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Contents

Music in the Early Twentieth Century

EXTINGUISHING THE “I”

Chapter:
CHAPTER 4 Extinguishing the “Petty ‘I’ ” (Transcendentalism, I)
Source:
MUSIC IN THE EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin
Extinguishing the “I”

ex. 4-9 Alexander Scriabin, Prelude, Op. 74, no. 1, final chord compared with its referential scales

Now what has all of this to do with the theurgic aims of mystic symbolism or theosophy? We may quote the answer to this question directly from Vyacheslav Ivanov, who in a lecture of 1919 enumerated the theurgic effects of Scriabin’s music, which if regarded as the composer’s ends provide the explanation of his means, as we have been describing them. “Scriabin has expressed in music the most profound ideas of the present day,” Ivanov declared, defining them as follows:

  1. 1. The vision of surmounting the boundaries of the personal, individual, petty “I”—a musical transcendentalism.

  2. 2. The vision of universal, communal mingling of all humanity in a single “I”—or the macrocosmic universalism of musical consciousness.

  3. 3. The vision of a violent breakthrough into the expanse of a free new plane of being—universal transformation.12

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 4 Extinguishing the “Petty ‘I’ ” (Transcendentalism, I)." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2018. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume4/actrade-9780195384840-div1-004004.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 4 Extinguishing the “Petty ‘I’ ” (Transcendentalism, I). In Oxford University Press, Music in the Early Twentieth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 10 Dec. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume4/actrade-9780195384840-div1-004004.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 4 Extinguishing the “Petty ‘I’ ” (Transcendentalism, I)." In Music in the Early Twentieth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 10 Dec. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume4/actrade-9780195384840-div1-004004.xml
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