Welcome | добро пожаловать!

Welcome to the blog for MUS3003, taught at Newcastle University by Ian Biddle.

The blog is designed both for students taking the module and for those with an interest in music and music-making in the Soviet Union. The blog contains information about resources and primary and secondary sources, resources for Russian language learning and a range of topical posts related to the issues covered in the module as they appear in the news.

The module (for both prefinalists and finalists)  introduces students to the range of musical practices engaged in by the peoples of the Soviet Union (1917-1991). The module aims to give students a clear sense of how Soviet authorities and state-sanctioned ideologies and policies intervened in and shaped Soviet musical cultures, how the peoples of the Soviet Union responded musically to those interventions. The module will cover ‘classical’ (Shostakovich, Prokoviev, Myaskovky and so on), popular (bard musics, rock and singer-songwriters) and folk musics (from the Soviet ‘nations’), offering both a broad survey of Soviet musics and some detailed engagement with key musical pieces and practices. The module will also introduce students to theories of totalitarianism, political theories of the left and the critical scholarly literature of Soviet culture more broadly. In addition, the module aims to introduce students to the basic elements of the Russian language (alphabet, basic vocabulary and syntax).

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