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PHILHARMONICA. International Music Journal
Reference:

Historiography of the study of mytho-religious songs of Ossetians before the 1930s.

Dzlieva Dzerassa Mairamovna

ORCID: 0009-0006-5295-4983

PhD in Art History

Senior Researcher, V.I. Abaev North Ossetian Institute for Humanitarian and Social Studies - the branch of the Vladikavkaz Science Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences

362044, Russia, Republic of North Ossetia-Alania, Vladikavkaz, Magkayeva str., 12/4, sq. 40

gegusa@gmail.com

DOI:

10.7256/2453-613X.2023.2.40563

EDN:

GEVMQJ

Received:

24-04-2023


Published:

07-06-2023


Abstract: The subject of the study is the historiography of the study of Ossetian song folklore. The object of the study is mytho-religious songs. The purpose of the article is to systematize information sources reflecting the history of the development of research interest in the song folklore of Ossetians, paying special attention to mytho-religious songs. With the help of source research methods, handwritten collections, music collections, notes of individual samples in music publications, descriptions of audio recordings, research works were identified. This article discusses issues related to the activities of various collectors of Ossetian musical folklore. The author traces the stages of the formation of scientific thought, and the development of collecting activities. The most significant works are highlighted, including samples of mytho-religious songs of Ossetians. The main conclusions of the study relate to observations on the activities deployed in the 1920s - 1930s and related to various collectors. The analyzed data indicate an undoubted interest in the Ossetian song tradition. Thanks to folklore and ethnographic expeditions of the 1920s, an impressive set of materials of Ossetian song folklore was collected, but it is worth noting the careless attitude of collectors to the poetic text. Quite often it is presented in a distorted version, in the volume of one stanza, and sometimes it is completely absent. The breakthrough in collecting detail was the appearance of the phonograph. Phonographic recordings made in the 1930s. they still make up the main body of materials on the folk musical culture of Ossetians. A special contribution of the author to the study of the topic is the systematization of information sources on mytho-religious songs, which determines the scientific novelty of this research work.


Keywords:

ossetian songs, musical folklore, mytho-religious songs of Ossetians, Ossetian ethnomusicology, ossetian folk songs, ritual songs, song folklore, folk beliefs, collectors of Ossetian folklore, historiography

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

The historiography of Ossetian folklore has repeatedly become part of research works. In particular, some issues of collecting and studying Ossetian songs are covered by such scientists as K. G. Tskhurbayeva [1], F. Sh. Alborov [2], V. I. Bekoev [3] and E. A.Dzhagarova [4]. However, to date, there is not a single special work in musical folklore on the study of songs dedicated to representatives of the ethnoreligious pantheon of Ossetians. This article uses a frontal method of reviewing both published and archival sources (tunes with and without texts, including audio recordings), where samples of this genre are published.

For the first time, the question of distinguishing religious and mythological songs as an independent genre of Ossetian traditional musical culture was raised by us in the work "Musical and poetic features of calendar and ritual folklore of Ossetians" [5]. These songs are united by ideas about the world order, addressed to God and the spirits of the upper world the patrons of various aspects of people's lives. They do not have strict timing, but they can be performed during calendar holidays, each of which is dedicated to a particular representative of the religious pantheon, and be updated in other festive situations. The figurative and poetic basis of these songs necessarily includes a prayer appeal to God and individual patrons, a request for well-being and protection from various adversities.

When publishing religious and mythological songs, the compilers offered variants of their scientific and terminological designation and placed them in various classification categories. In the 1927 edition "Monuments of Ossetian folk Art" these songs were included in the section "Ancient Songs" [6, p.119], in the collection of B. A. Galaev "Ossetian folk Songs" they form a separate group "Songs about mythological patrons" [7, 127], in the collection of texts "Monuments of Ossetian folk art" is "Mythological poetry" [8, 190], in the collection "Iron ad?mon sf?ldystad" songs about heavenly patrons are presented in the category "Festive songs and prayers [9, 298]; in the work of V. Bekoev they are inscribed in the section "Calendar-ritual poetry" [3], finally in the article Takazova F.M., devoted to the semiosis of the narrative, these songs are considered within the genre of mythological songs [10].

Here are the names of representatives of the Ossetian religious and mythological pantheon, to whom the main body of songs is dedicated:

1) Huitsau (Iron dialect)/ Khutsau (Digor dialect) (Khusau / Khutsau') God;

2) Uastyrji (ir.) / Uasgergi (dig.) (Uashtyrji / Uasgergi') patron saint of men, travelers and warriors;

3) Mady Mayr?m (ir.) / Mady Mayr?n (dig.) (Mady Mayram / Made Mayren') patroness of women and children;

4) Alardy (ir.) / Alaurdiy (dig.) (Alardy / Alaurdiy) patron saint of smallpox, measles and eye diseases;

5) Uacilla (ir.) / Uacella (dig.) (Alardy / Alaurdiy) the patron saint of cereals;

6) Tutyr (ir.) / Totur (dig.) (Tutyr / Tutyr') patron of wolves;

7) F?lv?ra (ir.) / F?lv?Ra (dig.) (Falvara / Falvara) patron of livestock;

6) Mykalgabyrt? (ir.) Mukalgaburt? (dig.) (Mykalgabyrte /Mukalgaburte) patron of fertility and abundance;

7) ?fsati (ir.) / ?fsati (dig.) (Efshati / Efsati') patron saint of hunters and wild animals;

8) Fyduani (ir.) / Fuduani (dig.) (Fyduani / Fuduani) patron of the weather;

9) Zdt? (ir.) / Izdt? (dig.) (Zhedte / Izedte) spirits of the upper world.

The emergence of interest in religious and mythological songs dates back to the end of the nineteenth century. The first auditory recordings of Ossetian folk songs were made by the composers of the Moscow school M. M. Ippolitov?Ivanov and S. I.Taneyev. It was Sergei Ivanovich who recorded the chant of the religious and mythological "Song about Afsati", which was published much later in the memorial collection "In Memory of Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev" [11].

In the first decades of the twentieth century, a phonograph began to be used for folklore purposes, and samples of Ossetian folk song culture of Ossetians began to be recorded on rollers. In 1907-1909, the Gramophone joint-stock company recorded and published 32 records, on which Ossetian songs performed by folk ensembles and solo performances by folk singers were published: A. Alikov, S. Medoeva, B. Medoeva, D. Temiraeva. A complete annotated index of these recordings was published in 1911 [12], but it has not yet been possible to establish where the original recordings are located.

From religious and mythological songs, a fairly extensive and diverse repertoire was recorded on the records. Some samples are represented by single recordings of musical folklore: Uatsillayy zarg (The song of Uacilla) and ?fsatiy zar?g (The song of Afsati) performed by an amateur choir conducted by A. Varziev; Z?dty zar?g (The song of the spirits of the Upper World) was recorded by A. Tomaev; Mykalygabyrty zarg (The song Mykalgabyrta) is recorded by the choir, led by Kuraev (the name of the folk musician is not specified). The most famous religious and mythological songs are presented in several versions of the recording: Uastyrdjiyy zarg (The song of Uastyrdzhi) in 5 versions from different local traditions of Ossetia, and Alardyy zarg (Alarda's Song) in 3 versions.

Despite the obvious value of phonographic recordings of the early twentieth century, the well-known researcher of Ossetian folklore B. A. Alborov severely criticized both the recordings themselves and the conditions in which they were conducted: "There was no preliminary thorough preparation for the performance of songs: although the recordings mention a "choir under the direction" of one or another person, but it is clear that that the conductor was not coping with the task. <...> This defect is reinforced by the fact that the voices are transmitted weakly and due to the fact that the singers could not adapt to the performance of songs in front of a megaphone: the voices sometimes squeal, then barely audible. The names of the songs on many records are mixed up" [13, 20]. Despite the identified shortcomings, it is difficult to overestimate the historical significance of these materials both in the study of musical folklore of the Ossetians and in order to study the stated topic.

Of particular importance in the history of the fixation of texts and melodies of religious and mythological songs are the 1920s - the time when Ossetian folklore, including music, was born. During these years, the first purposeful folklore expeditions to Ossetia were carried out, collectors recorded samples of the traditional folk musical culture of the ethnic group by ear and with the help of a phonograph, the first results of such activities were published.

In the 1920s, a whole galaxy of figures who made a significant contribution to the development of Ossetian ethnomusicology was formed: Akhpolat Alikov (1877-1949), Viktor Dolidze (1890-1933); Alexander Polyanichenko (1895-1968); Efim Kolesnikov (1891-1975); AndreyTotiev (1907-19948); Tatarkan Kokoity (1908-1980) and LeonidKuliyev (1916-1962). The activities of these collectors were organized on the basis of the North Ossetian regional branch of the USSR Union of Composers. The generation of collectors of the 1920s not only left behind valuable samples of traditional Ossetian music, but also contributed to the popularization of the national musical culture. Samples of many traditional songs were processed for various compositions and entered into concert practice in this form. Let's name, among others, the arrangement of the religious-mythological song "Aefsati", performed by E. A. Kolesnikov for the mixed choir a'capella. It is a vivid example of the national-characteristic style of arrangement of authentic folklore and is still successfully performed by performing groups, both professional and amateur.

One of the most competent collectors and researchers of Ossetian music of the 1920s was V. I. Dolidze. The enormous work he has carried out has not been sufficiently studied to date, but "certainly represents a new and significant stage in the study of Ossetian folk music" [1, 23]. V. Dolidze collected about 200 Ossetian folk songs and tunes, but most of them have not yet been published (his collection is divided into repositories Georgia, South Ossetia and North OssetiaAlania).

Not all the records of the collectors of the 1920s were made public at the same time. Most of the materials were included in publications of later times, namely in two books: "Ossetian musical folklore" [14] and "Collection of songs for Ossetian schools" [15]. The first of these publications was prepared for publication by the North Ossetian Branch of the Union of Soviet Composers and was published in 1948. It was conceived as the first volume of the anthology of song and dance folklore of Ossetians, but the second volume was never published. "Ossetian musical folklore" includes 280 auditory notations, 14 of which (including variants) belong to the group of religious and mythological songs (5% of the total number of examples).

In this work we find 3 variants of the Alardy zarreg ('Alardy's Song'), 7 variants of the Uastyrdzhi zarreg ('Uastyrdzhi's Song') and 2 samples of the song Huycau dzuar ('Bogu's Song'). In addition, archaic and rarely encountered song plots dedicated to Fydyuani and Huacilla are recorded in isolated examples. Thus, both quantitative and qualitative data indicate that the share of religious and mythological songs and their specific weight in the overall picture of the genres of Ossetian folklore is very significant.

At the same time, the peculiarities of the organization of the 1948 anthology are such that the inclusion of these materials as full-fledged sources for the scientific study of religious and mythological songs is very difficult. The main disadvantages of the publication can be considered the presentation of musical material without subtexts or in the volume of one stanza, careless certification, editing of poetic texts, leveling and even distorting the stylistic originality of the traditional Ossetian song. The introduction of these materials into scientific circulation is a serious textual problem, since it requires reconstruction based on the results of structural and typological analysis.

Researchers of the North Ossetian Research Institute of Local Lore in Vladikavkaz (now SOIGSI VNC RAS), mainly philologists, have done a tremendous job in the field of studying and popularizing Ossetian folk culture. The scientific archive of SOIGSI contains a huge manuscript fund including, among other things, texts of religious and mythological songs. It is worth noting that the layer of textual archival materials is so large that it goes beyond the scope of this study.

Among the publications, the series "Monuments of Folk Art of Ossetians deserves special attention" [16] [6] [17]. In these collections, field materials are given in the original language without melodies. From the religious and mythological songs, we will pay attention to such rare subjects as: Mad? Mayr?n ?m? fid? Huycau ('Mayr?m and Father God') [6, 136]; Uasgergiy zar, h?dzari arfi tukhh?i ('Uastyrji's song, in connection with the good wishes of the house') [6, 137].

In the late 1920s - early 1930s, Leningrad musicologists and folklorists joined the collection of musical folklore of the republics of the USSR. Under the patronage of the famous Russian scientist-ethnomusicologist E. V. Gippius, several specialized trips to Ossetia take place. The most impressive collection of field materials on the traditional musical culture of Ossetians was collected by the Honored Artist, famous composer B. A. Galaev (1889-1974). In 1928, on the initiative and with the support of E. V. Gippius, B. A. Galaev went on his first scientific expedition to North Ossetia, equipped with a phonograph and rollers. As a result of this trip, Galaev made about 300 audio recordings in North Ossetia, and a year later, in 1929, together with a student of the Pedagogical Institute A. E. Dumkaev, he already recorded folk songs in South Ossetia.

The phonographic recordings collected by B. A. Galaev make up the main body of materials on the folk musical culture of Ossetians. Recorded folklore materials are now stored in various archives. Recordings of 1928-30 and 1935-37 are in the Phonogram Archive of the Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkin House) [IRLI, Phonogram Archive: 007F FV 428-568 and FV 5113-5120(21); 119 F: FV 3778-3845; 125 F: FV 4019-4038].

The volume of religious and mythological songs is slightly more than 5% of the total number of materials recorded by the collector. Out of 700 samples, 38 belong to this genre, of which: songs of Uastyrdzhi (24); Alards (7); ?fsati (3); Mada Mayr?m (2). Finally, one song is addressed to Huycau and F?lv?r. In the fundamental publication "Ossetian Folk Songs" [7] Galaev published the most revealing examples of musical folklore, including religious and mythological songs. The collector included in the publication 9 examples of songs of this circle: Uastyrdzhi zar?g (3), Alardyy zar?g (3), ?fsatiyy zar?g (2) and Uatsillayy zar?g (1). In this publication Galaev used the principles of analytical notation and primary genre systematization of Ossetian songs, where he applied the ideas of E. V. Gippius, who performed music editor of the publication. The activity of B. A. Galaev in the field of collecting, studying and publishing Ossetian folklore for many years laid the foundations of scientific methodology and formulated approaches that are taken into account and developed at the next stages of the development of Ossetian ethnomusicology.

Among the archival materials of the 1930s, phonographic recordings made by the Swedish scientist E. Emsheimer are of particular interest. In 1936, he recorded about 200 samples of Ossetian folk songs and plays [IRLI, Phonogrammarchiv: 203F FV 5304-5352]. From the category of religious and mythological songs in the Emsheimer collection are presented: Uastyrdjyi zar?g ('The Song of Uastyrdzhi') (12); Alardyy zar?g ('The Song of Alardy') (4); F?lv?rayi zar?g ('The song of F?lv?ra') (2). In addition, single examples are dedicated to Uacilla, Fyduani, Mykalgabyrta, ?fsati, and Mady Mayr?m.

The IRLI Phonogram Archive also contains recordings of Ossetian folklore made by T. Kokoity in 1939 [IRLI, Phonogram Archive: 217 FF 5489-5515]. Among 80 samples of different genres, only 2 belong to religious and mythological songs (Uastyrdzhi and Alardy).

The main trends in the collection and study of the Ossetian song tradition of the studied period, such as the appearance of the first auditory recordings of folk songs and the use of a phonograph to record the original sound of Ossetian songs, went in parallel with Russian folklore as a whole, forming an important part of its unified historical path. The powerful expedition work that unfolded in the 1920s and 1930s brought the first serious results, gave science a voluminous corpus of sources, including religious and mythological songs.

After the 1930s, for well-known political reasons, the activity of collecting and studying Ossetian folklore practically ceased. Only a decade after the end of the Great Patriotic War, the collection and study of Ossetian folk music culture resumed. The activation of all spheres of research activity in this direction is associated with the last quarter of the twentieth century and the names of K. G. Tskhurbayeva, D. S. Khakhanov and F. S. Alborov. A feature of this period of scientific research is the formulation of general questions concerning the system of musical genres and linguistic features of Ossetian folklore. The analysis and study of this stage of the history of science will be carried out in the following studies of the author.

References
1. Churbaeva, K. G.  (1959). Some features of Ossetian folk music. Ordzhonikidze: North Ossetian book publishing house.
2. Alborov, F. Sh. (2004). Musical culture of Ossetians. Vladikavkaz: Ir.
3. Bekoev, V.I. (2010) Folk poetry in the system of traditional culture of Ossetians. Dissertation for the degree of PhD: 10.01.09. Machachkala.
4. Dzhagarova, E.A. (2008). Patterns of phonism in Ossetian heroic songs. Dissertation for the degree of Candidate of Art: 17.00.02.  Novosibirsk
5. Dlieva, D.M. Alankush, S. (2017). Musical and poetic features of calendar and ritual folklore of Ossetians. Izvestia SOIGSI, 25(64), pp. 160-172. doi:10.23671/VNC.2017.64.9741
6Monuments of folk art of Ossetians (1927). (Vol. 2). Vladikavkaz: Ossetian Research Institute of Local Lore.
7. Galaev, B. A. (Ed.). (1964). Ossetian folk songs. Moscow: Music. 
8. Khamitsaeva, T. A. (Ed.). (1992). Monuments of folk art of Ossetians: Labor and ritual poetry of Ossetians.   Vladikavkaz: Ir.
9. Salagaeva, Z. (2007). Iron adæmon sfældystad [Ossetian folk art]. (Vol.2) Vladikavkaz: Ir.
10. Takazov, F.M. (2017). Semiosis of the narrative of mythological songs-prayers of Ossetians. Izvestiya SOIGSI, 26(65), pp. 130-138. doi:10.23671/VNC.2017.65.9796
11. Protopopova, V. (1947). In memory of Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev: 1856-1946: Collection of articles and materials for the 90th anniversary of the birth. Moscow, Leningrad: Muzgiz. 
12.  Catalog of Caucasian and Persian Recordings of the Stock Company Gramophone (1909). Moscow.
13.  Alborov, B. A. (2005). Study and harmonization of Ossetian folk songs. In Khamitsaeva, T. A. (Ed.). Some issues of Ossetian philology (7-62). Vladikavkaz: Publishing and printing enterprise named after V.I. V. A. Gassieva.
14. Totiev, A.S. (Ed.). (1948). Ossetian musical folklore. Moscow, Leningrad: Muzgiz. 
15. Kolesnikov, E.A. (1960). Collection of songs for Ossetian schools: Singing (solo, choir) without accompaniment. Ordzhonikidze: North Ossetian book publishing house.
16Monuments of folk art of Ossetians (1925). (Vol. 1). Vladikavkaz: Ossetian Research Institute of Local Lore.
17.  Monuments of folk art of Ossetians (1929). (Vol. 3). Vladikavkaz: Ossetian Research Institute of Local Lore. 

First Peer Review

Peer reviewers' evaluations remain confidential and are not disclosed to the public. Only external reviews, authorized for publication by the article's author(s), are made public. Typically, these final reviews are conducted after the manuscript's revision. Adhering to our double-blind review policy, the reviewer's identity is kept confidential.
The list of publisher reviewers can be found here.

The subject of the study, as follows from the title of the article, is "historiography of the study of mytho-religious songs of Ossetians" 1900-1930. Despite the fact that the description of the historiography of the musical folklore of Ossetian songs of 1900-1930 in the work strives for exhaustive completeness, it is difficult to draw a conclusion about the degree of study by the author of this subject for several reasons. Firstly, there is no formulation of the historiographical problem in the introduction. The author confines himself to noting that in the designated period (1900-1930) allegedly "information about folklore was mostly fragmentary." The author himself refutes this thesis, referring, for example, to the research of B. A. Galaev. However, in the work submitted for review, there is absolutely no assessment of the degree of study of the historiography of Ossetian musical folklore of the designated period, which does not allow us to determine either the problem field or the scientific contribution of the author. Secondly, confining himself to specifying the subject of the study in the title, the author did not give a description of the object under study. The reader has to guess that if the historiography of the musical folklore of Ossetian songs of 1900-1930. If the subject is, then, in all likelihood, the historiography of Ossetian musical folklore as a whole is the intended object of research. If the guess is correct, then the question arises: has no one touched the historiography of the period designated by the author during the entire existence of musical folklore of the Ossetians? The author's disregard of this issue significantly limits the research optics in terms of reviewing sources: there is completely no analysis, for example, of the corpus of thematic dissertations for the presence/absence of information about the subject of research in them; moreover, since the author casually mentions that not only musicologists, but also philologists, were engaged in the folklore of Ossetian songs of the specified period, necessary for Disclosures of the subject of the study can be contained in the interdisciplinary field of Ossetian folklore in general. Finally, thirdly, the reason for the author's attention to the historiography of the study of mytho-religious songs of the Ossetians of 1900-1930 is not clear from the text submitted for consideration, i.e. the grounds (1) for highlighting the designated period and (2) for limiting attention to a certain genre. Here, according to the reviewer, lies a really serious problem of Russian folklore, which is highlighted when trying to justify the upper limit of the historical framework. If the author casually touches on the lower limit: the appearance of the phonograph and mentions of the first folklore expeditions (i.e., in the 1990s, Ossetian musical folklore studies actually began), then the problem of determining the upper limits is connected with the answer to the question, what happens to musical folklore in Soviet times? The essential problem, in the opinion of the reviewer, lies in the conflict of the socialist realist concept of nationality with the mythopoeic specifics of folk art. The state doctrine of the official nationality was not able to absorb the fullness of the content of folk art, especially musical and poetic, deeply connected with sacred mythological and religious ideas about reality. It is no secret that the state cultural policy of the Soviet era was aimed not at preserving the uniqueness of authentic folk art, but at replacing it with the officially accepted exclusively atheistic aesthetics of the "proletariat". Therefore, it is extremely important: 1) determine the genre of "mytho-religious songs of Ossetians" by answering the question: were there other genres? 2) answer the questions: is there still an opportunity after the 1930s to openly study the mytho-religious songs of Ossetians and do the trends in Ossetian musical folklore of the Soviet era differ from the trends in musical folklore of other peoples of the USSR? 3) to answer the key question: in the 1930s, the historiography of the study of mythological and religious songs of the Ossetians was interrupted or was it continuing, or was it revived at some historical interval? Considering the above, we have to state that the subject of the study is not fully disclosed in the article. The methodology of the study is based on a review of epistolary sources for the study of mythological and religious songs of Ossetians in 1900-1930. Due to the lack of a specific research program (problem, purpose, tasks and methods of solving them, the degree of study of the problem, etc.) and conclusions about the completeness of the review, it is difficult to say whether the methodology was implemented: Did the author apply a thematic, cross-sectional or random selection of sources? Is the review frontal (i.e. fully covering the intended area of research) or has the author encountered objective limitations? What are the prospects for further research on the sources of the study of mythological and religious songs of Ossetians in 1900-1930? (are there any white spots left, or should the topic be closed as fully explored)? The relevance of the topic raised by the author is extremely high. Its acuteness is emphasized by the deplorable state of modern folklore studies, driven by the main technological trend of science into the marginal field of "non-essential" knowledge. Meanwhile, without a theoretical understanding of the true richness of the artistic content of the musical and poetic heritage of peoples, it is impossible to speak seriously about the revival or strengthening of national identity, which determines the subjectivity and sovereignty of modern statehood. The scientific novelty, in the reviewer's opinion, is expressed implicitly in the article: the author intuitively touches on serious issues of the historiography of musical folklore and even focuses on them in the title of the article, but does not fully disclose the problem raised, does not focus either his own or the reader's attention on his own contribution to the development of folklore musicology and its historiography. The style of presentation of the material tends to be scientific, but is replete with a lot of blots: 1) there is a fused spelling of words ("... recordings of Ossetian folk songs...", "... a mytho-religious one was recorded..."), 2) not all date indications correspond to the style required by the editorial board ("Con. XIX century.", "beginning. XX century.", "In the late 20s 30s of the twentieth century.", etc.), 3) punctuation errors occur ("Song about Afsati" published much later ..."... a galaxy of figures who made a significant contribution ...", etc.), 4) in some cases, extra spaces are used before punctuation marks, 5) there are explicit typos in some words ("a person of art"). The text certainly needs authorial and editorial proofreading. The structure of the article, as noted above, needs to be improved. The introduction should be strengthened by defining the main terms (for example, the genre of mytho-religious songs of Ossetians), clearly formulating the research program, justifying the time limits of the subject of research, and so on. A clear research program will strengthen the final conclusion, assessing the novelty of the achieved result and determining the prospects for further research. The bibliography does not fully disclose the problematic area of research (there is no literature for the last 5 years, there is no assessment of the state of musical folklore studies abroad), and in some paragraphs the description does not meet editorial requirements. There is no appeal to the opponents. Some critical comments on the sources are expressed through the opinions of colleagues. At the same time, the author avoids discussions with colleagues, as if developing a topic that does not exist in scientific musicological discourse. Due to its acute relevance, the article will certainly arouse the interest of the readership of "PHILHARMONICA. International Music Journal" after its revision by the author, taking into account the comments of the reviewer.

Second Peer Review

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The author clearly and argumentatively presented the purpose and objectives of the article. Indeed, in musical Ossetian studies there is not a single special work on the study of songs dedicated to representatives of the ethnoreligious pantheon. The researcher limits the studied period to thirty years (1900 - 1930s) and focuses on identifying the conceptual apparatus, pointing out that the object of interest to him in previous studies was named and placed "in various classification categories": then as "ancient songs" ("Monuments of Ossetian folk art", 1927); then as songs about mythological patrons ("Ossetian folk Songs", collected by B. Galaev); then as samples of mythological poetry (collection of texts "Monuments of Ossetian folk art"); then as festive songs and prayers (collection "Iron ad?mon sf?ldystad"; that's how calendar-ritual poetry (V. Bekoev); that's how the genres of mythological songs (F.M. Takazova). Calling the object under study "religious and mythological songs" in the title of the article, the author, nevertheless, does not defend the proposed concept, does not prove its adequacy and does not urge the scientific community to use its own version of the name as the most convenient and realistically reflecting its essence. If it is essential for the researcher to use the proposed definition, it is important to emphasize this in the text of the article. The author declares the use of a frontal method of reviewing published and archival sources, including audio recordings with samples of this genre. However, at the same time, sound recordings made by English sound engineers at the very beginning of the twentieth century and still in the form of vinyl discs in the EMI archive in London turn out to be unaccounted for. Probably, the researcher is not familiar with the work of A.N. Sokolova "Caucasian pre-revolutionary sound recordings as an object of scientific research", published in the Bulletin of the Adygea State University. The series "Philology and Art Criticism". Issue 4 (247). Maykop, 2019. pp. 173-180. The format of the review does not allow you to provide a table from this article in its entirety (this would be advisable, given that the author intends to continue his research). Let's limit ourselves to one example: Matrix number 1390; plate number - C 2-12169; recording location - Tiflis, March 1909; performer BAZE MEDOEV; song title - Usageorgi zar (Digorskaya) Uastyrdzhi zarg (Song about Uastyrdzhi); storage location - EMI archive. Visiting North and South Ossetia, we have repeatedly seen how active mythological heroes (pagan deities?) are they are included in modern everyday practices. No meal is complete without mentioning Uastyrji and Uacilla. Under their patronage, family and ancestral holidays are held, famous Ossetian pies are baked and eaten. A comparison of the same song, separated by a century, is of research interest. Ossetian scientists have the happy opportunity to listen and hear the real sound of a century ago. Modern technology allows you to "clean" the sound, remove noise (this is done by the specialists of the EMI archive) and make a real transcription of musical and poetic text. In general, the article submitted for review is very informative, written in good scientific language and worthy of publication.
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