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A. Ustyugova

Skrypel And Skrypitsa – Early Russian Bow Instruments of the Sixteenth Century

The article raises the question of the violin performance and musical instruments in the 16th century Russia. The author widely covers scientific achievements in this field, citing, in some cases, directly opposite points of view of authoritative researchers on the problem of the appearance of a violin on the territory of the Russian state. The results of a comparative historical analysis of ancient Russian manuscripts in comparison with visual sources provide an opportunity to get an idea of the origin of the early Russian violin of the 16th century and the peculiarities of playing on it. For the author, the main sources of the study were the Ermolai–Yerazm’s treatise, Lexis by Lavrenty Zizania, ABCs and lexicons of the 16th century. The article provides illustrations of miniatures from the Illustrated Chronicle of Ivan the Terrible. The author notes that the origin of the early Russian stringed instruments is connected with the creativity of buffoons and became an integral part of their life. On the other hand, the violin instruments were condemned by the church as a “burial demonic vessel”. The author suggested that the emergence and development of violin performance was closely related to the instrumental traditions of the Slavic peoples. String bow instruments skrypel and skrypitsa are defined as samples of the “pre–classic violin”.

Key words

violin, skrypel, skrypitsa, ancient Russian violin performance.