the Slovenian
glasilo magazine
radio glas
info centre
who we are

On the National in Music:
The Sloveneness of Slovenian Music and its Range

by Leon Stefanija

Perhaps there is no better example to illustrate the question of a national identity than to point up the ongoing quandaries about defining national programs, political instruments for defining national priorities, in this case, in the processes of accepting Slovenia — geographically rather small country neighbouring to Austria, Italy, Hungaria and Croatia — into the European Union. Since disintegration of Yugoslavia in 1991, the ideas about national sovereignty of Slovenia have gained a reputation of a buzzword describing, at least pragmatically, hardly systematically definable number of notions from which our national identity is, or should be, constituted. At the same time, their historical connectedness to the institutes of state and culture, especially language, is almost as self-evident as it is vague if understood as an object, or set of objects, that have to be clearly defined.

Political independency and some virulent ideas about national identity accompanying the Slovenian “transitional phase” from a former Yugoslavian republic to a new member state of the EU (form May 2004 on) awakened the consciousness about the branching out of “the national thing”. Although momentarily one can hardly speak of any palpable effect that would justify the identity debate (it seems that there is no politically attractive issue beyond the “self-evident” equation of a nation with the state and the culture, above all: with the language), it would be no exaggeration to claim that this debate has brought about some sensitive reflections dealing with constitutive elements of a nation. Consequently, current political issues about national identity are comparable to some of the most widely accepted definitions of the national, from which the following ones may be seen as representative:

Benedict Anderson (1983: 7):
»In an anthropological spirit, then, I propose the following definition of the nation: it is an imagined political community — and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign.«

Richard Hendler (1988: 6):
»In principle a nation is bounded—that is, precisely delimited—in space and time: in space, by the inviolability of its borders and the exclusive allegiance of its members; in time, by its birth or beginning in history.«

Ernest Gellner (1983: 6):
"In fact, nations, like states, are a contingency, and not a universal necessity. Neither nations nor states exist at all times and in all circumstances. Moreover, nations and states are not the same contingency.«

Miroslav Hroch (1996: 79):
"Now the 'nation is not, of course, an eternal category, but was the product of a long and complicated process of historical development in Europe. For our purposes, let us define it at the outset as a large social group integrated not by one but by a combination of several kinds of objective relationships (economic, political, linguistic, cultural, religious, geographical, historical), and their subjective reflection in collective consciousness. Many of these ties could be mutually substituable […]."

Ulrich Beck (2003):
»The true standards for "Europeanness" lie in the answer to the question, 'What will make Europe more European?' And the answer is a more cosmopolitan Europe, where national identities become less and less exclusive and more and more inclusive. […]
Europe is inconceivable on the basis of national homogeneity. But European nations themselves no longer have this homogeneity either. People who want to preserve the old nation-states have first to pretend that those old states still exist, that they are still national containers from which others are excluded.«

Similarly as Anderson’s “imagined community”, Hendler’s “bounded/delimited” phenomenon, Gellner’s determination of a nation as a “contingent formation”, Hroch’s emphasizing of “complicated processes of … development” involved in constructing a nation and Beck’s “inclusiveness/exclusiveness” of forming a nation-state, the notion of a national identity seems to be elusive but, at the same time, by no means relativistic. Instead of more or less firm hierarchy of identification categories, a process of relating different ideals and needs overtakes the explanatory role that seems to belong to the more object-related nomenclature. Although the above quoted authors imply a nation as a state-and-culture determined entity, they emphasize the complexity of its constitutive parts.

Assuming that complexity has a beginning and end, this article aims to discuss the texture of the threads from which the Slovenian music as a national art is identified, on the one hand, as a “self-evident” category referring to a state and culture at the same time and, on the other hand, as a rather vague notion, a pragmatic buzzword referring to music as multi-layered phenomenon, imbued with contingencies, such as “national idiom”, “national sensibility”, local tradition(s) and other context-sensitive features.

“A national thing”: four views
The main issues regarding national music in Slovenia can be aptly confined within four — interrelated — chapters sharing, as their starting point, Carl Dahlhaus’s belief about musical character residing “not in a single feature but in a configuration of features” (Dahlhaus 1989: 38). The first chapter discusses the notion of national music as a still persistent political concept from the second half of the 19th century. The second chapter raises the issue of the national art as an epistemological “supplement” for pointing to idiosyncratic horizons nourishing a division between “us” and “them” that has been rather important heritage of the “national schools” from the 19th century. The third section discusses the notion of national music as a pragmatic »footage« on the level of explicit musical poetics and perception. The fourth chapter discusses the national in music as a compositional agenda intimately bound up with frictions between musical universalism, individualism and a search of local, regional, or national identity.

I. National music as a political concept
The political circumstances after the revolutionary year of 1848 gradually brought about palpable musical consequences also to the then peasant countryside in the southern, Slavic part of the House of Habsburg, and latter Austro-Hungarian monarchy in the main national cultural gains: in the reading societies (citalnice) and Glasbena matica (literally: Musical Queen Bee, translated as Music Society or, usually misleadingly also as Philharmonic Society).

Emerging from 1961 and spreading through the region of today’s Slovenia, the reading societies remained a prime mover of the patriotism almost to the end of Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Their main aim was, of course, political one: to cherish “the authentic” Slovenian as well as Pan-Slavic idea(l)s, in music and word. By the same time, the idealized vision of Slovenian language as the pillar on which the native voice should resist the German hegemony could not prevent the universalistic welfares of what might be roughly labelled as “peripheral Middle-European culture” to become a kind of a “hidden other” of the Slovenian musical production. Slovenian music of the second half of the 19th century — not to mention the time before — is confined to the musical forms of lead and choral music, only in the last quarter of the 19th century offering also music-dramatic works as well as some entertaining saloon-pieces.

Slovenian musicians of the second half of the 19th, joined by fairly numerous well educated Czech “immigrants”, created an important segment of the national body at least for utilitarian reasons: displaying the national spirit to the wider audience. But only the society Glasbena matica (1872) — the main institutional factotum in Slovenian nationally biased music until the World War II — strived to systematically cultivate the national musical culture. The main goals of Glasbena matica were achieved by publishing scores, establishing its own music school (1882) (from which — latter on, in 1919 — the Conservatory grow out), by collecting folk music (enabling the Ethnomusicological institute of the Slovenian Academy of Arts and Sciences to be established before the second World War), and by cultivating especially choral music (the choir of Glasbena matica was formalized in 1891).

Institutionally the same importance for the Slovenian musical practice — but not with the same meanings of the national — should be ascribed to the Caecilian Society (1877) with its school for organ players and the journal Church musician. If the organ school offered a thorough basic music theory courses to the mainly musically uneducated population, the journal of the Caecilian Society has the longest tradition in Slovenia (published 1978-1945, 1976??).

However, “the national thing” as understood by Glasbena matica was but a stratum, in addition quantitatively rather small one, if compared to the musical practice of a region, today known as Slovenia, in which predominantly German musical culture has been unfolding throughout the 19th century as a pervasive force coming out from the Philharmonische Gesellschaft (1784-1918). At first, this institution — as a regional heir of Ljubljana’s Academia Philharmonicorum (1701) and by the side of the State theatre (Stanovsko gledališce, 1763; from 1862 renamed in Provincial Theatre / Deželno gledališce) the main house of music in the first half of the 19th century — was offering a productive mould regardless of the national appurtenance. Yet the 1860s — when also the Dramatic Society (Dramaticno društvo) was formed (1867) with similar goals as the reading societies — marked the growing nationalism that remained to accompany the cultural as well as the political history of Slovenia. Although in 1892 the National theatre opened the doors (today the house of the Opera of Slovene National Theatre), the culmination of the politically motivated Slovenian music nationalism was bluntly formulated not earlier than in 1924. It was in the essay by Anton Lajovic On the eternal beauty and poison of Beethoven’s, Bach’s and Wagner’s works (Slovenec, April 6. 1924) in which a position of promoting “underdeveloped” and “oppressed” Slavic (not only Slovenian music culture) was promoted in a rather extreme political terms1. Although for the Slovenian music history Lajovic’s notorious critique of German music was not shared by many even at the time of its publication, its stance — above all because of Lajovic’s influential cultural and prominent political position in Slovenia — could be seen as an ideal lever for creating oppositions of identities before the First World War as well as, transformed, after the World War II.

Although as bitter judgements as Lajovic passed in his articles in the 1920s cannot be found elsewhere, the politically definable issues of national music have been implied also after the Second World War, for instance: in the cultural policy of the socialist regime (1945-1991), in the habitus of the concert life (one Slovenian work per concert is a kind of cultural habit, whereas the nurturing of Slovenian music is regulated by the policies of the Slovenian national orchestras), broadcasting regulations (the National Broadcasting house should include 40% of “home made” music as a regulated programming quota) as well as in the elementary school curriculum.

However, much more vital importance for the national music than the institutionalized political confines seems to lie in the processes of defining the national in music — not only in establishing musical institutions.

II. “Our national music …”
Andrej Rijavec asserts (Rijavec 1991 and 1995) that one should distinguish between a geographically category of “music in Slovenia” and more ontologically comprehended notion of “Slovenian music”, a notion encompassing Slovenian music from the 1920s onward. The main reason for this, "das Problem des Einholens der 'europäischen' Musik" (Rijavec 1993: 66), simply forces a clear division between "'we' and 'them'" (Rijavec 1995: 229): between us, Slovenians as a musically belated culture, and them standing for the more esteemed musical traditions in general.
Instead of immersing into European parallels, as Rijavec’s quoted claim would suggest, the elaboration of the specific features within Slovenian music history appears to bring to the fore more relevant features for defining “the national thing” in Slovenian music.

At the level of the history of ideas, Slovenian music reveals three turning-points rather clearly. I shall survey them in short.

From useful to autonomous art
It is a transformation of the ideals from 19th century national movement, musically bounded to the so called reading-societies, leading toward the ideals of music as autonomous art. The most obvious sign of this process was the musical periodical Novi akordi (New chords; 1901-1914). As a vernacular counterpart to the older ecclesiastic journal Cerkveni glasbenik (Church Musician, published 1978-1945, 1976?), Novi akordi (New Chords) was the first periodical on music that has been published, in contrast to its short-lived predecessors, on regular basis for a longer period of time. At first a bimonthly journal, Novi akordi appeared in 1901 as a periodical for solo or chamber scores, in 1910 also the supplement with reviews and articles on music was added, informing and educating the readers. The periodical became a too heavy burden for its editor, Gojmir Krek, a Slovenian living in Vienna, lawyer by profession and, although trained also as musician, primarily Musikliebhaber by vocation.

Journal Novi akordi was published within a decade and a half, when the fin-de-siècle spirit pervaded the most advanced idea(l)s allowing, soon after the First World War, the Berliner music chronicler Paul Bekker to give a name to an epoch, Neue Musik (1919). But Novi akordi did have a rather conservative stance toward the novelties, as practiced by E. Satie, C. Debussy, A. Scriabin, Ch. Ives, G. Mahler, I. Stravinsky, A. Schönberg and others (not to mention the futurists). Novi akordi only dropped a hint that a new era was emerging with their awkwardly expressed title. With regard to the technical and aesthetic features, all pieces published therein (some of them justifiably, but some among them mistakenly almost forgotten today)2 offered the musicians a solid, enjoyable music that — with few exceptions3 — reached, at the most, the happy medium of the 19th century middle-class private musicianship.

The aesthetics of the then leading German and French music did not find a way to cope with the mental circumstances, in which the newly founded Slovenian Philharmonics (1908-1913), a national counterpart to the German Philharmonische Gesellschaft (1794), lost its chef conductor Václav Talich because of the intrigues hindering his ambitions of practicing music as autonomous art. Although the Slovenian audience of that time did become aware of the national music as autonomous art, it did not accept the compositional novelties that later on became leading achievements of the 20th century music.

Nevertheless, the swing of the Slovenian musical life and music (re)production after the First World War bears witness to the efficacy of the Slovenian pre-war music above all of: Novi akordi, very active Glasbena matica, further also Orglarska šola Cecilijinega društva (School for organists of the Caecilian Society), Slovensko narodno gledališce (Slovenian National Theatre), and the operatic and symphonic activities of the German community that was fairly strong in this region.

From music’s to author’s autonomy
After the First World War, Glasbena matica accomplished a half-century-old idea: Konservatorij Glasbene matice (Conservatory of Glasbena matica) was founded4. The pre-war pedagogical endeavours of Anton Foerster (1837-1926), Fran Gerbic (1840-1917), Matej Hubad (1866-1937), Stanko Premrl (1880-1965) and their colleagues had achieved meritorious success, and the Conservatory offered a basis for the changes with regard to the music tradition then stemming mainly from the Liebhaber-mentality. Moreover, Konservatorij offered a platform for otherwise dispersed individual efforts in “catching up the European streams” and, above all, enabled a mental turn away from a belittling division between “us and them” (cf. Rijavec 1993: 66; Rijavec 1995: 229). Another institutional novelty was born under auspices of Glasbena matica. As the former German Philharmonische Gesellschaft dissolved, Orkestralno društvo (Orchestral Society) took over its function as the main local symphonic institution. Anton Lajovic (1878-1960), an influential lawyer and a solid composer promoted it, as he wrote in the new Ordinance (1921) for this society, into an institution that took the burden “by and large to cultivate music in Slovenia, especially music of south-Slavic provenance”. Glasbena matica preserved this cultural mission until 1945, when the range of its activities, disfavoured by the new socialist regime because of its “bourgeois scent”, was confined to a mixed choir. As late as in the last decade, the original aspirations of Glasbena matica as a central Slovenian music institution had been coming to the fore, with different people but — with fairly similar idea(l)s to those of the “golden times” of this music-lover assembly.

Musical life between World War I and II was inspired by two cultural stances: between the flaring national(istic) consciousness of people like Anton Lajovic, and the newly rising opportunities of equating, but above all of juxtaposing, the domestic culture with the “foreign”, especially “Middle-European art”, as favoured by people such as Stanko Vurnik (1989-1932). The German operatic and symphonic activities were brought to an end. Although only in modest range, the operatic scene in Maribor (the second largest Slovenian city) did become enlivened, the Slovenian Opera, nationalized in 1920 as a part of the Ljubljana’s National Theater, underwent estimable advancement within fourteen seasons of directorship by Mirko Polic, who enabled the growth of “a provincial theatre to a national one” (Loparnik 2000: 221).

The period between World War I and II thus brought a new musical bias: if before the First World War the voice-centred Slovenian music tradition prevailed5, from the 1920s onward instrumental music began to grow in importance. However, vocal tradition has remained strong up to this day. Between the Wars, the conditions there were dependent on several choral associations. Already before the First World War, the active Zveza slovenskih pevskih zborov (Association of Slovenian Choirs) was dissolved and, in 1924, the Jugoslovanski pevski savez (Yugoslavian Association for Singing) was established. In this context, two župas (“parishes”) were active — one for the region of Ljubljana (“Hubadova župa”, comprising 36 choirs) and the other one for Maribor (“Ipavceva župa” with 25 choirs). At the same time, Pevska zveza (Singing Association) with its 198 choirs was functioning as a link for all the choirs that accepted the “principles of the ‘Slovenian Christian Social Union’, inherited by the Jan[ez]. E[vangelist]. Krek” 6. In the 1930s also the youth choirs experienced institutionalization, although a short-lived one.7 A more mottled picture appertains to the instrumental music. Except for different chamber combinations, cultivated mainly by different institutions for occasional performance — and notwithstanding the mentioned activities of Glasbena matica —, four pillars of shaping the instrumental concert life in Ljubljana should be mentioned for the period between the Wars: Orkester Narodnega gledališca (The National Theatre Orchestra) had also symphonic concerts, and in 1921 began to give subscription concerts also Vojaška godba Dravske divizije (The Army Band of the Drava Division). These orchestras were also being joined by individual musicians on regular basis from the Zveza godbenikov za Slovenijo (Association of Musicians for Slovenia) and, in the thirties, also by students from the Conservatory. A further discernible contribution to the Slovenian musical life in the thirties was given by the Radio broadcasting corporation (1928?) and by the Ljubljanska filharmonija (Philharmonics of Ljubljana) established in 1935. It was Ljubljanska filharmonija that tried to fill up a vacancy in a milieu without “properly working” symphonic institution: i.e. after the first Slovenian Philharmonics (1908-1913), only Orkestralno društvo was formally the main, but — apparently insufficiently active — institution devoted to performing symphonic music.

With the growing appreciation of Slovenian instrumental music between the Wars in the public domain, and not only in the intimacy of the (mainly literary) salons, as in the 19th century, also the idea of new music was gaining in importance — all the more so as the Second World War was approaching. In contrast to the ideals of new music before the First World War, the notion of the new in music received less institutional sheltering. At this time the journal Nova muzika (New music) promoted new music. Although with much more enthusiasm than before in Novi akordi, Nova muzika was but another short-lived music journal (1928-1929). It brought, with more or less clearly defined strivings for new music, some idea(l)s of the musically new — but in sum: it was much more a feeble voice of the few against the prevalent utilitarian dealing with music than a mirror of the new musical achievements. Now the proponents of the new did know what they should be opposed to: they battled, as Franc Šturm wrote,8 over “false folklorism”, “stylo-mania” and debatable “Sloveno-philantropy”. But new music in their eyes was vaguely and, from case to case, differently understood, not only in practice but also in terms of music theory and philosophy. Although some interesting composers of that time could be mentioned,9 it seems indispensable only to note that the most penetrating compositional figures of Slovenian music between World War I and II, Marij Kogoj (1895-1956) and Slavko Osterc (1895-1941), enabled the generations after the Second World War to dwell on a neat distinction that was to become an idealistic paragon for years to come: between expressionism (Kogoj) and neo-styles (neoclassicism and neobaroque, specific to the work of Osterc) — a kind of Slovenian 20th century archetype which Western art theory usually addresses, with various vocabularies and profound finesse, as the difference between the emotional and rational approaches to music.

The period between World War I and II thus widened the elusive ideas on the necessity of having contemporary music loosing at the same time the emphatic notion of national music. At that time at least, the way was paved for a more institutionally recognizable existence of new music, expressed first in the journal Novi akordi and pursued with more persuasiveness in Nova muzika (1928-1929). However, the new in music was — a complex notion as it is — a catchword demarcated, on the one hand by several compositional criteria (especially from Prague and Vienna, with which not only the past cultural ties remained strong, but through which also the main advocates of the new in Slovenian music had been at least partly educated) and, on the other hand, by a more culturally conditioned set of beliefs and preferences with regard to one of the central antinomies of 20th century music: the antinomy between the pragmatic category of composers’ autonomy and the metaphysical category of music autonomy. Both criteria undermined the notion of national music as it was thought of in the 19th century.

From social autonomy to contingency
It may be understood as an irony of (probably not only) Slovenian cultural tradition — a tradition that has been trying, especially in the last fifteen years, to overcome “black & white paintings” of its communistic past — to discuss postmodernity with the same theoretical quandaries that were specific to the notion of socialist art as well as of the avant-gardes. The situation could find parallels with some of those antinomies listed by H. Danuser (1997) in the last edition of Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart for the entry Neue Musik: in all cases, one of the central issues is the fast aging of the new music, as T.W. Adorno aptly admonished in one of his lectures amidst the greatest “avantgardistic fever” during the 1950s. For Slovenian music since 1945, it seems that post-modern extremes have stimulated a reflection not only on differences, but also on pinpointing common denominators, enabling one to distinguish, as semiotic distinction reads, between types and tokens.

Of course, such a generalized claim can gain some sense only if the details about each little stone in the mosaic of the Slovenian musical practice after 1945 can show, why such an allusion to a universalistic ideal — referring above all to the idea of the classical (and it is exactly the utopian musica perennis that Adorno’s Das Altern der neuen Musik is amounted to) — should be taken seriously in discussing the otherwise hardly comparable musical facets that constitute the core of (not only Slovenian) national music: traditionalism(s), modernism(s) and postmodernism(s).

However, before discussing these connections in detail, I would like to point to the third important change in the history of Slovenian 20th century music. It is a change in the domain of music appreciation, a change — or rather: a still ongoing process of changing — of habitual issues on cognition of music as artistic expression. This, I believe, typically Western feature, seems to pervade in Slovenia since the end of 1950s.10 By comparison with the first half of the century, the rather fast coming changes in aesthetic ideals (not only in Slovenian music since 1945) almost demand one to keep in mind that this social “banality” helped to realize a profound change in thinking about the new — it compelled one to accept the unavoidable pragmatic stance that, to use B. Groys’s note: “Das Neue ist nicht bloß das Andere, sondern es ist das wertvolle Andere.” (Groys 1992: 43) Groys’s claim that only “valuable novelties” are novelties at all could be, of course, differently interpreted. But at least one of the implicit claims is difficult to overlook: although the values of each style, or musical ideal, could be incommensurate, unique, inestimable for specific “consumer(s)”, when discussed alongside of some other — as they might be — similarly incommensurable historiographical categories, they become more palpable. What meanings can a difference bear without a notion about common features? After all, only on common ground differences may appear.

In other words: the labels, such as “traditional”, “modern” and “post-modern” are not oriented toward opposing “music in Slovenia” and “Slovenian music”, but toward much more perplexed relations of the “cultural economy” (B. Groys) — an economy of distributing certain values to the phenomena under discussion.

III. Valuable, valueless: defining musical poetics
If key-notions in the history of Slovenian music after 1945 should be addressed, the choice would have to dwell, with inevitable simplification, on three musicological labels. Apart from neo-style approximations and emphasis on personal musical poetics, three critical catchwords prevail: socialist art (or socialist realism), avant-garde (as the culturally “most advanced” level of modernism), and postmodernity. In more academic terms, Slovenian musicology speaks mainly of three style-bound historiographical premises: traditionalism ? modernism ? post-modernism. It is exactly this set of universal stylistic as well as sociological labels that should be offered, with positive as well as negative epistemological implications, as notion-complexes for reflecting the scope of “the national thing”.

One can easily agree that it is not always possible to talk about an agreement with regard to individual phenomena, past or present. Yet on rare (although by no means less important) occasions, differences emerge with regard to the thematic premises supporting the argument.11 Historiographical categories are such premises: for example, aesthetic or sociological "framings" (R. Littlefield) like "modernism" or "avant-garde", "expressionism" or "post-modernity". They produce a kind of "notion-webs" that are comparable to one of the classical examples of topology — the underground (transport) map of a big modern city or, we could add, a tourist guide or anatomic sketch: we are not interested in how big or important phenomena are, but how and where are they connected. This might be seen, of course, as a superficial approach, by and large at odds with the ideals of a thoroughness of the contemporary (not only) music research. However, far from sharing this scruple, I believe that such an epistemological compass can offer telling insights into a musical culture and its music. That is the main reason for focusing on historiographical categories concerning Slovenian music after 1945, not, for the moment, on the music “itself”.

“The national thing” had and still has a prominent role in the musical practice. At the same time, it is difficult to discuss national music without defining, on one hand, the musical intentions and, on the other hand, the reception of music as a national art. To achieve this, a comparison of the content appertaining to the main historiographical categories of Slovenian music since 1945 is offered further on — a kind of a “historiographical topology” followed by more substantial discussion on the compositional practice in the postmodernity and the role of the national idea(l)s within it.

The focus
While focusing on the historiographical categories of the Slovenian music since the World War II, it is difficult to overlook the importance of one epistemological question: a question about constituting, of becoming, of forming historiographical categories. Valuable epistemological cues in this respect came from the German form of structuralism in the so-called history of concepts (Begriffsgeschichte), as developed primarily by the historian Reinhard Koselleck ? especially to his focus on a historical time and its social and ideological representations.

The main difference between historical discussions of Slovenian music since 194512 is in focusing on either common features or individual endeavours and achievements. For example, Dragotin Cvetko in his history Slovenian music in the European context, published in 1991 as a revised version of his three-volume history from the end of the fifties, tried to differentiate the compositional practice in broader descriptive terms centred on the categories in a line: traditionalism?modernism?post-modernism. He described "circles" of composers with regard to their relation to ideology (e.g. socialist realism), stylistic features (neoclassicism, different romanticisms), aesthetic universals (expressive, emotional features), "school" of composition (as Osterc's followers), individuality (as "with academic distance"), features of the entire opus (as instrumental, chamber music), generation, or geo-political characteristics, such as the opposition of living in Slovenia or living abroad.

Cvetko had a sound common sense for a selective description of the musical past. His main historiographical categories are derived from the compositional as well as social history. This period is described by Cvetko as a process comprising three main changes, the first one being a politically oppressive decade of the fifties (with prevalent neoclassicism and different derivatives of romanticisms), followed by the avant-garde sixties (the second highlight of modernism in Slovenian music, embodied in the group Pro musica viva), gliding into decentred seventies and eighties, the decades of the vaguely definable post-modernity.

With much more telling details and specific elaborations, but with regard to the categorical apparatus concerning compositional history identical views are offered by some other authors. I would confine myself to five of them: to Niall O'Loughlin, Katarina Bedina's reflection on the historical categories constituting the identity of Slovenian music, Ivan Klemencic's anthology of Slovenian music, Jurij Snoj's and Gregor Pompe's survey of notation in Slovenian music, or Lojze Lebic's penetrating historical sketch (O'Loughlin 2000; Bedina 1997; Klemencic 2000; Snoj / Pompe 2003; Lebic 1993-1996).

In spite of different historical perspectives (and thoroughness), mentioned authors have offered valuable insights into the second half of the 20th century Slovenian music. The differences in their writings are probably not too difficult to infer from the titles of their respective publications. As one can expect from a comparison of a book on history in the traditional sense (O'Loughlin), an article on historical fundamentals of historical identity (Bedina), representative collection of recordings (Klemencic), history of music notation (Snoj / Pompe), and critical historical overview (Lebic): different emphases on single historical aspects are given to the compositional, aesthetic, social, ideological, cultural, and political past.

Traditionalism and Socialist Realism
An answer to the question about the process of forming identity through a historiographical category, such as traditionalism — the notion that has been used rather vaguely and with pejorative connotation, but specifically for describing Slovenian music in the 1950’s —, could be discussed beginning with the following description of Slovenian traditionalism by Nial O’Loughlin:

"After the Second World War there was great confusion all over Yugoslavia, and in particular the parts closest to Austria. The havoc created by the German invasion and occupation was considerable, to say nothing about the upheaval caused by the Communist revolution. The rebuilding of the country by the new government was obviously going to take many years. Musical institutions were being re-established, but only slowly, as money had to be used for the alleviation of problems caused by the desperate shortage of food and living accommodation as well as for the reconstruction of industry. In the circumstances it is hardly surprising that composers lacked a sense of adventure. With Osterc dead and Kogoj in a mental hospital, their influence was slight. Three traditionally orientated composers whose work has already been discussed, Škerjanc, Arnic and Kozina, were all active in the post-war years. There was not surprisingly scarcely any move to adopt the new techniques that were beginning to find favour in Western Europe. Even those composers who had started to use more advanced techniques, for example, Pahor and Švara, returned to more conservative styles. One may regret the lack of initiative on the part of composers, but it was hardly their fault, as poor communications with the outside world, especially the West, prevented their contact with these new ideas. Although no state pressure was exerted on composers to conform to certain styles and techniques (as in the Soviet Union), composers felt the need to follow a style that would not give offence in the prevailing social climate.

This safe traditionalism did have its advantages. Composers could find their feet without being put under pressure to follow the latest fashion. Some of the music of this period lacks inspiration, but most was competently written. Much, however, is of more than mere historical interest. In addition to those developments already discussed, two approaches found favour among composers: symphonism, mostly in neo-classical styles and folk-music derivatives" (From the original English. Niall O'Loughlin 2000: 109.)

It is obvious that O'Loughlin's elegant description of the fifties unambiguously juxtaposes the aspects of compositional and social history. The social issues have wide focus and comprise at least three main aspects: political issues (revolution, forms and range of constraint), psycho-social aspects ("composers felt the need to follow a style that would not give offence ..."), general cultural circumstances (post-war confusion, "poor communication with the outside world"), economic issues (desperate shortage, rebuilding etc.), and music institutions. O'Loughlin clearly phrases his cautious, but nonetheless affirmative judgements of the music from that period (music that deserves "more than mere historical interest"). Also from the compositional history, the citation reveals three central categories: substantial models of style ("neo-classical styles and folk-music derivatives"), temporal and value denominator of style (traditionalism, conservative style), and the idea of the authorial autonomy ("composers could find their feet without being put under pressure to follow the latest fashion").

The relation between compositional and social categories is clear: "safe traditionalism" or "conservative styles" were somehow "natural" due to the social conditions of that time (although O'Loughlin "surprisingly" notes that the "sense of adventure" is not present in the work even of some older composers, previously inclined to the ideas of musical modernism).
Of course, O'Loughlin's interpretation could be subjected to a rather long line of supplements and additional emphases about single issues, if the current historical revisions would have been taken into account. The truth and untruth concerning politics in the Slovenian music of the fifties are "work in progress", as it were. Far from being a subject of discussion here, I would only like to draw attention to the temporal dimension ? more precisely: to the implied temporal embeddedness of the mentioned historiographical categories ? of O'Loughlin's epistemologically dexterous view of Slovenian music in the fifties.

The temporality is explicitly stated within the social categories as a process of "rebuilding of the country". In contrast to the social aspect, temporality is only supposed within the compositional categories. Here it could be recognized in three ways, in two negative terms and one positive: 1) as "in itself" inverted time, as a time of isolation from Western Europe, a time of cultural blockade, as a "time without references", thus 2) as a time of retrogression as far as style is concerned, and consequently 3) as a time of almost total self-reflectivity, preventing composers from feeling the "pressure to follow the latest fashion". In all three cases, temporality plays a minor role in understanding the relationships between the compositional and social categories. At the same time, O'Loughlin's description reveals a temporal frame that refers to the immediate past (Kogoj, Osterc) and immediate present (Škerjanc, Pahor, Švara, compositional trends in Western Europe at that time). O’Loughlin’s temporal aspect does not suggest an ahistorical goal-oriented process (this has the role of a modest personal remark about the "more-than-historical" value of several more works from that period). On the contrary, it offers an almost vacuum-like structure of relations between the social and compositional categories.
Without mentioning denotations such as "socialist art" or "socialist realism", O'Loughlin’s historiographical categories for Slovenian music in the fifties do not differ from those used by the other mentioned scholars. They use the same categorical apparatus to describe the time of "socialist music". But the differences in designating it as a period of socialist realism reveals a rather telling epistemological detail. Lojze Lebic speaks of socialist realism as of a "normative aesthetics", Katarina Bedina detects it as a cultural "slogan", Ivan Klemencic defines it as a vaguely defined "model" forced upon arts, while Jurij Snoj and Gregor Pompe have labelled it as a "doctrine".13

These formulations of “socialist realism” demand a wide-ranging scale of research. Socialist realism is in Lebic's eyes an aesthetic category, for Bedina it is a cultural catchword, for Klemencic a political category, for Snoj / Pompe more an ideological issue. And each of these epistemological levels urges a historiographer to find different plausible relations with regard to the temporal variables they are referring to — as well as with regard to the contents within them. “Socialist realism” is all of what the mentioned scholars have been writing about: aesthetics, a catchword, political issue, an ideological issue, and even more of this.

From whatever perspective one tries to grasp it, “socialist realism” brings new emphases to traditionalism within a clearly marked off horizon: beginning in the dawn of an immediately preceding "traditional aesthetic", reaching its peak in viewing music as autonomous/dependent phenomena, and ending in the politics and musical poetics of selective constraint. It is superfluous to ask whether common features in defining socialist realism and post-modern art exist. On the contrary, it would be interesting to pursue the relations between the ideas and realizations of traditionalism in a specific period amounting to its parallels “before” and “after”, its past and its future, trying to compare the axiological values that it has, or has a lack of it, if compared to both other historiographical categories important (also) for Slovenian music history of the second half of the 20th century. Thus it is not surprising that there is but a meagre heritage of praising national music — in the documents of that time confined mainly to the folklore music: even one of the main Slovenian music critics during the fifties, Rafael Ajlec, left to posterity an extremely ambivalent definitions of the “essence” of the new Slovenian music. The national music lived somewhere in-between: between the tradition of Western music, to which Slovenian composers felt adherents without a clear consciousness about their position within, and the utilitarian circumstances of a post-war society that literally forced musicians to rethink anew their national as well as artistic mission, the valuable and valueless features of growingly individualized national as well as international musical practices.

To avoid misunderstandings with regard to “socialist realism” it should be noted that Yugoslavia — and Slovenia as one among its six republics — was at odds with the USSR from 1948. From then on, an idea of “social democracy” was the main political aspiration (and difficulty at the same time), founded on an unwritten but ubiquitous principle of the Yugoslav Communist Party: “We prohibit nothing, if we are not jeopardized.” There was, of course, a kind of totalitarian regime. Without interest in music, it has grown weaker with the years passing from the end of the Second World War.14 Consequently, it is difficult to claim that the "anti-decadent" musical politics — comparable to that in the Soviet Union and similarly administered countries — had a crucial impact on Slovenian music. The system was practically incapable of implementing radical steps in music as early as in the middle of the 1950's, although the ideological rhetorics of that time as well as experiences of self-censorship speak of a certain degree of oppression. Although the official politics required “faithfulness” to the communist ideals, an effective repressive apparatus was lacking. It was especially not susceptible to controlling music(ians).15

However, it is worth to point out again that it is the period of postmodernity — in Slovenia, roughly speaking, from the seventies onward — that has been raising questions about traditionalism as well as about the classical within it: about the most specific as well as most valuable features of the previous epochs. In this respect, the traditionalism could be reckoned as a “historicizing” counterpart of the more toward universals oriented modernism.

Musical modernism and its regional universals
In spite of the otherwise important differentiations new / contemporary, new / modern, contemporary/modern, avant-garde / contemporary, even avant-garde / new music, the terminological quandary does not seem crucial for recognizing the main aim of the constituents proper to all these terms: to distinguish the old from the new. The category of modernism of the second half of the 20th century is much more heterogeneous than traditionalism. And as far as the issue of national identity and modernism is concerned: the former can be defined as the lacking part of the latter. However, if the question of national identity is missing in the discourse about the modernistic music, it is implied in the issue on the musical culture of the sixties, when the musical modernism in Slovenia experienced a prolific period.

In Slovenia specific for the 1960s with a strong orientation toward the future as well as some ideals from the main European festivals of new music, it is a much more centrifugally determined notion if compared to the centripetal nature of traditionalism, limited to the immediate past and present.
The history of Slovenian modernism of the second half of the 20th century was closely connected to the group of composers gathered under the name of Pro musica viva and their chamber ensemble, Ansambel Slavko Osterc. Both phenomena of Slovenian modernism have been thoroughly presented by Matjaž Barbo, who proposes the year 1952 as the time of the "first appearance of an approaching new generation of composers" (Barbo 2001: 37) and argues about the new in their modernism(s) with the following words:

"The new generation of musicians resisted it and formulated a new modern aesthetic which once more argued for the standard of musical autonomy. It was oriented against any sort of (romantic) illustrativeness, be it in the form of a narrative symphonic poem or of leitmotifs associated with music drama. In the sense of compositional technique, this resistance showed itself in a consistent disavowal of the “general comprehensibility” of the major-minor tonal system, instead of which composers searched for and implemented new ways of systematizing and organizing compositional elements. [...]

The young generation of composers began to search for models other than their immediate predecessors; always determined, they attempted to surprise the Slovenian musical public with their distinctiveness, which at the same time they tried to conclusively substantiate as a generally recognized aesthetic value. [...]

The central program goals of Pro musica viva were three: to perform “contemporary” Slovenian music (above all the compositions of the members of the group), to present “contemporaneous” foreign streams, and to awaken the Slovenian historical avant-garde to consciousness." (Barbo 2005: 4; Emphasized by L.S.)

In spite of more complex branching of the social and compositional aspects constituting Slovenian musical modernism (only indicated in this small fragment from Barbo's otherwise comprehensive study) the forward-looking orientation demands ? in contrast to traditionalism ? more attention to be paid to the variableness of the historiographical categories involved. The modernism brings to the fore a bundle of variables within an open process, not so much as a state of affairs. As Barbo shows, the main compositional premise of the post World War II modernism is a constant digression from the past searching for a suitable “future-oriented” expressiveness, latter on leading to more grounded strivings bringing back to music its "Apellcharacter [...] an die Lebenswelt" (Borio 1993: 173).
If the starting point of the modernization process was firmly grounded in the efforts to surpass the old compositional techniques, styles and aesthetics, its unpredictable future was dispersed in favour of autonomous distinctiveness, as it was, for better or for worse, the consequence of individual sights and notions of the future and — above all — of what is distinctive. The heterogeneity of individual musical aesthetics, an important feature of the modernism in Slovenia as well as abroad, was directed against the compositional past. Instead, it hardly offered any specific future — except an utterly subjective comprehension of it.

At this point, it would be possible to do no more than to direct oneself to the question of fulfillment or betrayal of the musical modernisms with which Arnold Whittall discussed the quandaries of interpreting the "ordering principles" (Whittall 1999: 20) that could enable at least compatible and mutually complementary approaches to the heterogeneity of modern music. Namely, it is exactly this heritage of a free-floating "message in a bottle" that seems to be the main turning point towards what happens to be called post-modern music. Yet the pinnacle of modernism seems to be a step into a musical postmodernity, where the ideas of possible expression became suspicious, if not superfluous, whilst the main artistic concerns seem— spiritually or opportunistically — to gather around issues of aesthetic employability, narrativity, semanticity and other features that stimulate communicative qualities of the musical phenomena.

It was specific to (probably not only) Slovenian modernism from the sixties that there was a lack of what could be called a “social surplus”. Exactly the lack of distinctive aesthetic features prevented attaching to musical modernism any socially penetrating aspect of a national art. Although some important, definitely rule-breaking exceptions can be found in the work of Lojze Lebic and Jakob Jež as well as Alojz Srebotnjak, Slovenian modernism understood the national identity as a part of the personalized world-view, without counting on the existent binding-power of some superfluously national symbols (as folk-tunes) that seemed so self-evidently “national” to the traditionalists as well as, latter, postmodernists. Nonetheless, the national issue marked Slovenian modernism at least in one way — subsequently: in the Slovenian musical consciousness (and historiography) both modernisms, from the twenties as well as sixties, occupy a status of a superb national music phenomena within the European culture — a status that modernism, as an idea(l) oriented toward aesthetic universalism, wanted to denounce.

Post-modern music
"As might be expected," to use Carl Dahlhaus' phrase, "the very same dispute over hierarchy among those economic, social, psychological, aesthetic and compositional factors that impinge on music history crops up again in the controversy over the methodological repercussions of the noncontemporaneity of the contemporaneous" (Dahlhaus 1993: 143) especially with regard to the musical postmodernity. Its connections with modernism as well as traditionalism are unquestionable. But the range and particularities involved are a tough epistemological nut.

The disputes over the hierarchy of post-modern categories (or rather, in emphasizing different aspects of it) seem to be at odds with the fact that, although in the music since around mid-1970s one can still find there a persistent (explicit or implied) division into modernists and traditionalists, the term post-modern with its derivatives has become a shibboleth for many diverse phenomena ranging from musical works to cultural contexts that jut out, at least to some degree, on the horizon of both rival categories from the beginning of the 20th century. Postmodernity refers to a “somehow undefined" plurality of musical phenomena as well as to an epoch "without limitations" (cf., for instance, 2000: 197ff.). In its compositional repercussions, as a heterogeneous conglomerate of styles (Pompe 2002), the postmodern music is knitting a much more complex web of historiographical categories than modernism and traditionalism. On the one hand, the music of postmodernity is discussed with regard to almost any previously known category of music — be it modernism, traditionalism, socialist music, or popular music, world music etc. On the other hand, its integrative aesthetics ? with chameleon-like abilities of incorporating almost any style ? enables phenomena to be discussed with similar epistemological freedom of “gliding over the imaginable”. But at the same time (and this is one of the main paradoxes): it is difficult to ignore noisy claims that postmodernity has the absolute sovereignty over the individuality and universality, as if no other epoch from the past would have not experienced similar situations.

Yet, behind the appearance of an irreconcilable complexity of relations between social and aesthetic categories, the temporal perspective ? or rather: the lack of it ? reveals one of the key features specific to postmodern music. Probably there can be hardly an objection to the claim that postmodern music is trying to encompass historically and culturally different musical codes, past and present, running the risk of losing its own social as well as aesthetic identity. After the experiences with the avant-gardes of the 20th century and their exhaustive (and exhausted) experiments with compositional techniques, the only (more or less firm) criterion has remained ? the composer's autonomy, or rather: his integrity.

Of course, with an immense "stockpile" of poetic categories at his disposal and a properly narrowed focus at the same time, expecting from him to find original soundscapes without offering him many choices to attest his "historical place" in the novelties of the compositional technique. In other words: it seems that the post-modernity has pushed away the confines of the historical time. While having erased a demarcation line with the past and scattered around the temporal pointers to the future (although this future is far from an imaginary one, as usually in modernisms), the symbols used to define postmodernity have been demoted to mere indicators of an evasive categorical apparatus. But, is this true? Is the contemporaneity as elusive as it seems at first glance?
Without answering this question — since one can easily confirm or disagree with the answer: both views offer comparable arsenals of arguments —, I shall concentrate on surveying a rather rich palette of differences among Slovenian composers and their work since the late seventies to unfold a set of relations that seem crucial in defining a musical national identity today, a relations between three ideals: universalism, individualism and a search of local, regional, or national identity.

IV. Postmodernity: between universalism, individualism and a search for embeddedness
Where is the wisdom we have lost in
knowledge? Where is the knowledge we
have lost in information?
T.S. Eliot, The Rock (l934)

Eliot's thought quoted above is one of the many which testify to the uneasiness of the so called developed civilizations. Speaking of informational (over)saturation alludes to the state of affairs in culture, permeated with the idea of the development as progress. And to understand it, one has to admit that "the progress of knowledge about the circumstances of knowledge" (P. Bourdieu) is a substantial part of this progress – a fact that should be considered also when adopting a historicising, unproblematic standpoint of understanding postmodernity as the "end" of a period.

In contrast to the widespread belief about the continuation of the "project of modernism" in postmodernity, another view is equally recurrent. As tersely formulated by one of the esteemed Slovenian composers, Lojze Lebic – "The wheel has turned full circle" –, the thought about the postmodernity as a concluding phase of modernity, presents the music from the seventies onwards as a concluding section of a dynamic arch which started with premodernity at the break into the 20th century, reached its peak in both avant-gardes, and is fading out in decentred contemporaneity, in which the "crisis of musical language ... in the eighties is deepening".

Lebic’s somewhat pessimistic perspective is a part of a widely accepted persuasion that the musical canon of the West, as a module of the musically valuable compositions and compositional attitudes, has become questionable in one essential point: at the crossroads of the compositionally unquestionable contemporaneity and of "what is more" (T.W. Adorno), which the proclamation of postmodernity, of course, unconditionally presupposes. On the one hand, no one denies (or can deny) the importance of the new, while on the other hand many “past futures” have been presented in equally novel ways hindering critiques about “reviving” or “remaking” the past. A series of works written during this period allow one to say that the composers do not seek support in certain traditional patterns but rather in the definiteness and distinctiveness of compositional means. In other words: instead of an "anxiety influence" (H. Bloom) there prevails an "anxiety of inexpressiveness" — despite a number of notable works composed during this period.

It appears that for this reason one should remember the thought about truthfulness as one of the key paths towards understanding human activities which J.-F. Lyotard in his report on the postmodern state prefers to the questionable notion of contentual consensus. And it would be hardly an exaggeration to claim that one should seek truthfulness in the direction of legitimizing various processes of selection of the compositional means when developing one's personal artistic idiom, and not in the direction of consensus about its values.

It is, of course, problematic to speak about the legitimization of musical phenomena in circumstances where value criteria are being obscured by mediamorphosis and market logic, whereas the composing itself is dictated by the differentiatedness and idiosyncrasies of each individual, specifically to that extent where the search for explicitly common traits becomes suspect. Nevertheless, at the same time it would be suspicious to ignore the common ground upon which differentiation is only possible. Hence: diferentiatedness or unification? The question is, however, somewhat misleading: the answer is, as so many a time in history, somewhere in-between – on the thin line between the belief in one's own existence and the "licentiousness of the sense for historia" (F. Nietzsche).

In Slovenian music, the share of what is possibly common can be sought on two levels, or more precisely: in the relation between aesthetic intentions and compositional poetics. From the standpoint of compositional poetics, there is, on the one hand, an extremely differentiated play of sound which, as a part of the tradition of the avant-garde "emancipation of sound from the tone" can be designated as a kind of trans-histori(cisti)cal musical logic of sonorous universals, or rather trans-histori(cisti)cal logic of combining diverse sonorous patterns that sometime have recognizable ties with the musical past (trans-historicism), but mainly they (at least wish to) remain historically unbound soundscapes (trans-historism). On the other hand there are compositional textures that wish either to remain bound up with the traditions of tonal musical thinking ('historism") or emphasize only individual compositional elements of the past (historicism). (Cf. Stefanija 2004.)

The above indicated determinants imply the importance of the opposition between the relatively abstract "structural" interplay of tonal or sonorous patterns and semantic "narrative moments", that open up the associative flexibility of the musical texture into various directions – historical, social, philosophical, physicalistic, gestural ones etc. Furthermore, both premises of the Slovenian compositional practice discussed above, poetic and aesthetic, seem to lead up to the levelling of historical differences through a kind of logic of "intimate history" – a logic of personal notions about past as well as present notions and ideals of music and its functions. But such a historicizing view unveils above all the genesis of the aesthetic side of contemporary composition and at the same time reveals (clearly, not only the musicological) embarrassment in the search for a suitable cognitive apparatus for the contemporary music – music which does not assent to live overshadowed by the past although, at the same time, wants to remain embedded in its honourable embrace.

Because of a series of brilliant compositions from that period it seems sensible to think over not just about postmodernity as a period of "immense greyness" but rather about a "strive for narrativity" of a period for which, like the label postmodernity, are equally suited also, let us say "reflexive modernity" (U. Beck), "post-modern modernity" (W. Welsch), "ars subtilior" (H. Schütz), "ars combinatoria" (G. Rochberg), and the like. The following kaleidoscope of composers16 that have been shaping the Slovenian musical postmodernity — arranged as a survey through the generations — can illustrate the suggestion of rethinking the label for the musical present.

Generations ...
... 1900-1910

As a voice from the past without which contemporaneity would not be what it is, it is necessary to mention two musicians who were for a series of years active in various fields. Pavel Šivic (1908-1995), composer, music teacher and pianist, was all the time also actively accompanying musical events and dedicating himself to pedagogic and publicistic work. In his late works, too, the composer was creating in various genres that are despite his inclination towards "moderate modernism" expressly rooted in traditional forms. Šivic remained faithful to his basically classicistic principle! "In music I am looking for the logic of the musical composition, ... classical or modern, any kind". Although in the activity and encyclopaedic breadth comparable with the output of Šivic, the mature opus of Marijan Lipovšek (1900-1995) differs from the former not only in the compositional apparatus, the number of compositions, and not last in the preference for individual musical forms, but also through the fact that for the last two decades of his life he composed as regards the genre an almost uniform opus. In the eighties Lipovšek added to it above all attractive cycles of lieder (with piano or orchestral accompaniment), where he remained faithful to his fundamental creative guiding principle, according to which the musical idea should be "placed into a form suited to it and consistently carried out without foreign elements". For Lipovšek this meant music should be "purified" and "coherent", rooted in the musical culture that lives in the awareness of the Central European musical tradition of the 1920s and 1930s.

The indicated difference between Šivic's "search of logic", the high and multi-genre output and Lipovšek's distinctly "fluid musicality", a numerically more modest opus and the search for support in smaller forms may be due to the difference in personalities as well as to the context of circumstances. But it is probably not an accident that the works of the above two composers belong into the treasure house of musical thought which was not entranced by the ideas of the "emphatically new" and likewise not left indifferent. Here I am not referring to the formalistic novum but also and above all to that novum which is in a particular score merely indicated in the sense of strictness with which the composer's pen prefers what is "sensible" to what is "admittedly possible".

... 1920-1930
The generation of composers born in the twenties was at the end of the 20th century best marked by the entire creativity of Primož Ramovš (1921-1999). Although clinging to expressly modernistic views – "I can't help it. I am invariably attracted by extremes. Before long I shall be writing only compositions for an orchestra of piccoli and counter bassoons!" – from the seventies onwards Ramovš was creating with an awareness that it is "no longer interesting what you are going to do but how and why you are using something". In addition to some sonoristic procedures characteristic of some Polish composers from the turnover into the sixties of the 20th century, Ramovš's mature works incorporate also individual reminiscences of the traditional compositional procedures. With this belief Ramovš remained faithful to music as "abstract truth" that brings "abstract beauty", and to Slovenian music he has left the invaluable gift as well as one of the most sizeable musical outputs in Slovenia.

Besides a few compositions by Božidar Kantušer (l921-1999), among which Epaves for contralto and chamber ensemble (1987) has to be mentioned in particular, and otherwise older but in the eighties performed work Triptih (The Triptych) by Zvonimir Ciglic (l92l), there came up in the last decades a series of mature works by Uroš Krek (1922). As lecturer of composition at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana, where in the seventies a series of currently significant Slovenian composers received their professional training, Krek has been creating in a kind of "non-historic environment" (M. Barbo). Stylistically bound up in neo-classicism, Krek avoids the possibilities "that any kind of ideology would come into art .., that in advance the quality would be determined by the guidelines of various trends". In his creative work he binds together, with his words, "the national and the personal poetics" according to the principle of "fusing the two expressions into a uniform musical language", which leads to refined tonal networks with exceptional sensitivity for the shaping of details of melodies and harmonics.

As distinct from Krek's neo-classicism both Janez Maticic (1926) and Milan Stibilj (1929) are remaining true to variants of modernist abstraction of soundscapes. Whereas Maticic is in his music looking for "refinement on the one hand and for impetuosity on the other", Stibilj, who a few years ago ceased with active work, saw the ideal of the musical in "creative originality which can only in this way be true, unencumbered with folkloristic and other external signs, universal and therefore none the less the result of our thoughts as a precondition of progress".

Somehow on the fringe of the "official" concert hustle and bustle are writing their compositions Pavle Merkù (1927) and Jekob Jež (1928) who with his lucid awareness of the contemporary scene deliberates upon the "selection and concentration" of the compositional means of expression and accepts compositional novelties with sensitive restraint. Both characteristically write above all chamber and vocal music, whereas Aleksander Lajovic
(1920) remained bound to mostly instrumental music for smaller and bigger performing bodies, in which music prevail chaste compositional procedures, determined by formal and textual surveyability of the musical flow.

Although as regards the principles of writing the above composers entertain different views, their works from the last decades have still remained the offspring of ideas in which musical novelties of the fifties and sixties were accepted as a yardstick which is beyond discussion here. In addition, some of the composers, born in the thirties retained this view. But with others who were making this duplicity, so to speak, their theme and intimately lived with it through the peak of the Slovenian modernism with the group of composers Pro musica viva the avant-garde ideals of this generation become already questionable.

... 1930-1940
The self-understanding with which the composers born in the twenties more or less preserved their musical views grew a little pale with the composers born in the thirties. Beside the fact that the authors born particularly in the first half of the thirties mostly remained faithful to their musical poetics (even if these are in genre features hardly comparable among themselves) also in the last decades, one can see as the identification sign of this creatively fruitful generation a certain doubt, or rather an intimate confrontation with the aporias of the broadenings of the aesthetic function of music in the sixties.

Mostly in some aesthetic features Samo Vremšak (1930), to an extent similarly with Dane Škerl (1931-2002), a composer with an expressly symphonic opus, that is later on rare in Slovenia, remained also in his late works inside the boundaries of neo-classicism. On the contrary, the late opus of lvo Petric (l93l) shows a significant and on his creative way marked decline from the aesthetics of the new and various shades of neo-styles, in which context the composer emphasizes "the significance of musical form, of motivic treatment and instrumentation". Also Alojz Srebotnjak (l93l) has in his late work somewhat bridled the aesthetic novelties, otherwise characteristic of his earlier compositions. The creativity growing out of "constantly new knowledge of myself and about my attitude to the world" led Srebotnjak to a series of formally purified works that in various ways relates to the national musical past. Contrary to Petric and Srebotnjak, Igor Štuhec (1932) has during the last decades of composing also drawn on the “physicalistic modernism” of sound plays, where the key compositional categories are defined by the composer as follows "I distinguish two kinds of music; the determined, the defined or rather well-ordered one, and that which is undetermined." An opus that in its compositional features differs from that of Štuhec but is, with its rootedness in the tonal differentiation of the musical tissue, comparable to Štuhec’s has been created by Božidar Kos (1934), native Slovenian who since the sixties lives in Australia. His works that would sooner belong to the tradition of the American modernism of the sixties and seventies than to the Slovenian composers' scene are not so frequently presented in Slovenia though warmly received by the audiences.

Besides the musical-scenic works of Darijan Božic (1933) from the eighties the broader European musical scene has been enriched also by the work of the trombone player and creative musician Vinko Globokar (l934) who is well-known by his radical thought and artistic actions following the principle: "To Hell with him whose music lulls man to sleep and hinders him when thinking."

Globokar's "sound theatre", if one may label his creativity as a whole, is apparently hardly but in the breath of its content nevertheless comparable with the musical poetics of Lojze Lebic (1934). Lebic is looking for "the grammatical feeling which would return to music some of the lost capability of speech," for composing is for him "enclosing in a frame, when something from one world finds itself in another". In his mature work Lebic thus in a compositionally subtle way interlaces a series of "narrative moments": from fragile musical gestation to concrete "calling-up" of the ticking of the clock, from folk music to the compositional past of Western music, and to philosophic and theatrical allusions. He is in fact creating a true aesthetic theatre on the stage of "pure, absolute" music.

In comparison with the aesthetically more or less uniform works by the composers mentioned so far stands out Pavel Mihelcic (1937) who has in recent decades been creating past the adherence to a particular compositional orientation. In particular in his symphonic and chamber works he produced various aesthetic nuances of lyrical-subjective clarity. In some of his works, Alojz Ajdic (1939) came close to the ideals of the new simplicity, while his symphonic opus is marked by the neo-romantic ductus.

In this time there came up also popular works belonging to the fields of lighter genres: the jazz-concert creativity of Janez Gregorc (l934), the big-band jazz of Jože Privšek (1937-1998), saloon intimacy of piano music of Janez Potocnik (1936), or the pop songs by Mojmir Sepe (1930).
A series of compositions by the composers mentioned so far can be ranked among the classic ones: the lieder of Marijan Lipovšek, the symphonic and chamber works of Primož Ramovš and of Uroš Krek, the piano and concert works of Janez Maticic, particularly the choral and chamber works of Jakob Jež, some chamber compositions of Ivo Petric, the symphonic works of Dane Škerl, vocal-instrumental works and arrangements by Alojz Srebotnjak, the philosophy and extravagance of the appearances of Vinko Globokar, and especially the mature opus of Lojze Lebic who in the nineties became an attractive figure for a noticeable number of otherwise mutually differently oriented composers of the youngest generation.

Together with the individual works by younger composers, indeed the creativeness of the above-mentioned composers forms the nucleus of the Slovenian concert life during the last decades.

... 1940-1950
Among the composers born in the forties there have been during the last twenty years active above all three: Marijan Gabrijelcic (1940-1998), Maks Strmcnik (1948), and Jani Golob (1948). Whereas the endeavors of Gabrijelcic, in spite of a series of symphonic works, essentially remained bound to the tradition of the neo-romantic choral diction, the works of the composer and organ-player Maks Strmcnik are maturing both in the instrumental and in the vocal-instrumental field through various associations of the aesthetic archaisms and the new compositional techniques, somehow in the spirit of the composers' thought expressed about the situation of composition in the mid-eighties: "Everybody is looking for his own way and for his guidance on it. I think this is wonderful. There is no longer any strictness of a conscious avant-garde." Kindred artistic views and rich experiences as violinist in the symphonic orchestra and as a composer of "applied" music (film, theatre) are to be found in Jani Golob, enjoying "pleasant luxury of independence, also of the trends of contemporary music" in various stylistic and genre frameworks: from the folk song to the solo concerto from the classicist string quartet, a ballet on Slovenian classic themes to the expressionistically inspired opera Medea, with the subtitle "Opera from Everyday Life" (1999).

Intermezzo I
It is important to mention a seemingly self-evident and marginal fact: a series of composers born up to the first half of the thirties devotes attention to the deepening of expression and to the purification of compositional solutions without markedly renouncing the hitherto compositional and conceptual orientations, whilst the compositional solutions of the younger generation show a loss of self-evidence. Already in the opuses of Mihelcic, Ajdic, Gabrijelcic, Strmcnik, and Golob — they have penetrated into public concert life particularly since the seventies — the criterion of what is musical should be looked for beyond the tri-partite aesthetic simplification into "the old", "the new", and (no matter how variously understood) "the postmodern" in a sense of “everything goes”. Probably it has to be looked for above all in the non-expressed but implied idea of a kind of "middle way". For it seems that with these composers one has to reflect above all on a particularly pragmatic mode of thinking: the result of the selective processes of their creations admittedly look for the essence of the musical in would-be "survived" features of the composition – but not with the purpose "to awaken" or "to revive" the old: their main creative goal seems to be centred around the postulates of "communication, "dialogue" or "disinterested attention", in a search for contact with the concert public.

With this generation of composers the wish for lively contacts with the listeners just did not become significant because they had all the time creatively lived with it. And possibly it is a kind of "fear of naiveté" (T. Virk) in espousing "the third path" that contributed to it that some otherwise talented composers of this generation, like say Maksimilian Feguš (1948) and Peter Kopac (1949), have produced more modest works that represent for the local culture no less characteristic "classicist-romantic" opuses.

... 1950-1960
In comparison with the "aesthetic restraint" of the preceding generation of composers, the works of this generation lead us to speak of renewed aesthetic "flare-up". The differentiation of the composers born in the fifties — they have been gradually penetrating into public consciousness since the eighties —, is indicative of the richly ramified musical views and endeavours, directed towards the search of the "immediateness" of musical expression. Bor Turel (1952) who, besides Marjan Šijanec (1950), is among Slovenian composers one of the rare faithful adherents of the electro-acoustic music, created in that medium a series of interesting projects: "Following the path of the experience of electro-acoustic music we have got off into the fountain of sound where the composer is not always a sovereign master over the substance of sound but also a listener to its capabilities." On the contrary, Igor Majcen (1952) seeks to control the differentiation of tonal plays according to an aesthetic idea in which "seriousness and humor intertwine in an organic, fluent, acoustically and technically interesting and persuasive composition".

Uroš Rojko (1954) concentrates his music in wholly metaphysical dimensions: "I' am trying to understand everything as translating, canalizing the primary energy into materiality". Rojko's predominantly instrumental opus indicates compositional affinity with the so-called musique spectrale (although he is constantly denying any direct influences). His minutely elaborated creations reveal the wealth of the differentiation of the tonal space: exuberant colourfulness of sound and the refinement of the abstract plays of tonal constellations is characteristic of a series of attractive chamber and symphonic compositions. Next to Rojko, also Tomaž Svete‘s (1956) work has won recognition (especially) abroad. The composer proceeds from his deepened attitude towards the expressiveness of music, stressing the significance of "refinement" of composition. He follows the maxim: "The search for truth and the creating of better worlds, a look from the darkness of depths towards heaven." Therefore, little wonder that, for the gestically accentuated dramaturgy of the musical flow of Svete's, music publicists have found the label "neo-expressionism". The spirit of the "great-grandson of the Second Viennese school", as he has once depicted himself, is preserved both in his symphonic and chamber works as in his four operas, of which the opera Chryton has been produced with fine success.

In contradistinction to Rojko's creative mission summed up by the composer at one point with a parable of "the awakening of man's sensitiveness for the recognition and comprehension of the more subtle strata of sound", Brina Jež Brezavšcek (1957) as regards her works, differently designed in genre, form, medium, and (least of all) style, emphasizes the analogies of the musical flow with the "abstraction of generally experimental constants". Wholly in the opposite way, in the direction of objectivizing, into the "concreteness" of compositional means of expression directed musical language is looked for by Aldo Kumar (1954). He is characterized by his creative poetics of simplicity. Occasionally flirting with the folklore and with jazz, as well as with European variants of minimalism, his oeuvre is characterized by the belief that the world "of classical music in combination with all kinds of music" is today "the only basis for creating new music". Entertaining similar views, Marko Mihevc (1957) created in the nineties seven appealing symphonic poems. In stylistic and genre respects Mihevc follows the example of the symphonic poem and the aesthetics of musical modernism from the turn into the 20th century. In the composer's words: one has to do with "postmodernism" into which one should "interweave also beauty, feelings, ... healthy eclecticism which is not intended simply for the imitation of the past but assists in the search for new, if I may say, digestible trends".

Intermezzo II
From the musical output of the generation just mentioned one probably sees as clearly "fanned out" creative endeavours forming a kind of musical-aesthetic analog of the nautical "wind rose". On the one hand, there are various associations with compositional pasts, as with Mihevc's genre associations of what is different (”healthy eclecticism”) or Kumar's stylistic openness ("combining of musical genres"). On the other, there is a deepening of the aesthetic ideals of expressionism, typical above all of Svete (“refinement”). Thirdly, there is a differentiation of the musical texture with the notions of various cognitive universals (Rojko's "canalizing of primary energy into materiality", the search for sonorous analogies with the "abstraction of experiential constants" by Brina Jež Brezavšcek or Majcen's "acoustic and technical curiosity and compositional polish"). Fourthly, a search for defferentiatedness of electro-acoustical landscapes of sound should also be mentioned as a close relative of the ideals specific to the last mentioned generation of composers.

The steps from music as a semantical differential to music as an acoustically de-semanticised structuring of sound, and the other way round, i.e. from physicistic abstraction of sound to semantization of tonal space, appear to be a rather important issue for these composers. The question about the implied stylistic orientations is actually misleading, since it seems to be far-fetched regarding this rather active and successful generation of composers. It is true, however, that most of these composers are marked by processes of finding the delicate aesthetic borderline between the elementary semantic elusiveness and the osmosis of meaning. Many compositional solutions and genre characteristics of individual musical opuses, as well as their expected developments, indicate that the above mentioned borderline reveals many crossroads, or rather watersheds, all too obvious to be taken just as "marginal".

... I960
In contradistinction to the declared scatterredness of musical endeavours it may be said that the suggested antinomy between the aesthetics of following various past and present 'traces' on the one hand, and the aesthetic ideals of semantic elusiveness, on the other, seeks to present certain creative horizons in contemporary music. This simplification is understandably rather crude, but it is in keeping with the state of the compositional apparatus in which so far at least partly delimited compositional and aesthetic extremes – e.g. between complexity and simplicity, or between post-serialism and post-Cagean erasing of borders between art and life – have found themselves in a contradictory process: the process of nivelisations and shrinking of differences due to the great desire for differentiatedness.

In Slovenia, one could not speak of extreme examples of a "bricolage" after whatever exists. It is not Cagean, but rather Feyerabendesk "anything goes": thus, we can rather speak of doubts regarding the slogans as "cross the border – close the gap". Nevertheless, the idea of openness is significant as an epistemological orientation point. If in fact the demand for differentiatedness is for the above mentioned composers permeated with a kind of (at least imaginary) "oceanic feeling" of attachment to the world and its past, this Freud's metaphor – which introduces his article on unleisoreness in culture – seems, at least as regards younger composers, to be increasingly shrinking to notion about oceans, often quite imaginary and, as a rule, partial. Hence instead of a demand – a wish, or rather a necessity for recasting the already recognized "aesthetic capital" (N. Cook) by making use of one's own creative potential through idiosyncratically understood cultural, ideological, aesthetic, or spiritual impulses.

Along the creativity of some already established older composers it is naturally also possible to speak of a kind of effacement and in the content loose discrimination between personal efforts and historical "moments of a spiritual genesis" which they refer to. But in the creativity of most composers born in the sixties and seventies one could talk of a certain "deligitimizing" (J.-F. Lyotard) of the historical in the name of "communicative art", of which it is clear only that it does not actualize the aesthetic sharpness of (small or big) traditions but tries to cope, above all, with fragments and figments of "spiritually usable" (E. Köstner).

Especially since the nineties there are a good many agile younger composers at work. Peter Šavli (l96l), in his concert and chamber works, by using moderate rigour of his pen "develops melodic-harmonic materials ... so that he can play with them, and 'designs' possible forms out of them" which "frequently bring him close to choreographic solutions". In the nineties Neville Hall (1962) created a number of truly structural and sonorous monuments that resulted in soloistic, chamber, and symphonic music, based on a refined, sonorously most sensitive tonal complexity. On the other hand, Nenad Firšt (1964), composer and violinist, in his mostly chamber-oriented oeuvre offers original musical organisms, unobtrusively and bridledly bound up with tradition. Although as regards her views and complexity of her musical texture Larisa Vrhunc (1967) appears to be cognate with Hall's musical diction, her rich output is aesthetically much more heterogeneous and, studying in the France, more susceptible to subtle acoustic figures in structuring the musical flow. Compared with Vrhunc, Urška Pompe (1969) has written fewer works, her most recent compositions, however, exhibit ways of thinking which are attractive through their compositional polish and artistic appeal due to full expressiveness in the structural equilibrium of the musical flow.
Among the creative endeavours of the composers mentioned above one should note also the works of Damijan Mocnik (1967) and in Chile living Aljoša Solovera-Roje (1963) who have both composed felicitous musical images - the former in chamber and choral, the latter especially in symphonic music.

The younger generation is confronted with the choice which instead of alternative solutions in the sense of old/new, high/low, serious/popular, complex/simple, etc., calls for a consideration about contentually, in principle elusive, and only with concrete examples definable complementary tensions of the type as follows: not new, but original; not subjective, but ethically responsible; not banal, but comprehensible; complex, but not hermetic; sweet, but not sweetish; having a point, but not pathetic; serious, but with a healthy measure of humour. Actually, one could deliberate on these claims as if the notion of the classical in music is conjured up.

In this spiritual climate, there come up formally pure Vitja Avsec's (1970) works, based on organicistic principles of transforming thought-out tonal patterns. His tolerant creative attitude – "I don't like extreme positions" – is for him one of the characteristic signs of the search for expressiveness in aesthetic and compositional kernels of Western musical tradition. As regards the opus of Dušan Bavdek (1971) one can use the comparison with "restless shadows" which in compositionally firm, clear arches evoke splinters of individual historical compositional models without their historicity. The composer's creative impulses – "As far as memory goes, I have always liked impressions and information that I absorbed to build into an 'integral' picture of the surrounding world" – tell us something more about the sonorous image of his music while we try to understand them as a part of the creative world where its unity is achieved by a play of subtly differentiated viewing at the musical semantics. Contrary to the aesthetic narrativeness, which grows out of Bavdek's explicit personalistic writing from "his integral picture of the surrounding world", Ambrož Copi (1974) finds his musically juicy expressiveness in connection with words, as reflected in his choral compositions.

Although electro-acoustic music does not boast a rich tradition in Slovenia, it appears that the age-old ideals of the universality of the sonorous, appropriated by our time as its characteristic, perhaps still most clearly even if without theoretical and historical argumentation come out precisely from compositions written in this medium. Electro-acoustics admittedly attracts few younger composers – as notably Gregor Pirš (1970), Mihael Paš (1970), and partly Vito Žuraj (1979). But the idea of a sonorous play as an analogue to the metaphorics of language or picture, in all its complexity bound to the electro-acoustic and computer music as semantisation of the traditional musical media, remains one of the key motives for a series of the youngest composers. "Any extreme negation ... of the existing ... is also already a part of the past, ... therefore on this legacy (both on Beethoven's and on Cage's) we must build a new musical language which will be predominantly 'personal'." The above quoted thought of Gregor Pompe (1974), which may be extended to cover also the view of some of his colleagues belonging to the same generation, indicates the wish for a re-contextualization of the musical past. With different names, though with a similar idea of snapping at "new subjectivity" based on "objective history" is typical of Vito Žuraj (1979), a fruitful composer whose music seems to live in a kind of sonoristic universalism: a happy fusion of various compositional pasts and "experiments with sound". Almost devoid of the elaboration of differences into contemporaneity are the works of Crt Sojar Voglar (1976), marked by a fluent neoromantic lyric diction.

Among the numerically stronger, youngest generation of composers, one should mention above all Tadeja Vulc (1978). Contrary to the ideas of "re-contextualizing" or "universalizing", she approaches the world of sound above all through a kind of logic of "moments of feelings". The composer states that in her works already from the very beginning she is "groping for the way between intellect and intuition". And possibly Vulc's view can be taken as one of the principal creative starting-points strongly characterized by two features: the search for order in sensitive and thoroughly considered procedures of how to evade formal stiffness without loosing sound structural clearness, and rich a raster of interweaving semantic allusions while not awakening the past or the musical "other".

Beyond or within local / regional / national confines?
In sum, there is hardly any other possibility of defining the national identity of contemporary Slovenian music than in terms of a mixture of individualism and universalistic ideals. “The national thing” escapes from more substantial categorization. Yet, since the beginning of the nineties there is a strong world music movement active in reshaping the Slovenian musical heritage coming from popular music. Popularity of Slovenian folk music, although with a strong, uninterrupted tradition especially among numerous choirs, has grown evidently among pop artists (cf., for instance, Šivic 2006).

What can, then, the given survey of Slovenian music tell us about its national identity? As it serves only as a "navigational tool" for analyzing the semantic values inherent to different musical culture. It could be seen as a point of departure in more empirically oriented studies of the "aesthetic capital" (N. Cook) of the contemporary musical practices. The processes on which they coexist demand to reflect on the issue of value exchange: they should not be directed, as it is often the case with contemporary music, toward questions about mixing up, or fusing, geographically and culturally different identities, but also toward creation of new ones that are us much global as they are regional.

In its perplexed meanings, the notion of national can be understood as a dead-end in thinking about music. Music and nation, one can agree with Philip V. Bohlman, are “uneasy bedfellows”. But the notion of national identity should be considered also as a catalyst for defining specificities as well as similarities in different musical practices, although the contemporary musical practices, even if seen outside a state-nation frame, bring along rather variegated identities.

In other words, national identity does not seem as complex and as „unübersichtlich“ if one accepts the view of Georg Simmel (one of the “older” thinkers in favour with the post-modern thought): "Das Leben kann eben nur durch das Leben verstanden werden, und es legt sich dazu in Schichten auseinander, von denen die eine das Verständnis der anderen vermittelt und die in ihrem Aufeinander-Angewiesensein seine Einheit verkünden." Simmel's view could easily fit into almost any historiographical persuasion, irrespectively of its epistemological background (or intentions).

As for the new and the old in music, as generative notions they depend on contextualisation of a phenomenon within a certain setting of surmises, questions, ways of discussing them (methods), and answers. And this article has endeavoured to outline some essential features of the new and the old, as applied to Slovenian music, without paying much attention to the levels to which Simmel’s above cited thought is referring. This “Schichtenlehre” of epistemological levels seems to have a vital role in understanding the notions discussed. Hence, the concluding remarks aim to suggest a context for understanding what the old and the new in music is dependent upon epistemologically.

Far from intending a thorough survey of questions and methods that are, or could be, reckoned as particles of the hermeneutics of music, I would like to point out to four, probably well known, epistemological demarcations offered by S. Mauser, J.-J. Nattiez, C. de Lannoy, and S. Mahrenholz.

The entry on musical hermeneutics by Siegfried Mauser (Mauser 1996) offers the following four foci for interpreting three fields of musical practice17

Mauser's fields of musical practice recall the much discussed application of Jean Molino's tripartite analytic scheme accepted by Jean-Jacques Nattiez (Nattiez 1990: 10ff):

The main difference between Mauser's and Nattiez's analytical foci lies in Mauser's differentiation of the three fields of study of musical practice. Another basic difference should be mentioned: Nattiez defines the fields of musical practice in rough but fundamental terms, as cursors pointing to different objects (e.g. the poietic level should include anything important to the creation of a piece of music), while Mauser's fields of musical practice are specified concretely in a more narrow sense.

Further, the tripartite scheme of realities by Christian de Lannoy (de Lannoy 1993) offers no specific fields of musical practice:
- reality of things[Dingwirklichkeit],
- reality of experience [Erfahrungswirklichkeit],
- system-reality [systemische Wirklichkeit].

It would be similar to Mauser's, if, for example, his two middle foci (Level of intentionality and Level of actualization) could be mapped in Lannoy's reality of experience. But even in doing so, it is obvious that there is something from Lannoy's differentiation that is only hinted at in Mauser's scheme: Lannoy explicitly speaks of the epistemological level, system-reality (=systematically "parcelled" picture of a reality), as of a relatively independent level of interpretation. Does also Mauser's scheme imply the level of interpretation also within his cross-section of the third column and fourth row (Level of the historical context in the Performer-Sounding event-Listener category)? Or is the level of interpretation implied as well in the cross-section between the third row and third column (Level of actualization in the Performer-Sounding event-Listener category)?

Even if the question of system reality could be raised for both mentioned epistemological levels, further discomfort is encountered with regard to the relations between the more objectivity-claiming level that Mauser calls Level of the factual and the three levels following it in the same column below. Moreover, Level of the factual ? similar to the neutral level in Nattiez's scheme or Lannoy's reality of things ? should be even duplicated from a row into the column. The level of the factual is, after all, a counterpart of the other interpretative pole, namely of the level of surmises: without combining the two, hardly a single utterance about music that least implies a claim to interpretation is feasible. In other words, Mauser's hermeneutic scheme has more specifically defined foci and fields of musical practice compared to Lannoy's. Mauser's scheme shows a proclivity toward prescribing a way of thinking (although he warns that he has offered a descriptive model, not a "hermeneutic formula"), while Lannoy encompasses rather a huge portion of the world we live in, and our experience of it, in an elemental sense of a descriptive epistemological compass.

Similar to Lannoy, but still new, is the framing of the epistemological levels proposed by Simone Mahrenholz (Mahrenholz 2000):

If Mauser implies and Lannoy demands the consideration of the "scientific language", Mahrenholz makes a rather smooth crossing from the subconscious domain to the conscious experience, as if all the stages should be subjected to a "scientific language" of music research. She scales the knowledge in terms of epistemological structure leading from the unconscious to the conscious response. Her epistemological levels are as wide as one could only wish the sciences could cope with. It is far from a music-confined division of the epistemological foci, thus allowing a thorough differentiation of the fields of musical practice that should be studied from these perspectives.

And it is this, I believe, widely opened platform of knowledge — ranging from the subconscious toward habitual and conscious domains — that has brought about changes in 20th century interpretations of music. Whether they have been oriented toward someone’s future or past, habitual or subconscious level — forward or backward, “from without” or “from within” — does not seem to matter as much as does the rather banal fact that a process of differentiation, specific for the 20th century compositional as well as epistemological history, has sharpened and specialized rather than discarded (even less resolved) the question about the identities (not only) music can have.

As for the facets from which the Slovenian music as a national art is constituted, a rather reasonable answer would have to take into account three sets of categories: its identity is defined partly by its folkloristic “intonation” (as Boris Asaf’ev would claim), partly by the artistic integrity of a number of Slovenian composers and musicians, and partly by the changing variables of music-listening habits. Of course, ethical as well as aesthetical premises should be considered — both along with the axiological ones — while answering questions that could be raised from the proposed determination of Slovenian musical identity: Which part should prevail in defining Slovenian musical identity?
The question aims, I hope obviously enough, at the process of creating identities and different foci involved in it. It also redirects the content of this essay toward other epistemological layers besides those on which the present discussion rests.

1 Lajovic described the opening of the Belgrade's National Theater with Puccini's Madame Butterfly as a »political sin in art«, criticizing that for such an important occasion they should have performed any work by Serbian or, at least, an opera by any Yugoslavian composer. (Anton Lajovic, ' Še ena beseda o programih' [Another word about the programs], in: Slovenec 27.4.1994).
2 Choirs, songs, piano pieces, compositions for violin and piano as well as some other chamber miniatures.
3 For example, Novi akordi indicated one of the European main music novelties of that time, expressionism, with the piano miniature Moment (1912) by Janko Ravnik (1891-1982) and mixed choir Trenotek (Moment; 1914) by Marij Kogoj (1895-1956).
4 The Conservatory of Glasbena matica was reorganized in 1927 into the State Conservatory, in 1939 was transformed into the Academy of Music.
5 It might seem rather peculiar, but it should be understood as a part of Slovenian culture in its historical heritage, that in a city like Ljubljana, where the Academia Philharmonicorum was established in 1701, the first »romantic symphony« composed by a native Slovene composer (Fran Gerbic) was written in 1915 (Lovska simfonia [IHunting Symphony]).
6 Vilko Ukmar (1939), 'Slovensko glasbeno življenje v dvajsetletju 1918–1938', in: Spominski zbornik Slovenije. Ob dvajsetletnici Kraljevine Jugoslavije, Ljubljana: Jubilej, 292.
7 Beside Cerkveni glasbenik (Church Musician), singers acquired their materials from three other journals: Pevec (The Singer; 1921-1938), according to the Pan-Slavic ideals chiselled music journal of Pevska zveza, and similarly conceived Zbori (Choirs;1925-1934), published by Ljubljanski zvon. Grlica (1933-1935) helped to promote youth choir music, flourishing especially in the youth choir Trboveljski slavcek.
8 From a letter of Franc Šturm to Slavko Osterc, quoted in: Bedina 1981: 15.
9 For instance, besides Karol Pahor (1896-1974) and Danilo Švara (1902-1981), the idea of new music was important to the oeuvre of Pavel Šivic (1908-1995), Demetrij Žebre (1912-1970) and Franc Šturm (1912-1943), Vilko Ukmar (1905-1992), partly and only for this period also the work of Lucijan Marija Škerjanc (1901-1973). 8
10 Perhaps the 1958 could be suggested as a historiographical footing, when a TV set became an indispensable piece of the household furniture, and also other technical facilities for sound distribution became more widely accessible. Moreover, two more facts speak in favour of reckoning the last few years of the 1950s as a national historical turning-point crossroad in music: at that time, the Slovenian musicians re-established the institutional connection with the Soviet Union colleagues and, ironically, also the jazz movement began to grow and received institutional recognition with the first pop music festival in Yugoslavia held annually in Bled since 1962.
11 A historian's perspective has been questioned many times not because of thinking in terms of specific historical category ? in terms of musical works, styles, theories etc. ?, but because of inappropriate surmises and explanations, even “omissions”, of connections between them: because of the lack of a minimum attention that, in Reinhart Koselleck’s words, should be paid to "the before" and "the after", or to "the below" and "the above" with regard to a discussed phenomenon.
12 As far as the historiography of Slovenian music of the 20th century is concerned, the following information is necessary: although some valuable partial studies on Slovenian music after the Second World War have been published and a rather modest number of surveys have paid special regard to Slovenian music after 1945, there is, at the moment, only one book on 20th century Slovenian music is available.
13 Lebic: "Creating art in the shadow of socialist realism. Art to the people. Exclusion from the happenings in the art world in Western Europe and a break with the modernism from the time between the First and Second World War. [...] Two things have defined that time: impetuous passion and happiness after the suffered danger, but for many people also bitterness and fear of the revolutionary takeover of the authorities by the communists [...]. The beginning of the new time is founded on the worst Slovenian self-destruction. Enthusiasm, marches, but in the background liquidations (clandestine, so as the candles on the mass-scaffolds have been lit only recently). Kafkian drama beneath an appearance of victorious happiness. Supervision and control over the artistic domain have been taken over by the agitprop (an agency for agitation and propaganda within the central committee. '... Russian model as far as the socialist realism is concerned and a negative stamp for all the arts of the decadent and depraved capitalism ...' (Boris Ziherl as early as in 1944)' [...] The art creation reveals itself in a shadow of this normative aesthetics, above all as a big stylistic, compositional and aesthetical uncertainty and confusion: it is displayed in lofty words, above all hidden in the opuses, destinies and life experiences of individual creators and only in the end in specific sonic shapes or compositional solutions to which they could be attached." (Lebic 1993: 113-114.)

Bedina: "After the Great War the genesis of musical identification disappeared again. All the slogans from the past won only a new ideological premise in a changed wording ? the goal justifies the means when building new socialistic equality. Political emigrants tried to find a way out as they could (we are becoming aware of their work only since 1992). The art music in Slovenia was subordinated to the slogan of socialist-realism: if you are not with us, you are against us. Anew the historical memory lost itself as well as the connection with the spirit of the time. It was not easy to begin anew, even impossible for the musical institutions." (Bedina 1997: 166. Translated by L.S.)

Klemencic: The first fifteen post-war years or so were a time of caesura and a discontinuation of development from the pre-war period. Combined with physical and spiritual isolation these times were marked by the abandonment of autonomous aesthetics and a general moderation and dormancy of style. This was a period of a pre-modernist, particularly revolutionary political spirit, which the outwardly repressed and the inwardly obstructed art, in its negativism, had to reflect. On the directive of the Communist party, art was required to draw closer to the masses, to be in their service, and in this way support the regime, although the model of the demanded socialist realism was not clearly defined. Alongside such ideological pressure, the aforementioned romantic trend was preserved as one level of style, as in the case of L. M. Škerjanc, where it may still be mixed with Impressionism, or with Realism and Naturalism, as in the symphonic compositions of Blaž Arnic [...]. In addition to the romantic realistic versions the objectivism and optimism of neo-classicism was also ideologically acceptable. At the beginning of the 50s, composers of the middle and young generations [...] were adherents of this musical style, later joined by the neo-Baroque and partly expressive composers [...]. During the 50s, the period of already established composer's internal opposition or adoption, rebellion or conformism, initially moderately a subjectivism of Expressionism began to be revived as a third level. Since it was proclaimed as decadent or by the national socialist totalitarian twin as degenerate art, it was objectively unacceptable and in real-socialism was in opposition to the law-entrenched dialectic materialism. An example of how Slovenian music might have developed [...]." (Klemencic 200: 203-4)
Snoj / Pompe: "A large number of composers [...] remained faithful to the musical heritage of the late 19th century also after the Second World War. This was due to the late professionalisation of the Slovene musical life, the vague relations between post-war Communist political ideology and culture, and then again some of the older composers were not eager to change their accustomed musical language, which also fitted the doctrine of socialist realism." (Snoj / Pompe 2003: 214)
14 The question concerning centralism and unified art policies in Slovenia thus reveals itself as a rather complex one. Some features of the perplexed circumstances in the 1950's have been felicitously pointed out by Boris Kidric, one of the most influential politicians at the time. In January 1951, two years before his death, Kidric emphasized "middle-class, blind [elemental] forces" from the report of the spokesman of the "team of the Central Committee of the Slovenian Communist Party" Moma Markovic, as the main problem of the Communist party in Slovenia. (Boris Kidric in a record of a meeting of the politbureau of the Central committee of the Slovenian Communist party in January, 1951. In: Drnovšek 2000: 257.) From the protocol records of the sessions of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Slovenia, where Kidric's evaluation of the political situation in Slovenia is documented, as well as from other protocol records of that very influential political agency, it is possible to infer that the "middle-class blind [elemental] forces" referred to 1) clericalism, supposedly one of the the strongest opponents of socialism in Slovenia as well as in Bosnia and Hercegovina, and 2) the Soviet inform bureau.
15 This was probably due not only to the fact that music as an artistic medium was far from having such a socially penetrative force as the written word or film, but also because of the autocracy and national consciousness of the leadership of the Society of Slovenian Composers, founded in 1945, and because of the modus vivendi of the executive republic agencies. It seems that the state did not manage to (and partly even did not bother to) constitute an effective supervision of Slovenian musical life. This enabled, for instance, "low-value" music (jazz or foreign popular music) to imbue everyday culture before the end of the 1950s, and to experience a cultural breakthrough in music at the beginning of the 1960s.
There are, of course, more critical interpretations of this period, such as in Klemencic 1998. But they are founded on some individually suppressed musicians (almost in all cases not because of their music, but because of their social position) and above all, on problematic aesthetical simplifications of the semantic potential of music, musical progress and musical ideals.
16 The citations are compiled from Stefanija 2001 ff.
17 I use the term "musical practice" in the sense of Kurth Blaukopf (Blaukopf 1986), as a generative notion referring to the activities, goods and ideas in any respect connected to the notion of music.

Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. New York: Verso 1983.
Barbo, Matjaž. Pro musica viva : prispevek k slovenski moderni po II. svetovni vojni [Pro Musica Viva: A Contribution to Slovenian musical Modernism after the World War II ]. Ljubljana: Znanstveni inštitut Filozofske fakultete 2001.
Barbo, Matjaž. 'Skupina Pro musica viva' [The Ensemble Pro musica Viva]. In: Weiss, Jernej / Matjaž Barbo / Leon Stefanija (eds.), Pro musica viva ? 2005: znamenja ob poti. Ljubljana: Oddelek za muzikologijo Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani in Slovensko muzikološko društvo 2005.
Beck, Ulrich. 'Understanding the Real Europe'. In: Dissent, Summer 2003.
Bedina, Katarina. List nove glasbe. Osebnost in delo Franca Šturma [A Leaf of New Music. France Šturm's Personality and Work]. Ljubljana: Cankarjeva založba.
Bedina, Katarina. 'Zgodovinska izhodišca identitete slovenskega glasbenega dela' [Historical Origins of Identity of the Slovenian Musical Work]. In: Dušan Necak (ed.), Avstrija. Jugoslavija. Slovenija. Slovenska narodna identiteta skozi cas, Ljubljana: Filozofska fakulteta 1997, 152–167.
Blaukopf, Kurt. Musik im Wandel der Gesellschaft. Grundzüge der Musiksoziologie. München: DTV 1986.
Borio, Gianmario. Musikalische Avantgarde um 1960. Entwurf einer Theorie der informellen Musik. (Freiburger Beiträge zur Musikwissenschaft, Band 1, Hermann Danuser, ed.) Laaber: Laaber Verlag 1993.
Cvetko, Dragotin. Slovenska glasba v Evropskem prostoru [Slovenian Music in the European Context]. Ljubljana: Slovenska matica 1991.
Dahlhaus, Carl. Grundlagen der Musikgeschiche. Köln: Hans Gerig Verlag 1977/1993. English transl. by J. B. Robinson, Foundations of Music History, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1993.
Dahlhaus, Carl. Nineteenth-Century Music [Die Musik des 19. Jahrhunderts, Neues Handbuch der Musikwissenschaft, Band 6, Wiesbaden: Akademische Verlaggeselsschaft Athenaion], Transl. by J. Bradford Robinson, Los Angeles, Berkeley: University of California Press 1989.
Danuser, Hermann, Neue Musik. In: Ludwig Finscher (ed.), Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, Sachteil, Band 7, Kasel et al.: Bärenreiter 1997, pp. 75–122.
Drnovšek, Darinka. Zapisniki politbiroja CK KPS/ZKS 1945-1954 [The Transcripts of politbiro 1945-1954]. Ljubljana: Arhivsko društvo Slovenije 2000.
Gellner, Ernest. Nations and Nationalism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press 1983.
Groys, Boris. Über das Neue. Versuch einer Kulturökonomie. München-Wien: Carl Hanser Verlag (Edition Akzente, ed. Michael Krüger) 1992.
Handler, Richard. Nationalism and the Politics of Culture in Quebec. (New Directions in Antropoligical Writing: History, Poetics, Cultural Criticism). The University of Wisconsin Press 1988.
Hroch, Miroslav. 'From National Movement to the Fully-formed Nation: The Nation-building Process in Europe'. In: Geoff Eley and Ronald Grigor Suny (eds.). Becoming National: A Reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press 1996, pp. 60-79.
Klemencic, Ivan. Musica noster amor. Glasbena umetnost Slovenije od zacetkov do danes. Antologija na 16 zgošcenkah s spremno knjižno publikacijo / Musica noster amor. Musical Art of Slovenia from its Beginnings to 30
the Present. An Anthology on 16 CDs with an Accompanying Book, Ljubljana: Založba Obzorja Maribor in glasbeno založništvo Helidon, Znanstvenoraziskovalni center SAZU, Slovenska akademija znanosti in umetnosti 2000.
Klemencic, Ivan. 'Glasba in totalitarna država na Slovenskem [Music and the totalitarian state in Slovenia]. In: Drago Jancar (ed.), Temna stran meseca [The Dark Side of the Moon], Ljubljana: Nova revija 1998.
de Lannoy, Christiaan. 'Variationen im Metakontrapunkt. Ein systemtheoretische Analyse musikalischer Interaktionsprozesse'. In: de Berg, Henk / Matthias Prangel (eds.), Kommunikation und Differenz, Systemtheoretische Ansätze in der Literatur- und Kunstwissenschaft, Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag 1993, pp. 203-227.
Lebic, Lojze. 'Glasovi casov' I-V. In: Naši zbori 45— 47 Ljubljana 1993-1996.
Loparnik, Borut. 'Policeva doba slovenske Opere: ozadja in meje' [Polic's Era In The Slovenian Opera; The Backgrounds And Confines]. In: Zbornik ob jubileju Jožeta Sivca, Ljubljana: ZRC SAZU 2000, pp. 205-224.
Mahrenholz, Simone. Musik und Erkenntnis. Eine Studie im Ausgang von Nelson Goodmans Symboltheorie, Stuttgart, Weimar: Verlag J. B. Metzler 2000.
Mauser, Siegfried, 'Hermeneutik'. In: Ludwig Finscher (ed.), Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, Sachteil, Band 4, Kassel et al.: Bärenreiter 1996, pp. 262-270.
Nattiez, Jean-Jacques. Music and Discourse. Toward a Semiology of Music. New Jersey, Oxford: Princeton University Press 1990.
O'Loughlin, Niall. Novejša glasba v Sloveniji [Music in Slovenia After 1918]. Ljubljana: Slovenska matica 2000.
Pompe, Gregor. 'Nekaj nastavkov za razumevanje postmodernizma kot slogovne usmeritve' [Few Attempts at Understanding Postmodernism as a Musical Style]. In: Musicological Annual 2002/XXXVIII, Ljubljana, pp. 31-42.
Rijavec, Andrej. 'The Sloveneness of Slovene Music'. In: K.-E. Behne, E. Jost, E. Kötter and Helga de la Motte-Haber (eds.), Musikwissenschaft als Kulturwissenschaft, Perspektiven zur Musikpädagogik und Musikwissenschaft, Gustav Bosse Verlag, Regensburg 1991, pp. 65–71.
Rijavec, Andrej. 'Sloweniens Wünsche an die "Musikgeschichte Österreichs"'. In: Rudolf Flotzinger (ed.), Musicologica Austriaca, Band 2, Salzburg : Österreichische Gesellschaft für Musikwissenschaft 1993, pp. 59–69.
Rijavec, Andrej. 'H glasbi na Slovenskem in slovenska glasba – uvodni razmislek' [About the music in Slovenia and Slovenian music]. In: Marta Orožen (ed.), Informativni kulturološki zbornik, Seminar slovenskega jezika, literature in kulture pri Oddelku za slovanske jezike in književnost Filozofske fakultete, Ljubljana: Filozofska fakulteta, Univerza v Ljubljani, pp. 227–231.
Simmel, Georg. 'Vom Wesen des historischen Verstehens'. In: Geschichtliche Abende im Zentralinstitut für Erziehung und Unterricht, Heft 5, Berlin: Ernst Siegfried Mittler und Sohn, Königliche Hofbuchhandlung.
Snoj, Jurij / Pompe, Gregor. Pisna podoba glasbe na Slovenskem / Music in Slovenia through the aspect of notation, Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU 2003.
Stefanija, Leon. O glasbeno novem. Ljubljana: ŠOU (KODA) 2001.
Stefanija, Leon. 'New versus old in the Slovenian compositional practise of the last quarter of the 20th century'. In: Bek, Mikulaš / Peter Macek (eds.). Horror novitatis, (Colloqvia Mvsicologica Brvnensia, Vol. 37, Vol. 37). Praha: Koniasch Latin Press; Brno: Institute of Musicology, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University Brno, 2004, pp. 158-172.
Šivic, Urša. Transformacija ljudske glasbe v nekaterih zvrsteh popularne glasbe po letu 1990 [Transformation of folk music in some genres of popular music after 1990], doctoral dissertation, Department of Musicology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana 2006.
Ukmar, Vilko. 'Slovensko glasbeno življenje v dvajsetletju 1918–1938' [Slovenian Musical Life in the Decades 1918-1938]. In: Spominski zbornik Slovenije. Ob dvajsetletnici Kraljevine Jugoslavije, Ljubljana: Jubilej 1939
Whittall, Arnold. 'Fulfilment or betrayal?'. In: The Musical Times, Winter 1999, pp. 11-21.