This is a work in progress; all listings note an
English-language source when possible.
Last revised 1 June 2003.
note: this category is defined as any books that are not
chant manuscripts. These could be historical studies, theory
Gardner, Johann von. Russian Church Singing, volume 1: Orthodox
Worship and Hymnography. Crestwood, New York: St. Vladimir's
Seminary Press, 1980. 145 pp.
(In English) Volume One of this series has much useful information
that is especially for new choir directors, readers and chanters
or those who are new to Orthodox worship. This book is available
Gardner, Johann von. Russian Church Singing, volume 2: History
from the Origins to the Mid-Seventeenth Century. Crestwood,
New York: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2000. 378 pp.
(In English) Volume Two of this series opens the reader's
eyes to as clear an understanding of the development of Russian
Church music as is available in English. In taking you through
the Mid-1600s, Gardner takes you from the Christianization of
Rus' through the post-Times of Troubles development of Znamenny
Chant and into the development of Put' and Demestveni Chants.
I cannot recommend another book as more critical to understanding
Russian chant history. This book is available from Musicarussica.
Mezents, (Staretz) Alexander; Smolensky, Stepan. Azbuka
Znamennago Pienia. Kazan Imperial University Press: Kazan
Russia, 1888. Mezents' original book, which comprises a portion
of this book, was published in 1668.
(In Russian) Fr. Alexander's Azbuka (literally "Alphabet")
is a common textbook of its era that teaches one the names of
the kriuki. Smolensky, a giant in his day in the field of ancient
Russian chants, turned Fr. Alexander's book into the foundation
for an expanded Azbuka that taught one how to read the kriuki;
Smolensky included in this volume a comparison of eight sets
of notation from different eras dating from 12th century Kondakarion
[which no one knows how to read] to 19th century square-note
notation. Smolensky was kind enough to print this book in black
and red ink, so that the cinnabar marks are clearly distinguished
from the rest of the notation. The book is available at the University
of Kansas Music and Dance Library and probably some other university
Preobrazhensky, Anton. Po tserkovnomu peniiu ukazatel' knig,
broshiur i zhurnal'nykh statei (1793-1896 g.) [A bibliography
of books, brochures, and journal articles on church singing for
1793-1896]. Ekaterinoslav, Russia: 1897; 2nd edition, Moscow,
Schidlovsky, Nicolas. "Sources in Russian Chant Theory,"
appearing in: McQuere, Gordon D., ed. Russian Theoretical Thought
in Music. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research Press, 1983. pp. 83-108.
(In English) Professor Schidlovsky reviews the various studies
that have been done on the old Russian chants. His study, to
my knowledge, offers the most recent information in English on
all the studies, in Russian and English, that have been done
on this body of music. Regretably, this essay is 20 years old
and does not include any of the work that has been done after
scholars in Russia were given more freedom to study this body
of music. This book is extremely expensive on Amazon.com; I recommend
finding a copy in a university library, as I did at the University
_______. Oktoik. St. Petersburg, Russia: Valaam Monastery
Press, 1999. Reprint of 18th century manuscript of Solovki monastery.
(In Russian and handwritten Church Slavonic) The Oktoikos
is the book of the eight tones that represents the weekly rotation
of hymns. This book includes music in Greater (Middle?) Znamenny
Chant for Saturday night and Sunday morning only. The music includes
Little Vespers (the Lord I Call stichera and Dogmatika), Great
Vespers (Lord I Call stichera and Dogmatika, the First Aposticha
stichera and Dogmatika), Orthros (Antiphons and Eothinon Doxastika)
and Liturgy (Beatitude Troparia). What made this book worth reprinting
was that all texts include notation with both kriuki and square-note
notation! The monks of Valaam have included a very brief explanation
of how to read the various notation at the end. I do not know
whether this book is still available; mine was gifted to me by
a monk of another monastery who had two copies. You might contact
the Valaam Podvoria in St. Petersburg (812 252-53-61) to see
if they have any copies.
Potulov, N. Drevnago Bogosluzhenago Pyenia. Moscow,
1898. Reprinted Madison, Connecticut: Musica Russica, Inc., 2000.
Uspenskii, Nikolai D. Obraztsy Drevnerusskogo Pevcheskogo
Iskusstva. Leningrad, Russia: Isdatelstvo "Muzika"
Leningrad, 1971. 354 pp.