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A Theoretical Work of Late Seventeenth-Century Muscovy: Nikolai Diletskii's "Grammatika" and the Earliest Circle of Fifths

Claudia R. Jensen
Journal of the American Musicological Society
Vol. 45, No. 2 (Summer, 1992), pp. 305-331
DOI: 10.2307/831450
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/831450
Page Count: 27
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A Theoretical Work of Late Seventeenth-Century Muscovy: Nikolai Diletskii's "Grammatika" and the Earliest Circle of Fifths
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Abstract

The earliest circles of fifths appear in a Russian-language treatise on composition, Nikolai Diletskii's Grammatika (Grammar), written in the late 1670s. This article discusses the origins of Diletskii's treatise and its long-standing influence in Russia, where it circulated for one hundred years, the theoretical content of the work, and the complex relationships among the three surviving variants (from Smolensk 1677, from Moscow 1679, and from Moscow in versions from 1679 and 1681). Diletskii's circles of fifths, although certainly unknown to contemporary theorists, fit into a Western theoretical tradition centering on practical instruction using keyboard instruments.

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