Surrealismi ja musiikki

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Surrealism and music

According to the definition of surrealism in André Breton's Surrealist manifesto surrealism can express itself verbally or in any other manner. Thus we have, in addition to surrealist writing, surrealist painting, theatre and cinema. The apparent absence of music among the surrealist arts may seem surprising and require explanation. André Breton's lack of musical ear has been offered as one explanation. However, there are more theoretical reasons, too. In so far as surrealism wanted to avoid the complete absence of reference to reality characteristic of abstractionism, the abstractness of music poses a problem. Attempts have, however, been made to find or to compose music that corresponds to surrealist aesthetics. Sometimes parallels have been drawn between surrealist automatism and improvised music, especially jazz. More serious and consistent attempts, however, involve incorporating reality and referentiality into music. This strategy has been used by the Belgian composer and surrealist André Souris and by the composer François-Bernard Mâche. Breton has also written an article in which he proposes collaboration between poets and musicians based on the inherent musical qualities of spoken language. As a conclusion one can observe that the encounter of music and surrealism necessarily involves an attempt to overcome one of the characteristic features of modern music, that is, the autonomy and abstractness of music.