Any formal analysis of light-music ideas of Scriabin (for example, from strict musicologist point of view) is doomed to failure if the researcher does not take into account the origins of Scriabin's conception of art synthesis, which is closely connected with his philosophic ideas concerning Universe, Art and Artist (see report by Shaborkina).

The sublime tasks, that Scriabin set himself, could be solved only with the help of superior means. By 1903 Scriabin had come to idea of grand synthetic composition "Mystery", combined of music, poetry, drama, dance (and later, after analysis of his own colour hearing, the "light symphony" was added). In this art work, similar to ancient mysteries, there ought to be no border between hall and stage, actor and audience. (The latter requirement was declared in that time not only by Scriabin, but also by many other representatives of Russian and world art, first of all theatre art). In this respect very close to Scriabin were V.Ivanov and S.Bulgakov with their propagation of "United Arts". There is obious connection between Scriabin ideas and that of Vagner, who also fought fiercely for the great potentialities of synthesis, believing that in future the art and real life may merge into a single whole).

Scriabin's contemporaries L.Sabaneev and, especially, B.Schletzer, tried to explain all his creative work as the successive elaboration of mysterial principles. They asserted that the very perception of the reality by Scriabin was always synthetical, even in direct sensory-sensuous aspect; but being confined in his ability to create in this way, he was forced to express himself in the area of instrumental music, the faint copy of Integral Art. Moreover, Schletzer connects the creative activity of the composer, directed towards art synthesis, with mystical nature of his world view and messian attitudes in his private relation with this world [1, 2, 4].

Our report is not aimed against this opinion; the problem of composer's world view needs special and more deep investigation (A.Alshwang and S.Markus began one, but do not finish it yet). In fact, this problem is very complex - the philosophic/aesthetic concept by Scriabin includes, in rather whimsical forms the socialist attitudes and theosophy, indifference to religion and admiration for ancient East, the elements of original altruistic solipsism and striving for symbols full of cosmic content.

But, acknowledging philosophic position of Scriabin as frankly idealist one, we should have in mind that his world view has to be estimated using ethic and aesthetic criteria. (Which is true with respect to any artist as well). It's obvious, as it was rightly noted by Ukrainian musicologist E.Kotomin [7, p.4], that Scriabin was attracted also by emotional aspect of idealist philosophy. The whole life of this outstanding personality was fully devoted to the achievment of a single, superhuman feat and Scriabin believed that he is doomed to make it. This can be regarded not only as unique phenomenon of moral kind, but also as aesthetic one.

Scriabin's philosophical ideas were "mad" from common sense position, but they stimulated and fed his creative process and caused prominent art works and aesthetic conceptions we are interested of. Without their influence there would be neither "Poem of Ecstasy", nor "Prometheus". There might be another art works, another Scriabin and, first of all, there would be no reasons to held the Conference "Light and Music" on account of him.

The development of world was reduced by Scriabin to transformation of Spirit. He considered Spirit as foundation of existence. The development itself was reduced to "vibrations" (using theosophic term), and transformation of Spirit was regarded as successive phase to phase transitions. Basing on Scriabin's own words about Spirit "descending" and "ascending", we can illustrate this process with the following diagram:




Such notions as Creator, Integrity, Activity, Will, and Manhood are connected with Spirit, while another notions as Division, Stagnation, Passivity and Womanhood are connected with Matter. The world, in all his diversity, corresponds to the stage of materialization. After creative essence imprintig on the Matter, the process of dematerialization begins, resulting in triumph of Spirit. "Mystery" is connected with exactly this stage of Spirit's formation, which is to be assisted by the power of Art. By means of "Mystery" there should occured the reunion of two poles: Spirit and World, which was borned by Spirit [3, p.89]. Only at the very beginning the "Mystery" seemed to him as a giant project of "United Art" type. Then, upon influence of theosophic teachings, which fascinated the composer, he began to consider "Mystery" as a single cosmic act followed by the End of existing world. As a result, the mankind would become "delirious with ecstasy" and a new Universe would arise, at a new level of existence [2, pp.28-50]. (At least, such picture can be drawn on the basis of data collected by Sabaneyev and Engel). But Kashperov, basing on other origins, asserts that "Mystery" was always considered by the composer as an art work, meant for multiple performances [6, p.612]. Scriabin proposed to perform it in the "cradle of mankind", India, for selected "initiated" persons. But composer believed that, similar to crystal drawn down to oversaturated solution, "Mystery" should immediately envelopes the whole world in harmony. "Mystery" ought to be performed during seven days, and Scriabin warned: "they are not ordinary days, just as by the creation of the World seven days meant enormous epochs, the whole lives of the races...". The time itself, having experienced the influence of dematerialization, "will gather speed and during these days we shall live through billions of years..." [1, pp.215, 49]. Of course, it would be tempting to discover in all these poetic and fantastic revelations the anticipation of hypothesis of pulsing Universe by A. Fridman and poetical confirmation of the theory of relativity. But in fact the origins of Scriabin's natural philosophy lay in the teaching of ancient Indian wise men and their modern interpretators. Scriabin was very interested of their works (first of all, "Secret Doctrine" and "Key to Theosophy" by E. Blavatskaya [5]).

Scriabin also borrowed from theosophic dictionary the notions concerning evolution of the races (not in antropology aspect). He divided races into "spiritual" and "material" ones. He characterized the contemporary epoch as "material". Explaining his scheme, he foretold the great changes at the Earth, grandiose wars, "awakening" of the nations in Asia and Africa, and forthcoming triumph of socialism, maybe throughout the world (he understood socialism as culmination point of "economic materialism" [1, pp.122, 165, 244-245, 274]. By the way, Scriabin has found confirmation of his scheme of Spirit evolution even in scientific discoveries: he regarded the experiments on nuclear decay and Einstein's theory of relativity as presage of coming epoch of dematerialization [1, pp.151, 114].

As it is known, the ambivalency of creative thinking was inherent in Sriabin. He had a striving to the destruction of existing borders when choosing expressive means and, at the same time, to the strict scheme of it's organization. (Schletzer believes that if Scriabin did not possess strong rational intellect, he would perished from the pressure of "violent creative forces" [4, p.7]. And exactly that scheme of spirit evolution (as universal one) was used by composer to explain many phenomena. Even in a period before "Prometheus" he ordered modulation plan of some of his works according to this mysterial scheme [1, p.405; 5, pp.158-182].

"Prometheus" appeared to be an original rehearsal of "Mystery" [2, p.34]. In the latter, the actors ought to live through and "recall" the evolution of seven main races. That is why Scriabin supposed to arrange tonality development of "Prometheus", at least at the main points, acording to gamme anhemitonique (integer tone scale): Fis, As, B, C, D, E, Fis, when the tones plot the familiar trajectory:




where Fis, by composer's definition, is spiritual and C - the most material, earthly tonality.

Correspondingly, the colors in "Prometheus" light part (see the table at p. 33) ought to turn from spiritual to material and again to spiritual ones [1, pp.106, 224]:




Using similar scheme, he explained the features of his harmony language, first of all that of "Prometheus" [1, pp. 47, 101, 223]:

formely existed unity   of harmony and melody   

heir  synthesisin Scriabin's music

their differentiation
in classic music

he same scheme was used in his conception of art synthesis [2, pp.64-84]: 

undivided unity ofactor and viewer "United Arts", "Mystery"

emergence of "footlights", division into hall and stage; emergence of the dipole "creator-consumer"

 His belief in the scheme in general, and this particular scheme was so great, that when Sabaneyev asked him whether he will be able to handle the other arts material in his striving for utmost point of synthesis, Scriabin found it possible to answer by the following graphic illustration:

              Scriabin explained to his interlocutor that in order to achieve this end it is not necessary to move along all these paralel lines simultaneously: it is enough to be the first at one of them (music) to get the same point as well [1, p.171].

It would be a display of false piety taking no notice of somewhat naive scholasticity of such conclusions of the composer, resulted from metaphysical type of his initial scheme. But, irrespective of his concrete ways he discovered purposes and methods of synthesis, it is significant for us now that Scriabin championed quite objective tendencies, which became ripe in the art at the beginning of 20th century. Independently of unique and paradoxial private grounds he put forward to justify his actions, Scriabin was the first who made the light-music composition "Prometheus" and later on came close to understanding of principles and potentialities od audiovisual polyphony.


  1. L.Sabaneyev. "Memories on Scriabin" - M., Muzsector Gosizdat'a, 1925.
  2. L.Sabaneyev. "Scriabin" - M., Gosizdat, 1923 (2nd ed.).
  3. Yu.Engel. "A.N.Scriabin. Biography" - Petrograd, "Muzykalny sovremennik", N 4-5, 1916.
  4. B.Schletzer. "A.Scriabin", v.1 - Berlin, Pub. House "Grany", 1923.
  5. A.Alshwang.  "On the philosophy system of Scriabin"; S.Markus. "On the features and origins of the philosophy and aesthetics of Scriabin" - From: "A.N.Scriabin". - M.-L., Gosmusizdat, 1940.
  6. A.Scriabin. "Letters", collected and edited by A.V.Kashperov - M., "Muzyka", 1965.
  7. E.Kotomin. "On the harmony of Scriabin" - Kiev, "Muzichna Ukraina", 1971.