Shostakovich’s Topics

A Study on Representative Musical Topics




Musical topics, Soviet music, Socialist realism, Musical semiotics, Revolutionary music


The study of musical signification constitutes an important key for the comprehension of Shostakovich’s music. This becomes particularly evident when one observes that social and political background plays an important role in his compositional process through the configuration of specific musical topics on structural positions of his music. These specific topics have arisen after cultural and social events during the establishment of the Soviet Union and became typical elements of the Soviet Music. This paper aims to show the function of these elements as compositional roots in the creative concept of Shostakovich’s music. The rising of the concept of musical topic after Leonard Ratner (1980) has opened new paths for a consistent comprehension of the musical discourse, identifying social and cultural signs that may articulate ideas which go beyond the music itself: ideology, criticism and politics became elements of musical expression, composing a new soundscape of music in Revolutionary Russia.


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Author Biography

Luciano de Freitas Camargo, Universidade Federal de Roraima

Born in São Paulo, Luciano Camargo is a Brazilian conductor and composer. Graduated in orchestral conducting at University of São Paulo, became Master and PhD in analytical musicology studying Shostakovich’s Symphonies. He also attended classes at Albert-Ludwigs Universität Freiburg (Germany) and St. Petersburg State Conservatory (Russia). Luciano Camargo is the Artistic Director of Academic Orchestra São Paulo by São Paulo Choral Association, conducting continued seasons of opera and symphonic concerts at Teatro Bradesco São Paulo, which included productions of Bizet’s Carmen, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Puccini’s La Bohème and many choral-symphonic programs as well. Luciano Camargo is professor for Conducting and Choral Studies at the Federal University of Roraima.


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How to Cite

Camargo, Luciano de Freitas. 2021. “Shostakovich’s Topics: A Study on Representative Musical Topics”. Per Musi, no. 40 (June):1-14.