In the below image, the two characters underlined don't seem to have a match in the character map program I'm using:

enter image description here

The closest matches I can find are п and д, respectively. Are these indeed the matches, and if so, are those in the image perhaps archaic, obsolete, or simply an alternate form of those letters?

P.S. This text was the heading to a music score of Sergei Rachmaninoff's famous Prelude in C♯ Minor, Op. 3 No. 2.

  • 1
    Those are the original shapes of л and д, they look the closest to the 9th century Greek letters which were the source of the Cyrillic alphabet. It was just a couple of centuries ago that the modern "rectangular" shapes of those letters appeared. Even now most children first learn to write those letters in their "triangualar" form and only later when they start reading printed books they get used to the "rectangular" shapes.
    – Yellow Sky
    Jun 5 '17 at 12:48

The word prelude "прелюдия" is printed with an older font. Hence glyphs are slightly different from the modern fonts. In the future you can check such glyphs against the table of Old Cyrillic alphabet. Just keep in mind that many letters from the old alphabet are obsolete now.

Additionally, you can pick a font in the character map program on your system that has "Old", or "Antiqua" in its name. It may have similar glyphs. For example, "Bookman Old Style" does.

  • Thank you... My initial thought was that these could be a (still-used) variation of the letters, such as (Latin) g vs. 𝗀.
    – pr1268
    Jun 3 '17 at 9:45
  • @pr1268 that is almost it. Cyrillic alphabet is derived from Greek one. And that is seen on your picture. See the low end part of "p" letter, it is bent left like in Greek "ro" letter. Same way there is a hanging piece at the top of "Л" and "D" letters. That makes L similar to greek lambda letter. Now, remove that hanging piece, make top of л and д end with a sharp corner (instead of horizontal segment) and that way to draw them is still quite popular when drawing letters by hand. You may compare Latin/Greek/Cyrillic glyphs at propro.ru/graphbook/eskd/eskd/gost/2_304.htm
    – Arioch
    Jun 5 '17 at 13:25

Three 'rules' that might help you in the future. If you see two lines inclined to each other like the 'Л' in your image without any horizontal line between them, then it is an "L". If the horizontal line is in the middle of the letter, then it is an "A". Lastly, if the horizontal line is towards the bottom of the lines, then it is a "D". Hope this helps.

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