Choral singing and orchestral music playing in the life of the Don Theological Seminary in the second half of the 19th – early 20th centuries
Based on example of the Don Theological Seminary as the largest educational institution in the South of Russia of the second half of the 19th – early 20th centuries the article shows that one of the most important elements of the educational process of theological schools in the Russian Empire was aesthetic education, which included church singing and orchestral music playing. With church singing being a compulsory subject included in the syllabus by the educational committee of the Holy Synod, orchestral music playing was considered an optional subject which, however, aroused a persistent interest among students. Not only did they succeed in mastering the skills of playing wind and string instruments, but they also participated in city concerts as members of the seminary orchestra. Studying archive sources made it possible to reveal the names of the Don Theological Seminary teachers who taught students singing and playing musical instruments, and to determine the methods of teaching music-related subjects as they were presented by a church singing teacher N. Lebedev. The priest M. Erkhan, who was a well-known church composer of the last third of the 19th – early 20th centuries and the precentor of the Archbishop’s Choir of the Novocherkassk Ascension Cathedral, stood out among the teachers who taught both church singing and theological subjects. A significant contribution to choral singing training in the seminary was made by V. Odnoralov. Consequently, due to the music training, seminary students formed two choirs, managed alternately by the students themselves. A. Listopadov, who later became a well-known folklorist of the Don region, was one of such students- cantors. Teaching orchestral music playing at the Don Seminary was initiated by the Seminary Board and the principal. The main objective of introducing that subject was aesthetic education, which was expected “to distract students from idleness and gross pleasures” and from taking any interest in revolutionary ideas. The idea of the Seminary Board was successfully implemented and yielded tangible results.
Don Theological Seminary, aesthetic education, church singing, orchestra of the Don Theological Seminary, priest V. Kostenko, priest M. Erkhan, V. Odnoralov, A. Listopadov.
Shadrina A. Choral singing and orchestral music playing in the life of the Don Theological Seminary in the second half of the 19th – early 20th centuries // South-Russian Musical Anthology. 2020. No. 4. Pp. 123–131.