Russian orthodox music in Australia: The translation of a tradition


Maximova, Galina. (1999). Russian orthodox music in Australia: The translation of a tradition [Thesis].
AuthorsMaximova, Galina
Qualification nameMaster of Music (MMus)

For over 50 years the presence of Russian people has been significant in Australia and the Russian Orthodox Church has been established in 24 centers in all states and territories. The richness of the musical heritage of the Russian Orthodox Church is well known; it has a tradition extending over many centuries and one which embraces an enormous repertoire of various styles of chant together with a vast repertoire of polyphonic music, much of it by famous composers. At this point in time there has been virtually no documentation of the history and practice of Russian Orthodox liturgical music in Australia. There are three histories of the Russian church in Australia (Protopopov 1997, 1998, 1999) but the topic of music is not addressed. This is also true of Galina Zakrjevsky's history of St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral (1998). Studies of Russian immigration to this country include the dissertation by Maria Frolova (1996) and the book by Elena Govor (1997). While liturgical music is not a concern of these writers, their studies nevertheless provide useful background material for an investigation into Russian Orthodox Liturgical music as practised in this country. There are of course numerous studies of Russian church music, notably by Gardner (1980) and Morosan (1991). Their focus is understandably Russian and these books are essential for any understanding of the Australian experience of such liturgical music. This study thus seeks to document the practice of Russian Orthodox liturgical music in Australia from 1926 to 1999.;The central research questions are: What is and has been the makeup of Russian Orthodox church choirs in Australia? What is the repertoire of these choirs? What training is available for choristers? To what extent have Australian choirs been able to maintain the traditions of Russian Orthodox liturgical music? What changes have taken place in performance traditions during the time of settlement? In order to achieve these aims there has been a heavy reliance on surveys by means of a questionnaire and interviews with choirmasters, choristers and clergy in five states. Extensive use has been made of archival sources and church magazines such as Word of the Church and Australiada: A Russian Chronicle. Material for a background study of Russian Orthodox music has been drawn from Secondary sources such as Gardner, Morosan, Brill, and Rasumovsky and for a background history of Russian Orthodox church in history of the Russian Orthodox church in Australia from 'A short history of the first Russian Orthodox parish in Sydney' by Soovoroff. For the discussion in Part 2: The Australian Scene special consideration has been given to four choirs: SS Peter & Paul's Cathedral (Sydney), St Nicholas Cathedral (Brisbane), St Nicholas Church (Adelaide), Holy Dormition Church (Dandenong), Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral (Melbourne), the reason being that these represent the different levels of choral standards in this country. Thus these embrace one choir of a large cathedral church, one of a moderately sized cathedral church, one of a very small cathedral church and one of a tiny parish church. The approach adopted involves an examination of the makeup of these selected choirs throughout the time frame of the study. This is followed by an analysis ofthe their repertoire, based on repertoire lists supplied by choir directors.;Due to the paucity of source material and fading memories of informants, it has often been impossible to identify key persons by their name: only the surname and initial can be given.

PublisherAustralian Catholic University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Final version
Publication dates01 Dec 1999
Additional information

If you are the author of this work and have concerns regarding the content. Please contact Library [] Research Services.

Permalink -

Download files

  • 133
    total views
  • 91
    total downloads
  • 1
    views this month
  • 2
    downloads this month
These values are for the period from 19th October 2020, when this repository was created.

Export as