanding works from the international musicological literature that have been fundamental for musicological research. For the field of Greek art music we believe that an attempt for a full-scale presentation of the research up to date would be particularly constructive, considering that nowadays the institutional prerequisites for “competition” and a wide-range discussion have just been created. Besides, this situation is common for other fields of musicology as well.The book reviews included in this issue have been chosen suggestively from fields that are crucial: music theory and problems of teaching it, and introduction to musicology. To music theory and problems of teaching refers the review of Diether de la Motte’s Harmonielehre, Kontrapunkt and Melodie by Markos Tsetsos. In the field of the introduction to musicology there is a lack of complete books of utmost significance. We feel that the choice of the commemorative volume about L. Finscher Studien zur Musikgeschichte, published last year, provides a solution to the problem of an updated Introduction to musicological research. Besides, this volume includes several topics that will occupy Musicology in next issues.