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Boris Asaf'yev in 1948.

Zuk, Patrick (2019) 'Boris Asaf'yev in 1948.', Journal of the Royal Musical Association., 144 (1). pp. 123-156.


The venerable founder of Soviet musicology Boris Asafiev aroused widespread dismay by his actions in 1948 after the promulgation of a Central Committee resolution condemning the USSR’s leading composers: he not only acquiesced in his appointment as chairman of the Composers’ Union, but agreed to give a keynote address endorsing the resolution at its first national congress. His admirers have claimed that he must have been coerced into collaboration and that his address did not reflect his real views. The present essay re-examines the circumstances, arguing that the evidence of Asafiev’s willing complicity is overwhelming. A close analysis of his keynote address reveals its contents to be wholly consistent with views that he had regularly expressed throughout his career, as one of the principal progenitors of an anti-modernist, ethnic nationalist and xenophobic strain in Soviet writing on music that was given forceful expression in the 1948 resolution.

Item Type:Article
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo until 01 October 2020.
(AM) Accepted Manuscript
File format - PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article which has been published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of the Royal Musical Association, available
Date accepted:04 August 2017
Date deposited:04 August 2017
Date of first online publication:01 January 2020
Date first made open access:01 October 2020

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