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  • Adriana Şirli

Monastery in the former Romanian principality of Moldavia (Moldova). Founded in 1466 by Stephen the Great, prince of Moldavia (1457–1504), it quickly became a renowned cultural centre on account of its school of liturgical chant, its scriptorium for illuminated manuscripts and its embroidery workshops. The following musical manuscripts, each the work of a different scribe, originated in Putna and are characteristic of its scriptorium: (1) The songbook of Evstatie of Putna (1511), RUS-Mim Shchiukin 350 and SPan 13.3.16; (2, 3) RO-Putna monastery, 56/576/544, A: ff.1–84 (? first decade of 16th century) and B: ff.85–160 (? last quarter of 15th century); (4) RO-J I–26 (1545); (5) RO-Dragomirna monastery, 52/1886; (6) RO-Ba sl.283 (c1550); (7) Ba sl.284 (3rd quarter of 16th century); (8) BG-Sofia, Nacionalen Čarkoven Istoriko-Archeologičeski Muzej, 816 (?mid-15th century); (9) D-LEu sl.12 (3rd quarter of 16th century); (10) GR-Lesbos, Leimonos Monastery, 258, B: ff.145–418 (1527) (A: ff.1–144, 17th century, is not of the Putna school).

The chants contained in these ten manuscripts belong to the Akolouthiai repertory. Written in Koukouzelian notation, they are mostly in the kalophonic style (see Kalophonic chant) or else in the style of stichēra (see Stichēron). The composers, whose names were customarily provided by the scribes, are mainly Byzantine, both contemporary and older; but three Romanians are also mentioned, Dometian the Vlach, Theodosius Zotika and, most notably, Evstatie of Putna, who was domestikos and protopsaltēs of the monastery.

A high proportion (about 91%) of the chant texts are in Greek; only the ‘Evstatie’ and Putna ‘A’ manuscripts contain a considerable number of Slavonic texts. Some chants have texts in both languages. Four of the manuscripts, including the Evstatie autograph, also include a theoretical treatise – the Psaltikē technē – in Greek. On the basis of the ‘Synodikon of Tsar Boril’, a 13th-century Slavonic manuscript, the Bulgarians claimed the Putna School for their own. However, the four chants contained in this manuscript have Greek texts and their kalophonic Byzantine notation is later than the manuscript itself. Extensive research by Romanian and other Western scholars has led to the conclusion that the music of the Putna school ‘reveals an impressive and remarkably conservative allegiance to traditional practices’ (Conomos). Many different influences, arising from the political and cultural circumstances of the time, can be detected in the Slavonic texts: Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Polish and Serbo-Croat; there are in addition some purely Romanian grammatical forms.


  • G. Panţiru: ‘Şcoala muzicală de la Putna, 1: manuscrise muzicale neidentificate; 2: un vechi imn despre Ioan cel Nou de la Suceava’, Studii de muzicologie, 6 (1970), 31–67
  • M. Velimirović: ‘The “Bulgarian” Musical Pieces in Byzantine Musical Manuscripts’, IMSCR XI: Copenhagen 1972, 790–96
  • A.E. Pennington: ‘The Composition of Evstatie’s Song Book’, Oxford Slavonic Papers, new ser., 6 (1973), 92–112 [incl. 4 pls.]
  • G. Ciobanu: ‘Manuscrisele muzicale de la Putna şi problema raporturilor muzicale româno-bulgare în perioada medievală’ [The musical MSS of Putna and the question of Romanian-Bulgarian relations in medieval times], Studii de muzicologie, 12 (1976), 98–118
  • G. Ciobanu: ‘Les manuscrits de Putna et certains aspects de la civilisation médiévale roumaine’, Revue roumaine d’histoire de l’art: série théâtre, musique, cinéma, 13 (1976), 65–77
  • S. Barbu-Bucur: ‘Manuscrits roumains et bilingues du XVIIIe siècle, en notation koukouzélienne’, Muzica, 27/11 (1977), 39–47
  • A.E. Pennington: ‘Seven Akolouthiai from Putna’, Studies in Eastern Chant, 4, ed. M. Velimirović (Crestwood, NY, 1979), 112–33
  • D. Conomos: ‘The Monastery of Putna and the Musical Tradition of Moldavia in the Sixteenth Century’, Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 36 (1982), 15–28; repr. in A.E. Pennington: Music in Medieval Moldavia (Bucharest, 1985), 221–67
Moscow, Gosudarstvennïy Istoricheskïy Muzey
Bucharest, Academiei Române, Biblioteca
Iaşi, Biblioteca Centrală Universitară Mihai Eminescu, Departmentul Colecţii Speciale
International Musicological Society: Congress Report [1930-]
St Petersburg, Rossiyskaya Akademiya Nauk, Biblioteka
Leipzig, Karl-Marx-Universität, Universitätsbibliothek, Bibliotheca Albertina