French anthropologist and ethnologist Claude Lévi-Strauss thinks that music and myths have a common structure; While music represents the sound aspect of the language, myths represent the meaning aspect of the language. In this context, he argues that the mythological elements of the past have actually been replaced by today's music. He even associates the existence of the fugue form with the replacement of myths. With this concept, Lévi-Strauss classified the composers into three different groups; code musicians, legend musicians, and message musicians.
Message musicians represent composers who tell stories in their works. According to Levi-Strauss, for example; Beethoven, Schönberg, Ravel are in the category of message musicians. These composers, who carry the traces of their lives to music and sounds, intend to convey a message to the audience. On the other hand, on the contrary, these unique composers inspired stories. So much so that France's most humanist writer
Known as André Gide, there is a work of the same name inspired by Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony.
The “Pastoral Symphony”, which appeared in a different form approximately one hundred and fifty years after Beethoven's composition of this work, contributed a completely different dimension to Gide's book and pioneered the stratification of the whole book.
“A priest will try to explain the colors of the world, and indeed of life, to a blind girl with this symphony. The priest records his love and other characters who witnessed his love in simple language in his diary. The diary becomes a polyphonic symphony as it takes us into the worlds of the priest and his wife, son, and blind girl he fell in love with.” The spirit of the Pastoral Symphony, which is described in this way in the preface of the book, reflected in the book. The aim of the book is to feel the colors of life and the world with this symphony, thanks to music. This piece, which makes the “Pastoral Symphony” feel like listening when read, of course brings with it the fact that Symphony No: 6 “Pastoral” has another important character, message and many details to be said for its name, let alone other popular symphonies of Beethoven.
In the early 1800s, things were starting to work for this meticulous genius, whose daily rituals included meticulously counting the number of beans he put in the coffee he prepared for his breakfast, which meant counting sixty beans one by one for a cup. He had already lost most of his hearing ability. However, while this situation increased their suspicions, on the other hand, it was tangential without encountering their music with extraordinary power. In a way, the 1808th Symphony, which he completed in 6, was Beethoven's very expressive music. He spent most of the rest of the afternoon taking nature walks and always jotting down his new ideas. Undoubtedly, his love for nature was reflected and processed in the "Pastoral Symphony", which consists of five parts.
When we look at the name of this symphony, the word pastoral is a word of French origin and means rural. It also represents rural areas with simplicity, tranquility and charm. On the other hand, when we consider it as a work of literature, art or music, it is a term used to describe or suggest the life of shepherds or country in an idyllic way: pastoral poetry, a pastoral symphony.
Being one step closer to nature with this unique work of Beethoven also means getting closer to Beethoven. But Beethoven's description of nature in this work is never to imitate the sounds in nature. Just like the different points of the art forms of Apollo and Dionysus, the two Greek gods of art, whose semantic aspects Nietzsche examines. In the Apollonian understanding of art, human beings pass the nature through their own filter and present an imitation of nature in a way, while in the Dionysian understanding, man is the nature itself and has the power of it. From this point of view, we can think that Beethoven is closer to the Dionysian form. Likewise, he mentioned this point and said the following words on behalf of the 6th Symphony:
“Those who have an idea of country life can intuit what the author wants without looking at the titles. And they understand that the work carries the impressions of this life rather than the actual painting. The Pastoral Symphony is not a painting. It is the expression of the inaccessible pleasure that the countryside and nature give to people, and the feelings awakened in the countryside.”
Musical elements are not elements presented to us in nature; First of all, this nature must be created again. Just like Beethoven created in his Pastoral Symphony.
In addition to his love of nature, Beethoven also included his memories of rural life in this symphony, as we can think from the name "Recollections of Country Life", for which he gave his name to the violin section. At the same time, with this work, which is notorious among the canons, it both ensured the continuation of the pastorals in the Baroque period and pioneered the evolution of the romantic period.
Another point is that the Pastoral Symphony was composed in F Major tone. Of course, this was not a randomly chosen tone. It is an important quality for this work that the sounds of nature such as bird sounds, storm, flow of the creek, rain are in harmony with the F major and have a binding feature between them and the nature chord. Creating harmony with the sounds of nature can only be thought of by listening to the inner voice of natural life. Beethoven proved that he could listen to these sounds ingeniously with the Pastoral Symphony. For what other musician has the difference between hearing and listening been so concretely differentiated so far?
REFERENCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY
Attali, J., 2001, From Noise to Music, Details Publications, p.45
Beckh, H., 2019, The Mystery of Musical Creativity: The Human Being and Music, pp.96-97
Currey, M., 2013, Daily Rituals, Berdan Matbaacılık, pp.38-39
Gidé,A., 1999, Pastoral Symphony, Timaş Publications, pp.9-10
Hopkins, P., 1977, The Homology of Music and Myth: Views of Lévi-Strauss on Musical Structure, Ethnomusicology, Vol. 21, No. 2, p.247-261
Krehbiel, H., E., Thayer, A., W., 1967, Thayer's Life of Beethoven, Revised and Eddited by Elliot Forbes, Vol.1, p.436
Lasserre, P., 1996, Nietzsche's Reflections on Music, Pan Publishing, pp.14-15
Greengrocer, Ö., Mutlu, M., 2011, Reception in Music, Pan Publishing, p.114-115
Uğurlu, A., 2014, Mythos, Human & Society in Claude Lévi-Strauss, 4(7), pp.113-133.