East-West Dialogue in Sophia Gubaidulina’s Work “Tatar Folklore Inspirations”: on the Problem of Artistic Bilingualism

Nadezda Velerovna Shirieva1, Elena Aleksandrovna Dyganova2

1,2 Kazan Federal University, 18 Kremlyovskaya street, Kazan 420008, Russia Federation. Corresponding email:

 Volume 9, Number 2, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v9n2.28

Received May 15, 2017; Revised July 18, 2017; Accepted July 25, 2017; Published August 16, 2017.


Sofia Gubaidulina, a living classic of modern music and one of the most popular composers of our time, is in constant search of both new timbres and spiritual truths. Born in Kazan (Russia), at the intersection of Tatar and Russian cultures as well as Islam and Christianity, she was naturally influenced by all of them, which is best reflected in Gubaidulina’s continual interest in the wide range of expression means offered by Oriental music. This phenomenon led to a wide discussion among musicologists on a synthesis of Western and Oriental cultural traditions in Gubaidulina’s music. However, Sofia Gubaidulina’s music based on the pentatonic scale is one of the most poorly studied areas in her artistic legacy. It includes three cycles of pieces “Tatar Folklore Inspirations” for small, alto and bass domra with piano accompaniment analysed in this paper have specific modal and rhythmic features characterising Tatar traditional music. The author’s approach to the problem of correlation of the “own” and the “alien” in the musical text of the triptych as an artistic dialogue between the ethnic and the pan-European is based on the theory of intertextuality, applied to analyse various parameters of intertextual communications in Gubaidulina’s work. This study reveals how the composer identifies herself within different cultures and explains her “play of styles” as a new form of artistic synthesis integrating world art trends with ethnic cultural paradigms.

Keywords: domra, intertextuality, European, pentatonism, polystylistics, synthesis, Tatar music, artistic dialogue, ethnic.

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