Harvard's Alekseyev Collection, Introduction (English, Russian subtitles)

Find more video from this series at the YouTube channel, SiberianEthnoArts

Dr. Harris Interviews Dr. Alekseyev (Russian, no subtitles)

Another interview by Robin Harris with Dr. Alekseven in Russian and English (subtitles in both languages), from Sakha Open World


This research guide was created for the symposium, The Yakut Epos Olonkho: Past--Present--Future (February 21, 2013, Davison Room, Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, Harvard University).  The centerpiece of the symposium is the Eduard Alekseyev Fieldwork Collection of the Musical Culture of Yakutia, 1969-1990 and the work of scholars Alekseyev, Robin Harris, Vasily Illarionov, and Sergei Vasilev.  Olonkho is a vast corpus of song and poetic recitative that encompasses spiritual beliefs ritual practices, philosophy, and historical memory at the root of Yakut cultural identity.  For more information about where and what Yakutia and Olonkho are, see the Background Information tab.

Please visit the Music of Yakutia at Harvard tab for a selective list of Dr. Alekseyev's publications.  Brief biographical note from collection finding aid: 

Eduard Yefimovich Alekseyev (b. 1937, Yakutia) is an ethnomusicologist who has been conducting fieldwork for forty years in different regions of the former Soviet Union, with a focus on the musical cultures in Siberia. He is well-known as a researcher of traditional music, and for his work on the theoretical problems of mode and melodic scale, intonation, timbre, and notations. In addition, he studies the sociology and psychology of musical perception. From 1972 until 1992, he served as chairman of the All-Union Folklore Commission of the Union of Soviet Composers. He has also served as Director of the Department of the General Theory of Folklore at the State Institute for Art Studies (Moscow). He received his Kandidat Degree (Ph.D.) and Doctor of Science degree in Ethnomusicology from the State Institute of Art Studies (Moscow). At the Central Music School, he studied piano and music theory. He later graduated from Moscow Conservatory, where his scientific adviser was the theoretician Leo A. Mazel. Не had the post doctorate course at the State Institute of Art Studies (Moscow) under the guidance of ethnomusicologist Viktor M. Beliaev. Eduard Alekseyev is the author of more than 100 publications in Russian, including such books as A Study of the Origins of Modality with Regard to Yakut Folk Songs (1976), The Pitch Nature of Primitive Singing (1986), Folklore in the Context of Modern Culture (1988), and The Notation of Folk Music: Theory and Practice (1990). He has resided in Boston, Massachusetts since 1997.

The author of this guide borrowed textual material from present and former Loeb Music Library staff:  Dr. Sarah Adams, Dr. Virginia Danielson, and Donna Guerra.   For assistance and information about using the Alekseyev collection, contact Dr. Adams, Director of the Loeb Music Library, Peter Laurence, Archive of World Music Curatorial Assistant, or Kerry Masteller, Reference and Digital Program Librarian.