Kondrashkova Lada

“Zadostoynik” for the nativity of Christ of “Demestvenny” polyphony: chant variants

Kondrashkova Lada (2023) "“Zadostoynik” for the nativity of Christ of “Demestvenny” polyphony: chant variants ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia V : Voprosi istorii i teorii hristianskogo iskusstva, 2023, vol. 51, pp. 83-102 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturV202351.83-102


The article is devoted to the study of one demestvenny polyphonic hymn: the "zadostoynik" for the Nativity of Christ (irmos of the 9th song of the festive canon, performed at the liturgy instead of the hymn to the Theotokos «It is truly meet to bless thee»); the history of its origin and existence is traced according to 11 singing manuscripts of the 17th - the first quarter of the 18th century, fragments of manuscripts and musical examples are given. In the light of the newly discovered aspects of the mutual influence of two styles of early Russian polyphony – troestrochy («triplets») and demestvo - the author wrote two articles in parallel in 2023: a more general “On the problem of interaction between the styles of early Russian polyphony in the 17th century (on the example of zadostoyniks)”, and the present one, dedicated to only one of the zadostoyniks - the Christmas one. The article describes all the cycles of demestvenny zadostoyniks in which there is a Christmas one, while building a historical picture of the change in forms and ways of recording demestvenny polyphony: in the form of a part of a separate voice in a separate book, in the form of a hook score of Kazansky (demestvenny) notation and in the form of musical notation scores. Analyzing demestvenny notation and transcripts, some of which were made by Evgeny Skurat, the author identifies 3 different chants of the Christmas zadostoynik: the main, parody variant, quoting the voice «put'» from a similar triplets chant, and a paraphrase variant using the initial motive "put' strochnoy" in solo “pochin demestvom”. The elite, court tradition of Russian polyphonic singing in its heyday mastered a new method of composing demestvenny scores using the technique of parody, counterfactual. In one of the variants of the chant, we see elements of an innovative polyphonic writing technique: imitation in augmentatio and in diminutio in all four voices of the score.


Early Russian polyphony, history of church singing art, demestvenny polyphony, triplets, "zadostoynik" of the Nativity of Christ, singing manuscripts, demestvenny notation


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Information about the author

Kondrashkova Lada

Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in Art Criticism;
Academic Rank: Senior Research Fellow;
Place of work: The Central Andrey Rublev Museum of Ancient Russian Culture and Art; 10 Andron’yevskaya Sq., Moscow 107120, Russian Federation;
Post: Research Fellow;
ORCID: 0000-0002-7488-7295;
Email: ladakondrashkova@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.