Turkic trace in ancient Russian book iconography analysis of the «King David and musicians» miniature from the Ipatiyev (Godunov) psalter, 1594.

Esipova M.V.

6-25 p.

doi.org: 10.22378/he.2019-4-1.6-25

The miniature King David and Musicians from the Ipatiyev Psalter (1594), which was created in Moscow, is examined in the article. The miniature actually is an inexact copy of the one from the older Illuminated Psalter of mid16th century (perhaps both had some kind of a more ancient common prototype). Brief iconographic history of each depicted musical instrument is given by appealing to the Byzantine sources. A particular emphasis is made on bow instrument images: the one from the 16th century Psalter (of the fiddle type) occurs in the Byzantine iconography of the 11th–12th centuries, while the other one from the Ipatiyev Psalter is completely unique – it resembles a Turkic kobus, which is quite consistent with the historical context (the existence of Turkic settlements in the 16th century Moscow, Christianization of the Turkic population, etc.). Inscriptions “glosses” that explain images have been analyzed. They are subsequent to the ancient Byzantine tradition in the 16th century Psalter (the names of Biblical temple musicians are specified) and are “innovative” in the Ipatiyev Psalter (not citing names but giving designations of musicians or their instruments). The musical terms documented on the Ipatiyev Psalter miniature reflect not only the linguistic situation in the 16th century Rus16th cent. Russia linguistic situation – the combination of old Russian Slavic (bubniki, trubniki), Turkic and Turkic-Persian (domras, surnachi), and West-European («cytras», lyutniki) words included in the Russian language; but also project a change of mindsets among the clergy as well. The paper suggests an interpretation of the word «klyshniki», which defines bow instrument players («lik klyshnikov») and which still has not been explained by philologists.

Keywords: musical iconography, Ancient Russian church books miniatures, Ipatiyev (Godunov) Psalter 1594, King David and musicians, Byzantine musical instruments, bowed kobus/kobyz, klyshniki, ancient Russian musical terminology.

For citation: Esipova M.V. Turkic trace in ancient Russian book iconography analysis of the «King David and musicians» miniature from the Ipatiyev (Godunov) psalter, 1594. Istoricheskaya etnologiya – Historical Ethnology, 2019, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 6–25. DOI: 10.22378/he.2019-4-1.6-25


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About the author: Margarita V. Esipova is a Candidate of Science (Art History), Advanced Research Fellow at the Research Centre for Methodology of Historical Musicology at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory (13/6, Bolshaya Nikitskaya St., Moscow 125009, Russian Federation); Senior Research Fellow at the Russian State Institute of Art Studies (5, Kositskiy Ln., Moscow 125009, Russian Federation); esipova.margo@yandex.ru