on December 18, 2010
This important 1893 book was long difficult to find, so the reprint is very welcome. Mme. Lineff conducted a Russian choir in New York, and was deeply committed to Russian folk music; however, this 63-page book has almost no music, only texts and commentaries. Ethnomusicology was young in those days, and experts today do not necessarily share her opinions. Knowing little about Russian traditions myself, I enjoyed her extended discussions of peasant wedding and other customs. The 1893 illustrations did not reproduce well, and some are pretty much illegible. Notwithstanding the title, she has a long section on Ukrainian songs, which I appreciated. The early authors do not always distinguish Russian from Ukrainian music.