Image - Members of the Boian music society in Stanyslaviv (1896).

Boian (Bard). The name of song and music societies established in Galicia and Bukovyna on the initiative of the association Ruska Besida in Galicia and named after a legendary Kyivan Rus’ bard. The first Boian society was established in 1891 in Lviv (headed by Volodymyr Shukhevych) and Peremyshl (headed by Teofil Kormosh). Other branches were established in Berezhany (1892), Stryi (1894), Kolomyia and Stanyslaviv (1895), Chernivtsi (1899), Sniatyn and Ternopil (1901), and elsewhere. Boian branches were even organized for a short period in Kyiv (1904, headed by Mykola Lysenko) and Poltava (ca 1910, headed by F. Popadych). Aside from giving concerts, Boian published the Muzychna biblioteka, beginning in 1892, and maintained a publishing concern, Reference Library of the Lviv Boian. The Boian library in Lviv contained manuscripts of works by Ukrainian composers, as well as a museum of Ukrainian folk musical instruments (from 1894). The Union of Song and Music Societies that superseded Boian was instrumental in founding the first Ukrainian music school in Lviv—the Lysenko Higher Institute of Music (1903). The Boian societies played a major role in promoting musical culture and popularizing Ukrainian folk songs and works by Ukrainian composers (especially Mykola Lysenko and Petro Nishchynsky). The local Boian societies were meeting places for the intelligentsia and townspeople. After the Soviet occupation of Galicia in 1939, the societies were abolished.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]

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