The article aims to research such an important and actual to different epochs or style directions issue of artistic thinking, which is related to different forms of self-expression of a composer, in particular, the construction of the artistic text on the basis of "one’s own" and "someone else’s" musical material.
It should be noted that the creative method of citation, in its broadest sense, is present in the European professional music from the very beginning, but is gaining special importance in the two, chronologically distant from each other, epochs - Baroque and the 20th century. Different forms of citations are found in each of them and, what is interesting, the attitude of authors towards "someone else's" texts also differ. The article analyses the citation principle at different levels, in particular, as a component of the musical language, as a whole text, as well as at the levels of the form, genre and style.
It is noteworthy, how the author's attitude towards “someone else’s” text is manifested and how it is changing in various historical epochs, what is its artistic aesthetic goal, to what extent, how and in what conditions "someone else’s" is assimilated by “one’s own” and in what cases it is not. Thus, it also becomes the relationship of the text and the context.
The conclusion is based on the carried out comparative analysis, what is similar and what is different in the works of the 17-18th and 20th century composers in connection with the issue of the study.