Musical Contributions to Belarusian Orthodoxy: Research Scope and Hypotheses

Keywords: Belarusian Orthodox singing culture; Supraśl Orthodox Monastery irmologion; psalms; a Polessky melody; Orthodox everyday life


This review considers a work by L. A. Gustova-Runtso, a Belarusian scholar, devoted to the history of Orthodox singing culture in the historical lands of Belarus. The study traces the main stages in the formation of this culture, identifying the principal spiritual and cultural centres of singing which influenced its formation. The author describes periods of “survival” during historically and religiously difficult periods when Orthodoxy was under pressure from Catholicism and then uniatism. Of particular interest is the coverage of the twentieth century, a time of persecution for Orthodoxy and its culture.

Author Biography

Nikolay Denisov

Dr. Hab. (Art History), Professor, Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory; Deputy Head of the Department of Humanities, Russian Foundation for Basic Research.

13/6, Bolshaya Nikitskaya Str., 125009, Moscow, Russia.

32a, Leninsky Ave., 119334, Moscow, Russia.

ORCID 0000-0002-5147-2767


Belarus’ [Belarus]. (2000–). In Pravoslavnaya entsiklopediya. Moscow, Pravoslavnaya entsiklopediya. Vol. 4, pp. 457‒503.

Belorusskii ekzarkhat [Belarusian Exarchate]. (2000–). In Pravoslavnaya entsiklopediya. Moscow, Pravoslavnaya entsiklopediya. Vol. 4, pp. 559‒562.

Denisov, N. G. (2014). Festivali pravoslavnogo muzykal’nogo iskusstva v Pol’she i Belarusi: tseli i zadachi [Festivals of Orthodox Musical Art in Poland and Belarus: Goals and Objectives]. In Sovremennoe khorovoe ispolnitel’stvo: traditsii, opyt, perspektivy. Sbornik statei. Rostov-on-Don, Rostovskaya gosuderstvennaya konservatoriya imeni S. V. Rakhmaninova, pp. 30‒42.

Denisov, N. G. (2018). “Nash format – znakomit’ mir s sovremennoi muzykoi” (interv’yu s Nikolaem Bushko) [“Our Format is to Acquaint the World with Modern Music” (Interview with Nikolai Bushko)]. In Muzykal’naya akademiya. No. 4, pp. 192‒200.

Filaret, metr. (2005). “Budu pet’ Bogu moemu, dokole esm’” (besedu proveli L. Gustova i N. Denisov) [“I Will Sing to My God As Long As I Exist” (Conversation Conducted by L. Gustova and N. Denisov)]. In Muzykal’naya akademiya. No. 1, pp. 1‒5.

Gustova, L. (2005). Prazdnik pravoslavnogo iskusstva [Festival of Orthodox Art]. In Muzykal‘naya akademiya. No. 2, pp. 142‒146.

Konotop, A. V. (1974). Suprasl’skii irmologion 1598–1601 gg. i teoriya transpozitsii znamennogo raspeva: na materiale pevcheskikh notolineinykh rukopisei KhVII v. [Supraśl Irmologion of 1598–1601 and the Theory of the Transposition of the Znamenny Chant: With Reference to Song Score Linear Manuscripts of the 17th Century]. Avtoref. dis. … kand. iskusstvovedeniya. Moscow, S. n. 29 p.

Konotop, A. V. (1981). Suprasl’skii irmologion 1638–1639 gg. [Supraśl Irmologion of 1638–1639]. In Pamyatniki kul’tury. Novye otkrytiya. Pis‘mennost‘. Iskusstvo. Arkheologiya: Ezhegodnik 1980. Leningrad, Nauka, pp. 233‒240.

Likhachev, D. S. (1979). Poetika drevnerusskoi literatury [Poetics of Old Russian Literature]. 3rd Ed. Moscow, Nauka. 360 p.
How to Cite
Denisov, N. (2019). Musical Contributions to Belarusian Orthodoxy: Research Scope and Hypotheses. Quaestio Rossica, 7(4), 1349–1359.
Controversiae et recensiones