B.A. in Music Senior Capstone Projects

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Capstone Project

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This paper explores Russian culture beginning in the midnineteenth century as the leading group of composers and musicians known as the moguchaya kuchka, or The Mighty Five, sought to influence Russian culture and develop a "pure" school of Russian music amid rampant westernization. Comprised of César Cui, Alexander Borodin, Mily Balakirev, Modest Mussorgsky, and Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, this group of inspired musicians opposed westernization and supported Official Nationalism by the incorporation of folklore, local village traditions, and promotion of their Tsar as a supreme political leader. In particular, the works of Balakirev, Cui, and Mussorgsky established cultural pride and contributed to Russian nationalism. Through studying the works and cultural context of these three influential composers, one can gain both a better understanding of the essence of Russian Official Nationalism in the nineteenth century and an enriched appreciation for the prevalent Russian musical styles and compositional techniques that were employed to achieve a unique "Russian" sound.


Moguchaya kuchka, music, Russia


Sandra Yang, Ryan Behan, and Kevin Sims

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Music Commons



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