Slovene Piano Music


  • Marijan Lipovšek



Because of the scarcity of archival material there survives no direct evidence of such music having been written in Slovenia until the 18tn century, though it is highly probable that organists and harpsichordists, of whose work we know indirectly, wrote keyboard music apart from that for organ. This is proved on one hand by the modest reports of performances on such instruments and by the scores, which all demand the inclusion of a basso continuo. Reports on musical life in Slovenia provide that the harpsichord was as popular as any other instrument, so we can conclude that music must have been written for it. It was only towards the end of the 18tn century that musical classicism began to influence Slovene musical life and from this period 75 we have the first surviving piano composition, Anton Tomaž Linhart's Mazurka. The contribution of the first decades of the nineteenth century consisted mostly of dances. Soon, with the increase of national consciousness, especially after 1849, patriotic compositions began to appear. At first these were the former dances with new Slovene titles. Longer paraphrases and fantasies on national songs soon began to appear. Of great importance is the activity of Czech musicians living in Slovenia whose knowledge and professional skill had great influence in perfecting the technical abilities of local composers. With Novi akordi, the musical periodical (1901–1914), Slovene piano music began to take shape; although at first the compositions in the periodical harked back in form and title to the thinking of the past century, their content gradually deepened. Towards the end of Novi akordi the Slovenes had piano pieces modern enough for their time (Janko Ravnik). After the first world war Lucijan M. Škerjanc began to compose for piano. A new impetus was given by Slavko Osterc, who introduced modern tendencies into contemporary Slovene music. He has also written characteristic piano pieces and his musical orientation even now influences the younger generation. For the development of piano music, composers who have emerged from the school of Škerjanc and Osterc are important. In its achievements Slovene piano music today ranges itself with European piano music not only as regards form as it did with the generation of Novi akordi but also in content.


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How to Cite

Lipovšek, M. (1966). Slovene Piano Music. Musicological Annual, 2(1), 65–76.