Eduard Yefimovich ALEKSEYEV (born 4 December 1937 in Yakutsk, Russia), Doctor of Science, ethnomusicologist. Doctoral dissertation: "The Pitch Nature of Primitive Singing" (State Institute of Art Studies, 1990); member of the Academy of Spirituality of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) (1996).
Dr. Alekseyev was born into a family of Merited Teachers of the Sakha Republic. From 1952 to 1956 he studied at the Central Music School for Gifted Children of the Moscow State Conservatory, with Abram Shatskes (piano) and Liudmila Fokina (music theory), graduating with a gold medal. In 1956-61 studied at the theoretic-compositional department of the Moscow Conservatory (in the class of Prof. Leo Mazel), graduating with honors. In 1963-66 did graduate work at the Institute of Art History of the USSR Academy of Sciences, with Viktor Belyaev (ethnomusicology). In 1959-60 began work as an assistant in the Department of Music Folklore of the Moscow Conservatory. In 1958 conducted the first expedition to Amga and East-Kangalas regions of the Sakha Republic. Notated and published recordings of Yakut folk-singer Ustin Nokhsorov. In 1961-63 taught at the Yakutsk Music and Yakutsk Pedagogical Colleges. From 1963 to 1993 worked at the Institute of Art History (now the State Institute of Art Studies). In 1987 founded the Department of General Theory of Music Folklore at the Institute. Conducted interdisciplinary expeditions to Yakutia, Abkhazia, Adygeia, Adzharia, Altai, Bashkiria, Belarus, Buryatia, the Crimea, Kalmykia, Kirghizia, the Krasnodar Territory, Mongolia, Tuva, Uzbekistan, and West Georgia and Svanetia. Recorded folk music by Russians, Evens, Evenks, Yukagirs, Chukchi, Eskimos, Kalmyks, Jews, Gypsies, Crimean Tartars, Shapsugs, and others; and also songs by bards and music by folk-rock groups (1960s-1980s). Editor-in-chief of a collection of songs by folk composer Khristofor Maksimov (Yakutsk, 1962) and the collection "Examples of Yakut Song Folklore" (co-author Nadezhda Nikolaeva) (Yakutsk, 1981). From the 1970s to the beginning of the 1980s, with Grigory Golovinsky and psychologists Grigory Zarakovsky and Vladimir Volokhov, conducted a series of studies of musical tastes of the youth. For 20 years (1972-92) he was Chairman of the All-Union Folklore Commission of the Union of Soviet Composers. Led seminars of young ethnomusicologists, took part in the organization of international research conferences, presentations of the findings of musical-ethnographic expeditions, and concerts and festivals of folk music. From 1993-96, worked at the Institute of Northern Minority Problems in Yakutsk. Vice-president of the Academy of Spirituality of the Sakha Republic (1996-97). Since 1997 Dr. Alekseyev has lived in the USA and worked at the International Institute of Boston.
As editor-in-chief, published series of small anthologies "From the Collection of an Ethnomusicologist" (20 issues, each including a record, Moscow 1974-89). The editing methods developed while editing this series were used in the work on the multivolume series "Monuments of Folklore of Siberia and the Far East" (the first 10 volumes of the series, along with Dr. Alekseev's books of the 1980s, were nominated for the National Award of the Russian Federation). Took part in the production of a film about shamans, "Dream Times" (director-cameraman Andris Slapinsh, consultant-ethnographer Elena Novik, 1987, Prize at the First International Festival of Audiovisual Anthropology. Piarnu, Estonia, 1987). Research goal is the establishment of foundations of anthropophonics — a general theory of meaningful sound production, comprising singing and speaking. Author of musical works, including the opera "Song about Manchary" (co-author German Komrakov, performed at the Yakutsk Theater for Opera and Ballet in 1967, 1972, 1997).
Est' li u jakutov mnogogolosie? [Is there polyphony among the Yakuts?] // "Sovetskaja muzyka", 1967, № 5; Na putjah issledovanija muzykal'nyh vkusov [Paths of research in musical tastes] // "Sovetskaja muzyka", 1973, № 1 (co-authors V.Volohov, G.Golovinsky, G.Zarakovsky); Jakutische Volkslieder in Geschichte und Gegenwart [Yakut folk songs in history and the present]. In.: Sozialistische Musikkultur. Traditionen. Probleme. Perspektiven. Berlin, Neue Musik, 1977, Ss. 341–372.; Problemy formirovanija lada (na materiale jakutskoj narodnoj pesni) [A study of the origins of modality (based on Yakut folk song)]. M., 1976; Sociologija i muzykal'naja fol'kloristika [Sociology and ethnomusicology] // Sociologicheskie aspekty izuchenija muzykal'nogo fol'klora [Sociological aspects of the study of folk music] (ed. E.Alekseyev). Almaty, 1978, pp. 4–11; Rannefol'klornoe intonirovanie: Zvukovysotnyj aspekt [The pitch nature of primitive singing]. M., 1986; Probleme der Erforschung der Musikfolklore [Problems in the research of folk music] // Beiträge zur Musikwissenschaft. Heft 4. Berlin, 1987; Fol'klor v kontekste sovremennoj kul'tury: Rassuzhdenija o sud'bah narodnoj pesni [Folklore in the context of modern culture: Reflections on the fate of folk song]. M., 1988; In search of adequate methods for analysis of traditional music. Towards a theory of meaningful sound production / Report on the second Soviet-American meeting of ethnomusicologists, Wesleyan University, 1989; Notnaja zapis' narodnoj muzyki: teorija i praktika [The notation of folk music: theory and practice]. M., 1990; O muzykal'nom voploshchenii olonho [On the musical construction of the Yakut heroic epos] // Moguchij Er Sogotoh. [The Mighty Er Sogotokh] / Pamjatniki fol'klora narodov Sibiri i Dal'nego Vostoka [Monuments of Folklore of Siberia and the Far East]. vol. 10. Novosibirsk, 1996; Penie pri kul'turno-specifichnyh psihicheskih rasstrojstvah u narodov sibirskogo Severa [Singing in cases of culture-bound psychiatric disorder among Northern Siberian peoples]. In.: Mif, simvol, ritual: narody Sibiri [Myth, symbol, ritual: peoples of Siberia]. M., 2008; and others.
About Dr. Alekseyev:
Daragan D. V postojannom dvizhenii [In constant motion] // "Sovetskaja muzyka", 1981. № 1; Maksimov V. Zhit' – znachit zvuchat' [To live is to make a sound] // Rossijskie vesti, May 11, 1995; Cherednichenko T. Paradoks Alekseyeva [Alekseyev’s paradox] // Novoe vremja, 1995, No.23.