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11. Traditional and Innovative Methods in Approaching Music Styles. Pedagogical Implications

Abstract

The approach to music styles entails an in-depth musicological analysis aimed at synthesizing numerous bibliographical sources belonging to different fields and directions of research. A chronological overview of studies (Jean Molino, Fait musical et sémiologie de la musique, 1975; Jean Jaques Nattiez, Quelques reflexions du style, 1993; R. J. Pascall, Style, in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 1994; Jean Jaques Nattiez, La musique de l’avenir, in Musique. Une Encyclopédie pour le XXI siècle, 2003; Mario Baroni, Stil şi mutaţii stilistice în tradiţia muzicală europeană, in Musique Une encyclopédie pour le XXI siècle, 2006) and of universal (Leonard Meyer, Explaining Music, 1973; Charles Rosen, Le style classique: Haydn. Mozart, Beethoven, 1978; Leonard B. Meyer, Style and Music. Theory, History and Ideology, 1989; and Romanian specialised literature (Cornel Ţăranu, Elemente de stilistică muzicală (sec. XX), 1981; Edgar Papu, Despre stiluri, 1986; Valentina Sandu-Dediu, Alegeri Atitudini Afecte, 2010; Vasile Iliuţ, O carte a stilurilor muzicale, 2011; Valentin Timaru, Stilistică muzicală, 2014) from the late 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, reveal the different and, more often than not, contrasting views of historians, analysts, aestheticians, philosophers, scholars and educators, starting from the meaning of the very idea of style, to the reception of this phenomenon in contemporaneity. On these grounds, this study proposes a systematization of the most relevant landmarks in documentation to date, for the purpose of applying them from a didactic perspective.

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Education: 4. Perspectives on the Concepts of Gifting and Talent and How they are Used in the Arts

Abstract

The educational programs dedicated to gifted and talented people are developed or must be developed starting with an adhesion to a definition of the working concept, in this case „giftedness” or „talent”. A foray into the literature proves that the meaning of the concept of giftedness has developed over time, as influenced by various factors such as historical (history of the research) and of human nature (psychological or educational). The aim of the paper is to make a review of the associated key moments in the evolution of the concept of giftedness. The bibliographical sources allowed us to achieve a chronological overview of the position/attitude of the most prestigious researchers in the field, who tried to explain the concept of giftedness and talent. The collected data demonstrates that there is no unanimous acceptance of a single definition until today, and that the concept keeps its tendency to perpetual transformation. The constant during this time remains its relationship with the demonstrated, respectively with the potential performance.

Open access
A digital Jewish history?

Abstract

How can we teach Jewish history in a modern and effective way? In Hamburg, Germany, a school project called Geschichtomat tries to find an answer to that question. With the help of digital media, students explore their Jewish neighbourhood. This one-of-a-kind German program permits students to experience the Jewish past and present life in their hometown. During the project, students explore their neighbourhood to understand its historical figures, places, and events. This way they engage with Jewish life. Under the supervision of experts in the disciplines of history and media education, the students will: research, perform interviews with cultural authorities and contemporary witnesses, visit museums and archives, shoot and cut films, edit photos and write accompanying texts. Finally, their contributions are uploaded to the geschichtomat.de website. Little by little a digital map of Jewish life from the perspective of teenagers will take shape.

Open access
A Note On Chess In 19th Century Turkestan

Abstract

A note by A. Chernevski in the 1877 Shakhmatny Listok described two chess variants played in Samarkand, present-day Uzbekistan. One, the “Bukharan game”, is a slightly modified version of shatranj, similar to Rumi chess as described in Murray’s History of Chess. The other, the “Persian game with a queen” resembles to some extent the Persian chess described in 1846 in the Chess Player’s Chronicle but differs from it in several important aspects. Chernevski’s information, which includes recorded games by native players, is absent from later sources on chess history. A summary of Chernevski’s report is provided, with a discussion of several other historical chess variants, and various errors that have crept into their description in the literature.

Open access
Simulational Realism—Playing as Trying to Remember

Summary

In this text, I describe a specific way of addressing the past in video games which are set in historical times but at the same time deliberately undermine the facticity of their virtual worlds. By grounding my argument in analyses of two blockbuster productions—Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft, 2007) and Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision, 2010)—I introduce and define the notion of “simulational realism”. Both games belong to best-selling franchises and share an interesting set of features: they relate to historical places, events, and figures, establish counter-factual narratives based around conspiracy theories, and—most importantly—display many formal similarities. Like most AAA games, Assassin’s Creed and Black Ops intend to immerse the player in the virtual reality and, for this purpose, they naturalize their interfaces as integral elements of reality. However, in the process of naturalizing simulation, objectivity of the past becomes unthinkable.

In my considerations, I situate this problem in two contexts: 1) of a cultural and epistemic shift in perceiving reality which was influenced by dissemination of digital technologies; 2) Vilém Flusser’s prognosis on the effects of computation on human knowledge. According to Flusser’s theory of communication, history—as a specific kind of human knowledge—emerged out of writing that was always linear and referential. Consequently, the crisis of literary culture resulted in the emergence of new aesthetics and forms of representations which—given their digital origin—dictate new ways of understanding reality. As history is now being substituted by timeless post-history, aesthetic conventions of realism are also transformed and replaced by digital equivalents.

Following Flusser’s theory, I assert that we should reflect on the epistemological consequences of presenting the past as simulation, especially if we consider the belief shared by many players that games like Assassin’s Creed can be great tools for learning history. I find such statements problematic, if we consider that the historical discourse, grounded on fact, is completely incompatible with the aesthetics of sim-realism which evokes no illusion of objective reality.

Open access
Pirate Television Stations in the Years 1990-1994

Abstract

The history of pirate, illegal television stations in Poland is presented here against the broader background of systemic transformations (both political and legal). According to the author of the article, it was an inevitable phenomenon, closely linked to the creation of the foundations of a democratic, lawful state with free-market economy. They were a factor which enforced acceleration of political change, legislative works and affected the change of the programming offer. Although pirate television stations were a short-lived phenomenon, they had huge impact on the later development of electronic media in Poland.

Open access
Digital artefacts to change the teacher’s practices

Abstract

The change imposed by the diffusion of information and communications technology concerns didactic transposition practices, especially in the context of ‘public subjects’, such as taught history, because their epistemological paradigms are also affected by the mediatization process which they are subjected to in the Web.

Digital competence is essential for building a meaningful curriculum of history, which could generate relevant knowledge for the contemporary world through digital artefacts that can start the change in didactic practices.

The traditional analogical supports, primarily the text books, could be overtaken by the aggregation of technological mediators. The digital mediators can make historical culture both evident and significant, and they can support the intellectual training that history asks of students.

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Holocaust Representation and Graphical Strangeness in Art Spiegelman’s Maus: A Survivor’s Tale: “Funny Animals,” Constellations, and Traumatic Memory

Abstract

Art Spiegelman’s MAUS, a Pulitzer-prize-winning two-volume graphic novel, zooms into wartime Poland, interweaving young Vladek’s – the author’s father – experiences of World War II and the present day through uncanny visual and verbal representational strategies characteristic of the comics medium. “I’m literally giving a form to my father’s words and narrative”, Spiegelman remarks on MAUS, “and that form for me has to do with panel size, panel rhythms, and visual structures of the page”. The risky artistic strategies and the “strangeness” of its form, to use Harold Bloom’s term, are essential to how the author represents the horrors of the Holocaust: by means of anthropomorphic caricatures and stereotypes depicting Germans as cats, Jewish people as mice, Poles as pigs, and so on. Readings of MAUS often focus on the cultural connotations in the context of postmodernism and in the Holocaust literature tradition, diminishing the importance of its hybrid narrative form in portraying honest, even devastating events. Using this idea as a point of departure, along with a theoretical approach to traumatic memory and the oppressed survivor’s story, I will cover three main topics: the “bleeding” and re-building of history, in an excruciating obsession to save his father’s – a survivor of Auschwitz – story for posterity and to mend their alienating relationship and inability to relate; the connection between past and present, the traumatic subject, and the vulnerability it assumes in drawing and writing about life during the Holocaust as well as the unusual visual and narrative structure of the text. The key element of my study, as I analyse a range of sections of the book, focuses on the profound and astonishing strangeness of the work itself, which consequently assured MAUS a canonical status in the comics’ tradition.

Open access
The Building and Renovation History of Vilnius and Kaunas Churches: Dendrochronological Dating and Historical Sources

Abstract

We present the application of dendrochronological dating of the renovation and construction works of churches in the Kaunas and Vilnius regions of Lithuania. The model for the estimation of the missing rings of Scots pine was used in Lithuania for the first time. We have assessed 18 timber cross-sections from nine churches, which were used for the constructions from the second half of the 17th to 19th c. The oldest wood samples were dated from St. Michael’s Church in Vilnius (1668±4) and St. George, the Martyr, (Bernardine) Church in Kaunas (1693±3). The aim of this study was to compare the results of the investigation of timber samples from 9 churches with archival sources and literature data and to reveal the renovation history of the buildings. The study of written historical sources has revealed a lack of recorded building and reconstruction phases of the churches. This fact was later confirmed by the results of dendrochronological dating. The dating of the timber revealed undocumented reconstruction dates in Zapyškis church (1791±3), St. George, the Martyr, (Bernardine) Church in Kaunas (1711±4), St. Anne Church in Skaruliai (1693±3) and Vilnius Cathedral (1814±4).

Open access
The Counter/Actual: Art and Strategies of Anti-Colonial Resistance

Summary

The article explores how a number of artists have employed the counter/actual as a form of past-talk in a conscious intervention into socio-political and ethical issues arising from the Israeli occupation of Palestine. I argue that such uses of the counter/actual more effectively foreground the injustices arising from the occupation while not only problematising the process of representation but also deconstructing the ways in which histories are intimately intertwined with relations of power and practises of legitimisation; they do not simply reproduce “the (f)actual” but work to repossess the past from the dominance of hegemonic interests.

Open access