Category «grass-roots» and Ukrainian music of the 19th century




Ukrainian musical art of the 19th century, grass-roots art, home music making, "high", "low" art, Biedermeier


The relevance of the study. Actuality of theme. In a detailed analysis of samples of domestic artistic production of the mentioned period, we are convinced that the general level of musical creativity also does not always fit into the generally recognized levels of quality, going beyond the usual delineations of the categories of "high", "low" and "grassroots" art. On the one hand, it is objectively connected with socio-cultural circumstances that did not contribute to the achievement of the level of "high" samples, equivalent to the Western European culture of the time, and on the other hand, in terms of its semantic and substantive content, it does not quite correspond to the next "low" level context At the same time, the category of "grassroots" etymologically has a mostly pejorative, underestimation of artistic creativity as undeveloped and, accordingly, carries negative semantics.

The main objective of the study due to the expansion of the terminological compendium, adjust the established assessments of musical works, objectifying them as much as possible. The object of analysis for terminological clarification and categorical expansion was the composer's works, which were based on folklore elements. The subject of the research is works intended for daily use, salon, home music-making of the 19th century.

The methodology are related to the main purpose of the research and rely on the historicalgenetic, socio-cultural and national context.

Results and conclusions. So, we believe that the term Grassroots proposed by us to characterize examples of musical culture at both the amateur and professional levels expands the musicological thesaurus and emphasizes the qualitative aspects of national art, the basis of which is the ethnic, folklore principle. In music, a sign of belonging to the grass-roots can be considered to rely on metrorhythmic, modal and melodic foundations, as well as on the verbal content of a folk song. Focusing, first of all, on the social and national dimensions, grass-roots can be differentiated according to the "high" and/or "grassroots" levels of culture, while observing the main principle - reliance on folklore national sources with a characteristic "bottom-up" initiative. At the same time, grass-roots art exists as a separate level between "grassroots" and "high" styles. Musical samples of grass-roots art, due to the possession of the qualities of a high style and, at the same time, due to the simplification of certain elements of musical expression, are usually aimed at a wide, democratic audience and are accessible for understanding and perception.

Author Biography

Taras Dubrovnyi, Ivan Franko National University

Doctor of Philosophy in Arts, Аssociate Рrofessor, head at the Department Musicology and Horal Art


Bulat, T., Filenko, T. (2009). Svit Mykoly Lysenka. Natsionalʹna identychnistʹ, muzyka i polityka v Ukrayini XIX — poсhatku XX stolittya [The world of Mykola Lysenko. National identity, music and politics of Ukraine in the 19th and early 20th centuries]. Nʹyu-York: Ukrayinsʹka Vilʹna Akademiya Nauk u SSHA; Kyiv: Maysternya knyhy, 408 p. [in Ukrainian].

Vasyuta, O. (2021). Muzychne mystetstvo Chernihivshchyny yak kulʹturotvorchyy fenomen Ukrayiny XX — pochatku XXI stolittya [Musical art of Chernihiv Oblast as a cultural phenomenon of Ukraine of the 20th — early 21st centuries]. Manuscript of Dissertation work for gaining the degree of the Doctor of Arts by specialty 26.00.01 — theory and history of culture (art history). National Academy of Managers of Culture and Arts. Kyiv, 563 р. [in Ukrainian].

Hrytsak, YA. (2021). Podolaty mynule: hlobalʹna istoriya Ukrayiny [Overcoming the past: a global history of Ukraine]. Portal, Kyiv, 432 р. [in Ukrainian].

Dubrovnyy, T. (2022). Grassroots yak mystetsʹka katehoriya ukrayinsʹkoyi kulʹtury XVII–XIX stolitʹ [Grassroots as an artistic category of Ukrainian culture of the XVII–XIX centuries]. In: Mystetstvoznavchi zapysky [Notes on art criticism]. Vyp. 42, Kyiv, рр. 41–46 [in Ukrainian].

Dubrovnyy, T. (2022). Do pytanʹ polisemantyky kitchu (na prykladi «dukhovnoyi pisni» XVII–XVIII st.) [On the issues of kitsch polysemantics (on the example of the "spiritual song" of the XVII–XVIII centuries)]. In: Kulʹtura Ukrayiny [Culture of Ukraine]. Vyp. 75, KHDAK, Kharkiv, рр. 78–84 [in Ukrainian].

Vinkvist, CH., Teylor, V. (eds.) (2003). Entsyklopediya postmodernizmu [Encyclopedia of postmodernism]. Osnovy, Kyiv, 504 p. [in Ukrainian].

Kozarenko, O. (2011). Fenomen ukrayinsʹkoyi natsionalʹnoyi muzychnoyi movy [The phenomenon of the Ukrainian national musical language]. Vyd. NTSH, Lʹviv, 254 p. [in Ukrainian].

Kudryk, B. (1995). Ohlyad istoriyi ukrayinsʹkoyi tserkovnoyi muzyky [Review of the history of Ukrainian church music]. Lviv, 128 p. (Seriya: Istoriya ukrayinsʹkoyi muzyky. Vyp. 1: Doslidzhennya) [in Ukrainian].

Muravsʹka, O. (2013). Dukhovni osnovy mystetstva bidermayeru ta yevropeysʹka muzychna kulʹtura [Spiritual foundations of Biedermeier's art and European musical culture]. Lʹvivsʹko-ryashivsʹki naukovi zoshyty [Lviv-Ryashiv scientific notebooks]. LNU im. I. Franka, LʹvivRyashiv. No.1, рр. 218–224 [in Ukrainian].

Olʹkhovsʹkyy, A. (2003). Narys istoriyi ukrayinsʹkoyi muzyky [Essay on the history of Ukrainian music]. Muz. Ukrayina, Kyiv, 512 р. [in Ukrainian].

Pylypovych, V. (2004). Vstupne slovo [An introductory word] . Vytvytsʹkyy V. Starohalytsʹka solʹna pisnya XIX stolittya [Vytvytskii V. Old Galician solo song of the 19th century]. Peremysʹkyy tsentr kulʹturnykh initsiatyv «Mytusa», Peremyshlʹ, р. 13 [in Ukrainian].

Shchepakin, V. (2017). Muzychna kulʹtura Skhodu i Pivdnya Ukrayiny druhoyi polovyny XIX — pochatku XX stolitʹ : yevropeysʹki vymiry : monohrafiya [Musical culture of the East and South of Ukraine in the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries: European dimensions : monohraрh]. FOP Panov A.M., Kharkiv, 479 р. [in Ukrainian].

Yasinovsʹkyy, Yu. (2020). Tserkovnyy spiv Halychyny Avstriysʹkoyi doby u krytytsi, personaliyakh i notnykh dzherelakh [Church singing of Halychyna of the Austrian era in criticism, personalities and musical sources]. In: Vasyliyansʹki istorychni doslidzhennya [Basilian historical studies]. Т. V, «VASYLIADA», Varshava, р. 114 [in Ukrainian].

Dubrovnij, Т. (2022). The dialectic of kitsch or Grassroots as an important factor development of Ukrainian culture. Theorie und Geschichte der Monodie, Bd. 11. Bericht der Internationalen Tagung Wien 2020, Brno. pp. 43–58 [in German].