Music alphabet |
Music Terms

Music alphabet |

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terms and concepts

Musical alphabet – ancient Russian theoretical. allowances (the name “alphabet” began to be applied to them only in the 18th century). The earliest of them date back to the 15th century. They were included in singing books, occupying 2-3 pages in quarto. The first A. m. were limited to a list of singing signs – banners (see. Znamenny chant). In the 16th century, in some manuals, an “interpretation of the banner” was added to the list, consisting of an explanation of “how it is sung” and distribution “according to voices” (see Osmoglasie). Fits were also given in A. m., i.e. melodic. formulas written with the help of a special, “secretly closed” combination of signs of Znamenny writing. Fits served as vocalizations, helping to develop musical memory, breathing, and skills in playing a wide cantilena and phrasing. As the number of fits increased (by the end of the 16th century there were already more than a hundred of them), it became more and more difficult to remember them. There was a need for special allowances – the so-called. fitniks; they were given inscriptions of fit with their names, and the words were given, with which they were most often used in singing practice. Later, “splits” began to be introduced into fitniks, i.e., records of the same fit in the usual hook notation. From the beginning of the 17th century, the theoretical manuals appear sets of chants that formed the basis of the Znamenny chant – “kokizniki” (from kokiza – the old Russian name for chants). Kokiza were distributed according to voices. Next to the inscription of the kokiza and its name, a word or phrase from Ph.D. the most famous chants in which it is used.

The most complete and systematic theoretical. A guide to Znamenny singing is the Notice of Concordant Marks, which was compiled in 1668 by a group of specialists headed by the learned monk Alexander Mezenets. In this work, for the first time, the system of marks, i.e., additional designations that clarified the ideographic. hook writing system.

At the end of the 17th century, when the five-line notation came into use, another type of theoretical notation was created. allowances – double banners, in which, in parallel with the hook notation of kokiz and fit, their translation into a notolinear system is given (see Double banner). In the 90s, monk Tikhon Makaryevsky compiled the “Key” to reading the hook letter, in which the meaning of individual hooks, chants and fits is deciphered using five-linear notation.

Singing chanting of the old type continued to exist as early as the 18th century, and was used by the Old Believers later, but no longer had the same significance, since the development of the znamenny chant itself ceased at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Manuscripts of A. m. are preserved in the state. archives and serve as an important source for the study of ancient Russian musical culture.

References: The ABC of Znamenny Singing (Notice of Concordant Marks) by Elder Alexander Mezenets. Published with explanations and notes by St. Smolensky, Kazan, 1888; Uspensky N., Old Russian singing art, M., 1965, 1971; Brazhnikov M. V., Old Russian theory of music, L., 1972.

N. D. Uspensky

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