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21 September 2018


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History of Music in Russia from Antiquity to 1800

Volume 1

This monumental work took Findeizen 40 years to compile and write. Finally published in Soviet Russia in 1928-9 at the time of the author’s death, it has been the cornerstone for serious Russian musical history for 80 years. And now, thanks to IU Press, it has been translated into English and handsomely presented in a two-volume set.

Findeizen traces the origins of Russian musical instruments, culture and composition back to the Scythians, stopping along the way in Pagan Rus, Kievan Rus, Novgorod, and Roma nov Russia. Meticulously indexed, it includes relevant musical scores as appendices and is wonderfully illustrated with everything from images of instruments to skomorokhi. There are copious tables of little known musical terms, samples of chastushki, synopses of operas, lists of published works and famous musicians and composers… If it took place in Russia from 1 AD to the end of the 1800s and had to do with music, you are likely to find something in here about it. An invaluable reference work.

— Paul E. Richardson

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Reviewed in Russian Life: July/Aug 2008