Клюев Александр Сергеевич. РУССКИЕ ФИЛОСОФЫ О МУЗЫКЕ

Klujev Aleksandr Sergeevich

The Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia

Doctor Habil. in Philosophy,

Full Professor of the Department of Music Upbringing and Education

Клюев Александр Сергеевич

Российский государственный педагогический университет

им. А.И. Герцена

доктор философских наук,

профессор кафедры музыкального воспитания и образования

E-mail: aklujev@mail.ru

УДК 1(091).78




Abstract: The article examines the historical dynamics of the development of ideas about music by Russian philosophers. In this regard, the status of Russian philosophy and its distinctive face are being clarified. Russian philosophy is shown to be based on Byzantine philosophical and mystical traditions, but at the same time embodies the basic postulate of Russian culture (Russianness): the affirmation of spirituality as a moral feat – service to creation and resistance to destruction (annihilation). Russian philosophy phenomenon is defined in accordance with the above-mentioned attitude of Russian culture. It is argued that Russian philosophy is the solution to the moral task of victory over death. In the context of this understanding of Russian philosophy and are being investigated the peculiarities of the interpretation of music by Russian philosophers. It is stated that during the development of this interpretation, music was increasingly recognized by Russian philosophers as a powerful means of contributing to the victory over death, moreover, evidence of the possibility of victory over death.

Key words: Russian philosophy, music, spirituality, person, world, God.




Аннотация: В статье рассматривается историческая динамика развития представлений о музыке русских философов. В связи с этим уточняется статус русской философии, её самобытное лицо. Показано, что русская философия базируется на византийских философско-мистических традициях, но вместе с тем воплощает основной постулат русской культуры (русскости): утверждение духовности как нравственного подвига – служения созиданию и противления разрушению (уничтожению). В соответствии с указанной установкой русской культуры определяется феномен русской философии. Утверждается, что русская философия – решение нравственной задачи победы над смертью. В контексте этого понимания русской философии и исследуются особенности развития трактовки музыки русскими философами. Заявляется, что в ходе развития обозначенной трактовки музыка всё отчётливее осознавалась русскими философами как мощнейшее средство, способствующее победе над смертью, более того – свидетельство возможности победы над смертью.

Ключевые слова: русская философия, музыка, духовность, человек, мир, Бог.



The question of Russian philosophy is not an easy one. Let us try to figure it out.

Initially, it is significant to say that Russian philosophy is inextricably linked with Orthodoxy. Russian philosophers constantly emphasized this connection. Let us at least refer to the statement of V.V. Zenkovsky: “Russian thought has always (and forever) remained connected with its religious element, with its religious soil; here was and remains the main root of the originality… of Russian philosophical thought” [Zenkovsky 2011, p. 18].

Today, in Russian philosophical literature, there is a clear idea that the connection of Russian philosophy with Orthodoxy (“with its religious element”) does not indicate its originality: Russian philosophy is permanently connected with Western philosophy, and is a stage of its development [1]. On what basis is this point of view put forward?

Authors who adhere to this approach believe that Russian philosophy interacts not with canonical, strict Orthodoxy but with its innermost deep core, which is Gnosticism. For example, as I.I. Evlampiev stated, “the constant attraction of Russian philosophy and all Russian culture to the Gnostic worldview does not raise any doubts. This fact has not received due recognition in the literature for a long time only due to the established tendency characteristic of church and Orthodox-oriented authors” [Evlampiev 2006, p. 9].

Such scientists believe that the Gnostic mentality was intensively strengthened in the West, starting from the late Middle Ages: Bernard of Clairvaux, Meister (Johann) Eckhart, etc., and hence, Russian philosophy is connected with Western philosophy. But what is Gnosticism?

Gnosticism is a complex and not fully defined phenomenon. According to the German-American philosopher Hans Jonas, an authority in this field, “we can speak of Gnostic schools, sects and cults, Gnostic works and teachings, Gnostic myths and speculations, and even of Gnostic religion” [Jonas 1958]. Jonas concludes that Gnosticism is a kind of fusion of Hellenistic philosophy and Eastern sources while noting that “in general,… the thesis about the Eastern (Oriental) origin of Gnosticism has an advantage over… Hellenic” [Jonas 1958].

Thus, Gnosticism is respectively a mysticism that came from the East. What is mysticism?

Mysticism is a set of ideas about the direct connection of a person with sacred principles [Balagushkin & Fokin 2008]. Such a connection provides a person with a breakthrough from the earthly, corruptible world into the Divine, imperishable world and thereby deliverance from the earthly world, a way out of it.

Mysticism underlies all religions (famous researchers of mysticism point out this in their works: E. Underhill, R. Otto, S. Katz, K. Schmidt and others), but especially Orthodoxy as the Eastern Church. Moreover, in Orthodoxy, mysticism essentially merges with canonical theology.

So, according to V.N. Lossky, “Eastern tradition has never made a sharp distinction between mysticism and theology, between… the experience of knowing the Divine mysteries and the dogmas approved by the Church” [Lossky 2015, p. 198].

In Orthodoxy, hesychasm primarily represents mysticism.

The birthplace of hesychasm is Byzantium. The most famous Byzantine Hesychasts are Sts. Macarius of Egypt, Diadochos of Photicus, Gregory of Sinaite, Isaac the Syrian, Gregory Palamas. Based on Byzantine hesychasm, hesychasm began to develop in Russia. Therefore, V.N. Lossky’s statement is absolutely correct that “Russian Christianity is of Byzantine origin” and has with it the homogeneous character of “spiritual nepotism” [Lossky 2015, p. 204].

The basis of hesychasm is the ascetic practice of internal (silent) prayer, called Jesus’ or Mind’ prayer.

Prayer is aimed at obtaining, storing and transmitting the experience of a Christian’s unity with God. Such unity is deification, the acquisition of the Holy Spirit, carried out by God’s Grace. It is a gift from God.

The unity of a Christian with God is the unity of the energies of the whole (“the whole”, in the terminology of the Hesychasts) – bodily-soulful-spiritual – man and the energies of God, which appears as an increase in human energies carried out by God’s Grace in the sequence: bodily – soulful – spiritual.

At the same time, according to the testimony of Gregory Palamas, the energies of God surpass all human energies, “not only because He is their cause, but also because what is received always turns out to be only an insignificant share of His gift” [Gregory Palamas 2018, p. 309].

The interaction of human energies and the energies of God is called synergy. Synergy ensures that a person can overcome the hardships of earthly life and even death itself. Such overcoming is salvation. “Salvation” is a concept that is extremely important in Orthodoxy. In fact, the entire life of an Orthodox person is work that, by God’s Grace, can lead a person to salvation. And this work, as it was wisely noted, consists of “transformation of the heart” (Macarius of Egypt).

Hesychasm is determined in Russian philosophy its pronounced anthropologism, metaanthropologism. S.S. Khoruzhy indicates this.

Khoruzhy emphasizes that thanks to hesychasm, in Russian philosophy, “man becomes existential…; being becomes human… (Arises. – A.K.) the mutual belonging of man and being. The reality of events, taken within the horizon of this mutual belonging, (can. – A.K.) be called the reality of man...” [Khoruzhy 2000, p. 281].

Having a very close connection with the Byzantine mystical-philosophical tradition, primarily through hesychasm, Russian philosophy constantly strived for self-determination in it, finding its own face in it – not by excluding Byzantineism, but by mastering it and transforming it.

And this face, its “I” of Russian philosophy was predetermined by the peculiarity of Russian culture (essentially, Russianness), which astutely wrote about. G.V. Florovsky.

According to Florovsky, Russian culture (Russianness) contains two cultures, as if located on two floors. On the lower floor, there is a culture coming from paganism. Florovsky calls it “night” culture. On the top floor is the culture coming from Christianity (Orthodoxy), designated by the scientist as “daytime” culture. According to Florovsky, “‘night’ culture is an area of dreaming and imagination”, it manifests itself “in the insufficient ‘spirituality’ of the soul, in excessive ‘soulfulness’ or ‘poetry.’ “‘Daily’ culture (is. – A.K.) a culture of spirit and mind”. When we talk about “daytime” culture, “we are talking about spiritual sublimation and transformation of the soulfulness into the spiritual” [Florovsky 2009, pp. 15-16].

Thus, Russian philosophy’s acquisition of its identity, its identity, had two stages. The first is finding oneself at the level of “night” culture: soulfulness, and the second – at the level of “day” culture: spirituality. At the same time, it is significant to remember that spirituality has been understood in Rus’ since ancient times as a moral feat: service to creation and resistance to destruction (annihilation) [Dmitriev & Likhachev 1969].

And now, considering all of the above, you can try to answer the question: “What is Russian philosophy?”

It seems that in the most generalized, summary form, the answer to this question will look like this: Russian philosophy is the solution to the moral problem of victory over death. L.V. Karasev very accurately writes about this: “There is no problem for Russia; there is a problem of overcoming death” [Karasev 1992, p. 104] [2].


Finding the sense of music

Music has always attracted Russian philosophers. To be convinced of this, it is necessary to first clarify from what time Russian philosophy dates back, i.e., when it first felt itself at the level of “night” culture. Here the view on Russian philosophy history, proposed by V.V. Zenkovsky, is very helpful.

Zenkovsky notes that in the history of Russian philosophy, there was a prologue (the philosopher calls it “the threshold of philosophy”). We believe that in this prologue, Russian philosophy first felt itself.

The philosopher divides the prologue into two periods: 1) until the 18th century and 2) 18th century.

Let us consider these periods.

Until the 18th century

At this time, thinkers were already appearing – theologians, church leaders, saints, raising philosophical questions. Among such thinkers, we should name Clement (Klim) Smolyatich, Kirik of Novgorod, Cyril of Turov, but especially the saint, monk Nil Sorsky.

Nil Sorsky was a follower and successor of the Byzantine Hesychasts. Thus, he talks about the state of internal prayer, leading to a kind of enlightenment, in which “there is relief in the struggle and calmness of thoughts, and the mind, as if with abundant food, is saturated with prayer and has fun, and a certain inexpressible sweetness emanates from the heart, and spreads to the whole body, and in all members the disease turns into sweetness… Then a person is in joy…” [Nil Sorsky 2016, p. 170].

Being associated with the Byzantine Hesychasts, Nil Sorsky shows a certain independence in his approach to their heritage. So, for example, in the description of the Jesus prayer, Neil adds two new points: consolation and tears.

Nil Sorsky has wonderful thoughts about music, or more precisely, about church singing, the basis of which was the znamenny chant.

(Znamenny chant is a type of ancient Russian liturgical singing. The peculiarities of this singing were that, firstly, when singing, the main thing was the pronunciation of words, which were the words of the Jesus Prayer, and, secondly, the singing was performed in unison – monophonic: everyone sang together, as one person. According to the explanation by B.P. Kutuzov, “znamenny chant… is icon-painting music, it can say to be a sounding icon… Znamenny chant is… prayer expressed in sounds… The task of znamenny chant (is. – A.K.) cleansing the soul from passions, reflecting images of the spiritual, invisible world” [Kutuzov 2008, p. 43].)

Focusing on consolation and tears, the saint highlights the same moments in the impact of liturgical singing. Nil Sorsky points out: “The gift of tears… acquired… who from what: one – from considering the sacraments of the Lord’s love for mankind (icon painting. – A.K.), the other – from reading stories about the lives and exploits and teachings of saints (literature. – A.K.)…, others are distressed by some canons and troparions (singing genres. – A.K.)” [Nil Sorsky 2016, p. 168].

18th century

In the 18th century, as G.V. Florovsky emphasizes, churchless asceticism is noticeably increasing, which was “the awakening of dreaminess and imagination. (Some kind of. – A.K.) mystical curiosity develops” [Florovsky 2009, p. 161].

This, as Florovsky puts it, “‘languishing of the spirit,’ sometimes dreamy, sometimes ecstatic” [Florovsky, 2009, p. 161] was reflected in the works of the clergy of this time, first of all, St. Tikhon of Zadonsky and Paisiy Velichkovsky.

At the same time, at this time in Russia (in Malorussia, which was then part of the Russian state), an original thinker making his way to philosophy, Grigory Savvich Skovoroda, powerfully declared himself.

Due to this “touch” of philosophy, Grigory Skovoroda became the herald of Russian philosophy (at the level of “night” culture).

According to V.V. Zenkovskiy, Skovoroda is “the first philosopher in Rus’ in the exact sense of the word” [Zenkovsky 2011, p. 65]. (At the same time, Zenkovsky makes an important clarification, especially in the context of our reflections: “And if we bring Skovoroda closer to the mystics, then not Western ones… but to the Eastern ones” [Zenkovsky 2011, p. 70].)

Skovoroda’s philosophy is a motley mixture of Greek philosophy, biblical stories, Eastern intuitions, folklore motifs, etc. However, despite all the motleyness, two significant themes clearly emerge in it.

The first is about two natures: external and internal, i.e., created and Divine.

As Skovoroda writes, “The whole world consists of two natures: one is visible, the other is invisible. The visible is called creature, and the invisible is called God. This invisible nature, or God, permeates and contains all creatures, everywhere and always was, is and will be” [Skovoroda 1973a, p. 149].

The second is about three natures: the macrocosm (Universe), the microcosm (man) and the Bible.

According to Skovoroda, all these natures are concentrated in man. Thus, Skovoroda remarks: “And without measuring yourself first, what is the use of knowing the measure in other creatures?” [Skovoroda 1973a, p. 135]. Or: “Who can recognize the plan in earthly and heavenly materials… if he could not first see it in… his flesh?” [Skovoroda 1973a, p. 135]. And again: “My body is based on the eternal plane… (You. – A.K.) see only a bestial body in you. You do not see the spiritual body” [Skovoroda 1973a, pp. 136-138].

In his teaching about man, Skovoroda emphasizes the importance of the heart. He assures: “The head of everything in a person is the human heart. It is the most accurate person in a person”. And then a stunning conclusion: “What is the heart if not the soul? What is the soul if not a bottomless abyss of thoughts?” [Skovoroda 1973a, p. 341].

Skovoroda constantly pointed out the frailty of earthly life and the need to break out of it. The Thinker urged: “Leave all this physical pus and bloodworms to the stupid and snotty virgins. And eat with Ezekiel the fragrant unleavened bread and the satisfying manna of God’s sacred Passover, moving from earth to heaven, from tangible to intangible, from the lower, corruptible, into the first-born world” [Skovoroda 1973b, p. 52].

Skovoroda’s statement about the unity of people, unity in the “true man” – in Christ, was especially significant. Skovoroda writes: “One work… is to know oneself and understand God, to know and understand the exact person, all the work and his deception from his shadow, on which we all dwell. But true man and God are the same” [Skovoroda 1973a, p. 140]. “This is the true man, equal to his eternal father in being and strength, one in all of us and whole in everyone, but his kingdom has no end…” [Skovoroda 1973a, p. 162].

Skovoroda talks a lot about music. And this is no coincidence.

In addition to possessing theological and philosophical talents, Skovoroda was extremely gifted musically: he composed spiritual concerts and songs, played numerous musical instruments, e.g., violin, flutetraver, bandura, and gusli, and sang great.

In his ideas about music, Skovoroda proceeded from the Pythagorean idea of the existence of Heavenly music – Harmony of the spheres.

The Harmony of the spheres, according to Skovoroda, is the embodiment of Cosmic Harmony, which he called Symphony. The word “symphony” comes from the Greek word “sinphonia” – consonance, and the word “sinphonia” is directly related to the concept of “synergy”.

As Skovoroda believes, Heavenly music (Harmony of the spheres) is God. Skovoroda reflects: “Isn’t it God who contains everything?… He is the true tree in the tree, grass in the grass, music in music” [Skovoroda 1973a, p. 134] [3]. “Every ear hears the creaking of a musical instrument, but to feel the taste of the agreement hidden in the creaking, the ear must have a secret concept, and the one deprived of it… is dumb in music” [Skovoroda 1973a, p. 362].

According to Skovoroda, Heavenly music is most clearly manifested in music created by man – instrumental and singing.

The connection between Heavenly music and music created by man, in Skovoroda’s understanding, is poetically presented in the description of his learner and close friend Mikhail Kovalinsky: “Not content with conversation…, he invited his friend (M. Kovalinsky. – A.K.) to take a walk in the summer late in the evening outside the city and insensitively brought him to the city cemetery. There, walking at midnight between the graves and the coffins torn open by the wind on the sandy ground, he talked about the reckless fearfulness of people aroused in their imagination by the deceased bodies. Sometimes he sang something befitting good-naturedness there; sometimes, retiring to a nearby grove, he played the flutetraver, leaving his young friend alone between the coffins, supposedly so that it would be more pleasant for him to listen to music from afar” [Skovoroda 1973b, p. 393].

Let us add that Skovoroda was deeply aware of the beneficial effects of music on humans. Thus, through the mouth of a character in one of his dialogues, he says: “Music is a great medicine in sorrow, consolation in sorrow and fun in happiness” [Skovoroda 1973b, p. 113].

19th century

The 19th century, according to Zenkovsky, is the beginning of the actual history of Russian philosophy. And what’s interesting, according to Florovsky, is the time of the Russian philosophy establishment as an original phenomenon (at the level of “daytime” culture). It is no coincidence that Florovsky calls this historical moment the “awakening” of Russian philosophy.

The Russian philosophical thought “awakening” was prepared by the social situation in Russia. It was a response to it.

At this time, a large number of philosophical circles appeared in Russia. The most famous of them was the “Obshchestvo lyubomudriya”. It included D.V. Venevitinov, V.F. Odoevsky, I.V. Kireevsky, S.P. Shevyrev, A.I. Koshelev and others.

Apparently, the most significant philosopher in this association was I.V. Kireevsky. The pathos of Kireevsky’s philosophy lay in upholding the originality of Russian philosophy – in comparison with Western philosophy. He saw this originality in the Russian philosophy support of Russian philosophy on Sacred Tradition, the Holy Father’s wisdom reflection and implementation in it.

Kireevsky considered the central position of Russian philosophy to be the affirmation of moral principles. His phrase from a letter to A.I. Koshelev (1827) has already become a textbook: “We… will agree gracefully with morality, arouse love for truth,… we will elevate the purity of life above the purity of style” [Kireevsky 1979, p. 336].

Kireevsky wrote little about music. At the same time, he has a statement surprising in its insight, in which he mentions music. So, in a letter to A.S. Khomyakov (1840), Kireevsky notes: “As long as a thought is clear to the mind or accessible to the word, it is still powerless on the soul and will. When it develops to the point of inexpressibility, it has only reached maturity. This inexpressible, looking through expression, will give strength to poetry and music…” [Kireevsky 1979, p. 362].

However, V.F. Odoevsky wrote most consistently and in-depth about music at this time.

V.F. Odoevsky’s music interpretation is evidenced by his treatise “An Experience in the Theory of Fine Arts with a Special Application to Music”.

In this treatise Odoevsky proceeds from the fact that every particular phenomenon has its essence. In turn, there is a certain essence constituting the essence of all essences. According to Odoevsky, this is Bezuslov (Absolute).

Bezuslov predetermines the harmony of nature and reveals itself to the human soul. As Odoevsky points out, “the existence of the Bezuslov is not only in nature, but it’s thought is in the very soul of a person; this thought is dear to the soul, it is a property of the human soul”. And further: “This thought is innate to our soul, (and. – A.K.) it is up to the thinker to discover it and explore its laws” [Odoevsky 1974, p. 157]. At the same time, “cognition is the connection of the known with the knower, in other words: for an object to become knowledge, two spheres are necessary: the knower and the known” [Odoevsky 1974, pp. 168-169].

Odoevsky emphasizes that music is the sound embodiment of the harmony of nature – the harmony of the life-giving and deadening principles. The life-giving and deadening principles “in music appear under the forms of… consonance and anti-consonance (consonantia – dissonantia)” (Odoevsky 1974, pp. 157-158). According to Odoevsky, representing the harmony of nature, music conveys the harmony of the human soul and, thus, is a direct expression of the merging of the soul and the Bezuslov.

Extremely important was Odoevsky’s conversion, already at the end of his life, to the study of Old Russian Orthodox singing.

Odoevsky wrote a large number of articles on Old Russian church singing. Among them: “Brief Notes on the Characteristics of Russian Orthodox Church Singing”, “Orthodox Church Singing and Its Notes, Hooks and Other Signs”, “On the Question of Old Russian Chant” and others. Summarized they are presented in his work “Ancient Russian chant. Experience of guidance in the study of the basic laws of melody and harmony for non-musicians, especially adapted to the development of manuscripts about our ancient chant”, unfortunately, still unpublished.

1st half of 20th century

In the 1st half of the 20th century, there was a rapid Russian philosophy development, its true flourishing within the framework of the general “Russian spiritual renaissance” [Ermichev 2014].

It is significant that at this time, among Russian philosophers, there was a great interest in music and an understanding of the extraordinary philosophical possibilities in it. Each of the philosophers saw these possibilities in their way.

So, A.F. Losev’s music is an exceptional means of ascent to God, a kind of prayer; P.A. Florensky’s music is the life-giving power of the Liturgical action, based on rhythm and carried out according to the Typikon (Church Charter); N.O. Lossky writes that sound expresses the unity of the visible and the invisible; I.I. Lapshin emphasizes the fusion of music and philosophy, especially in the work of Scriabin. But, perhaps, the specifics of the interpretation of music by Russian philosophers are most generally revealed in E.N. Trubetskoy’s works at that time.

Trubetskoy’s music interpretation followed the guidelines of his main philosophical work, “The Sense of Life”.

In this work Trubetskoy argues that the sense of life is revealed to a person thanks to philosophy, which helps him understand that his life sense is in reunification with God [Trubetskoy 2017, p. 23].

This reunification requires human creativity.

According to Trubetskoy, the clearest expression of such activity is music. Trubetskoy concludes that music has unique possibilities for reuniting a person with God and talks about how he experienced a meeting with God while listening to Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at a concert.

It is how the philosopher describes this event: “It is difficult to convey the state of delight that I experienced then at the symphony concert. Just a few months earlier, a dilemma inspired by Schopenhauer and Dostoevsky had confronted my youthful consciousness. Either there is God, and in him is the fullness of life above the world, or it is not worth living at all. And I suddenly saw this dilemma deeply, clearly expressed in brilliant musical images. There is something infinitely more here than the formulation of a dilemma – there is a life experience of the otherworldly, – a real feeling of (eternal. – A.K.) peace. Your thought… perceives the entire world drama from that height of eternity, where all confusion and horror are miraculously transformed into joy and peace. And you feel that (this. – A.K.) eternal peace that descends from above onto the universe is not the negation of life, but the fullness of life. None of the great artists and philosophers of the world felt and revealed this as Beethoven did” [Trubetskoy 2000, p. 157].

Beethoven helped Trubetskoy survive his meeting with God. And there, it is necessary to note an extremely significant point: this happened when Trubetskoy was immersed in symphony – Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. And the word “symphony” had a sacred meaning for Trubetskoy (close to the meaning of this word for Grigory Skovoroda).

In Trubetskoy’s view, a symphony is something uniting the earthly and the heavenly (Divine). The philosopher reminds: “The symphony, uniting the entire world of heaven and earth, sounds already at the beginning of the Gospel, in the story of the Evangelist Luke about the Nativity of Christ. The Good news preached to all creatures is precisely the promise of this symphony” [Trubetskoy 2017, p. 208].

Beethoven’s 9th Symphony was a harbinger of such a symphony for E. Trubetskoy.

2nd half of the 20th century – present day

In the 2nd half of the 20th century, Russian philosophy collapsed as an original spiritual phenomenon.

The Russian philosophy collapse was also reflected in works that explored the philosophical issues of music. At the same time, it was reflected in two ways: in some works, Russian philosophy was replaced by the dominant one at that time, Marxist-Leninist, in others, philosophical issues were completely dissolved in musicology.

And yet, in the 2nd half of the 20th century, most likely already at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries, there was a return to Russian philosophy, i.e., the “renaissance of the renaissance” of Russian philosophy and it is associated with the works of A.A. Ermichev, D.K. Bogatyrev, A.A. Korolkov, S.M. Polovinkin, N.K. Gavryushin and other authors. This return also made itself felt in the field of philosophy of music.

At the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries, the first works on the philosophy of music appeared, again built on a well-established basis for Russian philosophy. These works belong to M.S. Uvarov.

Uvarov views music as a means of confession. The philosopher has written many articles and books on this topic but it seems his ideas are most concentratedly expressed in the article “Music and Confession”.

In it, M.S. Uvarov writes that the aspect of the confessional word, which is well “read” in the main genres of artistic creativity, is especially clearly manifested in music. The music of any outstanding composer, Uvarov emphasizes, cannot but carry a confessional meaning. The maturity of an artist’s thinking depends on the ability to analyze an artistic task, including at the level of its experience bestowed by confession and prayer. The composer, sensitively reacting to the objective conflict of existence, realizes and transfers the measure of his awareness of tragedy into the fabric of the work of art, in turn, expressing the degree of comprehension of world harmony [Uvarov 1997].

The further development of the philosophy of music in Russia – on the foundation of Russian philosophy – was performed (and is being carried out to this day) by the author of this article.

We have proposed a model of the philosophy of music, which, we believe, today can be considered as the result of the development of judgments about music by Russian philosophers (from the period until the 18th century to the present day). The model is presented in our book “The Sum of Music”.

About the model

The model has the name: “New synergetic philosophy of music.” It has two components: “Theory” and “Practice”.


In theoretical terms, the model is built on the combination of two principles: classical (old) synergetics and hesychasm. Let us explain what was said.

Classical (old) synergetics, which emerged in the 1970s, was an interdisciplinary direction in science within which the features of the self-organization of systems in the world were studied. It was found that systems evolve in this direction: from less organized, i.e., orderly, stable, reliable, to more organized, i.e., orderly, stable, etc. According to the founder of synergetics, German physicist Hermann Haken proposed “synergetics” as the name of the new scientific branch.

Hesychasm was discussed in detail above. Now, only in connection with this, let us note only that moment that turns out to be the most significant for the proposed model: the reading of a prayer by a Christian hesychast not only led to his unity with God but also predetermined the transfer of the experience of this unity. What does it mean?

The fact is that, in the process of prayer, the Christian Hesychast communicated with all people, humanity [Kallistos Ware 2004]. Such communication between a Christian Hesychast and people during prayer contributed to the emergence in every person (a layman) of the desire for unity with God “in the world”. This desire was expressed in the bodily-soulful-spiritual activation of a person “in the world” and determining the development of the world, according to the principle of self-organization of systems. The very self-organization of systems, in our opinion, is represented by a sequence: nature – society – culture – art – music. Thus, music is the embodiment of man’s unity with God “in the world.”


In practice, we proceed from the fact that music is the most powerful means of uniting a person with God. The process of bringing a person to God with music, in our opinion, is music therapy.

We have developed a technology of music therapy designed to ensure a person’s ascent to God. How is this achieved?

We believe there is a structural similarity between man and music. In our opinion, both man and music consist of three mutually correlated levels: the first level of a person corresponds to the first level of music, the second level of a person corresponds to the second level of music, the third level of a person corresponds to the third level of music.

The levels of a person are bodily, soulful, and spiritual.

The levels of music, its bodily, soulful, and spiritual levels, are called by us, respectively, physical-acoustic (the elements of which are rhythm, meter, tempo, timbre, dynamics), communicative-intonation (the element of which is intonation), spiritual-value (the elements of which are mode (tonality), melody and harmony).

Thus, with the bodily hypostasis of a person correlate the physical-acoustic level of the sound of music (rhythm, tempo, etc.), with the soulful hypostasis – communicative-intonation level (intonation), and with the spiritual one – spiritual-value level (mode (tonality), etc.).

Principle of operation: in the first sessions, music is used in which the first level of music prevails (rhythm, meter, tempo, timbre, dynamics). Such music is designed to activate the body-plastic component of a person (at the same time, of course, the use of other types of sound is not excluded, but the main thing is still material based on rhythm, meter, etc.).

In subsequent sessions, the emphasis is first placed on the second level of music (based on intonation) and then on the third (based on mode (tonality), melody and harmony), activating, respectively, the soulful and spiritual aspects of a person. Thus, the conducted music therapy sessions stimulate the body-soul-spiritual growth of a person, revealing to him the Higher dimension of existence. [Klujev 2021].


Instead of a conclusion

So, consideration of the topic showed that Russian philosophers paid close attention to music, and this attention intensified from era to era. This increase was explained by the fact that Russian philosophers became more and more clearly aware of the music greatness and its unprecedented possibilities in liberating man from the misfortunes of earthly existence, everything temporary, finite.

And indeed, listening to music, we forget about time and space and find ourselves in some another “wonderful” dimension of existence, in a new world of unfading beauty, greatness, and nobility. This world is of eternal existence, eternal life. And if this is so, music consequently helps us overcome earthly sorrows, sadness, not for long while it sounds, but thereby strengthens our faith that such overcoming is possible forever. In other words, music testifies that it is possible to defeat death! [4]


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[1] By the way, this position is not original. It was stated before, e.g., by B.V. Yakovenko [Yakovenko 2003].

[2] This section of the article exists as a separate article in Russian [Klujev 2022b], Italian [Klujev 2022a] and English [Klujev 2023d].

[3] G. Skovoroda’s idea that God in music is music is developed in the author’s article [Klujev 2023c].

[4] The article has been published twice in India: [Klujev 2023a; Klujev 2023b].

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