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A Book by Tchaikovsky?

Dear Tchaikovsky specialists,

Would someone be able to assist me in locating the following treatise by Pyotr Tchaikovsky:

Kratkiy uchebnik garmoniy, prisposoblennïy k chteniyu dukhovno-muzïkal'nikh sochineniy v Rossiy [A short manual of harmony, adapted to the study of religious music in Russia], 1874 (Moscow, 1875); TW iiia, 164–217

According to New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, it would have been reprinted around 1950s in P.I. Chaykovsky: Polnoye sobraniye sochineniy: literaturnïye proizvedeniya i perepiska [Complete works: literary works and correspondence], i–xvii (Moscow, 1953–81), vol. iiia. However, I have been unable to find this publication anywhere, including major Russian libraries and the Library of Congress.

Jopi Harri

Thank you for your enquiry. This little-known publication was commissioned from Tchaikovsky in 1874 by the Ancient Russian Society for the Arts, of which Tchaikovsky was a newly-enrolled member. The text was completed by January 1875, under the title Kratkii uchebnik garmonii. Sostavlennyi dlia khorovykh uchitelei i regentov P. Chaikovskim, professorom Moskovskoi konservatorii (A Short Manual of Harmony. Compiled for choral teachers and students by P. Chaikovskii, Professor at the Moscow Conservatory).

The first edition, comprising 79 pages, appeared under the title Kratkii uchebnik garmonii: Prisposoblennyi k chteniiu dukhovno-muzykal´nykh sochinenii v Rossii (Moscow: P. Jurgenson, 1875); this was reprinted in 1895, two years after the composer's death.

The only more recent publication we know of is the one you found listed in the New Grove, i.e. in Vol. III-a of Tchaikovsky's literary works and correspondence (Polnoe sobranie sochinenii: Literaturnye proizvedeniia i perepiska. Moscow, 1953–81; 17 volumes). Edited by Vladimir Protopopov, vol. III-a also includes Tchaikovsky's better-known Guide to the Practical Study of Harmony, and it was published in 1957 by the State Music Publishing House in Moscow.

The Library of Congress's Online Catalogue (http: // shows the following entry:

  • LC Control No. : 63026310

  • Type of Material: Book (Print, Microform, Electronic, etc.)

  • Personal Name: Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilich, 1840–1893.

  • Main Title: Polnoe sobranie sochineniĭ.

  • Published/Created: 1957–78.

  • Description: 13 v. 23 cm.

  • Notes: Romanized.

  • Subjects: Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilich, 1840–1893.

  • Musicians—Correspondence.

  • Music—Analysis, appreciation. [from old catalog]

  • LC Classification: ML410.C4 A275

  • LC Copy: Microfilm Music 737.

  • CALL NUMBER: ML410.C4 A275

This entry appears to relate to the Literaturnye proizvedeniia i perepiska series, of which volume III a was the only one published in 1957. As this is the date of the earliest volume in the set held by the LoC, there is a very good chance that this is the one you require, although the component volumes are not listed separately in the on-line catalogue. You may also be able to use the above citation to locate copies in other library catalogues nearer to your location.

Brett Langston

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This page was last updated on 05 November 2013