Musical Cultures in Seventeenth-Century Russia

Musical Cultures in Seventeenth-Century Russia

Claudia R. Jensen
Distribution: World
Publication date: 9/21/2009
Format: cloth 376 pages, 10 b&w illus., 27 music exx.
6.125 x 9.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-35354-2
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Winner, University of Southern California Book Prize in Literary and Cultural Studies, ASEEES
Claudia R. Jensen presents the first unified study of musical culture in the court and church of Muscovite Russia. Spanning the period from the installation of Patriarch Iov in 1589 to the beginning of Peter the Great's reign in 1694, her book offers detailed accounts of the celebratory musical performances for Russia's first patriarch—events that were important displays of Russian piety and power. Jensen emphasizes music's varied roles in Muscovite society and the equally varied opinions and influences surrounding it. In an attempt to demystify what has previously been an enigma to Western readers, she paints a clear picture of the dazzling splendor of musical performances and the ways in which 17th-century Muscovites employed music for spiritual enlightenment as well as entertainment.

Author Bio

Claudia R. Jensen has published articles on Russian music in The Musical Quarterly and Journal of the American Musicological Society. She is editor (with Miloš Velimirović) of Nikolai Findeizen's History of Music in Russia from Antiquity to 1800 (IUP, 2007).


"Even Russian scholars inside Russia will find this book illuminating and giving new insights into their own musical and historical development, presented more systematically than in any currently available study." —Miloš Velimirović, Professor Emeritus of Music, University of Virginia (1922–2008)

"Jensen focuses on a very specific—and little researched and written about—topic and period: the music of the court and church in Muscovite Russia. . . . This is a book for music scholars and for those pursuing study of Russian history. . . . Recommended." —

"Musical Cultures in Seventeenth-Century Russia offers both a model of meticulous scholarship and a fascinating read. . . . Jensen has significantly enhanced our knowledge of multiple aspects of a critical period in Russian cultural history." —Slavic Review

"With the publication of this book another invaluable source has been added to the growing canon of important literature dealing with Russia's early musical history. . . . From music at court, organ music and organ building, to music at table and court theater, Cladudia R. Jensen invites us into a world the likes of which we were blissfully unaware." —The Russian Review

"The book, in its compactness, is a tour de force of wide-ranging and meticulous prospecting." —Notes , Vol. 67, No. 2, December 2010

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Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations

Introduction: The New Patriarch
1. The True False Dmitrii and the Death of Music in Moscow
2. "Wondrous singers and exceptional voices": Singers and Singing in Muscovy
3. "Sweet and harmonious singing": Domestic Singers and Domestic Singing
4. Tavern and Wedding: The Instrumental Traditions at the Muscovite Court
5. Nikolai Diletskii: Language and Imagery in Muscovite Music Theory
6. The Muscovite Court Theater
Epilogue: Reversing Our Gaze: A Case Study

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