Music Textbooks and Manuals in Zagreb in the Last Two Decades of the 19th Century Represented by Vjenceslav Novak’s Work: a Contribution to the History of Music Pedagogy

Marija Benić Zovko


 There has not been a lot of musicological research on the 19th century music textbooks and manuals as historical sources for the development of musical didactics and pedagogy of the time. Vjenceslav Novak’s textbook Introduction to Music Harmony, intended for students of the teachers’ school, is being analysed in correlation with Novak’s text published in the report of Music Institute’s school in 1891. Both the text and the textbook made significant contributions to the definition of theory of music (especially a part of it the author refers to as “basic theory of music”), defining pedagogical and didactical principles of teaching, and to the making of a comprehensive curriculum for theoretical disciplines. The author found the meaning and purpose of these disciplines in aesthetics, and the ultimate purpose of music in knowing God. In this sense he viewed the educational process as a path from the practical to the speculative. The textbook is also a reflection of the sociopolitical circumstances it was written in. Aesthetical and theological principles of Novak’s concept of theory of music enabled teaching to be a medium for religious and moral upbringing, and the use of folk songs gave it the necessary element of national consciousness.

Key words: aesthetics; Mažuranić’s law; Music Institute; teachers’ school; theory of music

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