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Grant number like: FT-52953-04

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Peter J. Schmelz
SUNY Research Foundation, Buffalo State College (Buffalo, NY 14222-1004)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2004 – 7/31/2004

Listening, Memory, and the Thaw: the Politics and Practice of Unofficial Music in the Soviet Union, 1956-1974

My project is a monograph length study of the unofficial musical subculture that grew out of the open freedoms allowed by Khrushchev's Thaw in the 1950s and 1960s. The generation of composers raised in the Soviet conservatories of the 1950s were able to gain access to and begin imitating numerous previously forbidden "formalist" scores and recordings from Western Europe and America. The rare performances of their compositions attracted an eager and curious audience that resisted the regime through its attendance. The project is based on interviews with a large number of participants in this "unofficial" musical subculture and thereby supplies a necessary corrective to the sanitized "official" version of events that is usually reported by historians.