Boleslav Iavorskii

Iavorskii, Boleslav Leopol’dovich


Born June 10 (22), 1877, in Kharkov; died Nov. 26, 1942, in Saratov. Soviet musicologist, pianist, and composer. Doctor of art studies (1941).

In 1903, Iavorskii graduated from the Moscow Conservatory, where he had studied composition under S. I. Taneev and piano under N. E. Shishkin. He subsequently performed as a pianist. He was a founder of the People’s Conservatory in Moscow, where he taught piano from 1906 to 1916. He was a professor of composition and piano at the Kiev Conservatory from 1916 to 1921. The People’s Conservatory in Kiev was founded in 1918 at his initiative. From 1921 to 1930, Iavorskii was an instructor at the First Moscow Music Technicum, where he was in charge of curriculum planning; at the same time he worked in agencies of the People’s Commissariat for Education and played an important role in reforming Soviet musical education. He was a professor at the Moscow Conservatory from 1938 to 1942.

Iavorskii, a great music theorist, developed the theory of modal rhythm, which greatly influenced musicology in the USSR. Iavolskii composed musical works.


Stroenie muzykal’noi rechi: Materialy i zametki, parts 1–3. Moscow, 1908.
Uprazhneniia v obrazovanii ladovogo ritmo, part 1,2nd ed. Moscow, 1928.
Osnovnye elementy muzyki. Moscow, 1923.
“Konstruktsiia melodicheskogo protsessa.” In Struktura melodii. Moscow, 1929.
Siuity Bakha dlia klavira. Moscow-Leningrad, 1947.


Ryzhkin, I. “Teoriia ladovogo ritma (B. Iavorskii).” In L. Mazel’ and I. Ryzhkin. Ocherki po istorii teoreticheskogo muzykoznaniia, fasc. 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1939.
Protopopov, S. “Pamiati Boleslava Leopol’dovicha Iavorskogo.” In Informatsionnyi sbornik, fascs. 5–6. [Moscow] 1944.
Tsukkerman, V., and L. Kulakovskii. “Iavorskii-teoretik.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1957, no. 12.
B. Iavorskii, vol. 1: Stat’i, vospominaniia, perepiska. Moscow, 1972.