Some Thoughts on the History and Historiography of Russian Music

Richard Taruskin

in On Russian Music

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780520249790
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942806 | DOI:
Some Thoughts on the History and Historiography of Russian Music

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This chapter highlights general understanding and interpretation of Russia's emergence as a producer of art music, and the cultural evaluation of the music. It is extremely mendacious and tendentious historiography that emanates from the U.S.S.R. Russian music, above all, in terms of its Russianness, has ingrained many prejudices and lazy habits of thought. It is often taken for granted that everything which happened in Russian music has a direct relationship, positive or negative, to the national question, which is often very reductively construed in terms of “sources in folk song and church chant.” This in turn can, and often does, become a normative criterion: an overtly quotational national character is taken as a mark of value or authenticity; and its absence, conversely, as a mark of valuelessness.

Keywords: Russian music; art music; folk song; church chant

Chapter.  12992 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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