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The Russian and Early Soviet Sheet Music Collection, The Columbia University Libraries: An Introduction

Khait, Julia; Davis, Robert H.

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library of the Columbia University Libraries holds one of the single-largest collections of Russian sheet music in North America, particularly for the period circa 1924-1929. Recently, a substantial portion of this collection was fully digitized, and is available for viewing on the Libraries' website. This collection offers both visual and aural delights, reflecting a period of great creative excitement, political tension, and relative freedom of expression paralleling the economic liberalization of the New Economic Policy, introduced by Lenin at the Tenth Party Congress in March of 1921, and drawing to a close with the consolidation of power by Stalin in 1928. This Introduction provides background on both the significant visual element of the collection—in the form of decorative wrappers—and of course the music and lyrics encountered in the scores themselves.

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