Ken’ichiro Ikegami

Faculty of Music, Kyoto City University of ArtsLecturer*Profile is at the time of the award.

2018Inamori Research GrantsHumanities & Sociology

Research topics
Investigation into the German “painting music” in the late 18th century: Toward the elucidation of the multidimensional music culture in the classical era
In the history of Western music, the period when Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Ludwig van Beethoven were active is referred to as the “Classical period.” The term “classical” connotes that it was in this period that an orthodox, universal compositional style was established that set a standard for people in future generations.
A closer look into this period (from the late 18th century to the early 19th century), however, reveals that many pieces that may not be compatible with what is referred to as “classical” today were written to great acclaim from people. Rather, it seems that many different trends in composition styles and outlooks on music coexisted to create music culture then as they formed complex mixtures. It takes more than representative works by the three greatest musical figures to explain the musical spirit of the time.
I am interested in uncovering the trends that have never been given the spotlight (or were intentionally excluded from it) in historical descriptions of later years, to re-examine their meaning from the 18th-century perspectives. As part of this effort, this proposed research revisits the then-popular style of music known as “music that you draw” or “musical pictures,” which give concrete descriptions of some events, such as bird and animal calls, as well as other natural sounds and phenomena.

Message from recipient

I am more than grateful for the selection of my unostentatious and low-profile research topic for shedding light on music that is now rarely known in the shadow of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. I would be happy if my research findings could help people to get to know the extensive breadth of 18th-century musical culture.

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Humanities & Sociology