Guseinova Zivar

Mid-17th century fitniks as a reflection of musical-theoretical thought of their time (by the manuscript № 1 from Odoevsky collection, Russian state library)

Guseinova Zivar (2019) "Mid-17th century fitniks as a reflection of musical-theoretical thought of their time (by the manuscript № 1 from Odoevsky collection, Russian state library) ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia V : Voprosi istorii i teorii hristianskogo iskusstva, 2019, vol. 36, pp. 97-111 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturV201936.97-111


Russian manuals of theory of music of the mid-17th century contain information about the main elements of the system of singing. In this period, in Znamenny chant, the rendering by the formulae (fi ty and popevki, Russ. фиты и попевки) was topical. They were explained in special manuals (fi tniki and kokizniki, Russ. фитники и кокизники). In the manuscript of this time from the collection of V.F. Odoevskiy kept at the Russian State Library (fund 210, № 1) are presented ca. 20 various manuals, among which there are eight fi tniks; most of them are parts of larger manuals. In the repertoire of the fity of this codex, a whole range of repeated formulae have been identifi ed, they have differences in their shape and, particularly, chants (разводы). From the point of view of structuring the material, the presenting of fi ty should theoretically include the demonstration of fi ta within the echos, the writing of the formula, its name and chant. In reality, the information is far from full. The fi tniks can lack any of these components, and the chants of fi ty can be written in several singing chants. In separate cases, the fitniks contain accompanying remarks that specify the musical attribution of the ways of chanting (e.g. усольский, монастырский) or particularities of their writing and formation (e.g. фита трестрелная, фита тихая без своду). The composition of the fita chants is based on the musical-linear, non-textual system; the number of lines in the chant varies from one to four. The complexity of the fi ta chant depends not on the melismatic concentration but on the number of the lines. In the fi ta singing, there has formed a repertoire of lines which are stable in each echos and are contained in the chanting of many formulae. However, the main technique of the intonational variability of chanting was preserved, which can be regarded as the most distinctive feature in the artistic work of Old Russian masters of singing.


manuscript, codex, handbook of musical theory, fita, popevka, fitnik, kokiznik, chant, text, structure, line, intonation


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Information about the author

Guseinova Zivar

Academic Degree: Doctor of Sciences* in Art Criticism;
Academic Rank: Professor;
Place of work: St. Petersburg State Conservatory; 3 Teatral’naya Sq., St Petersburg 190000, Russian Federation;
Post: Head of Department of Russian Music History;
ORCID: 0000-0001-8940-6485;
Email: zivar-g@mail.ru.

*According to ISCED 2011, a post-doctoral degree called Doctor of Sciences (D.Sc.) is given to reflect second advanced research qualifications or higher doctorates.