Viskova Irina

Marcin Mielczewski and Musical Grammar by Nikolay Diletsky

Viskova Irina (2020) "Marcin Mielczewski and Musical Grammar by Nikolay Diletsky ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia V : Voprosi istorii i teorii hristianskogo iskusstva, 2020, vol. 38, pp. 51-61 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturV202038.51-61


Since the mid-17th century, partsong replaced Znamenny chant in Russia. This turning point is associated with reforms of Patriarch Nikon, who allowed polyphony in Orthodox churches, and with the infl uence of the musical culture of European Baroque, primarily Polish and Italian, that came to Russia through the territory of the Ukraine. In this regard, the name of the Russian composer Nikolai Diletsky is usually mentioned, who, in turn, called himself a student of the Polish composer Marcin Mielczewski. Nikolai Diletsky was a theorist, composer and choir master. In the history of Russian music he is known as an author of choral music and as a creator of the musical treatise Grammatika musikiiskago peniia (“Grammar of Musical Singing”). This work shows a high level of musical education of its author. Polychoral style was traditional in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth of the fi rst quarter of the 18th century. It entered Russian musical culture alongside the practice of polyphonic singing. It should be noted that Chapter 7 of the Grammar, entitled “On forgotten items about which I forgot to write”, already contains the section “Choral samples” devoted to the problems of double-choir composition. In three editions of the Grammar one can fi nd seven examples from works of Marcin Mielczewski. One of them, according to Protopopov, is ascribed to Melczevski by mistake. All samples are contained in the section “On composition”. Particularly interesting is a sample belonging to Mielczewski and associated with the rule of continuous tones in cadence. Diletsky first gives Mielczewski’s original musical text and then shows the simple bass, instead of which, in his opinion, the continuous tone was used. Apparently, this bass was added by Diletsky himself. In the second half of the 17th century, an interest to Polish music was quite high in Russia. It is known that Patriarch Nikon specifi cally looked for for Mielczewski’s cantica, and Mielczewski’s psalms and masses were sent to him as a gift.


Russian-Polish musical contact, sacred music, Nikolay Diletsky, Marcin Mielczewski, Grammatika musikiiskago peniya, partsong


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Information about the author

Viskova Irina

Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in Art Criticism;
Academic Rank: Associate Professor;
Place of work: Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory; 13 Bolshaya Nikitskaya Str., Moscow 125009, Russian Federat;
Post: Associate Professor;
ORCID: 0000-0002-9304-0428;
Email: Viskova2001@mail.ru.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.