Evgeny Gippius – the Researcher of the Musical Culture of the Belorussian Polesye

Galina V. Tavlai


The article sheds light on the role of the classic of Russian
ethnomusicology, Evgeny Gippius in the research of the song
culture of the Belorussian Polesye. Attention is focused on the
paths of formation of studies of folk music in Russia, the combined
research activities of Evgeny Gippius and Zinaida Evald, and the
individual features in the thinking of each of the representatives
of that famous “musicological group.” Their research activities
personify the ethnomusicologal work of the Russian Institute for
History of the Arts in the 1920s and 1930s. Specification is given
of Gippius’ analytical method, which gives primary role to: live
observation, direct auditory perception, detailed research of the
means of coordination of music and words, with consideration of
the creative renewal of the subsequent strophes by the singers. All
the aforementioned means of analytical work precede notation in
their order of rank. The article validates the authorship of Gippius
in formulating the scholarly category of “tune-formula” and sheds
light on the sources of Zinnaida Evald’s interest in the auditory
peculiarity of the melodies from Polesye.

Keywords: folk music of the Belorussian Polesye, Evgeny
Gippius, Zinaida Evald, ethnography, tune-formula

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