The Seven-String Guitar in Russia: Its Origins, Repertoire, and Performance Practice, 1800-1850

Published by Robert Coldwell on

A wonderful new book by the world’s foremost expert on the history of the Russian seven-string guitar has recently been published.

Purchase at Cambridge Scholars Publishing

This definitive work on the history of the seven-string guitar in Russia, its cosmopolitan origins, its vast and diverse repertoire, and its unique sound and performance practice is a goldmine of information on the instrument’s players and composers—Andrei Sychra, Semion Aksionov, Mikhail Vysotsky, and many others––who brought the art of playing to unprecedented heights. It details various connections between this musical tradition and the country’s peculiar cultural and political context, including the contribution of women composers in the 18th century, the cultural implications of the Third Partition of Poland (1795), and the role of the Russian Roma in the formation of the seven-string guitar style. The book will be of great interest to guitar scholars, specialists in 19th-century Russian music, and anybody interested in Russian culture and history.

Oleg Timofeyev is a musicologist, guitarist, composer, documentary film director, and a world authority on the Russian seven-string guitar tradition. His previous publications include a book on Russian-Romani guitar playing (2018) and a critical edition of collected works by Matvei Pavlov-Azancheev (with Stefan Wester, 2020). Timofeyev has recorded and released over 20 solo and ensemble albums to critical acclaim worldwide. The recipient of two IREX Fellowships, two Fulbright Research and Teaching Fellowships, he has also won the coveted Noah Greenberg Award for his CD Music of Russian Princesses at the Court of Catherine the Great. He holds an MA in Early Music Performance from the University of Southern California and a PhD from Duke University, USA. He has taught at universities and conservatoires in the USA, Russia, and Ukraine.

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Categories: Russia


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