Ukrainian irmologions in the context of the development of analytical comprehension of music




Irmologion, chants, notation, musical-theoretical knowledge, solmization and metrorhythmic principles


Setting problems. The Ukrainian Irmologions represent to our contemporaries the musical and analytical knowledge common in the medieval Ukraine. In line with study of the Ukrainian musical-theoretical heritage, it is important to understand what problems our distant predecessors were solving and how they solved them.

Relevance of the study. Studying written sources of the formation of Ukrainian science on music, today turn mainly to the first handwritten treatises, "Grammar of Music" by M. Diletsky. However, the traditions of analytical comprehension of music developed in Ukraine a little earlier and were reflected in writing in Irmologions. It is time to analyze this stage in the evolution of Ukrainian scientific and musical thought.

Analysis of recent researches and publications. P. Matsenko noted the analytical abilities of the printers of that time, which were similar to the experience of the Irmologionists' scribes. M. Antonovych noticed different principles of styling in handwritten and printed Irmoologions, etc. O. Tsalay-Yakymenko approached the topic of the beginnings of the Ukrainian musical and theore-tical thought mainly in the direction of musical pedagogy. The Catalogue of the notolinium Irmologions by Yu. Yasinovsky made it possible to a separate special study of musical and analytical knowledge
of their authors-copyists.

The purpose of this article. The purpose of the proposed study is the most complete and comprehensive characteristic of the medieval stage of development of the Ukrainian musical and theoretical thought with its worldview, spiritual, aesthetic and musical-stylistic traditions, views and norms.

Summary of the research. The Ukrainian Irmoloy is a multi-genre song collection, skillfully composed of various (local and borrowed) songs. At the same time, these books contain all kinds of additional information that is carried in the margins of the text by glosses and interpolations. They show not only the acquired singing experience, but also the established system of the corresponding analytical knowledge. Thus, the songs were selected according to local traditions, local preferences, customs of local schools, aesthetic tastes of their scribes. The scribes were well versed in the origin of the songs that lived in their environment. Some of them pointed out the linguistic translation of the song, which, together with its musical translation from nonlinear notation to new linear notes, contributed to the spread of foreign musical material in the repertoire of local singers. The knowledge of genres is evidenced by "scars", "registers" – lists of material contained in Irmologion. The scribes were quite literate people: they combined the activities of professional musicians and skilled copyistseditors-creators of music Irmologions. Appendices to the main text – "Alphabets" – were brief summaries of initial information on the elementary theory of music.

Results and their significance. The versatile activity of secular scribes-singers took place meaningfully, on the basis of certain knowledge and practical experience. Particularly noticeable is the knowledge of theological practice, genre diversity, developed musical thinking and hearing, which contributed to the rapid spread of the norms of the European tonal-harmonic system, and also figurative imagination and natural symbolic thinking, which ensured the unmistakable translation of the old Kyiv backdrop writing into a standardized noto-linear notation. Performing skills "gave the right" to edit the musical text according to their tastes and training in the environment of a particular creative school. The study of the note-linear irmoloys as indicators of early fixation of analytical comprehension of the ancient Ukrainian liturgical creativity proves that it was born long before the appearance of its first written evidence.

Author Biography

Oksana Hnatyshyn, Lviv National Musical Academy named after Mykola Lysenko

Doctor in Art Criticism, associate Professor


Antonovych, M. (1997). Something about Ukrainian church monody and the names "Znamenny" and "Kyivan" chants [Deshcho pro ukrainsku tserkovnu monodiiu ta pro nazvy znamennyi i kyivskyi rozspivy]. MUSICA SACRA: A collection of articles from the history of Ukrainian church music [Zbirnyk statei z istorii ukrainskoi tserkovnoi muzyky]. Lviv: Instytut ukrainoznavstva im. I. Kryp’iakevycha NAN Ukrainy, pp. 71–92 [in Ukrainian].

Bazhanskii, P. (1890). History of Russian church singing [Istoriia ruskoho tserkovnoho peniia]. Dushpastyr, Part 12, pp. 368–375 [in Russian].

Brazhnikov, M. (1972). Old Russian music theory from manuscript materials of the 15th18th centuries [Drevnerusskaya teoriia muzyki po rukopisnym materialam XV‒ХVIII vekov]. Leningrad: Muzyka, 422 p. [in Russian].

Hnatyshyn, O. (2017). The historical dimension of Ukrainian musical-theoretical concepts [Istorychnyi vymir ukrainskykh muzychno-teoretychnykh kontseptsii]. Lviv: V-vo Lvivskoi politekhniky, 600 p. [in Ukrainian].

Matsenko, P. (1992). The composition and technical structure of the melodies of the Kyiv chant in the Pochaiv irmoloi [Sklad ta tekhnichna budova melodii Kyivskoho rozspivu v Pochaivskomu Irmoloievi]. Toronto, pp. 136–137, 149–150 [in Ukrainian].

Steshko, F. (1929). Sources for the history of early church singing in Ukraine [Dzherela do istorii pochatkovoi doby tserkovnoho spivu na Ukraini]. Praha, pp. 425–440.[in Ukrainian].

Tsalay-Yakymenko, A. (1969). Musical-theoretical thought in Ukraine and the writings of Nikolay Diletsky [Muzykalno-teoreticheskaya mysl na Ukraine i trudy Nikolaya Diletskogo]. Musica antiqua Europa orientalis No. 2, pp. 347–367 [in Russian].

Tsalay-Yakymenko, O. (1974). Kyiv notation as a relational system (from manuscripts of the 16th-17th centuries) [Kyivska notatsiia yak reliatyvna systema (za rukopysamy XVI–XVII stolit)]. Ukrainske muzykoznavstvo: No. 9, pp. 197–224 [in Ukrainian].

Tsalay-Yakymenko, O. (2002). The Kiev school of music in the 16th century [Kyivska shkola muzyky XVI stolittia]. Kyiv; Lviv; Poltava. 487 p. [in Ukrainian].

Tsalay-Yakymenko, O. (1993). Translated singing literature of the 16th-17th centuries in Ukraine and its musical verse form [Perekladna pivcha literatura XVI–XVII stolit v Ukraini ta yii muzychno-virshova forma]. Zapysky NTSh: Pratsi Muzykoznavchoi komisii.Vol. CCXXVI. Lviv: NTSh, pp. 11–40 [in Ukrainian].

Shreer-Tkachenko, A. (1966). The progress of Ukrainian music in the sixteenth to seventeenth centuries [Razvitie ukrainskoy muzyki v XVI–XVIII vekakh] // Musica antiqua Europa orientalis. No. 2, pp. 507-516 [in Russian].

Yasynovskyi, Yu. (1996). Ukrainian and Belarusian note-linear irmoloys of the 16th-18th centuries: catalogue and codicological and paleographic studies [Ukrainski ta biloruski notoliniini Irmoloi 16–18 stolit: Kataloh i kodykolohichno-paleohrafichne doslidzhennia]. Lviv: V-vo Ottsiv Vasyliian „Misioner“, 623 p. [in Ukrainian].

Yasinovskyi, Yu. (2011). Byzantine hymnography and church monody in early modern Ukrainian reception [Vizantiiska hymnohrafiia i tserkovna monodiia v ukrainskii retseptsii rannomodernoho chasu]. Monograph. Lviv, 468 p. [in Ukrainian]





Composer's work and performance