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date: 14 October 2019


  • Guy de Picarda
  •  and Zinaida Mozheiyko


Country in eastern Europe. Formerly the Belorusian Soviet Socialist Republic and part of the Soviet Union, it declared itself independent on 25 August 1991.

Guy de Picarda

The cult-songs of the Krïvichï, Radzimichï and Drïhavichï tribes, together with the harp music of the Baltic skalds at the court of Rohvalad (Rognvald) of Polatsk, were the earliest forms of musical entertainment in the 10th-century Belarusian principalities. Illuminated manuscripts from the 11th century onwards depict the trumpets and horns of military bands, as well as the harps and psalteries of the court musicians. Itinerant skamarokhi (entertainers) were condemned by St Cyril of Turaw for their pagan ways, but such teams of players, round-dancers and trained animals remained popular with the nobility and people alike. The court painters Andrey z Litvï (c1390) and Matsey Dzisyaty (1502) both depicted a standard capella as comprising lute, vielle (skrypitsa), harp, horn, two natural trumpets, clarinet and drum; no secular music from the Middle Ages, though, appears to have survived....

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