Butskoy earned degrees in mathematics and physics at Kiev University before attending the Kiev Music and Drama School and the Kiev Conservatory, where he received his doctorate for his dissertation on musical form in 1941. He held positions at the Music and Drama School, the Lisenko Music and Drama Institute and at the Leningrad Conservatory. As a composer, Butskoy wrote piano pieces, songs and stage music. He has written extensively on the subjects of musical form, musical analysis and perception.
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