From the History of 19th Century Russian Folk Music Studies: from Empirical Study to Theory

Ekaterina E. Golenishcheva, Olga I. Kulapina


The object of research in this article is the art of folk singing in the works of 19th century folklorists, when the interest
in the artistry of the Russian people acquired the characteristics of stability. The authors set for themselves the task of
tracing out the evolution of perspectives on folk song performance in the triad of “practice-scholarship-education,”
stemming from the temporal factor, relying on professional interests, artistic priorities and predilection of taste of
the Russian researchers. While Alexander Serov became the founder of folk music studies in Russia and Vladimir
Odoyevsky set the course on enlightenment and education in terms of folklore culture, the practical skills in collecting
the folk song legacy were connected with the endeavors of Evgenia Linyova, which already pertains to the beginning
of the 20th century. The aim of the article is expressed by the methodological vector: to show how the folkloristic
scholarly thought, which had achieved a professional level in the second half of the 19th century, beginning with its
sources – the first empirical-theoretical observations and descriptive works, was developed in a successive pattern.

Keywords: Russian folk songs, folk song performance, musical folklore studies, works by 19th century folklorists.

Full Text:

PDF (Russian)


Bakhtin V. S. U russkoy pesni zhenskoe litso [The Russian Songs Possesses a Feminine Face]. Russkie pesennitsy nashikh dney [Female Russian Singers In Our Days]. Edited and Compiled by V. S. Vinogradov. Mos-cow, 1988, pp. 3–38.

Golenishcheva E. E. L. L. Khristiansen i ego rol' v stanovlenii professional'nogo narodno-pevcheskogo iskusstva, nauki, obrazovaniya [L. L. Christiansen and His Role in the Development of the Art, Science and Education of Professional Folk Singing]. URL: http://

Zemtsovsky I. I. Russkaya sovetskaya muzykal'naya fol'kloristika [Soviet Russian Musical Folklore]. Voprosy teorii i estetiki muzyki [Questions of Music Theory and Aesthetics]. Issue 6–7. Leningrad, 1967, pp. 215–262.

Zemtsovsky I. I. Fol'kloristika kak nauka [Folklore Studies as an Academic Discipline]. Slavyanskiy muzykal'nyy fol'klor: st. i mat. [Slavic Folk Music: Articles and Materials]. Moscow, 1972, pp. 9–79.

Istomin I. A. Melodiko-garmonicheskoe stroenie russkoy narodnoy pesni: issledovanie [The Melodic and Harmonic Structure of the Russian Folk Song: Research]. Moscow: Sovetskiy Kompozitor, 1985. 184 p.

Kastalsky A. D. Stat'i. Vospominaniya. Materialy [Article. Memoirs. Materials]. Edited and Compiled by D.V. Zhitomirsky. Moscow: Muzgiz, 1960. 292 p.

Kulapina O. I. Osnovy ladogarmonicheskoy sistemy russkoy narodnoy muzyki: monografiya [The Foundations of the Modal and Harmonic System of Russian Folk Music: a Monographic Book]. Moscow; Saratov: The Saratov State L.V. Sobinov Conservatory, 2004. 356 p.

Lobanov M. A. Vydayushсhiysya issledovatel'- fol'klorist [A Prominent Researcher in Folklore]. Sovetskaya muzyka [Soviet Music]. 1971, No. 10, pp. 135–139.

Narodnoe muzykal’noe tvorchestvo [The Folk Music Legacy]. Edited by O. A. Pashina. St. Petersburg: Kompozitor, 2005. 568 p.

Odoyevsky V. F. Muzykal'no-literaturnoe nasledie [Musical and Literary Heritage]. Moscow: Muzgiz, 1956, 729 p.

Russkaya mysl' o muzykal'nom fol'klore: materialy i dokumenty [The Russian Thought about Musical Folklore: Materials and Documents]. Compiled by P. A. Vulfius, Introduction by E. M. Orlova, Edited and Compiled by O. I. Sokolova. Moscow: Muzyka, 1979. 367 p.

Serov A. N. Russkaya narodnaya pesnya kak predmet nauki [The Russian Folk Song as an Object of Scholarship]. Edited Compiled by A. S. Ogolevets. Moscow: Muzgiz, 1952. 64 p.

Smirnov D. V. Stanovlenie muzykal'noy fol'kloristiki kak uchebnoy distsipliny v Rossii kontsa XIX – nachala XX veka [The Formation of Musical Folklore as An Educational Discipline in Russia in the Late 19th and Early 20th Century] URL: http://econf.rae. ru/article/7733.

Sokalskiy P. P. Russkaya narodnaya muzyka, velikorusskaya i malorusskaya v ee stroenii melodicheskom i ritmicheskom i otlichiya eyo ot osnov sovremennoj i garmonicheskoj muzyki [The Russian Folk Music of Great and Little Russia in its Melodic and Rhythmic Structure, and its Distinction from the Foundations of Contemporary and Harmonious Music]. Kharkiv, 1888, 396 p.

Shamina L. V. Osnovy narodno-pevcheskoy pedagogiki: ucheb. posobie [The Fundamentals of the Pedagogy of Folk Singing: Textbook]. Moscow: Grafika, 2007. 202 p.

Shchurov V. M. Stilevye osnovy russkoy narodnoy muzyki [The Stylistic Foundations of Russian Folk Music]. Moscow: Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory, 1998. 465 p.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.