Serbian Musical Identity in Sacred Music from Stevan Mokranjac to Marko Tajčević

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Orthodox church music is as much a part of the quest for Serbian identity as art music. This article seeks to discuss the establishment of this quest in the period between the activity of the first melographers (notably Kornelije Stanković and Stevan Mokranjac) and composers working in the period leading up to the Second World War. Particular attention is paid to the parallels between the gradually developing aims of these composers, built on the collections of chants made (and harmonized) by the melographers, and the movement in architecture known as Serbo-Byzantinism. It examines the technical developments espoused by Serbian composers who went to study in Western countries and endeavoured to find a meeting point between their newly acquired knowledge and their desire to maintain links with, if not necessarily Byzantine culture, then Byzantinism as filtered through Serbian traditions of sacred music.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalContemporary Music Review
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022


  • Modernism
  • Orthodoxy
  • Serbian Church Music
  • Serbo-Byzantinism


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