A couple of Ukrainian music titles

The week before last, I wrote about a small guide to the Museum of Ukrainian Culture in the Slovak village of Svydnyk.  Today, I bumped into two related books, one of which needed a major overhaul of its catalogue record.

Slovat︠s︡ʹko-ukraïnsʹki pisenni zv’i︠a︡zky (Slovak-Ukrainian song links/connections), written by Oksana Melʹnyk and published in 1970, even had a typo in its first three letters, with SLO provided as SOL. Continue reading

Carnival in Uruguay


From Montevideo, Capital Iberoamericana del Carnaval (classmark: 2010.11.1880)

Carnival traditions in Latin America are immensely rich. For millions of people, February is linked to heat, music, water fights and a feast of colours. From Oruro’s celebrations in Bolivia to the most internationally renowned parades of Rio de Janeiro, their counterpart in Montevideo (Uruguay) is just as compelling and certainly more enduring, lasting for 40 days. Montevideo’s carnival not only traditionally allows for a general reversal of everyday norms, but also brings together the very diverse pot of cultures that shape Uruguayan society (see: El carnaval de Montevideo: folklore, historia, sociología, classmark: UR.18, at the Seeley Library’s Latin American studies collection; and at the University Library: Identidad y globalización en el carnaval, at 676:85.c.200.83). Continue reading

Wild goose chases: musical games

MusiCB3 Blog

Whilst classifying books for UL stock a few days ago, I came across a pile of books in French. They were originally part of the IAML library, and were all on various aspects of music librarianship. My knowledge of French is minimal non-existent, and my normal tactic would be to try and get these dealt with and off my desk as quickly as possible, without lingering to flick through them much or trying to decipher more than I needed to. This time, however, one of them seemed worth trying to decipher in a bit more detail, as this fell out of the back of it:

goose game 1 Le jeu de l’oie de l’edition musicale

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Slavonic item of the month : February 2014

Pesenka shkol'nogo uchitelia (CCD.54.315)

Pesenka shkol’nogo uchitelia (CCD.54.315)

Russia’s recent PR hasn’t been good, despite (and sometimes because of) the Sochi Olympics.  Sochi itself was even the location of the Putin/Ianukovych meeting often considered the catalyst for the shocking events we have seen unfold in Ukraine.  So what did the Olympic opening ceremony have to say in favour of Russia?  Rather a lot.

The Sochi 2014 opening ceremony did not attract total approval.  Many news sites and commentators focused on the failure of the fifth snowflake to turn into an Olympic ring (a technical failure nicely taken off in the closing ceremony held last night, with a will-it/won’t-it sequence mirroring the original).  Many also focused on the surprising/unsurprising involvement of Alina Kabaeva, rumoured to be Putin’s partner, in the finishing stages of the torch relay.  Others, though, found more interesting food for thought.  This University of Nottingham blog post, for example, looks at the way in which the ceremony’s representation of Russian history and culture played to domestic and international audiences.

The ceremony opened with the azbuka, the Russian alphabet.  Each letter was paired with someone or something related to it, even if not always straightforwardly (the use of Pushkin for the letter ъ (the hard sign, a letter whose use was significantly curtailed by the early Soviet orthography reforms but which had previously been very common (Pushkin’s own name would have ended with it during his lifetime)) was a bit of a stretch).  The azbuka sequence works well as a section to look at in more detail, since its make-up is representative of the broader issues of a ceremony which celebrated Russian history and culture – including the choices the organisers made about what to include.

Continue reading