托福阅读文章The Concept of Style
The Concept of Style
Style may be defined as the characteristic manner of presentation of any art form. We distinguish between the style of a novel and that of an essay, between the style of a cathedral and that of a palace. The word may also indicate the creator's personal manner of expression-the distinctive flavor that sets one artist apart from all others. Thus we speak of the literary style of Dickens or Shakespeare, the painting style of Picasso or Michelangelo, the musical style of Bach or Mozart. We often identify style with nationality, as when we refer to French, Italian, or German style; or with an entire culture, as when we contrast a Western musical style with one of China, India, or some other region.
It is the difference in the treatment of the elements of music that makes one musical work sound similar to or different from another. We have seen that western music is largely a melody-oriented art based on a particular musical system from which the underlying harmonies are also built. Relatively speaking, rhythm and meter in western music are based on simpler principles than are melody and harmony. Music of other cultures may sound foreign to our ears and sometimes out of tune because they are based on entirely different musical systems from which they derive their melodic material and many do not involve harmony to any great extent. One important factor in these differing languages of music is the way in which the octave is divided and scales are produced. Complex rhythmic procedures and textures set some world music apart from western styles, while basic formal considerations-such as repetition, contrast, and variation-bring music of disparate cultures closer. In short, a style is made up of all the factors relating to pitch, time, timbre, and expression, creating a sound that each culture recognizes as its own.
Since all art changes from one age to the next, one very important use of the word "style" is in connecting the various historical periods. The music of each world culture has its own style periods. Focusing on the development of western music we will find that the concept of style enables is to draw connections between musicians and their time, so that the musical work is placed in its socio-historical frame. No matter how greatly the artists, writers, and composers of a particular era may vary in personality and outlook, when seen in the perspective of time, they turn out to have certain qualities in common. Because of this, we can tell at once that a work of art-whether music poetry, painting, sculpture, or architecture-dates from the Middle Ages or the Renaissance, from the eighteenth century or the nineteenth. The style of a period, then, is the total art language of all its artists as they react to the artistic, political, economic, religious, and philosophical forces that shape their environment.
(A) [▇]Scholars will always disagree as to precisely when one style period ends and the next begins.(B)[▇]Each period leads by imperceptible degrees into the following one, dates and labels being merely convenient signposts.(C)[▇]The following outline shows the generally accepted style periods in the history of western music. (D) [▇]Each represents a concept of form and technique, an ideal of beauty, a manner of expression and performance attuned to the cultural climate of the period-in a word, a style!
350~600:Period of the Church Fathers
600~850:Early Middle Ages-Gregorian chant
850~1150: Romanesque period development of the staff in musical notation, about 1 0001150~1450:Late Middle Ages(Gothic period)
1890~1915:Post-Romantic and Impressionist period