Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group



From 1650 to 1950, Russian music theory grew from a teaching medium for reading the neumes of monophonic chant in the seventeenth century, to a Western-influenced pedagogical tradition in the nineteenth century, and finally in the twentieth century to a wide-ranging native discipline encompassing important studies in harmony, melody, mode, form, counterpoint, polyphony, analysis, acoustics, aesthetics, and folk music.

This dissertation is a comprehensive survey of the discipline of Russian and Soviet post-chant music theory from 1650 to 1950. It is the first work written outside the Soviet Union to document and analyze fully the development of music theory in Russia and the Soviet Union. It not only provides the historical framework of the growth of the discipline of music theory in Russia, but also discusses the origins and subsequent outgrowths and transformations of the theoretical ideas that have shaped its history. Among seventeenth- to nineteenth-century theorists discussed are N. Diletsky, the foreign pedagogues and theorists V. Manfredini, G. Hess de Calve, J. L. Fuchs, I. K. Hunke, Y. Arnold, and the Russian theorists V. F. Odoevsky, A. N. Serov, H. Larosh, P. I. Chaikovsky, N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov, Y. N. Mel'gunov, A. S. Arensky, M. M. Ippolitov-Ivanov, and Y. V. Kurdimov. The ideas of twentieth century Russian and Soviet theorists such as S. I. Taneev, B. L. Yavorsky, G. E. Conus, G. L. Catoire, N. A. Garbuzov, B. V. Asafiev, L. A. Mazel, I. Y. Ryzhkin, V. A. Tsukkerman, Y. N. Tiulin, A. S. Ogolevets, and A. N. Dolzhansky are discussed in detail.

This study is divided chronologically into two sections: Section I (Parts I-IV) takes up the Russian era from 1650 to 1900, and Section II (Parts V-VIII) covers the twentieth century--the last segment of the Russian era from 1900 to 1917 and the Soviet era from 1917 to 1950. Section I outlines the origins and establishment of a Russian music theory from one based initially on foreign theory; and Section II illustrates the full flowering of the discipline up the watershed year 1950. Linear-based theories, following the indigenous practices of chant and folk music, have contributed significantly to the growth of Soviet music theory.

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