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PHILHARMONICA. International Music Journal

Activities of the Department of Folk Singing and Ethnomusicology of the Saratov State Conservatory Named after L.V. Sobinov: History and Modernity (to the 55th Anniversary of its Foundation)

Shubina Ol'ga Anatol'evna

PhD in Art History

Associate Professor at the Department of Folk Singing and Ethnomusicology of Saratov State Conservatoire

410012, Russia, Saratovskaya oblast', g. Saratov, ul. Kirova, 1

Other publications by this author

Mikhailova Alevtina Anatol'evna

Doctor of Art History

Professor, Department of Folk Singing and Ethnomusicology, Saratov State Conservatoire named after L. V. Sobinov

410012, Russia, Saratov region, Saratov, Prospekt Imeni Petr str., 1

Azikhanov Marat Fyaritovich

Postgraduate, Department of Folk Singing and Ethnomusicology, Saratov State Conservatoire named after L. V. Sobinov»

410012, Russia, Saratov region, Saratov, Prospekt Imeni Petr str., 1










Abstract: The article is dedicated to the history of the Department of Folk Singing and Ethnomusicology of the Saratov State Conservatory named after L.V. Sobinov. The role of the pedagogical, methodological and scientific activities of L.L. Christiansen as the founder of folk singing education at the Saratov Conservatory is described. The article also draws attention to the founder of the department of solo folk singing, People's Artist of Russia E.A. Sapogova and the basic principles of teaching folk vocals in her class. A special section is dedicated to the multifaceted activities of A.S. Yareshko as head of the Department until 2018. His name is associated with the modern period of the Department’s development, which included many practical and scientific publishing projects. The article reveals the role of the Department of Folk Singing and Ethnomusicology of the Saratov Conservatory in the establishing of folk singing education in Russia, as well as the preservation of folk heritage through the professional learning process. The main creative and educational achievements, the uniqueness of the structure of the department are described, the multi-vector orientation in teaching students (folk singing and ethnomusicology) is emphasized, which makes it possible to determine of a complex concept - the Saratov school of musical folkloristics.


Folklore, folk singing education, tradition, professionalization, folk singing, methodology, repertoire, ethnomusicology, folklore expeditions, Conservatory

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

 The modern system of folk singing education in Russia and the training of performers of this genre has already passed more than half a century of formation and development.



The collecting work done over the centuries, the authentic and origin of solo and choral concert stage performance – all this together was the accumulation of factual material, the basis and basic prerequisites, which later made it possible to open a new performing direction – the art of choral and solo folk singing. In the academic educational system, this is an unprecedented experience, when a new discipline was formed, where the repertoire, singing style, methods of teaching singing, notation and analysis of folk songs, which has no analogues, are fundamental. It was in an authentic environment that the singing style was formed – the "open" manner of singing, which reflects the folk tradition. This new material was a kind of primary source and was used in the curricula of professional disciplines on folk art and folk song art, helped to form the methodology of teaching folk singing and the performing repertoire of the singer of this genre.

Currently, almost every musical educational institution has specialized departments and departments of folklore education, the number of youth folklore groups, organized folk singing and instrumental competitions, festivals, concerts, where all age groups participate - from younger children to "age" groups. In this series, the activity of the Department of Folk Singing and Ethnomusicology of the Saratov State Conservatory named after L.V. Sobinov occupies a special place, being the discoverer of this direction.

Within the framework of the article provided, we will try to trace the formation of methodological and pedagogical foundations in the work of teachers of the department in the process of educating a performer of traditional musical art. At the same time, we will try to focus on the activities of leading teachers: to determine the contribution of L.L. Christiansen in the discovery and formation of this specialty; to analyze the role of E.A. Sapogova in the work of the department of solo folk singing and the training of specialists in this profile; to consider the activities of A.S. Yareshko on the formation of the modern image of the department and its pedagogical principles for the education of specialists in folk singing at the present stage.

Department of Folk Singing and Ethnomusicology Saratov State Conservatory named after L.V. Sobinov, along with the Gnessin State Music and Pedagogical Institute (now the Russian Academy of Music), is one of the first music universities in Russia to introduce a new specialty: in 1967, a department of folk choir leaders was opened at the Department of Choral Conducting.

Its founder was the Honored Artist of the RSFSR, Candidate of Art History, Professor Lev Lvovich Christiansen. At the Saratov Conservatory, L.L. Christiansen was the rector, head of the Department of Music History, and since 1967 he headed the new department he created. In 1987, the department of the leaders of the folk choir was transformed into an independent department, and in 2002, a department of solo folk singing was opened on its basis. In 2009 it was structured into the Department of Folk Singing and Ethnomusicology, which was headed by L.L. Christiansen's student – Doctor of Art History, Professor A.S. Yareshko, which was caused by the versatility of her creative activity and a significant amount of research work. The combination of scientific and performing directions allows graduates to receive a complex of knowledge and see themselves in the future as a performer and researcher-ethnomusicologist.

Great importance in the work of the department is currently assigned to choral and ensemble singing. Since the first years of the foundation of the department of "Leaders of the National Choir", there has been a choral collective of the department, its artistic direction was carried out by Professor L.L. Christiansen. The choir has been led at various times by: N.V. Bogdanova, E.L. Sverlova, N.A. Zakatova, M.A. Zakatova – choirmaster of the male group of the choir, since 2014 the artistic director of the choir is G.N. Burdanova, choirmaster A.Y. Malina, and since 2017 – M.V. Bondarenko.

The Folk Choir of the Conservatory and course ensembles ("Heather" – G.N. Burdanova, "Artel" – M.V. Bondarenko, "Rodnik" – I.L. Egorova, "Ramenye" – A.Y.Malina) are laureates of numerous All–Russian and international competitions, have been for half a century one of the most famous and popular in Saratov and Russia. This structure, which allows to preserve the continuity of singing skills and traditions, was laid by L.L. Christiansen. Currently, choreography (by V.V. Evdokimov), folk instruments of folklore tradition (by A.A. Mikhailov), directing (by V.A. Samokhin) are also widely used in the programs. The choir performs an important task for the spiritual and moral education of young people by holding educational concerts, creative meetings at various venues of the city and region. Classes in the choir class contribute to the education of the culture of interethnic communication, as it is based on national programs from the folklore of Chuvashia, Mordovia, Kalmykia, Tatarstan, Udmurtia, Abkhazia, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, etc.

An important role in creating and maintaining an atmosphere of research initiative belongs to the teaching staff of the department, which was largely initiated by A.S. Yareshko. He conducted folklore and ethnographic expeditions within the framework of the curriculum, which remain bright pages in the memory of students as an example of a truly scientific approach, genuine interest in communicating with informants. All this makes field work exciting and productive.

Future specialists during all the years of study record and note the folklore of their chosen region, study its traditional culture, comprehend in practice the concept of syncretism of folk art. The collected material becomes the object of theoretical understanding, which makes it possible for a graduate student to lay the foundation for a graduate study. This is implemented in the form of participation in conferences: "In the footsteps of folklore expeditions", "Folklore in the research of young scientists", "The Word to young scientists", publications of collections of folk songs, preparation and defense of candidate dissertations in the future.

The richest fund of folklore recordings of songs collected over fifty years in the Folk Art Laboratory and the materials of their own expeditions are a field for the scientific activity of teachers. It is not by chance that the folklore of the Saratov Volga region becomes the object of most studies. Over the past two decades, a series of successful dissertations have been conducted under the leadership of A.S. Yareshko, the subject of which was announced for the first time and has the status of scientific discoveries. Thus, the study of I.L. Egorova is devoted to understanding the performing style of the unique folk singer L.A. Ruslanova, based on the Volga tradition and considered in the context of artistic interpretation of folk songs; the study of E.L. Sverlova is devoted to funeral spiritual poems of the Saratov Volga region; M.V. Bondarenko (Khokhlacheva) defended her thesis on the preservation of the Saratov wedding ceremony on the material of her own folklore expeditions. The scientific problems of A.A. Mikhailova's works cover a range of problems in the field of musicology (issues of the implementation of folklore in the music of Russian composers for the accordion), as well as a special study in the field of the existence of folklore instruments and the study of the traditional art of playing the Saratov harmonica in the polyethnic region of the Volga region. The theme of N.A. Zakatova is the folklore of the Saratov Volga region: traditions and the current state; A.Y. Malina is working on the study of round-dance and dance songs of the Saratov region; O.A. Shubina is studying the folklore of the Russian Germans of the Volga region and the implementation of wedding folklore in choral works of modern composers. 

Since 2005, on the initiative of A.S. Yareshko, the department has held seven All-Russian scientific readings in memory of L.L. Christiansen "History, theory and practice of folklore", which have become a noticeable phenomenon among ethnomusicologists of the Volga region and Russia. The Laboratory has published collections of articles by teachers of the department "Poetics and semantics of folklore", seven issues "History, theory and practice of folklore", "Problems of folklore in the modern world", the topics of which reflect modern approaches to the analysis of folklore processes, methodological manuals of teachers on regional singing styles.

Also, students of the department are deeply engaged in the study of traditional singing art. On the initiative of N.A. Zakatova and a creative group of students, the Khvalyn ensemble was created in 2008 (since 2015 by M.V. Bondarenko), studying and promoting the Saratov song tradition. In 2010, an ensemble of Ancient Russian singing art (A.G. Khachayants) was created at the Saratov Conservatory, consisting of students of the Department of Folk Singing and Ethnomusicology. His repertoire consists of znamenny monody, Early Russian polyphony, samples of spiritual poems and Old Believer singing heritage.

Thus, over the past 20 years of fruitful educational, scientific and creative work with the active participation of teachers and students in various All-Russian and international events, the modern look of the department has been formed. This is a rich educational process according to the new adjusted programs, a series of concerts, participation in prestigious competitions and festivals, conferences and symposiums, congresses of Russian folklorists, conducting master classes and open lectures, participation in the work of dissertation councils of universities. The activity of the department is highly appreciated by the public. For significant contribution to the development of national ethnomusicology, pedagogical, creative, educational and scientific activities, expressed in regular concerts and festivals of folk art, All-Russian scientific readings, publication of scientific collections, articles, books, collections of folklore, for extensive educational work to popularize folklore, by the decision of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences of August 31, 2012, in the nomination "Golden Fund of National Science", the staff of the department was awarded the honorary title – "Golden Department of Russia" (photo 1).

The Saratov School of Folklore Studies is known in the country primarily due to the activities of teachers – outstanding personalities of folk singing education: L.L. Christiansen (photo No. 2) – the discoverer of this direction in the educational structure and his students-followers.

L ev Lvovich Christiansen (1910-1985) L.L. Christiansen is a landmark personality for the Saratov Conservatory.

He is one of the founders of the Russian scientific folklore school. His activities were comprehensive. The archive of the conservatory contains materials characterizing his multifaceted talent as a collector, researcher, lecturer, teacher, which was formed under the influence of numerous observations of the work of authentic performers and professional choral groups. Lev Lvovich is an outstanding folklorist, a major music and public figure, a theorist and practitioner in the field of research of Russian folk art.

In the 60s of the last century, A.A. Yurlov and L.L. Christiansen – prominent figures in the musical art, created the department of the leaders of the folk choir at the Gnessin State Pedagogical Institute and the Sobinov State Pedagogical University, which was a pivotal turning point in the educational process in Russia. The initiative was supported by a number of leading folklorists of the country and since that time, folk art education has acquired a professional basis. According to A.S. Yareshko, "only with the participation of professional activity we can preserve the artistic riches created by human society over the millennia" [13, p. 17]. During his teaching work, L.L. Christiansen generously shared his knowledge and experience with his students and colleagues. For several years, he lectured and conducted practical classes with students of the Gnessin State Medical University. Thus, the basis of the methodology and methodology of the new specialty was laid, which was fundamentally important for the growth and development of young departments.

Being the creator and artistic director of the Ural State Russian Folk Choir (1943-1959), he stood at the origins of the formation of the modern performing folklore school, which for many years justifies itself with high results. It was his vast experience and outstanding talent as a researcher, musician, and teacher that made it possible to create in Saratov an independent direction in the professional training of folklorists, leaders of folk choirs – the "folklore school of Christiansen". Lev Lvovich managed to combine original folk music making with a universal method of teaching the art of folk singing into a system.

L. Christiansen attached considerable importance to the expedition work. According to his students, he was attentive and thorough in discussing the results of the trips of his young colleagues. The intensive collecting activity of the folklorist in the Urals began precisely with the leadership of the choral collective. His consultations and joint discussion of the problems of choral singing with V.G. Zakharov, unforgettable meetings with authentic singers and their creativity, direct rehearsal and performing work in the choir – all this created the foundation of knowledge in the field of folk art, which L. Christiansen subsequently developed and multiplied, creating a deep and solid professional base. L. Christiansen's scientific research raises serious problems of artistic education of young people, testifies to the search for methods of studying Russian folk art, attempts to influence the current situation. His scientific works have become a real school for beginning folklorists and a textbook for teachers. The key position of the author's school is the authentic principle of folk performance, the understanding of the artistic values of folklore. He argued that "all aesthetic categories – beautiful, tragic, ugly, scary, funny, sublime, etc. – are enclosed in the musical and poetic content of folk songs and are translated into the sound qualities of their performance" [9, p. 19].

A lot of precise, sometimes subtle observations on the modern processes of folk art and music education are reflected in L. Christiansen's book "Modern folk song Creativity of the Sverdlovsk region" [10], created on the basis of a candidate's dissertation, where the author, for the first time in the history of Russian folklore studies, opened the prospect of reaching a new level of the mechanisms of the system of musical thinking of folk singers. The results of this study served as the basis for the development of methodological materials for the course of lectures "Modern Russian folk musical and poetic creativity" (manuscript) [11].

In his pedagogical and scientific work, L. Christiansen consistently pursued a line aimed at the broad education of future folklorists – the leaders of folk singing groups, followed the principles of an integrated approach: teaching craft; careful preparation for expeditions; careful attitude to the originals of sound recordings; critical attitude to printed sources; demanding literary design of scientific works, intolerance to negligence of style.

The true discovery of Lev Lvovich was the youth songwriting under the guitar, which in the 60s of the twentieth century reached its heyday, seeing in it a new form of artistic expression of life practice, features of a new style in folk performance, thanks to which we now have a factual collection of recordings and transcripts of early samples of "guitar songs", which, "undoubtedly, they will become the most valuable historical and musical material" [15, p. 21]. The first scientific publication on this topic, "Everyone wants to sing" (1970), was published in the magazine "Soviet Music".

The main, final stage of Lev Lvovich's scientific activity in folklore studies was his fundamental work "The Modal intonation of Russian folk song" [8]. This study is devoted to an undeveloped, "completely unknown in music science area – the connection of the modal intonation of folk songs with the content of the text" [8, p. 3]. Based on the results of his observations, the scientist turns to the living process of authentic creativity, to semantic associations, considering in a semantic way the structure of melodies, the principles of shaping, rhythm, harmony. The monograph for the first time raises the issues of dialectics in the development of musical and expressive means of folk song. The author has developed a "unique multidimensional method of holistic intonation-semantic analysis" of song folklore [1, p. 103].

According to A.S. Yareshko, "The concept of searching for the truth – the meaning of a generalized idea, hidden in the inextricable connection of music and the text of a Russian folk song, developed by L.L. Christiansen, can be considered both from a scientific point of view, revealing the theoretical aspect of the problem, and from the point of view of ethnopedagogy and concert performance, reaching its practical usage" [14, p. 14]. The scientific and practical methods and approaches of L.L. Christiansen remain relevant at the present time, they require a new understanding in order to further develop the Saratov "school of folk singing". This is seen as further prospects for improving the folk choral art for the preservation, development and scenic actualization of Russian traditional culture. 

Elena Andreevna Sapogova (born in 1942)Sapogova E.A., People's Artist of Russia (1986), Professor, Laureate of the "Voice of the Angel of Russia", "Golden Apollo" of the Tchaikovsky Foundation, academician of the Russian People's Academy of Sciences – the first graduate of L.L. Christiansen, who gained experience as a soloist of the folk song genre in the Sverdlovsk State Philharmonic.

According to A.S.Yareshko, "her experiments in the performance of works of folk music impressed with their thoughtfulness, emotionality, extraordinary approach. It was Elena Andreevna who "discovered" the Old Russian epic for listeners, as well as the "small" form – lullabies, ditties, nursery rhymes, jokes, calendar" [12 p. 9-10]. She returned to the conservatory in 2001 to open a department of solo folk singing. By now with the qualification of "Concert performer. Soloist of the ensemble. Teacher" she has trained 15 graduates.

Elena Andreevna and her students continue the singing traditions of outstanding Russian folk performers. The bright, original singer toured in many regions of Russia and abroad. Among her students are winners of all–Russian and international competitions of folk song performers. Elena Andreevna continues her stage activity in the halls of the conservatory and at various concert venues of the country with bright and interesting programs in which her students take part. About the life and work of E.A. Sapogova, her biographical book "My heart is filled with song ..." was published [6].

E.A. Sapogova was born on October 3, 1942 in the village of Bryandino, Ulyanovsk region, in a large peasant family. Her love for Russian folk culture originated in her childhood. In the Sapogov family, everyone sang: father, mother, sisters, they revealed to her the beauty of Russian song. "My song began in the children's war years with songs-the cries of widows and mothers, Elena Andreevna wrote in her autobiographical book "On the Free Side" (2011), "I see my mother illuminated by the flames of a heated stove and either singing or crying..." [5, p. 8]. In the post-war period, life was difficult, but rich and filled with songs. Already at the age of 4, Lena sang ditties at full volume, and still knows a great many of them. Lena left her native village for the Urals when she was 14 years old. She studied at an evening school and a construction college, and took her first creative steps in amateur art. In 1960, she entered the Ural Folk Choir in a competition, with which she toured many cities of the Soviet Union and abroad.

In 1967, Elena, as an active participant in amateur performances, was sent to Saratov for a review, where the chairman of the jury was the head of the department of the leaders of the Saratov Conservatory Folk Choir L.L. Christiansen. After listening, he offered to enter the conservatory. In the same year, having received a certificate of graduation from evening school, Elena entered the conservatory in the class of Lev Lvovich, who subsequently had a huge influence on the creative manner and the formation of Elena Andreevna's individuality. So a new stage began in the life of the young singer, which determined her further work, which became the basis of her main future profession.

Elena studied with passion and obsession with Lev Lvovich, literally "absorbing" all the comments and advice of the teacher. He helped her come to the realization of a special attitude to the song. "A song is a small performance," Lev Lvovich often said to his students in class. In 1972 she received a diploma in which two qualifications were recorded: "choirmaster of the folk choir", "performer of Russian folk songs". And after graduation, L.L. Christiansen carefully followed the creative growth of his pupil. In the letters I advised: how to build a program, which numbers to include in concerts. Elena wrote to him about her achievements, sent tape recordings of her performances, came to Saratov with concerts.

Currently, E.A. Sapogova represents the conservatory and the region in the jury of festivals and competitions of different levels, is published in the scientific and popular press and organizes lectures, open lessons, master classes.

About the method of educating a singer in the class of E.A. SapogovaE.A. Sapogova, using her rich creative experience – as an artist of the Philharmonic and as a teacher, in her artistic, pedagogical attitudes continues the methods and principles of work bequeathed by L.L. Christiansen, which she herself gradually comprehended for many years in her creative life.


Teaching the art of folk singing in the class of E.A. Sapogova proceeds comprehensively. The basic principles of the singers' education consist in a gradual and consistent learning process (from simple to complex), in the unity of artistic and technical development, in an individual approach to the student. It is no coincidence that there is a notion that the song "sings in" gradually, because any skill takes time to form. So in Elena Andreevna's class there is a "rule of three P" formulated by her: "That's right. Gradually. Constantly." Mastering the technique of staging a folk voice begins with working on a singing apparatus, where the greatest efforts are directed to breathing, fixing the correct singing attitude, where special attention is paid to articulation, clear diction, the sound of each vowel and consonant separately, as well as words and phrases in general, coordination of sound and word, etc. All the above principles are the key to correct singing, as Elena Andreevna says in the lessons: "There is one way of singing – the right one. The main thing is to convey to the viewer the meaning of the song, to know exactly what you want to say by this."

Many teachers involved in the development of folk singing techniques have come to a consensus that the folk manner of singing is conversational, so the important attitude in singing is: "We sing as we speak." Singing is a person's ability to convey semantic intonations of living human speech with the help of voice. According to L.L. Christiansen: "In folk singing, singers use the conversational state of the entire vocal apparatus <...> "Conversational" are breathing, the state of the upper resonators, the oral cavity, lips, the manner of operation of the vocal cords. Folk singing, according to the state of the vocal apparatus with it, can be called naturally conversational"[9, p. 59].

It is important to remember that diction, sound formation, breathing, phrasing, correct singing attitude are elements of one whole, where the main thing is not the voice, but what the performer sings about and what he wants to say by it. The purpose of singing is to convey to the listener the meaning of the song, its subtext, because every word has an inner hidden meaning, which the performer conveys through intonation. Continuing the ideas of L.L. Christiansen, E.A. Sapogova attaches special importance to the education of students with a high degree of awareness of their creative activity. The words of the Teacher that it is "a conscious love for folk songs, enriched with culture and deep knowledge, gives the opportunity for a multifaceted knowledge of the riches of folk art" are the guiding star of Elena Andreevna's pedagogical principles. She manages to "collect" the listener, regardless of the age of the audience.  Experiencing sincere excitement from meeting with the audience, the singer skillfully influences the audience. It seems that when she goes on stage, she fills the hall with her energy [4]. The singer teaches students concentration of attention, the ability to gather and get rid of unnecessary thoughts, tune themselves to the right emotional wave and control themselves in the process of singing. Only after full immersion in the image of the performed work can the performer fully convey to the viewer what he wanted to say. Through folk songwriting with the help of songs, epics, lamentations, conspiracies – the amazing heritage of our people, E.A. Sapogova returns us to our roots, to the worldview genetically embedded in us, spiritual and aesthetic worldview, gradually disappearing from our consciousness. Elena Andreevna does not just sing, she lives by the song, and the song lives in her.

Elena Sapogova continues the traditions coming from N.V. Plevitskaya, L.A. Ruslanova and other outstanding performers of Russian folk songs, while preserving their identity and uniqueness. The People's Artist is convinced that everything that happens in the song is life! The attractive feature of her performance is that there is nothing fake in it, everything is natural and organic. Having suffered and mourned the song with its own fate, it conveys all the versatility and depth of folk art. This is the uniqueness of the creative beliefs of the People's Artist of Russia Elena Andreevna Sapogova.

Alexander Sergeevich YareshkoIn 2018, A.S. Yareshko (1943-2018), professor, Doctor of Art history, musicologist, teacher, public figure, campanologist and folklorist, Winner of the D.S. Likhachev National Prize "For Outstanding Contribution to the Preservation of the Cultural Heritage of Russia", founder of the scientific direction "Musical Campanology", died with us.

The whole life, scientific, creative and pedagogical activity of A.S. Yareshko, a student and follower of L.L. Christiansen, was connected with the conservatory, with folklore themes. Interest in collecting work manifested itself after the first year of the conservatory, when musicology students received a summer assignment from Professor Christiansen to collect songs from their small homeland. As a result, student Sasha Yareshko got so carried away that he brought several dozen Kuban songs already deciphered by September 1. Seeing such genuine interest, Lev Lvovich largely determined his life and scientific destiny, taking from the second year to work at the department of the leaders of the folk choir as a teacher of theoretical disciplines. In his final years, Lev Lvovich was the supervisor of his thesis. Subsequently, in the 1980s, leaving for a well-deserved rest, Lev Lvovich, along with his personal library, handed over the reins of the department, saying that "Sasha knows how to dispose of it." Among the multifaceted activities of Alexander Sergeevich, incredible scale and diversity, the leadership of the department has always been a priority for him.

A.S. Yareshko graduated from the Conservatory in 1971, where he worked for about 40 years as a teacher of special disciplines, among which the most significant were musical folk art, specialty, bell art, history and theory of folklore studies, decoding and arrangement of folk music. He conducted author's courses of lectures on these subjects in the programs of specialty, bachelor's, master's, postgraduate and assistant-internship. Over the years of work at the University, he has trained more than 70 musicologists and ethnomusicologists, heads of folklore creative collectives. Under his leadership, 15 candidate's theses were defended, for many years he was deputy chairman of the Joint Dissertation Council at the L.V. Sobinov State Pedagogical University. A.S. Yareshko was a multiple recipient of grants – the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation (2005), RGNF (2007, 2011, 2013), the Russian Performing Arts Foundation (2004) for scientific research studies of song and instrumental folklore and bell art of Russia, the President of the Russian Federation for creative projects of national importance in the field of culture and art – "Creation of a collection of folk songs of the Great Patriotic War" (2011) [2].

On the education of a folklorist-ethnomusicologist in the light of modern tasks

From 1998 until the end of his earthly days he headed the Department of Folk Singing and Ethnomusicology. It was during this period that the structural transformations of the department, the introduction of new educational standards, and the renewal of all forms of academic work fell out. The analysis of the department's activities over the past decades allows us to identify the main priorities in the subject of scientific research and the stage embodiment of the folklore traditions of Russia by choral and ensemble groups, to which A.S. Yareshko drew attention. The education system of students during his work as the head of the department was formed on the basis of future specialists' knowledge of the basics of folk art, their highest artistic achievements.

If the initial stage of the formation of curricula, programs differed in some generalized approach, which naturally characterized the first experiences of the educational process, then only decades later the need for specific methods in the education of a future specialist was realized. The process of adaptation of folklore education in the established academic system of education has been improved throughout the activities of the department and is still relevant at the present time. A.S. Yareshko believed that a number of well-established theoretical subjects – harmony, polyphony, analysis of musical compositions - cannot fully give the necessary knowledge to the future ethnomusicologist. Thus, there is a need to include special complementary courses, such as ethnoharmony, sub-vocal polyphony, stylistic foundations and the basics of shaping folk music, which will fill the educational vacuum. According to A.S. Yareshko, for the education of the head of the folk choir, the course "Solfeggio" should be completely based on ethnic material, become the subject of "Ethnosolfeggio", built according to the laws of traditional folk culture [3].

The principle of curriculum formation allows universities to largely proceed from their own priorities, which is noted as a positive trend. A significant addition was made to the course "Folk Music Creativity", especially in its final part – folklore of the twentieth century [13] – a topic on which A.S. Yareshko developed an author's program and a course of lectures. Currently, folk instruments of folklore tradition are widely used at the department: students should be able to perform a traditional song repertoire with their own accompaniment on gusli, balalaika, harmony, wind instruments and other instruments as a result of their practical development and the "second life" of authentic instrumental folklore. At the same time, two subjects are logically combined: "Vocal training" and "Folk instruments", which makes it possible to show the creative possibilities of a novice performer-singer and the future head of a singing group in a more diverse way.

The modern stage of folk choral performance dictates new integrated approaches in the education of a folklorist-researcher, in the study and preservation of folk singing art. This is a combination of theory and practice of performance, expedition work on the collection of musical and ethnographic material as the basis of a full-fledged research activity, the creation of a folklore collection with audio recordings, and finally, the concert and stage embodiment of the song tradition.

Back in the 1980s, when A.S. Yareshko combined work at the conservatory with the work of the artistic director of the Russian folk choir of the Saratov branch of the VHO and the DC Trolleybus Plant named after M.S. Uritsky, on the basis of his practical activity, he put forward the idea of creating a "folk song theater", which, in fact, "hovered" in creative minds. In his article "Folk Song Theater" [16], a new experimental structure of the choir is substantiated, such as the folk song theater, where the main character is the creative team itself with a program of a single thematic orientation. In the article, the author convincingly explains the advantages of this form of collective work and the presentation of musical material. This form has been implemented in concert performances of the department's choir and in graduate diploma programs. The numbered performing concept fades into the background, and the priority is given to the forms of tradition inherent in the primordial folk art: the syncretism of vocal art with other genres of folk art – dance and the instruments of folklore tradition, which are organically interconnected [13; 17].

One of the directions in which A.S. Yareshko was a pioneer – the unique art of Russian bell ringing – the subject of his fundamental research for more than fifty years – the transfer of experience to young musicians through the organization of the educational process in educational institutions. The first step was the organization in 1992 of the elective "Bell Art" at the Saratov State Conservatory named after L.V. Sobinov, and later it was carried out in various forms throughout Russia: short-term courses and schools of bell ringers, master classes, consultations on the construction and equipping of bell towers and belfries with bells, holding all-Russian and international festivals of bell music, scientific and practical conferences, etc.

The multi–level training programs for bell ringers developed by him and introduced into the educational process, including lectures on the history and theory of the art of bell ringing and practical classes, which were held in parallel and were designed to promote the revival of the heritage of national culture - bell music.

The work of the elective assumes the mandatory presence of a training base-a bell tower, where students receive full-fledged practical skills. In addition, a "small" belfry was equipped, which was located in the premises of the educational institution. For classes at the conservatory, Alexander Sergeevich collected such a belfry personally, purchasing bells on trips around the country, selecting them according to the aesthetics of sound.  During the training, in addition to the technique of playing bells, special attention was paid to the issues of genre varieties of ringing as a special form of Russian Orthodox music, knowledge of regional traditions. In 1994, the ensemble of bell ringers created by him "Bell Virtuosos of Russia" with a mobile belfry, together with the folk song ensemble, toured the cities of Belgium and Holland. Graduates of the elective show a high level of professional training at All-Russian and International competitions of bell ringers. For 26 years, the elective has been in great demand by students of various specialties: musicologists, composers, choirboys, narodniks. The implementation of the program of this course is an example of the preservation of national traditions in folk instrumental art in the education system. Later, with the active assistance of A.S. Yareshko, similar electives and bell ringers' schools were opened in various cities of Russia and Belarus.

The above-mentioned methods and principles of the department represent the main line in the education of future specialists. They contain an understanding of folklore tradition as a dialectically developing phenomenon with stable and mobile elements. "In the activities of my students, I see the development at a new level of the traditions of folk art of the past and present" [7, p. 166], – so succinctly L.L. Christiansen formulated the main direction of the work created by him and continuing to develop dynamically for 55 years of the Department of Folk Singing and Ethnomusicology of the Saratov Conservatory. For more than half a century, the Department of Folk Singing and Ethnomusicology has trained 365 specialists. Among them are heads of creative collectives and soloists, candidates of art history, professors, folk and honored artists.

The department has established itself with a high level of training of practitioners, a wide range of topics and geography of ongoing research projects and activities, having formed the Saratov School of Musical Folklore. The development of folklore studies and pedagogy in this area will continue, new research will give its shoots in the field of knowledge, and the availability of the archive of folklore records of the Saratov Conservatory for a wide range of researchers will provide many promising ideas.




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The 55th anniversary of the department of higher education is an event for those who stood at its foundation, and for those who graduated from the university and began to spread its scientific principles and accumulated professional skills into life, to transfer the acquired knowledge to a new generation. Because of this, the topic of the article can be called important, relevant, and promising. The department is always people, experts in their field, therefore, the composition chosen by the author, which combines essays on personalities and a scientific and statistical assessment of the work carried out over a half–century period, looks natural and justified. The anniversary focus of the article suggests a somewhat panegyric tone of utterance. It sounds to the fullest. Over 55 years, the department has trained more than three hundred folk singing specialists, 6 teachers have received PhD and doctoral degrees. The teachers of the department have prepared collections of articles "Poetics and semantics of folklore", seven issues "History, theory and practice of folklore", "Problems of folklore in the modern world". Since 2005, on the initiative of A.S. Yareshko, the department has conducted seven All-Russian scientific readings in memory of L.L. Christiansen "History, theory and practice of folklore". The author emphasizes the pilot nature of the organization of a new performing direction "the art of choral and solo folk singing", "unprecedented experience in the formation of a new conservative discipline", the formation of a methodology for teaching folk singing and the performing repertoire of a singer of this genre. The development of a new scientific and musical direction - campanology, the creation of original scientific and methodological and educational manuals is also unique. However, there were problems behind the scenes that could not have been at the department, and ways to overcome them. Such a research perspective is useful for the professional community no less than a list of achievements. The prospects of the department are also rather vaguely spelled out, especially taking into account the administrative "swing" from the specialty to the bachelor's degree and back. It would be interesting to get more accurate information about what kind of singing style is being formed / educated at the Saratov Conservatory, what kind of folk singing we are talking about. For an ethnomusicologist, it is clear that there is no "just a Russian folk song", there are songs of the Smolensk region, Kuban, the Ural region, Vologda region, etc. At the end of the last century, the theory of local and sublocal styles was formed in Russian ethnomusicology. Sometimes in neighboring villages or villages they sing in a different manner. How is this problem solved within the walls of an academic institution? Do they teach different styles and manners, or do they form the "only correct" artificially created stage manner of folk singing? The principles of vocal training used by Elena Sapogova ("breathing, fixing the correct singing attitude, articulation, clear diction, the sound of each vowel and consonant separately, as well as words and phrases in general, coordination of sound and word") are quite applicable to academic and pop vocals. In addition to the "openness" of the sound, other markers of folk or folk stage singing are not articulated in the article. Most likely, they are not clearly pronounced by vocal teachers either. A theoretical understanding of practical developments has not yet developed. If the author has the opposite opinion, I would like to argue it. A.S. Yareshko's idea that "only with the participation of professional activity can we preserve the artistic riches created by human society over the millennia" also seems debatable to us. As practice shows, the folk tradition is passed down from generation to generation, but it can also be extreme. In Soviet times, there was a tradition of amateur ensemble or choral singing with its own standards of sound production and stage behavior. The synergetics of artistic folk culture turns out to be boundless, existing "inside" each ethnic group.At the same time, one cannot but agree that the stage actualizes any traditional culture. Special attention is drawn to L.L. Christiansen's thought about the connection of folk singing with speech. Research in this direction can be very promising. The article will certainly be of interest to a professionally oriented reader. She will benefit if the author responds to the reviewer's wishes.
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