By Lynn M. Sargeant
Harmony and Discord: song and the Transformation of Russian Cultural Life explores the advanced improvement of Russian musical lifestyles throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. on the middle of this cultural background lies the Russian Musical Society, as either a different driver at the back of the institutionalization of tune and a consultant of the growing to be value of voluntary institutions in public existence. Sustained concurrently through inner most initiative and cooperative relationships with the kingdom, the Russian Musical Society performed a key function within the construction of Russia's infrastructure for tune and track schooling.
Author Lynn M. Sargeant explores the fluid nature of Russian social identification throughout the huge scope of musical existence, together with not just the "leading lighting fixtures" of the period but in addition rank-and-file musicians, lecturers, and scholars. even though Russian musicians longed for a safe position in the new hierarchy of professions, their social prestige remained ambiguous during the 19th century. conventional reliance on serf musicians and foreigners left lasting scars that encouraged musicians' efforts to procure felony rights and social respectability. And women's expanding visibility within the musical global provoked acrimonious debates that have been, at center, efforts through male musicians to bolster their claims to expert prestige by way of denying the legitimacy of woman participation. Sargeant demonstrates that the profitable improvement of a Russian musical infrastructure salved chronic anxieties approximately Russia's position vis-à-vis its ecu cultural rivals. Remarkably, the associations built by means of the Russian Musical Society survived the upheavals of struggle and revolution to turn into the root for the Soviet musical system.
A wealth of historic documentation makes Harmony and Discord required examining for musicologists, sociologists and historians attracted to this era, and the abundance of a laugh anecdotes and the author's lucid and energetic literary variety make it an relaxing historical past for all readers.
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Extra info for Harmony and discord : music and the transformation of Russian cultural life
11 At home, the daughters and sons of the nobility learned music from an early age as part of their upbringing. At school, their musical educations often continued. Elite women’s institutions, such as the Institutes for Noble Girls, offered their pupils instruction in 18 harmony and discord voice and piano. Male gymnasia pupils also studied music, with supplementary lessons on the piano or orchestral instruments usually available as well. The purpose of musical instruction in these institutions was not to train professional musicians or music teachers.
55 Beneath this criticism was a much broader one on the neglect of the orchestral repertoire in favor of the opera, even on the concert stage, a far from silent world 33 which he believed was a symptom of the deep inadequacy of Russian musical life. Audiences remained indifferent to concert music except when they had no other choice, in other words during Lent. Even then, concert organizers were happy to pander to the operatic tastes of the temporarily concertgoing audience, leading to a tragic impoverishment of the repertoire.
Although the best concerts featured polished, well-known performers, the Lenten season also provided amateur musicians and enthusiasts with an opportunity to display their skill, taste, and wealth. While a relatively small number of “truly expert amateur musicians,” hosted signiﬁcant concerts, there were “entire streets of the dwellings of self-styled music lovers” whose homes resounded with an unceasing cacophony of “sextexts, quintets, quartets, trios, or if necessary, duets,” which the hosts, “worthy heir[s] of Midas,” insisted on calling concerts, but more impartial observers damned as chaos.