A New Method for Analyzing Text-music Relationships in Russian Sacred Compositions

Natalia Fedorovskaya, Far-Eastern State Technical University, Vladivostok

A central focus of this paper is to determine the role of a word and music rhetoric in the sacred musical compositions in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Russia. These compositions were written in such genres as sacred (or spiritual) verse, "partes concert", motets, and classical choral concertos. Spiritual verse is a genre of monody which appeared in medieval Russia and was notated in znamenny (krukovoi) notation. Even in the late eighteenth century the performance of spiritual verses followed medieval traditions. The "partes concert", motet, and classical choral concerto are polyphonic genres which appeared in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, notated on a five-line staff. In the latter genres, the influence of Western European musical traditions on Russia is especially pronounced.

The author offers a new method for analyzing text-music relationships in Russian sacred compositions. This analysis follows a rhetorical method, and includes the investigation of the disposition and rhetorical figures in the text and music of compositions. Texts in spiritual verses, "partes concert," and other genres are arranged according to the laws of rhetorical disposition and contain rhetorical figures. This rhetorical method allows the monodic spiritual verses, notated in znamenny (krukovoi) notation, to be compared with polyphonic "partes concerts" and other genres notated in five-line notation. In znamenny notation, such terms as "popevka", "fita" and "lizo" comprise musico-rhetorical figures. And musico-rhetorical principles (disposition and figures) are revealed in both spiritual verse and "partes concert" -- confirming the continuity of musical traditions from the Medieval period (in spiritual verse) to the Modern period (in "partes concert").