Serbian Themes in Russian Music of the Second Half of the 19th Century


  • Marija Koren



Serbian chant as well as secular folk-music, for its comparative value and for its own value, had continually attracted the attention of Russian travel writers and musicians since the 15th century, the time when the Serbian chant was through the metropolite of Kiev, Gregory Camblak, brought to Russia. The more systematic research in Russia of Serbian folk-musik and its use in a number of works of Russian composers can, however, be attributed to Slavenophile tendencies in Russia in the second half of the 19th century. A basis for a closer acquaintance with the Serbian folk-music was achieved through the collections of Serbian folk and town songs compiled and arranged by Cornelius Stanković (printed in Vienna, 1859–1863), and through the part of the Serbian Octoechos sent by M. Rajevski to V. F. Odojevski and D. Razumovski. This contact was increased through D. Agrenjev-Slavjanski who regularly included Serbian songs in his concert programmes. The compositions in which Serbian themes appear are of an occasional character. N. A. Rimski-Korsakov composed his »Phantasy on Serbian Themes« on the occasion of the opening of the Russian ethnographic exhibition in 1867; and P. I. Tchaikovsky composed in 1876 his »Serbian-Russian March« in which he used three Serbian themes, for the concert for the benefit of the Slavonic charitable committee which sent volunteers to Serbia. Works which are by their musical and literary themes connected with Serbia, have also been written in recent times. For the spread of the young Serbian national music and Serbian folklore beyond the borders of this country the greatest importance must be attributed to the second half of the 19th century.


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1. 12. 1968




How to Cite

Serbian Themes in Russian Music of the Second Half of the 19th Century. (1968). Musicological Annual, 4(1), 78-87.