Abstract. The present paper addresses the difficulties of rendering from the English language into Russian the titles of musical
pieces that contain terms of color. The study focuses on the musical compositions written in the first half of the 20 th century in
the USA, since using terms of color in naming the pieces was
particularly widespread among jazz and blues musicians and
those who drew inspiration from those genres in the studied period. The objective of the paper is to carry out comparative analysis of the original titles in the English language and their equivalents in Russian, identify the challenges terms of color pose for a translator, assess the level of equivalence achieved, and specify the areas of divergence in the linguistic pictures of the worldrepresented in the material under consideration. The methods involved in the study are comparative analysis, quantitative analysis, as well as etymological and semantic methods. The paper discusses a number of compositions by George Gershwin (Rhapsody in Blue, Blue Monday), Duke Ellington (Deep Blue, Mood Indigo, Moon Indigo, Midnight Indigo, Indigo Echoes, Black,
Brown and Beige, Black and Tan Fantasy)and Igor Stravinsky
(Ebony Concerto) whose titles have a number of translation
equivalents in the Russian language. It is suggested that the variability is rooted in cultural differences in the perception of colour. The comparative analysis of the semantics of the terms of
color blue, black, brown and beige and their equivalents in the
Russian language demonstrated that they represent a zone of
asymmetry in the linguistic picture of the world of the languages
under consideration. Rendering these terms of color in the names
of musical pieces can pose serious difficulties in the process of
translation and the multiple layers of the senses and connotations
they convey can lead to differentinterpretations and, as a consequence, to variability of equivalents in the target language.
Keywords:translation, variation, termsof colour, the semantics
of colour, names of musical pieces

Еlena А. Barsukova
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Moscow, Russia

Alekseeva I. S. 2000. Professional Training of a Translator.
Coursebook on translation and interpreting. Souz Publishing
House, Saint-Petersburg, 192 pp.
But’ko Yu.V. 2017. Training musical discourse translation.
Yaroslavl’ Pedagogical Bulletin 2: 142-146.
Collier G. 1984. The Making of Jazz: A Comprehensive History
(Russian Translation). Raduga Publishing, Moscow, 353 pp.
Comprehensive Russian Encyclopedia. 2019. URL: [Accessed September 20,
Ewen, D. 1989. George Gershwin: His Journey to Greatness.
(Russian Translation). Muzika Publishing House, Moscow,
287 pp.
Konen V. 1965. Essays on the History of USA Musical Culture.
Sovietsky Compozitor Publishing, Moscow, 525 pp.
Konen V. 1984. The Birth of Jazz. Sovietsky Compozitor Publishing, Moscow, 312 pp.
Konen V. 1994. The Third Stratum: New Mass Genres of ХХ
century Music. Muzika Publishing House, Moscow, 160 pp.
Korol’kova S.A. 2018. Translator and Variation in Literary
Translation. Homo LOQUENS (Issues of Translation and Translation Studies)11: 158-170.
Kul’pina V.G. 2001. Linguistics of Color: Terms of color in
Russian and Polish. Moskovsky Licey Publishing, Moscow,
470 pp.
Manulkina O. B. 2012. From Adams to Ives: American Music of
the 20
Century. Ivan Limbakh Publishing, Saint-Petersburg,
784 pp.
Schneerson G. 1977. Portraits of American composers: Essays.
Muzika Publishing House, Moscow, 232 pp.
Sigida S. Yu. 2012. Musical Culture of the USA – late XVIII –
early XX centuries: Making of theNational Identity. Compozitor
Publishing, Moscow, 504 pp.
Soviet Encyclopedic Dictionary. 1989. Sovetsky Compozitor
Publishing, Moscow, 1632 pp.
Ter-Minasova S. G. 2000. Language and Intercultural Communication. Slovo Publishing House, Moscow, 624 pp.
Tomakhin G. D. 1999. Dictionaryof USA. Russky Yazyk Publishing, Moscow, 576 pp.
Visson Lynn. 2016. Translating Texts on Visual Arts, Music and
Dance from Russian into English. Valent Publishing, Moscow,
268 pp.
Volynsky E. I. 1980. George Gershwin: Popular Biography.
Muzika Publishing House, Leningrad, 96 pp.
Vorob’eva E. Yu. 2019. Color as a Means of Literary Expression. Russia and the West: dialogue of cultures:electronic journal URL:
2012-11-02-22-11-32/577-2019-05-08-11-37-28.html [Accessed
August 20, 2019].