Russian Scholar to Lecture on Musical Instruments of the Bible


St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

Date: October 5, 2010

Have you ever wondered about the “harps, stringed instruments, tambourines, sistrums, and cymbals” mentioned in the Psalms, and the role instruments played in the religious, social, public, and private life of ancient Israel? Have you ever wondered why the Orthodox Church ceased using musical instruments in its worship? Then please come to a fascinating free and public lecture by Russian music scholar Dr. Yelena Kolyada at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 5, 2010 in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium of the John G. Rangos Family Foundation Building on our campus.

Dr. Kolyada is the author of A Compendium of Musical Instruments and Instrumental Terminology in the Bible (Equinox Publishing, 2009),a reference book based on historical fact, linguistic analysis, and musical study, which draws on biblical translations and works by rabbinic teachers, church fathers, medieval exegetes, and contemporary scholars. The volume not only addresses the origin and role of musical instruments within the Hebrew culture but also traces the development of these instruments in post-biblical times, demonstrating their new symbolic significance in the writings of the church fathers.

Dr. Kolyada graduated from the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and completed a doctoral thesis at the Vilnius Conservatory in 1987. In the early 1990s she was a Senior Research Fellow at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she gave lectures on early Russian hymnography. She also made a series of programs on Russian church music for BBC Radio 3 and World Service. She is the author of many articles on early Russian chant and modern Russian church music, on biblical themes in the works of Russian composers, and on the liturgical music cycles of the English composer Sir John Tavener.

This volume published in Russian in 2003 was awarded the laureate diploma as “the event of the year” in the first national competition of Orthodox books in Russia. It was also awarded the prestigious gold medal of the Orthodox St. Makarius Foundation.

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