FEATURES OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF MUSICAL EDUCATION IN THE MARI ASSR IN 1956-1985

Research article
DOI:
https://doi.org/10.23670/IRJ.2023.135.28
Issue: № 9 (135), 2023
Suggested:
28.06.2023
Accepted:
05.09.2023
Published:
18.09.2023
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Abstract

The article discusses the history and features of the development of music education in the Mari ASSR in the period 1956-1985. The study was conducted on the example of the activities of institutions of additional education. Materials. The research is based on documents from the State Archives of the Republic of Mari El and the State Archives of the Republic of Tatarstan, materials from the author's field research, and sources of personal origin. Analysis. The weakening of the ideological dictate in the period 1956-1985 contributed to the development of national musical culture, an increase in the number of children's music schools, and a significant improvement in the quality of music education. This process was facilitated by the opening of the Music and Art Boarding School No. 1 for gifted children (1960), the formation of a network of children's music schools, and the fruitful cooperation of the Yoshkar-Ola Music College named after I.S. Palantai and the Kazan State Conservatory. Results. The improvement of the system of music education in the Mari Republic, the creation of unique educational institutions, continuity in education contributed to the formation of high-level professional musicians, as well as a competent listening audience.

1. Introduction

The chronological framework of the article conditioned of some changes in the socio-political situation in the USSR after the 20th Congress of the CPSU and the creation of favorable conditions for the development of national musical cultures. The upper boundary of the study (1985) is due to the onset of a new historical period for the country – the beginning of cardinal reforms in the USSR. By the mid 1980s. Mari musical art has reached the culminating stage in its development. With the onset of the perestroika period, a drop in the level of both Soviet culture in general and Mari professional music in particular began to be observed. This process took place over the course of several years, with some temporary separation from socio-political events. Therefore, consideration of the indicated chronological framework for the development of Mari music from the period of its formation to the time of its highest point at the mid-1980s meets the purpose of this work.

The formation and development of the system of music education in the Mari ASSR are considered in this article in the period 1956-1985. Within this period, there was a change in the socio-political situation in the country, which began with the 20th Congress of the CPSU and the “Khrushchev thaw” that followed it. By the mid 1980s. The Mari musical art has reached the culminating stage in its development. With the onset of the perestroika period, a drop in the level of both Soviet culture in general and Mari professional music in particular began to be observed. This process took place over the course of several years, with some temporary separation from socio-political events. Therefore, the consideration of the indicated chronological framework for the development of the system of music education in the Mari Republic from the period of its formation to the moment of its peak in the mid-1980s meets the purpose of this work.

The period of 1956-1985 differed in a certain complexity and contradiction. After the XX Congress of the CPSU and the exposure of the personality cult, the tendency toward some democratization of the party policy in the field of culture and art had been outlined. Relative freedom in the field of artistic creative work was obvious, and the methods of influence on the intelligentsia became more tolerant. At the same time any deviation from the political line of the state, open criticism of the party and government, which had sometimes taken place in some pieces of literature and art, were eliminated.

The change in the political situation also contributed to the transformations in the field of the Soviet culture and art. The main turning point in their development was the appearance of the Resolution of the CPSU Central Committee "On correcting mistakes in evaluating the operas «Great Friendship», «Bogdan Khmelnitsky» and «From the Whole Heart»" of May, 28, 1958. Not fully cancelling the resolution “About the opera «The Great Friendship» by V. Muradeli” of February 10, 1948, the document announced the partial rehabilitation of a number of prominent Soviet composers: D.D. Shostakovich, S.S. Prokofiev, A.I. Khachaturian, V.G. Shebalin and others. Noting that the resolutions of 1940-s in general played a positive role in the development of the Soviet music art, the document contains a moderate dose of criticism of Stalinism: "…some unfair and unjustly harsh assessments of the work of a number of talented soviet composers were made, which was a manifestation of negative features characteristic of the period of the personality cult"

.

In the Mari Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic after the XX Congress and the appearance of the mentioned Resolution of 1958, the socio-political atmosphere also changed. The party organization of the republic followed the political course of the Central Committee of the CPSU and sensitively reacted to its changes. The rehabilitation of many prominent figures of literature and art, the classic of Mari literature S.G. Chavain among them, served as the evidence of the positive changes. In addition, already in December 1956 the premiere of the drama "Akpatyr" by this outstanding Mari playwright took place on the stage of the Mari State Theater

. After a long period of oblivion, the works of S.G. Chavain found their second life, embodied later into the libretto of the first Mari operas.

2. Research methods and principles

Among the theoretical methods for this study, the most relevant were the methods from the abstract to the concrete and vice versa, analysis and synthesis, without which research analytical activity is generally impossible; method of studying and summarizing experience, comparative-historical, problem-chronological, synchronous and diachronic, as well as statistical methods. In particular, the retrospective method made it possible to identify the reasons for the qualitative growth of indicators of the development of music education in the Mari ASSR in various aspects. Critical and concrete historical methods were involved in the consideration of a number of sources (in particular, archival materials) and their verification.

In a number of empirical methods, the method of description was used in combination with analysis. The comparison method made it possible to identify general trends in the development of all-Union and Mari musical education. The method of observation revealed a number of events in the educational process in the Mari Republic, which were not reflected in the sources and literature.

3. Main results

The changed socio-political situation in the country influenced the development of the musical education in the Mari Republic. In order to train a good staff of professional performing personnel and to educate a competent listener already at the end of the 1950-s a network of children’s music schools is being formed which contributed to the development of the educational process in the regions of Mari ASSR.

In August 1959 in one of the most remoted regions of the Mari Republic – Mari-Turek – a children's music school was opened where initially two specialties were carried out – piano and button accordion. The development of educational activities of the school took place in 1961-1975: the classes were expanded, the school staff carried out a large concert and educational work. The teachers participated in the regional propaganda team; a vocal ensemble of teachers was organized. Despite the fact that frequent changes of teachers was an obstacle to a stable and fruitful work in 1975, as an experiment, the branches of the Mari-Turek CMS were opened in the villages of Marietz and Karlygan. In 1977, with the opening of the art and choreographic departments, the Mari-Turek CMS was transformed into the children’s Art school. Gradually, having received an education at the music school, its graduates returned there as teachers which greatly improved the quality of education. The school organized creative groups: the choreographic ensemble "Carousel", the model orchestra of folk instruments of the Karlygan branch "Roots", the vocal ensemble of teachers "Cantilena" who took part in concert activities at the district level as well as in republican and regional competitions.

In the 1960-1970s, music schools were created in the city of Zvenigovo, in the villages Medvedevo and Novy Toryal (1961), the village of Orshanka (1962). The year 1969 was marked by the opening of Children’s Art School No. 2 in Yoshkar-Ola and the village of Mochalishche, the village of Ruem and Mikryakovo (1973), the Children’s School of Art No. 5 in Yoshkar-Ola and the village of Vilovatovo (1974), Kilemara (1976), Kuzhmara (1977). Thus, by the end of the 1970-s an extensive network of children’s musical educational institutions was created in the republic, covering almost all regions.

A particularly important place among the music schools of the Mari ASSR since the 1960s. began to occupy the Music and Art Boarding School No. 1 for gifted children. The idea of creating a school of this type belonged to A.I. Kazakova, who at that time held the post of Minister of Culture of the Mari Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, and to V.N. Yashmolkin the head teacher of the musical school named after I. Palantay. In 1958, the Council of Ministers of the Mari ASSR made a decision to open a music and art boarding school based on school No. 12 in Yoshkar-Ola. The official opening of the educational institution took place later, on October 10, 1960, when the construction of a dormitory with a dining room and a sports hall was completed. 210 former pupils of Nol-Vershinsky, Lyulpansky, Kuyarsky and Yoshkar-Ola orphanages, who were divided into seven classes, attended the school. 35 pupils entered the music class specializing in violin and piano.

At the beginning of the 1962/1963 academic year, the material conditions of the school improved markedly: the school already had 6 pianos, 17 violins, and the number of music classes increased to 12. This expanded the opportunities for the creative growth of students and schoolteachers. In 1962, a brass band was created, for many years led by N.V. Fedyushkin. In the same year, the first public performance of the boarding school pupils took place. In 1963, a button accordion class was opened with a contingent of 16 students

.

Since October 1966, G.D. Pryanikov became the director of the school and he played a significant role in its development. In this academic year, the number of teachers at the music department totaled 17 people, which made it possible to improve the educational process

. At the end of the 1967/1968 academic year, the first graduation of the music department took place – 27 students, 24 of whom continued their studies at the I.S. Palantay School
. Thus, almost all graduates of the boarding school, having received good professional skills and being in demand, continued their further studies in music and subsequently became the pride of the Mari professional art.

Special mention should be made of the choir of the boarding school №1 for music and art. Its first director was G.K. Saveliev, and then V.S. Bespalov headed the choir

. In the 1970s, the choir director was M.Y. Kaplansky, under whose leadership the collective "for the propaganda of the Mari national art" was awarded the title of Laureate of the Olyk Ipai Mari Komsomol Prize
.

The successes of the young musicians attracted the attention of the prominent Soviet musicians. The boarding school was attended by such famous personalities as D.D. Shostakovich (1965), A.I. Khachaturian (1977), A.Y. Eshpai, E.D. Grach (1977), People's Artists of the USSR L.G. Zykina (1981), B.T. Shtokolov (1983), People's Artist of the RSFSR L.V. Leshchenko (1981). Such meetings were important both for children who had the opportunity to get to know the idols of musical art directly, and for the masters themselves, who saw a unique experimental school in the province, preparing their future successors.

By the mid-1980s, the school had piano, string, folk, wind, theoretical departments, and a composition class. In May 1984, a choreographic department was opened at the school. Such an abundance of specializations made it possible in the future to make up for personnel problems that existed in the Mari musical art. In addition, the presence of various departments in the boarding school contributed to the formation of various performing groups (ensembles of accordion players, harpists (Russian “guslars”), violinists, cellists, a brass band, the choir mentioned above), contributing to the activation of concert activities and the promotion of national musical culture.

In addition to Boarding School No. 1, a great contribution to the training of young performers was made by the Children's Music School created in 1972 at the Music College named after I.S. Palantay. Gifted children, having been educated at this music school, continued their further education at a music school. Common curricula, teaching staff, and concert activities linked both links of the educational process.At this time, the Music School named after P.I. Tchaikovsky – the oldest educational institution in the republic continued its activities in the field of education of future musicians. In addition to the educational one, the active enlightening work of this educational institution should be noted. In the late 1970s at this Children's Music School, a weekend club "Majorinka" began to work, contributing to the deepening of students' knowledge about composers, musical instruments, and performers. The folklore ensemble "Mariy Pamash" , the quintet of wind instruments of the Musical Theater, soloists of the theater A. Venediktov, V. Dobrynin, composer L.N. Sakharov performed before the young musicians. In 1981, the teacher of the music school I.V. Yashmolkina conducted a series of lectures on Mari composers for music fans

. The events held contributed to the popularization of the Mari musical art, as well as fostering a sense of pride in their small Motherland, the formation of national identity.

Thus, children's music schools and, in particular, Boarding School No. 1 solved the important tasks of preparing a worthy change for professional musicians, educating a literate audience of listeners who can understand classical music and evaluate it.

In the indicated chronological period, the Yoshkar-Ola Musical College named after I.S. Palantay continued its work. Graduates of this educational institution, in their turn, joined the ranks of students of higher educational institutions and, in particular, the Kazan State Conservatory. Among them, some students should be noted who distinguished themselves with particular success in their studies and creative activity. In particular, this A.B. Luppov, later a prominent composer, author of the first Mari ballet "Forest Legend"

. The future author of the first Mari opera "Akpatyr" E.N. Sapaev also enjoyed great prestige. In the report on the conduct of state examinations , the chairperson of the state commission G.M. Kogan noted that the general level of graduation is professionally strong, but average; outstanding talents were found only among singers (Ishbulyakov, Krasnov) and composers (Sapaev). "It is gratifying to note that among the best graduates there are several Tatars and... representatives of other republics of the Volga region (composer Sapaev)"
.

The methodological assistance of the conservatory teachers was an important link in raising the professional level of the Mari Musical College. In particular, still in 1959 the teacher I.G. Khalitov was acquainted with the work of the cello class at the music school and provided the necessary methodological assistance. The result of the meeting was a concert organized by the teachers and students of the conservatory, in the first part of which the student of the string faculty A. Malinovsky acquainted the listeners with the mastery of cello playing. This original kind of a master class was very important for teachers and students of the school, who often did not have the opportunity to travel outside the Mari Republic and get an idea of the modern level of performance. The methodological assistance of the teachers of the conservatory became more active in the late 1960s. For example, at the end of 1968, associate professors of the solo piano department V.A. Stolov and I.S. Dubinina held a concert in Yoshkar-Ola, and provided methodological assistance to the teachers of the piano department of the music school. In December of the same year, a concert of works by students of the composer department of the conservatory was held in the hall of this educational institution, in which the second part of the Concert of V.P. Kupriyanov, the future prominent Mari composer, was performed

. The listeners, which consisted mainly of teachers and students of the Yoshkar-Ola College, were able to appreciate the professional growth of the former graduate of this educational institution, as well as to raise the level of their musical erudition.

In April 1969, the Conservatory Folk Instruments Orchestra under the direction of A.V. Tikhonov held a concert for the public in Yoshkar-Ola. The orchestra collective and its leader were awarded with the Certificate of Merit of the Ministry of Culture of the Mari Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic and the City Committee of the Komsomol of Yoshkar-Ola for their high performing level. In October of the same year, a methodological conference of teachers of string and bow departments of music schools and music schools of the Middle Volga region was held, in which more than 100 teachers of music schools and music schools took part. In order to carry out methodological work, teachers from all faculties of the conservatory visited the Yoshkar-Ola Musical College. This type of activity contributed to the improvement of the professional level of teachers of the music school and children's music school in Yoshkar-Ola, as well as to the expansion of their horizons.

In the 1970s-1980s, the methodological assistance to the Yoshkar-Ola Musical College has become more purposeful. The teachers of the conservatory actively were acquainted with the work of this educational institution, held a number of open lessons, gave lectures, and supervised the conduct of state exams. During this period, one of the most pressing issues is the expansion and enrichment of the pedagogical repertoire and the inclusion of works by composers of the Volga region into it. In order to solve this problem a conference-review "Works of composers of the Volga region in the pedagogical repertoire" was held in Kazan in 1977, in which a delegation from Yoshkar-Ola also took part

. Because of the event, the share of national works in the repertoire of performing collectives of the Mari ASSR has significantly increased.

A great stimulus for the systematic study of the musical culture of the autonomous republics of the Volga region was the opening in 1961 of a laboratory for the study of the music of the peoples of the Volga region at the Kazan Conservatory. In the corresponding Order of the Ministry of Culture of the RSFSR, it was indicated that the laboratory was entrusted with the tasks of collecting, processing, studying, preparing and publishing documents and materials, samples of professional and folk musical creativity, characterizing the experience and modern practice of musical creativity of the Tatar, Chuvash, Mordovian, Bashkir, Mari and of the Udmurt peoples

. The opening of such an experimental site was an important step in the dynamization of the process of scientific comprehension of samples of musical folklore and contributed to the increase in the publication activity of the teachers of the conservatory since the late 1960s.

For example, in 1969 a collection of articles dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the birth of V.I. Lenin and the 50th anniversary of the Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, including the publications "The first Mari opera «Akpatyr»" by O.K. Egorova, "Kazan State Сonservatory and the Mari Musical Culture" by A.B. Luppov. In the same year, O.K. Egorova published an article "Polyphony in E. Sapaev’s opera «Akpatyr»" and a report on the topic "Mari folk song in the first Mari opera «Akpatyr» by E. Sapaev" was read at the theoretical conference; in the October issue of the magazine "Soviet Music" published her essay on the work of the composer A.B. Luppov. The teachers of the department O.K. Egorova and A.G. Yusfin took part in the All-Union student scientific-theoretical conference "Folk musical creativity and problems of the development of national cultures", where they also revealed the issues of Mari music

. It should be noted that at the end of the 1960s in the Mari Republic there were practically no scientific works devoted to the problems of national musical culture. These publications contributed to the replenishment of scientific research literature on this issue.

In the 1970s, the conservatory contributed to the intensification of the collection and study of the song and instrumental heritage of the peoples of the Volga region. In particular, in 1971 at the Department of the History of Music and Composition of the Kazan State Сonservatory it was decided to organize folklore expeditions of students-musicologists and composers. Some of the student composers took part in the work of the folklore-ethnic group of Kazan State University and the branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences

. Then, on the initiative of the same department, together with the arts sector of the Institute of Language, Literature and History of the USSR Academy of Sciences named after G. Ibragimov and the Musicological Commission of the TASSR Soviet people’s Commissariat in December 1971, a scientific and methodological seminar for young musicologists was held, dedicated to the problems of collecting, cataloging and publishing works of folk musical creativity
. Folklore expeditions, in which students of the theoretical and composing faculty took part, since that time began to be held regularly, every summer. In 1975, when summing up the results of the summer folklore expedition of students-composers to the regions of the Tatar and Mari ASSR and the Ulyanovsk region under the leadership of the head of the cabinet of music of the peoples of the Volga region Sh.K. Sharifullin the future Mari composers A.V. Neznakin, S.N. Makov, V.A. Zakharova were noted. Thus, the conservatory made its significant contribution to the process of preserving the musical folklore of the peoples of the Volga region.

The Department of Composition also actively worked, which took part in the All-Union Festival of Students-Composers in Leningrad. At the discussion after the festival, the works of Mari authors B.N. Nukhov, A.K. Yashmolkina were greatly appreciated. At the competition of works by student composers in Moscow B.N. Nukhov was awarded the title of laureate for a cycle of choirs based on poems by anti-fascist poets

. These facts testify to the high level of training of students at the Kazan Conservatory.

Thus, during the period under review, the Kazan State Conservatory occupied an important place in the educational, cultural, scientific, methodological space, providing invaluable assistance to the musical art of the republic. Most of the Mari musicians of various specialties graduated from this educational institution. By 1985, more than 100 people graduated from this educational institution – a significant figure for the relatively small Mari Republic.

4. Conclusion

Thus, thanks to the democratization of society, which created the opportunity for the full development of the country's national cultures; raising the general cultural level of the population, in the years 1956-1985 in the Mari Republic there was a development of the system of musical education. The opening of a network of educational institutions contributed to the creation of a system of musical education in the Republic, the solution of personnel problems in the field of musical art, the expansion of cultural and touring space, as well as an increase in the number of professional performing groups of various compositions. The creation of unique educational institutions, continuity in education contributed to the formation of high-level national professional musicians, as well as literate listeners who are able to perceive the classical and national musical heritage.

In turn, the above factors had a positive impact on the formation and development of the national composer organization, which made a significant contribution to the creation of musical works of various genres.

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