'Folk ballad "Prince Mikhailo" in the context of the Russian musical and epic tradition ' PHILHARMONICA. International Music Journal nbpublish.com
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PHILHARMONICA. International Music Journal

Folk ballad "Prince Mikhailo" in the context of the Russian musical and epic tradition

Korolkova Inga

PhD in Art History

Associate Professor, Department of Ethnomusicology of Saint Petersburg State Conservatory named after N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov

190000, Russia, Leningradskaya oblast', g. Saint Petersburg, ul. Glinki, 2, aud. 507






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Abstract: The article for the first time carries out a comparative study of variants of the Russian folk ballad "Prince Mikhailo" about the mother-in-law-destroyer. The study summarizes various sources of folk tunes – auditory recordings of the XIX century, publications from folklore archives of collectors of the XX century, previously unpublished folklore materials. Among them are tunes recorded in the Tver, Nizhny Novgorod, Vologda, Murmansk, and Arkhangelsk regions. The author draws attention to a little-known recording of the ballad made in the Novgorod region, and designates the role of this fact as an important evidence of the involvement of Novgorodians in the hit of "Prince Mikhailo" in the Northern Russian territories. The purpose of the study is the need to give a typological and historical assessment of the ballad tunes. A special perspective of the work is aimed at finding related musical forms in other genres of the Russian musical epic. The analysis showed that the ballad tunes recorded in various regions of Russia belong to the same musical type. It is based on a single-verse line of 8-complex composition with a choreographic ending, covering 10 or 12 musical-time units. The melodic features of the tunes testify to their fret unity associated with the narrative orientation of intonation. During the study, it was found that "Prince Mikhailo" is performed only with the melodies of the described structure. Moreover, it is the only proper ballad text assigned to this model. In Russian musical folklore, a structural type with a choreic ending was revealed (in addition to the ballad "Prince Mikhailo") in spiritual poems, tall tales, and some church hymns. The article suggests that it has developed among the Russian professional singers – buffoons and kalik pererozhikh. The role of Ancient Novgorod in the formation of a special cultural environment that contributed to the formation of these social institutions and the musical repertoire of its representatives is indicated.


Novgorod folklore, Russian North, local folk traditions, russian musical epic, folk music, russian folklore, folk ballads, spiritual poems, buffoons, kaliki are transitive

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