Music Enlightenment of the Proletkult: Ideological Programs and Daily Practices
The article is devoted to the activities of the Proletkult in the field of music, in particular the programs of “music enlightenment” of the masses as the defining activity of the Musical Department (MUZO) of this organization. The importance of the Proletkult in the history of Russian and Soviet music is underestimated. We attempt to reconstruct a picture of its musical life with archival sources. The article analyses the ideological programs, manifestos of ideologues of the Proletkult, and their refraction in the educational and performing practices of MUZOs of the Central, Moscow, and Petrograd Proletkult. We conclude that both emphasized the introduction of classical and folk music into the pedagogical and concert repertoires to educate the broad proletarian masses, which contradicts the generally accepted historical reputation of the Proletkult as a nihilistic movement concerning the past. Moreover, Proletkult became the successor of the pre-revolutionary People’s Conservatories: only the narrowed social composition of students (but not the pedagogical staff) and the ideological program distinguished its educational activities from those forms and practices which had been adopted by the People’s Conservatories in their activities aimed at enlightening the broad mass.
the author expresses his sincere gratitude to the Rohm Music Foundation and The Kao Foundation for Arts and Sciences (Japan) for the financial support of the project.