Bard (Soviet Union)
The term bard came to be used in the Soviet Union in the early 1960s, continues to be used in Russia today, to refer to singer-songwriters who wrote songs outside the Soviet establishment to folk singers of the American folk music revival. Because in bard music songwriters perform their own songs, the genre is commonly referred to as author song. Bard poetry differs from other poetry in being sung with simple guitar accompaniment as opposed to being spoken. Another difference is that it focuses more on meaning; this means that fewer stylistic devices are used, the poetry is in the form of a narrative. What separates bard poetry from other songs is that the music is far less important than the lyrics. A far more obvious difference is the commerce-free nature of the genre. Stylistically, the precursors to bard songs were Russian "city romances" known as urban romances, which touched upon common life and were popular throughout all layers of Russian society in the late 19th to early 20th centuries.
These romances were traditionally performed with a guitar accompaniment. Bard poetry may be classified into two main genres: tourist song and political song, although some other subgenres are recognized, such as outlaw song and pirate song; the term "bard" was used by fans of the tourist song genre, outside those circles, the term was perceived as derisive. However, there was a need for a term to distinguish this style of song from the traditional mainstream pop song, the term stuck. Many bards performed their songs for small groups of people using a Russian guitar, if would they be accompanied by other musicians or singers; those who became popular were able to hold modest concerts. Bards were permitted to record their music, given the political nature of many of their songs; as a result, bard tunes made their way around via the copying of amateur recordings made at concerts those songs that were of a political nature. During the Soviet Era of Stagnation and its intense forms such as alpinism, kayaking/canoeing, canyoning, became a form of escapism for young people, who felt that these activities were the only ways of life in which such values as courage, risk, trust and mutual support still mattered.
It is these types of virtues that tourist songs use for their subject matter. Many of the best tourist songs were composed by Yuri Vizbor who participated and sang about all the sports described above, Alexander Gorodnitsky who spent a great deal of time sailing around the world on ships and on scientific expeditions to the far North. A notable subgenre of the Tourist song was the Sea song; as with other tourist songs, the goal was to sing about people in hard conditions where true physical and emotional conflicts appear. Vladimir Vysotsky had several songs of this sort, since his style suited them perfectly. Many of Alexander Gorodnitsky's songs are about the sea since he had the opportunity to experience life at sea. While some songs were about sailors, others were about pirates. With the romanticism of songs like Brigantine by Pavel Kogan, pirate songs are still popular at author song concerts today; every bard has at least one song of this type. Tourist song was tolerated by the government, it existed under the moniker author song, i.e. songs sung by the authors themselves, as opposed to those sung by professional singers.
Another name for this genre was "amateur song". This term reflects the cultural phenomenon of the Soviet Union called "amateur performing arts," or khudozhestvennaya samodeyatelnost, it was a widespread heavily subsidized occupation of Soviet people in their spare time. Every major industrial enterprise and every kolkhoz had a Palace of Culture, or at least a House of Culture, for amateur performers to practice and perform. Many of them, as well as many universities, had Clubs of Amateur Song, which, in fact, were clubs of bard song and which stood quite apart from the mainstream Soviet "samodeyatelnost'". Grushinsky festival traces its origins to tourist song fan meetings, but now includes songs from all genres. Compare: Tramping song, a similar tradition in the Czech Republic. Songs of this kind expressed protest against the Soviet way of life; the genre varied from acutely political, "anti-Soviet" songs to witty satire in the best traditions of Aesop. Some of Bulat Okudzhava's songs touch on these themes.
Vladimir Vysotsky was perceived as a political song writer, although he was part of the mainstream culture. It was not so with Alexander Galich, forced to emigrate. Before emigration, he suffered from KGB persecution, as did Yuliy Kim. Others, like Evgeny Kliachkin and Aleksander Dolsky, maintained a balance between outright "anti-Soviet" and plain romantic material. "songs" from pro-Communist plays by Bertolt Brecht criticizing fascism and capitalist society, could be seen as protest songs, hence were popular among bards. These were called zo
Sergey Nikitin (musician)
Sergey Yakovlevich Nikitin is a prominent Soviet and Russian bard and biophysicist. He performs both solo and in a duet with his wife, Tatyana Nikitina all over Russia, the former Soviet republics, other countries with significant Russian-speaking diaspora. Sergey Nikitin is known as a composer and performer of songs for children. Sergey Nikitin graduated from the Physics Department of Moscow State University in 1968. After completing postgraduate studies at the department of Biophysics at Moscow State University, he worked as a researcher in Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry in Moscow. In 1980-1987 he was a researcher at the Institute of Biophysics in Pushchino and received a Ph. D. in Physics in 1983. Nikitin wrote music to his first song, En route, in 1962. In 1963, he founded an all-male quartet in the Department of Physics at Moscow State University, together with Sergey Smirnov, Boris Geller, Aleksei Monakhov, Vadim Khait. From 1968-77, he appeared at numerous concerts, together with other members of his quintet, including his wife, Tatyana Nikitina, Carmen Santacreu, Vladimir Ulin, Nikolai Turkin.
In 1987-1995, he was Musical Director at the Oleg Tabakov Studio-Theater in Moscow, became a full-time singer and composer since 1995. Nikitin has an adult son, Alexander. 1980 The movie Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears for which Sergey Nikitin wrote the music received an Oscar in the'best foreign film' category. In 1997, Sergey Nikitin was awarded the title of the Meritorious Actor of Russia and, together with Tatiana Nikitina, became a laureate of the Tzarsko-Selsky Artistic Prize. CDs Records of 1971-1975, quintet of the Department of Physics in Moscow State University To the Music of Vivaldi, 1994 Sergei Nikitin, 1994 A Big Secret for a Small Company, 1995 Yesterday the Crocodile smiled, 1995 Rubber hedgehog, songs for children on verses by Yunna Morits Brich-Mulla, 1996 Sentries of Love Field of miracles, 1998 We don't choose times, 1998 The Girl and the Plasticine, 1998 Something is Happening to Me, 1999 Concert, 2000 Retro for the Two of Us Black and White Cinema, 2002 Winter Holiday, 2002 Soundtracks to live-action films: Almost a laughable story Trips in an old car Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears Irony of Fate, - "Snowing On" on YouTube a song from the film, lyrics by Boris Pasternak and performance by Nikitin, English subtitles by V. Chetin Old New Year Soundtracks to animated films: A Big Secret for a Small Company The Boy Was Walking, the Crow Was Flying The Wolfskin Music for the theater Mary Poppins, a collaboration with Viktor Berkovsky Ali Baba and 40 songs of Persian Bazaar a collaboration with Viktor Berkovsky, libretto by Veniamin Smekhov Opera Why are you wearing tails and many others Full list of published songs by Nikitin with digital recordings Facebook account VK account Concert by Nikitin
Tajikistan the Republic of Tajikistan, is a mountainous, landlocked country in Central Asia with an area of 143,100 km2 and an estimated population of 8.7 million people as of 2016. It is bordered by Afghanistan to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, China to the east; the traditional homelands of the Tajik people include present-day Tajikistan as well as parts of Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. The territory that now constitutes Tajikistan was home to several ancient cultures, including the city of Sarazm of the Neolithic and the Bronze Age, was home to kingdoms ruled by people of different faiths and cultures, including the Oxus civilisation, Andronovo culture, Nestorian Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Islam; the area has been ruled by numerous empires and dynasties, including the Achaemenid Empire, Sasanian Empire, Hephthalite Empire, Samanid Empire, Mongol Empire, Timurid dynasty, the Russian Empire, subsequently the Soviet Union. Within the Soviet Union, the country's modern borders were drawn when it was part of Uzbekistan as an autonomous republic before becoming a full-fledged Soviet republic in 1929.
On 9 September 1991, Tajikistan became an independent sovereign nation when the Soviet Union disintegrated. A civil war was fought immediately after independence, lasting from 1992 to 1997. Since the end of the war, newly established political stability and foreign aid have allowed the country's economy to grow. Like all other Central Asian neighbouring states, the country, led by President Emomali Rahmon since 1994, has been criticised by a number of non-governmental organizations for authoritarian leadership, lack of religious freedom and widespread violations of human rights. Tajikistan is a presidential republic consisting of four provinces. Most of Tajikistan's 8.7 million people belong to the Tajik ethnic group. Many Tajiks speak Russian as their second language. While the state is constitutionally secular, Islam is practiced by 98% of the population. In the Gorno-Badakhshan Oblast of Tajikistan, despite its sparse population, there is large linguistic diversity where Rushani, Ishkashimi and Tajik are some of the languages spoken.
Mountains cover more than 90% of the country. It has a transition economy, dependent on remittances and cotton production. Tajikistan is a member of the United Nations, CIS, OSCE, OIC, ECO, SCO and CSTO as well as an NATO PfP partner. Tajikistan means the "Land of the Tajiks"; the suffix "-stan" is Persian for "place of" or "country" and Tajik is, most the name of a pre-Islamic tribe. According to the Library of Congress's 1997 Country Study of Tajikistan, it is difficult to definitively state the origins of the word "Tajik" because the term is "embroiled in twentieth-century political disputes about whether Turkic or Iranian peoples were the original inhabitants of Central Asia."Tajikistan appeared as Tadjikistan or Tadzhikistan in English prior to 1991. This is due to a transliteration from the Russian: "Таджикистан". In Russian, there is no single letter j to represent the phoneme /ʤ/, therefore дж, or dzh, is used. Tadzhikistan is the most common alternate spelling and is used in English literature derived from Russian sources.
"Tadjikistan" is the spelling in French and can be found in English language texts. The way of writing Tajikistan in the Perso-Arabic script is: تاجیکستان. Cultures in the region have been dated back to at least the 4th millennium BCE, including the Bronze Age Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex, the Andronovo cultures and the pro-urban site of Sarazm, a UNESCO World Heritage site; the earliest recorded history of the region dates back to about 500 BCE when much, if not all, of modern Tajikistan was part of the Achaemenid Empire. Some authors have suggested that in the 7th and 6th century BCE parts of modern Tajikistan, including territories in the Zeravshan valley, formed part of Kambojas before it became part of the Achaemenid Empire. After the region's conquest by Alexander the Great it became part of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, a successor state of Alexander's empire. Northern Tajikistan was part of Sogdia, a collection of city-states, overrun by Scythians and Yuezhi nomadic tribes around 150 BCE.
The Silk Road passed through the region and following the expedition of Chinese explorer Zhang Qian during the reign of Wudi commercial relations between Han China and Sogdiana flourished. Sogdians played a major role in facilitating trade and worked in other capacities, as farmers, carpetweavers and woodcarvers; the Kushan Empire, a collection of Yuezhi tribes, took control of the region in the first century CE and ruled until the 4th century CE during which time Buddhism, Nestorian Christianity and Manichaeism were all practised in the region. The Hephthalite Empire, a collection of nomadic tribes, moved into the region and Arabs brought Islam in the early eighth century. Central Asia continued in its role as a commercial crossroads, linking China, the steppes to the north, the Islamic heartland, it was temporarily under the control of the Tibetan empire and Chinese from 650–680 and under the control of the Umayyads in 710. The Samanid Empire, 819 to 999, restored Persian control of the region and enlarged the cities of Samarkand and Bukhara which became the cultural centres of Iran and the region was known as Khorasan.
The Kara-Khanid Khanate conquered Transoxania (which corresponds wit
MusicBrainz is a project that aims to create an open data music database, similar to the freedb project. MusicBrainz was founded in response to the restrictions placed on the Compact Disc Database, a database for software applications to look up audio CD information on the Internet. MusicBrainz has expanded its goals to reach beyond a compact disc metadata storehouse to become a structured open online database for music. MusicBrainz captures information about artists, their recorded works, the relationships between them. Recorded works entries capture at a minimum the album title, track titles, the length of each track; these entries are maintained by volunteer editors. Recorded works can store information about the release date and country, the CD ID, cover art, acoustic fingerprint, free-form annotation text and other metadata; as of 21 September 2018, MusicBrainz contained information about 1.4 million artists, 2 million releases, 19 million recordings. End-users can use software that communicates with MusicBrainz to add metadata tags to their digital media files, such as FLAC, MP3, Ogg Vorbis or AAC.
MusicBrainz allows contributors to upload cover art images of releases to the database. Internet Archive provides the bandwidth and legal protection for hosting the images, while MusicBrainz stores metadata and provides public access through the web and via an API for third parties to use; as with other contributions, the MusicBrainz community is in charge of maintaining and reviewing the data. Cover art is provided for items on sale at Amazon.com and some other online resources, but CAA is now preferred because it gives the community more control and flexibility for managing the images. Besides collecting metadata about music, MusicBrainz allows looking up recordings by their acoustic fingerprint. A separate application, such as MusicBrainz Picard, must be used for this. In 2000, MusicBrainz started using Relatable's patented TRM for acoustic fingerprint matching; this feature allowed the database to grow quickly. However, by 2005 TRM was showing scalability issues as the number of tracks in the database had reached into the millions.
This issue was resolved in May 2006 when MusicBrainz partnered with MusicIP, replacing TRM with MusicDNS. TRMs were phased out and replaced by MusicDNS in November 2008. In October 2009 MusicIP was acquired by AmpliFIND; some time after the acquisition, the MusicDNS service began having intermittent problems. Since the future of the free identification service was uncertain, a replacement for it was sought; the Chromaprint acoustic fingerprinting algorithm, the basis for AcoustID identification service, was started in February 2010 by a long-time MusicBrainz contributor Lukáš Lalinský. While AcoustID and Chromaprint are not MusicBrainz projects, they are tied with each other and both are open source. Chromaprint works by analyzing the first two minutes of a track, detecting the strength in each of 12 pitch classes, storing these 8 times per second. Additional post-processing is applied to compress this fingerprint while retaining patterns; the AcoustID search server searches from the database of fingerprints by similarity and returns the AcoustID identifier along with MusicBrainz recording identifiers if known.
Since 2003, MusicBrainz's core data are in the public domain, additional content, including moderation data, is placed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 license. The relational database management system is PostgreSQL; the server software is covered by the GNU General Public License. The MusicBrainz client software library, libmusicbrainz, is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License, which allows use of the code by proprietary software products. In December 2004, the MusicBrainz project was turned over to the MetaBrainz Foundation, a non-profit group, by its creator Robert Kaye. On 20 January 2006, the first commercial venture to use MusicBrainz data was the Barcelona, Spain-based Linkara in their Linkara Música service. On 28 June 2007, BBC announced that it has licensed MusicBrainz's live data feed to augment their music Web pages; the BBC online music editors will join the MusicBrainz community to contribute their knowledge to the database. On 28 July 2008, the beta of the new BBC Music site was launched, which publishes a page for each MusicBrainz artist.
Amarok – KDE audio player Banshee – multi-platform audio player Beets – automatic CLI music tagger/organiser for Unix-like systems Clementine – multi-platform audio player CDex – Microsoft Windows CD ripper Demlo – a dynamic and extensible music manager using a CLI iEatBrainz – Mac OS X deprecated foo_musicbrainz component for foobar2000 – Music Library/Audio Player Jaikoz – Java mass tag editor Max – Mac OS X CD ripper and audio transcoder Mp3tag – Windows metadata editor and music organizer MusicBrainz Picard – cross-platform album-oriented tag editor MusicBrainz Tagger – deprecated Microsoft Windows tag editor puddletag – a tag editor for PyQt under the GPLv3 Rhythmbox music player – an audio player for Unix-like systems Sound Juicer – GNOME CD ripper Zortam Mp3 Media Studio – Windows music organizer and ID3 Tag Editor. Freedb clients can access MusicBrainz data through the freedb protocol by using the MusicBrainz to FreeDB gateway service, mb2freedb. List of online music databases Making Metadata: The Case of Mus
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
Russia the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres, Russia is by far or by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, the ninth most populous, with about 146.77 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77 % of the population live in the European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, China and North Korea, it shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U. S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.
The East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, the medieval state of Rus arose in the 9th century. In 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus' disintegrated into a number of smaller states; the Grand Duchy of Moscow reunified the surrounding Russian principalities and achieved independence from the Golden Horde. By the 18th century, the nation had expanded through conquest and exploration to become the Russian Empire, the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland on the west to Alaska on the east. Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the world's first constitutionally socialist state; the Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II, emerged as a recognized superpower and rival to the United States during the Cold War.
The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the world's second largest economy, largest standing military in the world and the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, twelve independent republics emerged from the USSR: Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and the Baltic states regained independence: Estonia, Lithuania, it is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia's economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2018. Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally; the country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and an active global partner of ASEAN, as well as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Trade Organization, as well as being the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and one of the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union, along with Armenia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan; the name Russia is derived from Rus', a medieval state populated by the East Slavs. However, this proper name became more prominent in the history, the country was called by its inhabitants "Русская Земля", which can be translated as "Russian Land" or "Land of Rus'". In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus' by modern historiography.
The name Rus itself comes from the early medieval Rus' people, Swedish merchants and warriors who relocated from across the Baltic Sea and founded a state centered on Novgorod that became Kievan Rus. An old Latin version of the name Rus' was Ruthenia applied to the western and southern regions of Rus' that were adjacent to Catholic Europe; the current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Rus', Ρωσσία Rossía—spelled Ρωσία in Modern Greek. The standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are commonly
Moscow is the capital and most populous city of Russia, with 13.2 million residents within the city limits, 17 million within the urban area and 20 million within the metropolitan area. Moscow is one of Russia's federal cities. Moscow is the major political, economic and scientific center of Russia and Eastern Europe, as well as the largest city on the European continent. By broader definitions, Moscow is among the world's largest cities, being the 14th largest metro area, the 18th largest agglomeration, the 14th largest urban area, the 11th largest by population within city limits worldwide. According to Forbes 2013, Moscow has been ranked as the ninth most expensive city in the world by Mercer and has one of the world's largest urban economies, being ranked as an alpha global city according to the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world according to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index. Moscow is the coldest megacity on Earth.
It is home to the Ostankino Tower, the tallest free standing structure in Europe. By its territorial expansion on July 1, 2012 southwest into the Moscow Oblast, the area of the capital more than doubled, going from 1,091 to 2,511 square kilometers, resulting in Moscow becoming the largest city on the European continent by area. Moscow is situated on the Moskva River in the Central Federal District of European Russia, making it Europe's most populated inland city; the city is well known for its architecture its historic buildings such as Saint Basil's Cathedral with its colorful architectural style. With over 40 percent of its territory covered by greenery, it is one of the greenest capitals and major cities in Europe and the world, having the largest forest in an urban area within its borders—more than any other major city—even before its expansion in 2012; the city has served as the capital of a progression of states, from the medieval Grand Duchy of Moscow and the subsequent Tsardom of Russia to the Russian Empire to the Soviet Union and the contemporary Russian Federation.
Moscow is a seat of power of the Government of Russia, being the site of the Moscow Kremlin, a medieval city-fortress, today the residence for work of the President of Russia. The Moscow Kremlin and Red Square are one of several World Heritage Sites in the city. Both chambers of the Russian parliament sit in the city. Moscow is considered the center of Russian culture, having served as the home of Russian artists and sports figures and because of the presence of museums and political institutions and theatres; the city is served by a transit network, which includes four international airports, nine railway terminals, numerous trams, a monorail system and one of the deepest underground rapid transit systems in the world, the Moscow Metro, the fourth-largest in the world and largest outside Asia in terms of passenger numbers, the busiest in Europe. It is recognized as one of the city's landmarks due to the rich architecture of its 200 stations. Moscow has acquired a number of epithets, most referring to its size and preeminent status within the nation: The Third Rome, the Whitestone One, the First Throne, the Forty Soroks.
Moscow is one of the twelve Hero Cities. The demonym for a Moscow resident is "москвич" for male or "москвичка" for female, rendered in English as Muscovite; the name "Moscow" is abbreviated "MSK". The name of the city is thought to be derived from the name of the Moskva River. There have been proposed several theories of the origin of the name of the river. Finno-Ugric Merya and Muroma people, who were among the several Early Eastern Slavic tribes which inhabited the area, called the river Mustajoki, it has been suggested. The most linguistically well grounded and accepted is from the Proto-Balto-Slavic root *mŭzg-/muzg- from the Proto-Indo-European *meu- "wet", so the name Moskva might signify a river at a wetland or a marsh, its cognates include Russian: музга, muzga "pool, puddle", Lithuanian: mazgoti and Latvian: mazgāt "to wash", Sanskrit: májjati "to drown", Latin: mergō "to dip, immerse". In many Slavic countries Moskov is a surname, most common in Bulgaria, Russia and North Macedonia. There exist as well similar place names in Poland like Mozgawa.
The original Old Russian form of the name is reconstructed as *Москы, *Mosky, hence it was one of a few Slavic ū-stem nouns. As with other nouns of that declension, it had been undergoing a morphological transformation at the early stage of the development of the language, as a result the first written mentions in the 12th century were Московь, Moskovĭ, Москви, Moskvi, Москвe/Москвѣ, Moskve/Moskvě. From the latter forms came the modern Russian name Москва, a result of morphological generalisation with the numerous Slavic ā-stem nouns. However, the form Moskovĭ has left some traces in many other languages, such as English: Moscow, German: Moskau, French: Moscou, Georgian: მოსკოვი, Latvian: Maskava, Ottoman Turkish: Moskov, Tatar: Мәскәү, Mäskäw, Kazakh: Мәскеу, Mäskew, Chuvash: Мускав, etc. In a similar manner the Latin name Moscovia has been formed it became a collo