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date: 29 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the long process by which musical meanings are made in the choral repertoire of a Russian diasporic church, the ROCOR Russian Orthodox church, in its mid-Atlantic U.S. diaspora. Its point of departure is not meanings held in common by these church members, but instead the disjunctive meanings assigned to musical practice (and the consequent differences in preferred musical practice) by multiple generations of Russian immigrants. Common meanings emerge from this process through the reconstruction of a Russian diasporic identity that both draws on the symbolic resources of musical institutions characterizing different factions of Russian church musicians and on the positionality of being “Russian abroad” that unifies members by a common idea of preserving prerevolutionary Russian culture.

Keywords: music, United States, Orthodox, ROCOR, choral music, choir, diaspora, conflict, nationalism

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