The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(1) A songbook; a collection of songs or art songs. The first Western European songbooks date from the 16th century, and the earliest Russian songbooks (manuscript collections of songs on religious and historical themes), from the 17th century. In the 18th century, secular music began to prevail in the manuscript songbooks, which included an increasing number of folk songs. The first and largest Russian printed songbook (lyrics without music) was compiled by M. D. Chulkov (A Collection of Various Songs, parts 1-4, 1770-74). V. F. Trutovskii compiled the first songbook with text and music (A Collection of Simple Russian Songs, With Music, parts 1-4, 1776-95; new edition, 1953, edited and with an introduction by V. M. Beliaev). The poet I.I. Dmitriev published the Pocket Songbook, or Collection of the Best Secular Songs and the Best Songs of the Common People (1796).

The publication of songbooks reached its peak in the mid-19th century. Cheap, popular songbooks were printed for the urban and rural population. In the 1890’s songbooks included songs of workers and craftsmen. Revolutionary songbooks were printed illegally in Russia, as well as abroad. Soviet songbooks contain both art songs and folk songs.

(2) A singer, one who performs songs; a member of a folk choir; in an army unit, the leader of the chorus.

(3) A composer or poet who is primarily interested in writing songs.


Nashi pesni. Moscow, 1970.
Pesennik. Moscow, 1973.
Russkaia narodnaia pesnia: Bibliograficheskii ukazatel’, 1735-1945. Moscow, 1962.


Pozdneev, A. V. “Rukopisnye pesenniki XVII i XVIII vv.” Uch. zap. Moskovskogo zaochnogo pedagogicheskogo in-ta, 1958, vol. 1.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Grigorii Ponomarenko: velikii pesennik. Krasnodar: Sovetskaia Kuban', 2000.