Russian Music – Avant-Garde Design

Java Danse.

Moscow; Izdanie avtora, 1926. Folio (35.2 × 26.7 cm). Original decorative wrappers; 3 pp. Name inscribed on cover in pencil: Barbara Palosh; some small tears around edges of front wrapper; remnants of stamp, P R; some light staining to reverse wrapper; stamp on reverse; else very good.

The Java was a novel form of the waltz that originated in France during the 1920s. Set to a bouncier beat, Java dance choreography delighted and scandalised in equal measure on account of its close embrace. Java was popularised in the USSR during the relatively liberal NEP years, and would be phased out soon after, when Stalin's regime began to tighten the screws on acceptable forms of music and entertainment. The wrapper for this sheet music features a constructivist design by Aleksander Ivanovich Frolov, whose monogram can be discerned on the front wrapper (identified based on Morozov, Opredelitel' monogramm, 2008). Frolov was one of the 'Magnificent Four' sheet music artists, whose designs were used prolifically in sheet music publication. Artists of sheet music art often laboured in obscurity. Their designs functioned to attract the atttention of listeners and to distinguish the dances. To find sheet music from this time with its original cover is a rarity: covers at the time were often torn off, used for other pieces of music, and ultimately discarded.

As of February 2023, OCLC locates only one holding of this title in North America.

Book ID: 52494

Price: $350.00