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Title: Sixty Yeats of Sovetskaia muzyka: A History of a Soviet Music Periodical
Authors: Khait, Julia
Advisors: Morrison, Simon A
Contributors: Music Department
Keywords: Soviet music
Soviet music periodical
Subjects: Music
Music history
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: The journal Sovetskaia muzyka, established in 1933 as the press organ of the newly founded Composers’ Union, became the main musical periodical and official source of information on Soviet musical affairs for decades to come. It was expected not only to portray Soviet musical life, but to take an active part in creating a well-rounded cultured Soviet person. As the leading, and for some time the only music journal, Sovetskaia muzyka shaped Soviet musical life in ways both explicit and implicit. Evaluating scores and concerts as well as commenting on current ideological and aesthetic issues, the journal provided the recipe for successful musical composition, defined the rules of engagement and established the range of permissible actions on the musical front. The journal also took an active part in rewriting musical history along ideological lines, re-constructing composers’ images in order to market them for popular consumption. At the same time, Sovetskaia muzyka cannot be described as either an academic or professional periodical. From the beginning the orientation of the journal was multifaceted, combining ideological indoctrination, professional discussion, exchanges of information, and entertainment. Its audience was much broader than the academic community, consisting of both professional musicians and amateurs, and only a part of its output was scholarly. Despite its importance for contemporaries and present-day scholars alike, the journal has never been the subject of individual investigation. This dissertation seeks to fill this gap by examining its sixty-years history through study of archival documents, memoirs, and a complete collection of the journal. I examine Sovetskaia muzyka’s relationships with the Communist Party and governmental organs, creative unions, the professional community, readers, and other periodicals in order to assess its place in Soviet musical culture. Ultimately, this dissertation contributes to our understanding of how media functions in an environment of strict ideological control. I demonstrate how, as a result of the gradual decreasing of governmental control and the development of musicology as a discipline, Sovetskaia muzyka distanced itself from participating in political discourse and instead concentrated on strictly professional, musicological projects. Over time, from a democratic, broadly oriented journal tightly connected to present-day politics, the journal changed into a highly specialized, academic periodical for the professional community. Even though such specialization limited its audience, Muzykal’naia akademiia (as Sovetskaia muzyka came to be known after 1992) is able to better cater to the needs of its readers.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Music

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