Singers of Pereyaslav bishops in the 18th century




Cathedral singers, singers-monks, musical manuscripts


The proposed article is based on the corpus of historical sources of the 18th century and is devoted to the study of the singers of bishops of Pereyaslav. We found documentary evidence of the singers in 9 of the 14 bishops of Pereyaslav. According to the traditional order at the episcopal cathedrals of the Hetmanate, during the services, only the monks (kryloshany) sang. This tradition can be eloquently traced in the Pereyaslav Ascension Cathedral and other monasteries of the Pereyaslav eparchy during the 1720-1740s. The total number of singers in the cathedral monastery ranged from 5 to 9 people. At the head of the monks were two ustavnyky, who ruled the right and left choirs. And only in 1722, by a special decree, the Most Holy Governing Synod unified the rules, which primarily concerned the Ukrainian eparches. Since then, the order for the service of 10 singers has been established in the bishop's houses. Despite this, even before the decree was issued, vicar bishop Cyryl Szumlański was served by his own singers, led by the regent. The presence of the regent can be traced in the service of the next vicar bishop Joachim Strukov. Both the church monody and the polyphony sounded in the cathedral. We draw this conclusion from the available music books. Bishop Joakim Strukov in Pereyaslav owned the Heirmologia with musical notation, and in the time of Bishop Arseniy Berlo in the cathedral the musical-theoretical treatise of Mikołaj Dilecki "Musical Grammar" was rewritten. On the cover of this manuscript it was stated that one day a solemn partesnyi concert was performed. In connection with the last musical manuscript, the bishop's intention to introduce and consolidate innovations in the field of music education can be traced, when the aim of the students was to master the art of partes singing at a qualitatively better level. In addition to the above, this thesis is confirmed by information from the life of the singer of one of the previous bishops, when the teaching of partes singing took place outside Pereyaslav. The bishops' singers were called "pivchi" in authentic terminology, which we see both in documents from the archives of the Most Holy Governing Synod in St. Petersburg and in local documents from Pereyaslav. Beginning with the act sources of 1760 and at least until 1782, the group of bishop's singers was called "vocal music". During the same period, there is another name for this vocal group, which was used for internal use - "pivcha", which probably meant primarily a separate room where the singers lived. The choir was financed, first of all, from the bishop's treasury. And the singers received additional income by collecting money from the parishioners in a "singing mug", a special container for donations. According to expenditure sources, the funds received went to sewing, repairs, as well as the purchase of clothing and footwear. Among the information found in the sources about the singers, the total number of which reaches 29 names, not counting the mentioned singers without names and monks, we find representatives of various social stratum - children of clergy, Cossacks, burghers, commoners. For many of them, singing in the cathedral choir was not only an opportunity to earn a steady income, but also served as a springboard for career growth, for the rank of priest, or a place as a singer in one of the imperial capital choirs. In the second half of the 18th century there is a certain pattern, when most singers were disadvantaged, mostly orphans. In the life of the Pereyaslav bishops there were contacts with secular musicians-instrumentalists. In the 1720s, a bandura player served to vicar bishop Joachim Strukov. In the early 1780s, Hilarion Kondratkovskyi used the services of military musicians for solemn greetings during church holidays.



How to Cite

Kuzminskyi І., & Bezpalko В. (2022). Singers of Pereyaslav bishops in the 18th century. TEXT AND IMAGE: ESSENTIAL PROBLEMS IN ART HISTORY, 1(13), 99–122.



Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern art