Ethnomusicological Phonoarchive of the Belarusian State Academy
Ethnomusicological Phonoarchive of the Belarusian State Academy of
is a type of a archive, which can be defined as academic. Being unique in its
space and content of the materials, presented in different collections, it is
now the only one phonoarchive of the Belarusian traditional music which
functions within the frame of the High School of music in Belarus.
Starting from the very beginning of its existance, this archive was
arranged according to a model of specialised scientific and educational
structure, functioning with the aim of becoming a centralized collecting,
scientific processing (score transcription and analysis, systematization,
catalogization, investigation). Use in an educational process of the higher
music school the authentic examples of the traditional vocal and instrumental
music of Belarus, which had been preserved as the result of a planned field
investigation of ethnic territory of the Belarusians. As an example the creation
in the 1970's with the funds of the ethnomusic in BSAM (the Belarusian State
Lunacharsky Conservatory at that time), the archive of the Cabinet for folk
music of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory, the latter founded and
headed for a long time by the famous K. Kvitka.
Formerly a problem of the status of audioarchives of the
ethnomusic of Belarus has never been widely discussed by a scientific circle.
Neither from a scientific position, nor a methodical one the state of this
archive as a base overdisciplinary unit within a
structure of the ethnomusicology in Belarus
has never been investigated. Now, with a new impulses given to the Belarusian
ethnomusicology, its role as an activator of an educational process in the BSAM
facilitates its acceptance as a base ethnomusicological archive. New
understanding of the activities of the sound-archive, in its turn, makes it
actual a question of observation of its funds from the
position of the content, geography of field
studies, technical level of preservation of the recordings, completeness
of the archive documentation, including the score transcriptions, methods of
scientific systematization and analysis. The modern state of the sound-archive
of the Belarusian traditional music held in the BSAM permits to make such a
survey in almost complete form.
Now, in the year 2007,
the phono-fund of the ethnomusicological sound-archive of the BSAM is composed
from 138 collections of recordings, belonging to 42 collectors. A complete
amount of the materials includes more than 1600 hours of sounding.
From the 1970s the
field-work of the ethnomusicological department of the
Belarusian State Academy of Music progressed in several directions. One
of them is connected with the topics
of the diploma and dissertation works, it is implemented as a part of an
individual field-work plan for the students at graduate and post-graduate
levels. One more, but not less important,
direction of the field studies is represented by expeditions, which are realized
within the framework of a students practice. Supervisors of the field
expeditions are Professors of the BSAM L. Mukharinskaya, L. Kostyukovetz, T. Yakimenko,
I. Nazina, teachers V. Prybylova, K. Kryvasheitsava, T. Bercovich.
The geography of the
investigated territories, according to a list of descriptions, includes 87
regions of the modern Belarus, as well as some border-line territories of
Smolensk, Pskov (Russia) and Kiev (Ukraine) regions.
the period 1970–2007
the territories of Central Belarus
Northern Belarusian area (Belarusian Poozerye,
and Eastern Belarusian area (Belarusian Podneprovye,
were investigated most
The territory of Central Belarus coincides with the area
of the Minsk region. It's of a special interest for ethnomusicologists because
of its special place on the border and
the crossing of various style areas of Belarusian traditional
music. Among the 22 modern administrative districts of the Minsk region
expeditions of BSAM worked in the 16 ones: Sluck, Soligorsk, Ljuban,
Starye Dorogi, Kleck, Borisov, Krupki, Dzerzhinsk, Stolbcy, Mjadel’, Molodechno,
Vilejka, Mar’ina Gorka, Uzda, Cherven’, Berezino districts.
The base for scientific research of musical traditions of
Belarusian Poozerye is the expedition materials of the 17 districts of the
Vityebsk region. The majority of
districts were investigated repeatedly. The research work in the central area of
Poozerye was more intensive (Dokshitsy, Polotsk, Chashniki, Lepel, Ushachi,
Glubokoye, Shumilin, Beshenkovichi districts).
Field research in Mogilyev part of Belarusian Podneprovye
were actively begun by
ethnomusicologists of the Belarusian State Academy of Music in the 1970s and
continued (with several trips to selected regions) in the period from 1990–2000.
The left-bank territory
of Dnepr basin (the Dnepr-Sozh area) is represented quite well in archives. The
survey of this territory passed in the administrative borders of Gorki, Dribin,
Mstislavl', Chausy, Slavgorod, Krichev, Klimovichi, Kostiukovichi, Khotimsk
district. The right-bank of Dnepr (Dnepr-Drutzk-Beresina interfleuve area) was
examined during expeditions to Krugloye district. Song traditions of south-western
part of Mogilyevshchina are presented by recordings made in Glusk district.
Among the 16 districts of the Mogilyev region noted in the
register of ethnomusic archive
of the BSAM the following were repeatedly investigated at the end of the 1990s:
Klimovichi district (village Stariy Dedin, inv. by L. Kostyukovetz and L. Shamsutdinova),
Belynichi district (1998, under the direction of L. Kostyukovetz and V. Vakhula),
Bykhov and Kirovst districts (2000, 2001, by Krivosheitzeva),
Krichev and Shumyachi districts (2002, L. Kostyukovetz).
For the first time Gorki, Dribin, Khotimsk, Glusk districts were
investigated in the 1990's, each of which outlines adjoining territories
(northern, eastern and southeastern respectively) of Mogilyev part of the
Among the 17
modern administrative districts of the Grodno region, territory which
is part of regional tract of
the Belarusian Ponemonye
regions of Belarus), expeditions of BSAM worked
in the 14 ones: Oshmiany, Voronov, Grodno,
Diatlovo, Zel'ven, Iv'e, Korelichi, Lida, Mosty, Novogrudok, Svisloch', Slonim,
Smorgon', Shchuchin districts. Expeditions to Grodnenshchina were held in
The musical culture of the Belarusian Polesye
regions of Belarus)
presented by archival records of the
BSAM, made on
the territory of the Brest and Gomel regions of Belarus for the first
time. Though the quantity of the
districts enclosed in the borders of each region by the expeditions of various
collectors coincides, the periodicity of repeated trips shows, however, greater
intensity of field researches in the western area of the Belarusian Polesye.
Among the 16 modern districts of the Brest region, 9 ones (Bereza,
Gantsevichi, Drogichin, Ivanovo,
Liakhovichi, Luninets, Malorita, Pinsk, Stolin, Ivatsevichi) were visited 18
times by expeditions in 1971–2004. Expeditions of the BSAM
worked in 9 districts of
Gomel region, among the 21 ones. In total, 12 tours were organized to
Gomelshchina during the period from 1978 until 2000.
The specific point of
the EP BSAM is that it is keeping quite a wide hand-written collection of
score-transcriptions, which are made by students under the guidance of
scientific supervisors – the leading ethnomusicologists of the country. A
special form for documenting the traditional music culture of Belarus,
score-transcriptions serve as an illustration of the ways of field-work studied
provided by the BSAM. The earliest written transcriptions of the archive are
dated by the years 1956–58 (materials in the expeditions to the former Checher,
Zhlobin and Turov regions of the Gomel region).
A systematic character
of the field studies of the musical traditions in all the ethnocultural regions
of Belarus, resulted into creation of an archive of audio-recordings, on which
the subjects of many ethnomusicological issues of different genres, presented by
various authors, were recently developed. Besides the Ph.D
dissertations, diploma works and referats,
the mentioned materials are currently used for scientific papers,
investigations of different type, etc. Among the already published are, books of
the series "The Belarasian Musical Folklore
Investigations, Presented by Young Ethnomusicologists" (released under the
coordination and edition of Prof. T. Yakimenko, 1991, 1996, 2004), Scientific
works of BSAM (Series II, Isuues of
The newest directions
here are also multi-media presentations of the Ph.D dissertations, made recently
by young researchers.
A stable part of the ethomusicological work in BSAM has been also
preparing of the scientific
phono-collections on CD's. This is quite new for the
sound-archive of the traditional music direction of the processing of the field
recordings, made during various expeditions. Being carefully selected and
systematized by authors, these recording constituted such collections, as
"Maslenitsa Musical Tradition of Belorussian Podneprov’e"
(V. Prybylova, 2006), "Nadezhda Adamovna Shved" (K. Kryvasheitsava, 2007). Both
these collections are a part of a series of phonograph collections
"Audio Atlas of Traditional Musical Culture of
The "Audio Atlas"
is exhibiting the traditional musical culture of Belarus is a systematic way,
with account of the regional, areal, typological and melogeographical
specific features of ethnic culture, and by the methods of modern
Series is opened by CD
"Maslenitsa Musical Tradition of Belorussian
Podneprov’e", 2006. 26 tracks, 48’23”.
Author: Vasilina Prybylova, restoration of recordings:
Sergey Bogdanov, design: V. Prybylova, A. Dalinin, series manager: Tatyana
Shrovetide Rites Songs
are alive phenomenon of our present and a great part of calendar song tradition
of the Upper Dnieper Region.
Maslenitsa songs open
spring in agricultural ritual calendar of Belarusian Podneprov’e. Performance of
Maslenitsa ritual songs and folk tunes falls at Maslenitsa week before the Lent
period. These are ritual songs and folk tunes ("when
they teeter", "when
they wave", "when they hitch
up a log", "when they call
of spring"), as well timed to the period of Maslenitsa
celebrating (lyrical, dancing, comic under song, the so called pripevka).
The collection includes
all the class of Maslenitsa tunes. Its musical material represents East region
of Belarus as well some adjoining territories of Pskov region. This collection
demonstrates the basic tunes fixed in the system of folk song melos of
Belarusian Podneprov’e. The tunes can be divided in some territorially isolated
A style of Maslenitsa
soundings is presented by samples which begin with the words such as "A
my maslenitsu dyzhydali" ("We
have been waiting for Pancake week"). The records
belong to the first typological group of Maslenitsa songs. They are marked by
the plasticity of round dance rhythm-formula, figured melodic lines, softness of
ton turning while syllabic and musical-rhythmic form are stable.
The next 13 tracks (¹ 5–17)
present the second typological group. A style of the ritual tunes characterizes
Chashniki-Orsha-Mstislavl' areal. The distinctive features of the songs are
swinging tunes, invariable 6-syllabic refrain (as antimetabole
q ee|ee q)
with words ("Chamu tabe maslenitsa dy nya sem nyadzel",
or twice repeated words of the second part of the poetic row ("Na
vulitsy dzeuki gulyali, gulyali", ¹ 12).
The riches of deep
singing timbres as well as quite sudden change of song texture are appropriate
for musical style of Maslenitsa songs of the southeast and south of Belarusian
The type of
heterophonic-monodic joint singing ("Na vulku dzeuki
gulyali", ¹ 20
dominates in Maslenitsa songs of Klimavichi-Khotimsk areal. While
heterophonic-burdon performance of the songs belongs to mosaic and "multicolor"
song tradition of Sozh-Besiadz'-Iput' areal (¹ 24
vot ya ydu"
¹ 25 "Zekatsilasia zharkae soneika").
All the means of sound influence including intonation and rhythmic-structural
maintenance of tunes open the basic ritual sense as well as the function of the
songs of the mentioned territories as spring calling.
Separate class of songs
in the phonocollection timed to the Maslenitsa ceremony is presented by single
tracks (¹ 18, 21–23,
26). These songs allow the singer to show the greater freedom. The songs can be
performed in every moment of Maslenitsa week and, moreover, in various moments
of spring-summer season.
three-dimension panorama of Belarusian traditional music culture, which is one
of the crucial ideas of the "Audio
is hardly possible without an exposure of its individual representatives. The
Adamauna Shved" displays a song
tradition of the village of Perarou (Zhytkavichy District, Homel Region),
incarnated in the singing of one of its most talented holders.
Author: Katsiaryna Kryvasheitsava, restoration of recordings:
Sergey Bogdanov, design: Aliaksandr Prybylou, K. Kryvasheitsava, series manager:
Tatyana Bercovich. 2007. 26 tracks, 63’35”.
Features of this
tradition especially vividly came to light during the recording in the village
of Stoupnya (Rahachouski District), where Nadzezhda Adamauna sang with a group
of the natives. The recording shows that calendar and family song traditions of
different places of Belarus are not equal. Even during the performing of later
tradition songs, which are more homogeneous in their style, the sound of
Nadzezhda Adamauna and that of the other participants is not identical.
represents a calendar song cycle of the Zhytkavichy District, including the
tunes of the three seasons – Winter (¹ 3
– Christmas psalm),
Spring (¹ 8
– "zahukanne viasny",
– spring round dance,
11, 13 – Whitsunday songs)
and Summer (¹ 14
– harvest time song).
The family cycle is represented by wedding tunes .
A separate part of the collection includes later traditional songs – ballades
family-common (¹¹ 29,
(¹¹ 7, 26).
and comments on the songs and rites, that paints a graphic vivid picture of the
traditional culture as well as it reveals the peculiarities of its holders as
the cultural anthropological type.