music question (fwd)
- Salut! The message before was sent to me a while ago, however other than
point her to Musica Russica I couldn't really help much. I Was wondering
if other gentles on the list might be able to provide assistance.
From: Carey B. Gorla <AgnesVF@...>
Subject: music question
Hi my name is Lady Agnes von Frunsberg, mka Carey Gorla.
The instrumental group that I'm in is interested in any period
Russian music which we can find although preferable anything which
originates on or around 1500. Yule court for our barony this year has a
theme of 1500 Russian so we thought it would be nice if we could find
anything to go with the theme. It doesn't necessarily have to be Russian
but perhaps something from a nearby country. It doesn't matter how many
parts are in the music we're just looking for something so we can get
started making sure we have enough people and have time to practice. All
we need is all the information we would need to be able to order it. Any
info you could provide would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Lady Agnes von Frunsberg
- Except for religious music (all vocal), I don't think any scores (readable
ones, that is) exist for our period.
I believe that the *real*, *traditional* folk music (songs) is period. It is
an informed guess on my part, but it seems to follow other patterns of
How do you know whether it's the "real, traditional, old" stuff? First, you
can look at early-19th or even pre-19th cent. collections of folk songs.
Second, any evenly rhymed and readably rhythmic lyrics are later creations,
or not folk at all. (Such as the all-popular, and I like it too, so there,
"Korobushka": 19th cent. lyrics by a well-known poet, late-19th cent. music).
PS: I'll be off the list for about 2 weeks. See you (read you?!?) later!
- The only really documentably period Russian music is religious vocal
music. I have several pieces from c.1610 that I can provide copies
of. It's correct that there's a lot of vocal folk music dating from
period, but it's not possible to firmly document and date it - you
have to rely on the style and the theme as mentioned previously.
Music prior to the 16th C was written in a neume-like notation, and
only church music was translated into western notation when it became
popular to use that instead. Folk music was mostly documented in the
19th C, but the musical style was so complex that it's not even
accurately notated - women who sang together couldn't sing their lines
without the other parts, and western notation simply doesn't have all
of the concepts used in Russian music.
Period intrumental music was largely drums and trumpets until the 15th
C when stringed intruments came into use. mostly played by Skomorokhi.
They enjoyed great popularity until the mid 1600s when the instruments
were literally burned on the banks of the river and the minstrels
scattered to the winds.
I have much more info in the lecture notes of my 2-hour class on
period Russian music and the article/class on the Skomorokhi,
available on my web site: http://indra.com/~eliz/SCA/articles.html