Add to favorite
Subscribe to our Newsletters Subscribe to our Newsletters Get Daily Updates RSS

Russian Music of the 16th Century
June 16, 2014 14:43

In the 15th – 16th centuries the idea of angel-voice singing associated with monothematic unison singing was reconsidered. It happened along with the shift in Russian iconography to the concept of Trinity actively developed since the 15th century. Just like Andrey Rublyov's Trinity became the highest expression of the theological doctrine, so the idea of trinity was expressed in the Russian church music with the special form of polyphony named the 3-line hymnody. For this type of singing the voices were written serially in lines one over another making a multi-colored score. The main voice was the “way”, i.e. the middle voice leading the Znamenny (plain) chant melody. It was framed with the higher “top” and lower “bottom” voices. For long time Russia kept the custom of entrusting the most important chants to three young men. The prototype of 3-lyne hymnody was probably the biblical story from the Book of Daniel about three adolescents, who did not bow to the gold idol; they were punished by the Babylonian tsar Nebuchadnezzar, who plunged them into a fiery furnace, where the three sang thanksgiving to God and were rescued by angels that came down from the sky.

Creation of the three-line hymnody is attributed to the chanters Savva and Vasily Rogovs (from Novgorod), who were considered the most authoritative musicians in Moscow of the second half of the 16th century.
The traditional Znamenny chant (aka echoes chant or Russian chant) was changed as well. Remaining within the limits of monothematic choral singing, Russian chanters managed to create a few new chants. For example, there appeared a traveling banner by which canticles were performed to accompany various church processions. At the end of the 16th century they created the Big Chant characterized with inexhaustible melodic richness. A new phenomenon was the Demestvenny Chant standing out in magnificence and grandiose splendor of sounding. Its name was associated with the precentor – domestic – who memorized all the melodies that were unconditioned by traditional music laws.
The development of the Russian singing culture brought about the choir of monarchic clerk vicars to appear in Moscow. It was headed by the precentor, who was assisted by the senior choir singer with a very good voice (usually baritone), profound knowledge of the Typikon. The latter was responsible for training young singers and taking care of rules. This choir existed under different names for more than 300 years.


Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Russian Culture Russian History Russian Music   

Next Previous

You might also find interesting:

Vanished Towns of Russia: Mologa Artistic Culture of the 19th Century, Part 2 Russian Science of the 18th Century 5 Historical Gardens Of St. Petersburg: Part 5 - Yusupovsky Garden Russian Culture of the 12th 13th Centuries, Part 1

Comment on our site

RSS   twitter   facebook   submit

Bookmark and Share


search on the map
Portnoy Beso  Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia  Elena Basner  Sochi 2014  mobile communications  children  Imereti   Maksimilian Voloshin  Russian Film Distribution  Ildar Abdrazakov  Life Saving  Russian opposition activists  Russian oil companies  Russian army  Altai Territory  US sanctions  Russian women  Festival "Argentina in Moscow"  Amkar  Russian Poets  Moscow Kremlin   Russian business  Moscow  Ryazan  Satellite Imagery  Colliders  Russian plants  Russian tourism  Archeology  Russian Astronauts  odd news  Russian Literature  Exhibitions in Moscow  Russian history  Tula Region  Golden Magic of 21st Century  Navalny  St. Petersburg  Cinema Fund  Ralph Fiennes  ClearMath  Russian artists  Victory Day  Spasskaya Tower  Photomontage  Football Stadium Kazan Arena  Buryatia  Musika Frère  Kalashnikov machine gun  Russian Cinema 

Travel Blogs
Top Traveling Sites