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Music of Russia. USAD 2012-2013. Folk Music. Folk songs varied locally from region to region Different villages sang different songs ¨ They also sang different variations of the same song Urban assimilation of villages transformed folk songs

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Music of russia

Music of Russia

USAD 2012-2013


Folk music

Folk Music

  • Folk songs varied locally from region to region

    • Different villages sang different songs

      • ¨ They also sang different variations of the same song

  • Urban assimilation of villages transformed folk songs

    • ¨ In some cases, urban popular music obliterated folk tradition

  • The late 18th century gave rise to folk song transcription

    • Educated urban gentlemen spearheaded the notation of folk music

      • Many of these men were amateur musicians

      • Their work introduced folk songs into the world of art music


Transcription

Transcription

  • Scotland pioneered transcription, but Germany performed most important legwork

  • Achim von Arnim(1781-1831) and ClemensBrentano (1778-1842) compiled Des KnabenWunderhorn (1805-1808)

    • ¨ This folk song collection only included song lyrics

    • ¨ However, ensuing anthologies often featured melodies as well


Johann gottfried herder

Johann Gottfried Herder

  • Johann Gottfried Herder (1744-1803) linked folk songs and nationalism

    • This German philosopher traveled through Europe and Russia

    • He believed national divisions existed based on language

    • Herder considered folk song part of the national, not just local, culture

    • He was one of the first to note the national importance of folk music

    • Herder wrote that folk music channeled national spirit

    • Folk songs became part of national heritage


Transcription methods and their flaws

Transcription methods and their flaws

  • Before audio recording, transcribers relied solely on their memories

    • Circumstances did not always allow the transcriber to hear the song multiple times

      • Even if he did, the same singer might still vary the song

        • Folk tradition did not stress rigid adherence to pitch and rhythm

    • Peasants only performed certain songs on certain occasions

      • Many folk songs were tied to ritual or work-related events

      • Thus, the transcriber only had one chance to listen

      • These events, like weddings, often came with distractions as well


Problems cont d

Problems cont’d

  • The extensive lyrics took a long time to perform

    • Many publishers only printed excerpts from songs

      • A nonsensical verse about nature might have led to a profound tale of love

      • Worse yet, publishers rarely indicated these omissions to the reader

    • Some scholarly works generally included full texts

      • However, the general public could not easily access these publications

  • Even with the help of audio recording, transcribers must still make choices

    • Transcribers must decide which irregularities to preserve and which to exclude


Problems cont d1

Problems cont’d

  • Early transcribers did not bother themselves with issues of authenticity

    • Above all, these transcribers viewed folk songs as market goods

      • Transcriptions needed to appeal to domestic consumers

      • Most arrangements involved solo voice and piano

    • Arrangers ignored or rewrote polyphony and heterophony

      • These textures greatly differed from Western art music

        • Arrangers feared buyers would not approve

    • Sometimes arrangers replaced Western-like idioms to increase “folk” appeal

    • Notated folk songs reflected urban expectation more than rural tradition


More problems with transcriptions

More Problems with transcriptions

  • Despite their claims, arrangers always invented their own harmonies for folk melodies

    • The original songs most often involved only solo voice

    • However, arrangers still claimed to use “authentic” harmonies

  • 20th-century arrangers became more conscious of authenticity and accuracy


Track 1 the day was breaking

Track 1: “The Day was Breaking”

  • This folk song derives from the Smolenskregion

  • “The Day was Breaking” exemplifies the protyazhnaya genre

    • It features a long, winding melody

      • The melody is melismatic

      • Each syllable stretches out over an entire musical phrase

    • Thus, the lyrics unfold incredibly slowly

  • The lyrics refer to army recruitment

    • Russian conscripts served in the Tsarist army for 25 years


The day was breaking cont d excerpt

“The Day was Breaking” cont’d - excerpt

  • Each verse begins with a zapev, or solo introduction

    • The zapev centers on the interval of the fifth

      • Protyazhnayasoften focus on this interval

      • Mikhail Glinka described the fifth as “the soul of Russian music”

  • Podgoloski(“undervoices”) overwhelm the zapev, thickening the texture

    • Each ensuing verse becomes more dissonant

    • At the end of each verse, the texture reverts to unison


The day was breaking cont d excerpt1

“The Day was Breaking” cont’d - excerpt

  • The song takes liberties with intervals

    • At the outset, a minor third featuring the modal center and the third scale degree appears

    • However, at the end of each verse, a major third appears

      • This interval sounds widely tuned compared to Western music

      • 19th century collectors would dismiss the sound

      • However, 20th century collectors indicated the wider tuning in their notation

  • The singers use “open” sounds, just as real folk singers do


Overview

Overview

  • Various types of “Russian folk songs” pervade the musical world

    • Examples include “Dark Eyes,” “Those Were the Days, My Friend,” and “Coachman, Spare Your Horses”

    • A few songs originated in the countryside

    • 19th-century Russian restaurants often featured gypsy singers and choirs

  • Their repertoire included both true folk songs and urban-created “folk” songs

  • Most 18th- and 19th-century collectors focused on notating legitimately rural folk songs

    • These songs reflected local village traditions and rituals

    • However, collections did include the occasional popular song

  • Scholars classify folk songs into genres

    • They base these decisions based on the song’s function

    • They also consider the lyrics and character of the song


Protyazhnaya

Protyazhnaya

  • A solo performer may sing a lyrical song without a special occasion

    • These songs often focus on a tale of unhappy love

    • The best-known subgenre of lyrical songs is the protyazhnaya

  • Protyazhnaya literally means “prolonged”

    • A protyazhnaya typically features a long, winding melodic line

    • The melismatic aspect of the songs further increases their length

      • Melismaticsongs stretch each syllable over a musical phrase

      • Even native Russian speakers struggle to piece together the slowly unfolding lyrics


Music of russia

  • The protyazhnaya took on great symbolic status in the 19th century

    • Nikolai Gogol (1809-1852) established the protyazhnaya as a symbol for Russia as a whole

      • His novel Dead Souls (1842) includes a memorable image

        • Three horses lead a coach across an unending stretch of Russian land

        • The coachman sings a melancholic, interminable protyazhnaya

      • Thus, Gogol implies that both Russia and the protyazhnaya are endless and tragic

      • Many people came to believe all Russian folk songs sounded melancholy

    • City dwellers encountered the protyazhnaya more frequently than other folk genres


Calendar songs

Calendar Songs

  • Rural peasants only performed calendar songs for certain seasonal rituals

    • These occasions include Advent, Christmas, Shrovetide, and the summer solstice

    • The lyrics of these songs often combine pagan and Christian symbols

      • Many Christian festivals replaced earlier pagan holidays

  • Calendar songs differ significantly from protyazhnaya songs

    • Scholars believe calendar songs are much older than lyrical ones

    • Calendar songs use shorter, more syllabic melodic phrases

      • Each pitch corresponds to a single syllable of text


Other folk genres

Other folk genres

  • Wedding songs included joyous hymns and more depressing tunes

    • Tradition required the bride to sing a song lamenting leaving her parental home

  • Funeral laments featured naturalistic sobbing sounds

  • The North of Russia favored byliny, or epic songs

    • These solo tunes recounted ancient legends and historical events

    • Bylinywere syllabic and imitated human speech

  • Labor songs helped coordinate group labor projects

    • Barge workers sang the “Song of the Volga Boatmen”

    • The rhythm allowed the many workers to pull ropes simultaneously

  • Plyasovyerefers to energetic dance songs

    • These repetitive melodies featured strong rhythms

  • Other genres included lullabies, game songs, and military marches


Akh ty step

“Akhty step”

  • V. Sokolovarranged this Russian folk song

  • The song reflects popular (urban) elements rather than true rural roots

  • Three aspects of the song reveal its classification as a protyazhnaya

    • Many songs of this genre feature the same opening line: “O, ye steppes…”

    • The melody features wide intervals

      • The opening starts with an ascending sixth

      • Later, we hear an ascending octave

  • Like other protyazhnayas, the song sounds lyrical and sorrowful


Akh ty step cont d

“Akhty step” cont’d

  • “Akhty step” clearly displays urban influence

    • This arrangement is much less melismatic than traditional folk songs

    • Urban styles override folk-like variants and irregular harmonies

    • The modern choral arrangement adds a hummed introduction and a lengthy conclusion

  • However, the arranger does attempt to imitate folk devices

    • Some of the four verses begin with expressive vocal solos

    • Middle voices actively participate in the harmony

    • The ends of phrases often converge to a unison or octave


Folk songs collections arrangements

Folk Songs Collections & Arrangements

  • Lvov-Pratsch(1790)

    • The Lvov-Pratsch collection was the most influential early folk song anthology

      • It included both text and music

        • Nikolai Lvov transcribed the text

        • Johann (Ivan) Pratscharranged the music

    • City dwellers used the collection for domestic music playing

    • Composers included the arranged melodies in their own works


Lvov pratsch cont d

Lvov-Pratsch cont’d

  • Accusations of Westernization contributed to the collection’s fall from grace

    • Critics charged Pratsch with rewriting melodies to match urban expectation

    • Pratschsupposedly placed accents on the wrong syllables to match Western meter

    • Later musicians found Pratsch’sharmonizations insensitive and Western67

  • Lvov did not keep records of his sources

    • The sources may already have been altered from the rural originals

    • Thus, scholars cannot know the extent of Pratsch’s changes

  • In the 19th century, collectors became more conscious of accuracy and authenticity


Balakirev 1866

Balakirev (1866)

  • The Balakirev collection stressed the distinctive sound of Russian folk music

    • Unlike Pratsch, Mily Balakirev did not try to urbanize folk melodies

      • Rather, he attempted to exaggerate the differences between folk and art music

      • This choice reveals the abrupt shift in consumer taste in the 19th century

    • Balakirev favored non-Western musical ideas and simple harmonies

      • He often used flattened seventh degrees instead of Western leading tones

        • Sometimes he misrepresented sources to emphasize non-Western sounds


Balakirev cont d

Balakirev cont’d

  • Balakirev mostly employed diatonic harmonies

    • In other words, he only used the pitches of a single scale

    • Other than hymns, Western art music did not typically do this

    • These harmonies created a modal sound

  • He used triads rather than four-note chords

    • From 1600 onward, seventh chords frequently appeared in Western art music

    • Balakirev believed folk music should sound more ancient

  • Balakirev also meticulously adhered to the natural stress pattern of words

    • He varied meter rather than sacrifice the stress pattern

  • Despite his scrupulous methodology, Balakirev still produced arrangements

    • In other words, the transcriptions did not accurately reflect folk practice

    • However, they were more accurate than Pratsch’s approach


Melgunov and palchikov

Melgunov and Palchikov

  • Before the late 19th century, collectors did not transcribe polyphony or heterophony

    • Heterophony involves unsynchronized singers performing the same melody

    • It can also refer to a single melody with simultaneous variations

  • Polyphony refers to simultaneous melodies

  • Russian folk collectors were not very aware of these textures in folk song

  • Few early transcribers made serious attempts to notate them

  • Composers imitated the effect vaguely, but few understood the texture well

    • They began folk-like choruses with a soloist

    • They then incorporated the rest of the choir

    • The section ended in unison

  • Composers only became aware of these two textures after recording technology appeared


Yuli melgunov nikolai palchikov cont d

YuliMelgunov &Nikolai Palchikov cont’d

  • YuliMelgunovand Nikolai Palchikoveach attempted to notate folk heterophony and polyphony before recording technology

  • Melgunov published his collection of folk songs in 1879

    • He succeeded in notating heterophony

      • To do so, he listened to the music in melodic, not harmonic, terms

      • He listened to several singers in the same village performing one at a time

      • Then he combined these variations on a single melody into one score

    • His attempts did not truly transcribe a choral folk song

      • However, they served as good approximations of heterophony

    • Composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov dismissed the collection as “barbaric”

      • He could not bear the heterophonic texture

      • The idea contradicted his own method of harmonizing folk songs


Yuli melgunov nikolai palchikov cont d1

YuliMelgunov & Nikolai Palchikov cont’d

  • Nikolai Palchikovproduced the best notation of folk polyphony

    • Palchikovlived in a village

      • Thus, he could observe the same songs and singers multiple times

      • Unfortunately, he also remained in relative obscurity

    • Palchikovstood next to each singer and notated each part

      • He then combined these separate lines into a score

      • The result proved better than Melgunov’s compilation

    • Unfortunately, Melgunov’s collection received greater attention

      • Melgunov’sarrangements introduced Russian folk texture to the art world


Linyova 1904

Linyova (1904)

  • YevgeniyaLinyovareleased her first folk song collection in 1904

    • She spearheaded the use of audio recording technology

    • Now, composers could not deny the textures in Russian folk music

  • Composer Igor Stravinsky was the first to embrace these folk textures

    • Other 20th century composers eagerly followed his lead

    • At the time, composers longed to break established composition rules


Folk songs in classical music

Folk Songs in Classical Music

  • Composers’ uses for folk song

    • Composers used folk themes to characterize lower-class characters in operas

      • For instance, Mikhail Glinka used folk songs to designate peasants in A Life for the Tsar

    • Other composers believed folk melodies made music sound more “national”

      • Philosophers like Herder reinforced this belief

      • Glinka chose Russian folk songs to differentiate his work from Italian operas

    • The use of familiar folk melodies also garnered sympathy and acclaim from audiences

    • Folk music also contained new techniques

      • Glinka and other composers drew inspiration for technical innovations

    • Composers often included folk melodies for several of the above reasons


Folk songs in classical music cont d

Folk Songs in Classical Music cont’d

  • Myths and exaggerations

    • Many “national” composers exaggerated their knowledge of folk traditions

      • Often, their biographers published gross overstatements

      • In truth, most 19th-century composers came from privileged backgrounds

        • They did not grow up listening to folk music

        • Most composers consciously studied folk music in their adult years

      • Rimsky-Korsakov himself denied rumors of his familiarity with folk songs

        • He did not experience folk music until his twenties

        • Rimsky-Korsakov studied Balakirev’s collection of transcriptions


Music of russia

  • Contemporary critics often exaggerated the authenticity of quoted folk songs

    • Composers rewrote folk melodies to suit their own works

      • The songs themselves transformed en route from the village to the city

    • Rimsky-Korsakov presented a folk song melody simply

      • He often used a solo woodwind instrument

      • The accompaniment consisted of subtle string pizzicato

      • Rimsky-Korsakov kept harmony to a minimum, using long pedal notes

        • A pedal note refers to a long sustained note, often found in the bass line. Usually, a pedal note contains the root of the harmony.

      • Audiences frequently believed all folk songs sounded like this

        • However, the style was all Rimsky-Korsakov’s creation


Music of russia

  • Most importantly, scholars overplayed the national spirit imparted by folk songs

    • Only peasants from a certain region would recognize a folk song

      • Yet composers came to associate folk song with the entire population of Russia

      • In other words, a tiny little-known part represents the vast whole

    • Folk music does not possess noticeable “Russianness”

      • A foreign audience unfamiliar with Russian music would not recognize it as such


Russian music of the 19 th century

Russian Music of the 19th century


Westernization and russian national identity

Westernization and Russian National Identity

  • Westernization under Peter the Great

    • In the early modern period, Russians set themselves apart from “The West”

      • Ivan the Terrible (r. 1547-1584) allegedly sent several dozens of scholars abroad

        • Unfortunately, none of these students ever returned to share their learning

    • Before Peter the Great, Russia rarely contacted Europe

      • Russia occasionally sent diplomats overseas

      • But, the country did not engage in extended interaction with the West


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  • Peter the Great (r. 1682-1725) began a large-scale Westernization program

    • During his reign, the educated elite increasingly realized Russia’s isolation from the West

      • This epiphany also spread throughout the general population

    • European civilization fascinated Peter

      • He traveled throughout Europe in disguise

      • At one point, the tsar worked as a shipbuilder on a Dutch wharf

    • Peter the Great aimed to recreate Russia as a major European power

      • He intended to establish an irreversible, large-scale program of Westernization


St petersburg

St. Petersburg

  • St. Petersburg became the thriving center of Peter’s “new and improved” Russia

    • Engineers and laborers drained a strategically located marsh to build the city

    • The tsar based the city on Venice and Amsterdam

      • St. Petersburg featured its own harbor and canals

      • It contained towering modern buildings

      • The Europeanized city did not look like any other Russian town


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  • Peter Westernized every aspect of city life

    • The well-organized grid of streets and identical houses emphasized his power

    • He renamed and remodeled all state institutions to fit Western models

    • He forced the aristocracy to adopt European dress and shave their beards

      • Nobles discarded their long robes in favor of European breeches and coats

      • Those who refused to shave were forcibly coerced

  • Peter also hosted assamblei (fashionable balls) and introduced the minuet (slow and graceful ballroom dance for two, the minuet first appeared in the French royal court during the 17th century. Its name derives from the small (menu means “small”) steps required to perform the dance. 18th-century composers often included a minuet-style piece in triple time as a movement in a larger composition.)


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  • Despite heavy resistance, Peter the Great successfully implemented his reforms

    • In part, he triumphed due to sheer ruthlessness

    • His alterations, however, did benefit some segments of the population

    • Still, controversies over Westernization remained for two centuries

      • Communism later declared itself the supreme Westernizing force

      • However, the Soviet Communist movement still diverged from Western ideals


Music of russia

  • The emergence of Russian nationalism : Nationalism only gained major momentum in the late 18th century

    • German nationalist philosophers influenced the educated Russian elite

      • Both nations worked to collect folk songs

    • Russians also began to take interest in their native Slaviclanguage

      • At the time, the urbanized nobility mostly spoke French

    • The Russian elite viewed nationalism in completely cultural terms at this time


Napoleon invades

Napoleon Invades

  • Napoleon’s invasion in 1812 truly launched Russian nationalistic fervor

    • Authorities realized that the army required the support of the entire population

      • Political nationalism first appeared in mass produced patriotic posters and leaflets

        • These advertisements urged all Russians to unite as a single nation

        • They asked individuals to pledge their main loyalty to their nation


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  • The pamphlets succeeded in uniting the Russian population

    • Russian peasants fought French invaders with axes and sticks

    • Citizens set fire to Moscow rather than relinquish it to French forces

  • The defeat of Napoleon gave rise to Russian national awareness


Outcomes of the napoleonic wars

Outcomes of the Napoleonic Wars

  • Though their victory united Russian citizens, the 1812 Patriotic War also fostered dissent

    • Russian military officers and soldiers realized their country’s backwardness

      • These men fought Napoleon back to Paris

      • En route, they noticed the superior infrastructure and greater equality in Europe

      • They also realized that serfdomwas incredibly outdated (Serfdom refers to exploitation of rural peasants by the landowning nobility. The peasants, called serfs, worked for the wealthy landowners in exchange for legal protection and certain other rights. In essence, serfs lived in a condition of modified slavery, as they received no pay and depended on their landlords for all manner of legal, economic, and social welfare.)

        • Most European nations had outlawed serfdom centuries prior


Another outcome the decembrist uprising 1825

Another Outcome: The Decembrist Uprising, 1825

  • Dissatisfied soldiers revolted against the new tsar Nicholas I in December 1825

    • The “Decembrists” aimed to incite social reform

    • Unfortunately, their revolution failed

    • The tsar hanged five of the rebel leaders

    • He also exiled many other participants to Siberia

  • Thus, Napoleon’s invasion also revealed growing frustration within Tsarist Russia


Establishment of russian nationalism

Establishment of Russian Nationalism

  • In 1833, the Russian government established Official Nationalism

    • All Russian schools would teach students this new state ideology

    • Minister of Education Sergei Uvarovintroduced the doctrine

      • He described it with a slogan: “Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality”

        • Orthodoxy referred to the dominant Russian religion, the Orthodox Church

        • Autocracy embodied the unquestionable absolute sovereignty of the tsar

        • However, even Uvarov did not truly understand “Nationality” (narodnost’)

    • At this point, dissatisfied intellectuals developed the concept of nationalism

      • The Russian government did not yet see nationalism as a weapon they could employ


Pyotr chaadayev

PyotrChaadayev

  • Chaadayev’s concerns

    • PyotrChaadayev (1794-1856) expressed concern about Russia’s cultural backwardness

      • His “Philosophical Letter” of 1829 addressed this issue

      • Chaadayev noted that European nations shared common history and traditions

        • Their societies held similar views on justice, law, order, and duty

        • By contrast, Russia never participated in this community

        • Thus, Russia lacked these basic European principles


Music of russia

  • The authorities refused to publish Chaadayev’s “Philosophical Letter”

    • They thought his ideas too controversial

    • Instead, they declared him insane and treated him as such

    • Regardless, manuscript copies spread throughout the nation (USAD made this corrections in June.)

      ‘‘In his land, Peter the Great found only a blank sheet of paper, and he wrote on it: ‘Europe and the West’; since then we have belonged to Europe and the West”


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  • Chaadayev’s work inspired two different ideological groups in the mid-19th century

    • Westernizers believed Russians was part of Europe

      • They supported continued imitation of Western traditions

    • Slavophilesfocused on Russia’s “blind, superficial and awkward imitation” of the West

      • This group advocated the reversal of Peter the Great’s Westernizing reforms

        • They called to reinstate communal law and other abolished practices

      • Slavophilesalso wanted to firmly distinguish Russian Orthodoxy (Eastern Christianity) from Western Christianity (especially Catholicism)

        • They claimed Eastern Christians favored authority and faith over logic and reason

      • Slavophilesalso spoke of a new world order led by Russia, not Europe


Music of russia

  • Like Chaadayev, many other 19th-century intellectuals compared Russians to Westerners

    • Most comparisons were to the French and Germans

      • The French were old enemies from 1812

      • Meanwhile, the Germans made up a large part of St. Petersburg’s high society

    • Comparison and contrast formed the basis for defining Russian “national character”

      • However, this method of analysis also resulted in national stereotypes

        • The French were brilliant but the Russians were profound

        • The Germans were industrious but the Russians were humane and empathetic

    • “Russian character” proved nothing but a philosophical construct


Philosophical influence on music

Philosophical Influence on Music

  • 19th-century Russian composers sought to differentiate themselves from the West

    • Glinka attempted to create a new style of opera

      • He believed Russia displayed greater melancholy than sunny Italy

      • Thus, Russian opera should be more sorrowful than widespread Italian opera

    • The Mighty Handful would adopt similar ideas in the 1860s

    • National stereotypes played a major role in the creation of “Russian style”

      • From the beginning, composers defined Russian music as non-German

      • German stereotypes thus became a major factor in Russian musical development


Class divisions

Class Divisions

  • A great divide existed between the educated elite and the lower classes

    • Late 18th-century writers claimed national character stemmed from the lower classes

      • “The people” (lower-class peasants) made up the majority of the population

    • Upper-class Russians spoke French and tended toward the cosmopolitan

      • Catherine the Great (r. 1762-1796) descended from Germans

      • However, she occasionally wore Russian national garb to tease courtiers

    • The gentry and the peasantry rarely interacted on a regular basis

      • Even servants in noble households did not maintain ties to their rural backgrounds

      • Despite their claims, the elite knew little about the general population


Catherine the great

Catherine the Great


Abolition of serfdom

Abolition of Serfdom

  • The abolition of serfdom in 1861 sparked renewed interest in the peasantry

    • The Peredvizhniki (Russian Realist school) did not idealize peasant life in paintings

    • TheNarodnik(populist) movement inspired intellectuals to move to the countryside

      • Most narodniks were students who left their city homes to join the peasantry

      • The narodniks provided education and medical assistance to rural peasants

      • Peasants often treated the narodniks with indifference or even resentment

        • Interestingly, the peasants placed more stock in social hierarchy than the wealthy

        • The appearance of their superiors seemed unnatural

      • Author Leo Tolstoy worked with peasants on his land

        • He wore a collarless peasant shirt

        • However, he still lived off the rent from said peasants

      • Nikolai Palchikov moved to a village to collect folk song melodies

        • In the village, he worked as a country judge

        • The peasants ultimately accepted him and helped him in his transcriptions


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  • Composer Modest Mussorgsky (1839- 1881) revealed the greatest narodnik influence in art music

    • He originally hailed from the landowning gentry

    • However, he lost his wealth after the emancipation of the serfs

    • Despite his reversal of fortune, Mussorgsky maintained sympathy for the poor

    • He wrote songs presenting different peasant characters

    • For instance, his song “Trepak” features a drunk and depressed peasant

      • This miserable character falls to the snow to awaits his death


East and west

East and West

  • Even as they defined the West, Russians also explored the East

    • The Russian empire spanned a huge continuous stretch of land

      • Finland and Poland formed the Western boundaries

      • The Black and Caspian Seas lay to the South

      • Eventually, the empire stretched from the Baltic to the Pacific

    • “The East” covered many different nationalities and cultures

      • Still, Russians considered a few regions stereotypically “Eastern”

      • These included the Caucasus region, Central Asia, and the Far East


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  • Russian soldiers constantly fought tribes in the Caucasus Mountains and Transcaucasia

    • These tribes waged war on their conquerors hoping to reassert their independence

    • Russians stereotyped “the East” just as they did the West

      • The East, however, was under Russian control

    • Russians viewed the East as exotic

      • These stereotypes affected musical Orientalism80

  • Expansion into Central Asia also influenced Orientalism to a lesser extent

    • The Russian Far East did not influence 19th-century music as much

      • This region was too distant and relatively unpopulated

      • Thus, it received little scholarly attention


Music of russia

  • Perspectives on the role of the East differed

    • Westernizers dismissed the East entirely

      • They claimed the region would not contribute to Russian cultural growth

    • Slavophiles, by contrast, gladly emphasized the role of the East

      • They claimed the East influenced Russian fatalism, mysticism, and autocracy

    • The elite emphasized both the similarities and differences between Russia and the East

      • They often juxtaposed Russia’s simplicity with the East’s exotic extravagance

      • However, Russians also “Orientalized” themselves

        • They emphasized their differences from the West and similarities to the East

        • They depicted themselves as “Barbarians” who opposed Western corruption


Track 3 the glory chorus from a life for the tsar

Track 3: “The Glory Chorus” from A Life for the Tsar

  • Background

  • “The Glory Chorus” comes from the finale of Glinka’s opera A Life for the Tsar

    • This opera as a whole exemplifies Official Nationalism

    • Different elements in this work illustrate “Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality"


Music of russia

  • Featured excerpt

  • In the score, Glinka identifies “The Glory Chorus” as a “hymn-march”

    • The onstage military band emphasizes the martial aspect of the march rhythm

      • The rhythm imitates a Russian Orthodox chant

      • This rhythm consists of a half-note followed by two quarter notes

    • Glinka also uses harmonies unusual for an opera

      • Outer voices move in parallel thirds

      • Such harmonies frequently appear in Orthodox hymns

      • Glinka’s score thus indicates religious and nationalist influences

  • Like the rest of the opera, “The Glory Chorus” embodies Official Nationalism

    • In addition to the “hymn” aspects above, Glinka uses church bells to show Orthodoxy

      • The church bells also reflect Nationality

    • The lyrics glorify the first Romanov tsar in keeping with the principle of Autocracy


Glinka the father of russian music

Glinka: The Father of Russian Music

  • Most Russian music histories begin with Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (1804-1857)

    • Virtually all historians agree that true Russian classical music started with Glinka’s work

      • Many consider his first opera, A Life for the Tsar (1836), the first Russian national opera

  • Of course, opera existed in Russia before Glinka

    • Peter the Great began the development of Russian art music

    • He hoped to prove Russia’s status as an international power

      • His assambleifeatured dance music byWesternmusicians

        • Peter hoped to recreate Western-style music as part of his Westernization campaign


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  • Actual opera first appeared in Russia during TsaritsaAnna’s reign

    • It began as a foreign import from Italy

    • In 1731, an Italian company performed Calandroby Giovanni Ristori in Moscow

    • In 1736, Russian musicians collaborated with an Italian troupe in St. Petersburg

    • They performed The Power of Love and Hate by Francesco Araja


Glinka continued

Glinka continued

  • From then on, opera flourished in Russia

    • The Russian Imperial Court welcomed Italian and French troupes

    • Private opera houses opened in St. Petersburg

      • This development allowed opera to reach wider audiences

    • The first Russian-language libretto appeared in 1755

      • The story centered on the myth of Cephalus and Procris

  • Italian instructors trained Russian opera singers


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  • Glinka’s predecessors set the stage for Russian opera composition

    • Maxim Berezovsky (1745-1777) was the first Russian opera composer to achieve fame

      • Audiences in Russia and abroad recognized his name

      • Other opera composers included YevstigeneiFomin(1761-1800) and Dmitri Bortnyansky(1751-1825)

    • These Italian-trained composers conformed to accepted Western genres

      • While studying in Italy, they wrote opera seria(“serious opera”)

      • These works used mythology as their subject matter

      • One could not differentiate between the Russian and Italian opera seria

    • In Russia, these composers created comic operas based on French archetypes

      • However, the librettos featured Russian language

      • The composers included distinctly Russian plots and characters

      • Audiences reacted favorably to the familiar elements

      • Russian comic operas thus enjoyed considerable popularity


Glinka s innovations

Glinka’s Innovations

  • Many of Glinka’s “innovations” actually existed in the works of his predecessors

    • Glinka’s works often incorporated folk melodies

      • Fomin’sCoachmen at the Relay Station (1787) also reflected folk influence

      • The opera’s opening chorus imitates a protyazhnaya folk song

        • The solo singer is eventually joined by the chorus

    • Glinka’s A Life for the Tsar (1836) focused on a historical, not mythological, subject

      • The story centers on peasant Ivan Susanin

        • He gave his own life to save the future Tsar Mikhail Romanov

      • In 1815, CatarinoCavospremiered an opera based on the same tale

        • A Venetian by birth, Cavos lived and worked in St. Petersburg

        • His version of the story remained immensely popular

        • It took time for Glinka’s opera to step out of Cavos’ shadow


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  • Glinka’s great ambition set him apart from his peers and predecessors

    • His skilled originality put him on par with his European contemporaries

    • These peers included Vincenzo Bellini, Giacomo Meyerbeer, and Hector Berlioz

    • A Life for the Tsar featured no spoken dialogue

      • Every line was sung

      • It was the first Russian-language opera to attempt such a feat

      • Cavos’ version featured long sections of spoken text between arias and songs


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  • Glinka’s ambition proves surprising given his upbringing

    • He lacked any formal composition training86

      • In fact, Glinka regarded himself as a student even in his late years

    • Born to landowners, Glinka participated in his uncle’s private orchestra

      • This ensemble mostly played fashionable overtures

      • Based on this experience, Glinka might have become a composer of light, elegant songs and dances for aristocratic salons

      • In his apprenticeship, he did create such works

      • However, they did not satisfy his lofty aspirations


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  • Glinka honed his skills abroad before returning to dominate Russian opera

    • In Italy, Glinka studied vocal composition

      • He could have settled for writing Italian-style arias and operas

      • However, he dared to dream of a purely Russian operatic form

        • This Russian opera would draw subject matter from Russian history

        • It would prove more serious and musically demanding than Italian opera

    • Glinka learned more difficult compositional techniques in Germany

      • There he studied with theorist Siegfried Dehn

      • In 1834, Glinka returned to Russia after hearing of his father’s death

      • In Glinka’s last year of life, however, he would return to Germany to visit Dehn


A life for the tsar

A Life for the Tsar

  • Glinka’s first opera, A Life for the Tsar, premiered at the Moscow Bolshoi Theatre in 1836

  • The opera featured a clearly monarchist message

    • The storyline implied the divine authority of the Romanov dynasty

      • Russia successfully fought off a Polish invasion in 1613

      • Afterward, the first Romanov tsar took the throne

      • The peasant Ivan Susanin fooled the Poles to allow the tsar time to escape

      • When they discovered the deception, the Poles killed Susanin

    • At the end of the opera, Susanin dies in a forest

      • The epilogue concludes with a somber march

      • Afterward, the chorus cries, “Glory to the Tsar!”


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  • Naturally, Tsar Nicholas I supported the performance87

    • Besides the imperialist storyline, the libretto came from the court itself

      • Baron Rosen, secretary to Nicholas’ heir Alexander II, wrote the libretto

  • Following the premiere, Nicholas I showered Glinka with recognition

    • He offered the composer a royal ring as a token of favor

    • Furthermore, he offered Glinka the highest musical position in his court

  • Despite imperial recognition, Glinka did not write A Life for the Tsar on commission

    • He actually composed quite a bit of the music before Rosen completed the libretto


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  • As Glinka intended, A Life for the Tsar sounds distinctly Russian

    • Glinka first created musical contrast between the Russians and the Poles

      • He characterized the Poles using two Polish ballroom dances

        • Russians were familiar with both the polonaise and the mazurka

        • Both dances involved 3/4 time and dotted rhythms

      • Glinka used more songlike pieces in 2/4 and 4/4 to illustrate the Russians

      • In Act III, Glinka dramatically juxtaposed both styles

        • The Poles demand Susanin’s compliance in a mazurka rhythm

        • Susanin defies them in a protyazhnayastyle


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  • Glinka favored the imitation of folk themes rather than direct quotation

    • The overture mimics a protyazhnaya

    • The opera’s “Rowers’ Chorus” also features a protyazhnaya-like melody

      • Glinka set this melody over a pizzicato string accompaniment

      • The strings represent the balalaika, a plucked string instrument

    • In the entire opera, Glinka only quotes two actual folk tunes


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  • The intelligentsia admired Glinka’s technique and the opera’s apparent Russianness

    • Glinka’s compositions alluded to Russian folk and popular song

      • They also reflected “Romance” influence

      • These musical aspects made the fresh compositions seem familiar to Russian audiences

      • Non-Russian audiences, by contrast, noticed the Italianate elements of the opera


Ruslan and lyudmila 1842

Ruslan and Lyudmila (1842)

  • Glinka based his second opera on a narrative poem by Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837)

    • Many considered Pushkin Russia’s greatest 19th-century poet

    • Unfortunately, he died before he could create a libretto for Glinka

      • The resulting libretto received a great deal of criticism

    • The fairy-tale opera emphasizes musical color over drama

      • Thus, the five acts pass very slowly


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  • In this work, Glinka continued to experiment with the use of color to depict nationality

    • A quoted Finnish song characterized Finn, a kindhearted sorcerer

  • Glinka used many Orientalist devices to represent Ratmir, Lyudmila’s Eastern suitor

    • Remember, Glinka composed this opera before Orientalist clichés developed


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  • The evil dwarf Chernomor received special musical treatment

    • This supernatural creature possessed a beard seven times his height

    • Glinka invented the whole-tone scale to depict Chernomor’s magical existence

      • This scale divides the octave into six equal parts instead of eight

      • It moves in whole steps only

      • Glinka also called this scale his “chemical” scale

    • The whole-tone scale put off conventional rules of tonal harmony

      • This effect evoked a sense of the supernatural

      • Use of this scale indicated that human laws did not apply to the magical creature


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  • The public did not react enthusiastically to the 1842 premiere of Ruslan and Lyudmila

    • Performances discontinued shortly after the premiere

      • Glinka’s popularity plummeted from the high point reached with A Life for the Tsar

    • Glinka considered this failure his greatest disappointment

  • As a result of his letdown, Glinka traveled abroad extensively

    • In Spain, Glinka took folk dancing lessons

      • His experiences inspired the orchestral pieces JotaAragonesa (1845) and Night in Madrid (1848)

  • In the end, Glinka returned to Russian styles in Kamarinskaya (1848)

    • This orchestral work almost reconceived variation form


Glinka s legacy and musical contributions

Glinka’s legacy and musical contributions

  • Russian composers mythologized Glinka and his contributions after his death

    • They took his example as the foundation for a new markedly Russian compositional style

      • His uncommon musical devices became part of Russian national heritage

      • Some of these techniques came from Russian folk music

      • Others, however, simply arose from Glinka’s own creativity


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  • Glinka championed the creation of folk-like musical idioms

    • He believed art music could benefit from elements of folk songs and dances

    • Only some of his folk melodies appeared as direct quotations

      • Glinka imitated folk music in his original material

      • He reproduced protyazhnayas and dance songs alike

    • Glinka also cleverly reproduced folk heterophony

      • He never lived with peasants or used audio technology

      • Thus, he worked with limited understanding of the texture


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  • A Life for the Tsar demonstrates the composer’s affinity for folk-like sounds

    • The introductory chorus switches between a solo singer and the chorus

      • Glinka varied the number of individual voices present in the choral texture

      • Like folk music, he wrote two or three parts that converged to a unison

    • Glinka also employed the folk device peremennost’

      • This technique involved shifting between several equally important modal centers

      • Unlike most Western music at the time, folk tunes did not center on one tonic

      • Glinka’s chord progressions reflected this influence

        • However, he still used standard harmonies

      • Usually, Glinka moved between pairs of relative major and minor scales


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  • The widespread use of 5/4 meter began with Glinka

    • This unusual meter appears in the wedding choruses of both A Life and Ruslan

    • Indirectly, this device reflects folk influence

      • Russian folk poetry featured five-syllable lines that accented the third syllable

      • This characteristic frequently appeared in wedding songs

    • Russian folk song typically uses five notes of different length for the five syllables

      • Glinka, however, used five equal quarter notes

    • Glinka’s disciples treated 5/4 as an authentic Russian meter

      • They also experimented with other uncommon meters

        • Borodin employed 7/4

        • Rimsky-Korsakov used 11/4


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  • The whole-tone scale from Ruslan inspired other innovative scales

    • Rimsky-Korsakov created the octatonicscale

      • This scale alternates whole steps and half steps

      • It spans eight notes, hence the term “octatonic”

      • Rimsky-Korsakov’s invention proved more useful than the whole-tone scale

      • 20th-century classical and jazz music incorporated the octatonic scale

    • Glinka’s fans also divided their works into sections with different musical rules


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  • The composer also popularized “changing-background variations”

    • In fact, Russian scholars refer to this technique as “Glinka variations”

    • Typical variation form changes the melody while the accompaniment remains constant

    • Glinka variations do the exact opposite

      • The melody remains unchanged

      • All other elements (harmony, instrumentation, etc.) vary

    • Despite the deceptive name, Glinka did not originate the Glinka variations

      • Beethoven uses this technique in “Ode to Joy” from his Ninth Symphony

      • Movement 3 from Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 59 No. 2 also features this device

        • In fact, it centers on a Russian melody

        • Possibly, this earlier work inspired Glinka

      • Regardless of the technique’s origin, Glinka created important examples

        • For instance, he used folk themes with changing-background variations

        • This musical technique honored the folk melody


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  • Glinka’s use of different musical colors for different nationalities in opera inspired others

    • This same principle also appeared in the West

      • There, composers referred to the technique as couleur locale

    • Glinka’s supporters focused on two operatic genres

      • They wrote heroic national dramas like A Life for the Tsar

      • Also, they composed fairytales like Ruslan and Lyudmila


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  • Glinka’s orchestral works also influenced subsequent composers

    • He never wrote any symphonies, only single-movement overtures and fantasies

    • Other composers wrote on Russian and non-Russian folk themes

      • Balakirev composed the Czech Overture

      • Rimsky-Korsakov wrote the Serbian Fantasy

    • Glinka’s Kamarinskaya served as a model for future composers

      • This piece features Glinka variations on two themes

      • Similarly, Balakirev wrote Overture on Three Russian Themes

      • Balakirev also composed the piano piece Islamey

      • The composer Lyapunov created the virtuosic Lezghinka Etude for piano


Track 4 kamarinskaya

Track 4: Kamarinskaya

  • Background

  • The single-movement Kamarinskayainvolves a slow theme and a fast theme

    • Glinka alternates between variations on the slow and fast themes

    • The Russian wedding song “From behind Tall Hills” forms the slow theme

      • This theme occurs four times in different registers

      • Each repetition features different texture

      • The fourth statement appears in the bass line


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  • “Kamarinskaya” refers to the sprightly dance tune that makes up the fast theme

    • This melody also lends its name to the piece as a whole

    • Folk tradition repeated this theme in “dance-till-you drop” variations

  • The piece’s form defies any previously established musical form

    • Instead, Glinka reinvents the variation form

    • His techniques elevate the folk melodies and variations


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    • The excerpt on the USAD CD begins with the first fast section

      • The first violin section presents the opening statement of the theme

      • Glinka then adds other instrumental voices to the mix

      • Throughout the variations, Glinka barely alters the melody

        • When he does, the alterations suggest virtuosic fiddling

      • Each phrase sounds like an ostinato pattern

      • The 11th statement modulates from major to minor

        • Glinka emphasizes the opening notes of the slow theme


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    • The slow theme reappears for two-and-a-half statements

    • Then, the kamarinskaya dance tune resumes

      • At one point, Glinka drops the melody altogether, leaving only the accompaniment

      • The tempo slows down slightly as Glinka explores truly innovative variations

        • A C-natural in the horn produces dissonance against a D-major harmony

      • In the end, the tempo quickens triumphantly


    The mighty handful and national style

    The Mighty Handful and “National” Style


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    • The birth of Russian music conservatories

      • The Rubinstein brothers vastly enhanced musical education in Russia

        • Anton Grigoryevich Rubinstein rose to fame as one of the world’s top virtuoso pianists

          • He also worked as a conductor and composer

        • Anton’s younger brother Nikolai also performed as a pianist and conductor

        • A Russian border-guard stopped Anton as he returned from a European concert tour

          • Asked for his occupation, Anton replied that he was a “self-employed artist”

          • The guard did not recognize this profession

          • Anton only received entry for being “the son of a merchant of the second rank”

          • This incident inspired Anton to work to improve the status of Russian musicians


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    • Between 1859 and 1860, the Rubinstein brothers formed the Russian Music Society

      • This institution organized a series of public concerts in St. Petersburg and Moscow

        • Anton worked in St. Petersburg while his brother lived in Moscow

        • The repertoire featured major works by the likes of Beethoven, Schumann, and Mendelssohn

        • For the first time in Russian history, the general population could access art music

        • Previously, a handful of aristocratic enthusiasts shaped most Russian musical life


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    • The Rubinsteins also founded music conservatories in the two major cities

      • The St. Petersburg Conservatory opened in 1862 and the Moscow Conservatory in 1866

      • Musicians and composers no longer needed to enroll in private classes

        • Instead, these conservatories offered comprehensive five-year courses

      • Most professors came from abroad, especially from Germany

      • The conservatories increased the social prestige of musical careers in Russia

      • Russia now entered the wider world of international art music


    Conservatories vs mighty handful

    Conservatories Vs. Mighty Handful


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    • The Mighty Handful led an anti-conservatory movement in Russia

      • These composers argued against conservatoriesdueto nationalistic concerns

        • They feared the institutions would overly Westernize Russian music

        • Conservatories, they claimed, revealed too much foreign influence


    Formation of the mighty handful

    Formation of the Mighty Handful

    • Vladimir Stasov(1824-1906) and MilyBalakirev (1837-1910) became friends in the mid-1850s

      • Both men loved the music world

        • Balakirev performed as a pianist

          • He also composed his own pieces

          • Glinka personally encouraged Balakirev to continue composing

        • Stasov worked as a prominent music critic

      • Both dreamed of a distinctive Russian style of music

        • This style should appeal to both domestic and international listeners

        • Stasovand Balakirev hoped it would sound original and progressive

        • Balakirev and Stasov assembled four other musicians who shared this goal


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    • Stasov first referred to the group as the moguchayakuchka

      • Literally, this name translates to “the mighty little heap”

        • “Handful” sounds more elegant than the original Russian term

      • In English, some refer to the group as “The Five” in reference to the five composers

        • However, this term overlooks the sixth important member, Stasov

          • Stasov alone of the Mighty Handful did not compose his own works

          • Nonetheless, he helped establish the group’s nationalist ideology

          • As a critic, he also promoted the group’s music and discredited rivals


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    • Balakirev served as the Mighty Handful’s musical mentor

      • He was the only full-time musician in the group

      • At the time, composers struggled to maintain a living

      • Balakirev earned the majority of his income by teaching piano lessons

      • He still lived in relative poverty


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    • The opera-loving Cesar Cui worked as an engineer building military fortifications

    • Army officer Modest Mussorgsky played the piano skillfully

      • However, he only composed polkas for aristocratic ladies

    • Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov composed between tours of duty as a naval officer

    • Alexander Borodin served as an internationally acclaimed chemistry professor

      • He played the cello in his spare time


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    • Despite their talent, the four lacked knowledge of technique and important repertory

      • Balakirev taught them the devices needed for large-scale works

      • He also introduced them to the masterworks of famous composers


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    • Balakirev approached teaching differently than the conservatories

      • Of course, Balakirev stood firmly opposed to the conservatories

      • He favored a demanding but informal approach

        • Unlike conservatories, he did not assign exercises or “pastiche” composition

        • Instead, Balakirev played arrangements of symphonies on the piano

          • Mussorgsky, the skilled pianist, often joined him in duets

          • Balakirev then pointed out interesting forms, features and techniques

        • Balakirev sometimes created his own terms to explain music theory


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    • Balakirev did assign ambitious homework projects, though

      • He instructed Borodin and Rimsky-Korsakov to write a symphony

      • The task required a good amount of help and advice, according to letters

      • Mussorgsky and Cui attempted to write operas

  • Despite his stringent expectations, Balakirev also proved incredibly kindhearted

    • He himself composed passages that seemed beyond the skill of his students

      • When the scores were published, Balakirev did not claim credit

  • In the end, Balakirev’s pupils surpassed him in terms of fame

    • He selflessly devoted his attention to cultivating the group’s skill and creativity

      • Thus, he did not spend enough time on his own works

      • Completed late in his career, his works did not receive great recognition


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    • Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade features arabesque100 patterns in solo violin

      • A similar device appears in the solo clarinet from Balakirev’s Tamara

      • Balakirev’s work probably inspired Rimsky-Korsakov’s

      • However, Scheherazade’s greater popularity leads listeners to believe the opposite


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    • Creating “Russian style”

      • Balakirev and Stasov aimed to create the image of a unified “musical party”

        • Cui also proved instrumental in molding the Handful’s public image

          • His writings saw publication in both Russia and France

        • The group worked in close cooperation in the 1860s

          • The composers wrote their first large-scale works collectively

          • Balakirev believed the compositional process should involve the entire group’s input

          • At first, the composers all pursued similar ideals

          • In later years, however, their ideas diverged considerably


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    • To create “Russianness,” Balakirev mainly advocated avoidance of Western clichés

      • Balakirev used pieces by some Western composers as negative examples for his pupils

        • Felix Mendelssohn’s works allegedly represented Germanic “routine”

          • Balakirev hated the smooth musical periods characteristic of these pieces

        • Balakirev also disparaged the overly sentimental compositions of Frederic Chopin


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    • However, Balakirev did approve of “progressive,” original Western composers

      • Balakirev championed the works of Ludwig van Beethoven and Robert Schumann

        • He admired these composers’ use of strong rhythmic motives

        • Moreover, he liked their compelling experiments with form

      • Franz Liszt and Hector Berlioz also met with Balakirev’s approval

        • These composers skillfully wrote “program music”

        • Their compositions used musical colors to depict characters and events

      • In addition to these Western composers, Balakirev also promoted Glinka’s works


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    • Above all else, Balakirev stressed the importance of originality in composition

    • “Russianness” would result from avoidance of Western devices

      • For instance, he instructed his students to avoid common harmonic progressions

      • He considered the IV-V-I cadence too clichéd

      • Instead, he suggested skipping the dominant (V), creating a IV-I cadence

      • Otherwise, the composers might disguise the dominant chord


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    • Balakirev also taught his students to incorporate folk and Oriental idioms

      • The Mighty Handful turned to folk song for non-Western material

        • Balakirev alone traveled through Russia to collect folk melodies

          • Most of the songs came from educated individuals, not the peasants themselves106

          • Still, Balakirev published 40 of these tunes in 1866

            • His collection included his own original piano accompaniments

            • The Mighty Handful seized this material for their own compositions


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    • These accompaniment devices reflected Balakirev’s tastes, not the original tunes

    • However, due to the Handful’s widespread use, many listeners mistakenly


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    • The Caucasus region inspired the Handful to develop the Oriental style

    • Balakirev absorbed Georgian, Armenian, and Turkic musical elements

    • ¨ New melodic and instrumentation ideas shaped the Handful’s works

    • ¨ These foreign devices helped distance the Handful from Western composers

    • ¨ Oriental music sounded instantly non-Western

    • ¨ It proved more difficult to make folk music sound non-Western

    • o Audiences reacted favorably to the Oriental style

    • o Western listeners began to notice the Handful

    • o For various reasons, they identified all Handful compositions as distinctly “Russian”


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    • Many Russian composers incorporated the new Oriental style in some of their works

      • Balakirev began the movement in the 1860s with his piece Islamey

        • Finished in 1869, this piano piece centers on a Caucasian-inspired folk dance

        • Balakirev applied Glinka variations to the theme

        • Liszt’s virtuosic compositions also influenced Balakirev’s piece

      • Rimsky-Korsakov wrote Antar(1868), a symphonic suite

        • The music depicted an Eastern fairy tale in Oriental style

      • Borodin’s opera Prince Igor featured the Orientalist PolovtsianDances

        • Mussorgsky and Cui also experimented with Oriental themes in opera


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    • The Handful also turned to Glinka’s oeuvre (composer’s lifetime works) for inspiration

    • Thanks to the Handful, listeners considered Glinka’s innovations innately “Russian”

      • In particular, these composers favored the changing-background variations form

      • This device proved especially useful for pieces based on folk themes


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    • Rimsky-Korsakov expanded on Glinka’s approach to the supernatural

      • His fairytale and supernatural works featured Glinka’s whole-tone scale

      • Rimsky-Korsakov also invented the octatonic scale

        • This scale alternates half steps and whole steps

        • It contains eight pitches in an octave rather than the typical seven

        • Russian scholars call this device the “Rimsky-Korsakov scale”

        • Today, jazz composers still use the scale


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    • Like Glinka, Rimsky-Korsakov used his unique scale to suspend tonal rules

      • This effect resulted in an unearthly, exotic sound

      • In Sadko, this scale represents the Underwater Kingdom

    • Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera Kashchei the Deathless also features this scale


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    • The Mighty Handful also embraced Glinka’s use of unusual meters

      • They realized folk melodies did not easily conform to regular meters

        • Thus, they switched between measures of 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4

        • Besides Glinka’s trademark 5/4, his followers used 7/4 and 11/4


    Second symphony opening

    Second Symphony, Opening

    • Alexander Borodin composed this symphony

    • Russian musicians nicknamed the piece Bogatyrskaya

    • o Borodin did not intend to create a truly programmatic piece

      • However, he thought the opening theme represented bogatyri, ancient Russian warriors


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    • The striking opening begins with a unison line carried by the entire orchestra

      • The first movement repeats this first phrase several times

        • Each repetition sounds more grand

      • Borodin employs augmentation, lengthening the note values of the phrase


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    • Two keys shape the opening section

      • It starts out in B minor, though the first phrase contains two chromatic pitches

      • The repetition of the phrase modulates to D major

      • The piece continues to hover between these two closely related keys

    • Unlike German symphonic allegros, the symphony does not establish one main key

      • The uncertainty of the key vaguely reflects the folk technique of peremennost’

        • In peremennost’, a piece shifts between two modal centers

        • Unlike Western music, no single tonic defines the key of the piece


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