Russian folk music has a long and rich history, dating back to the times of the Slavic peoples. The music is characterized by its use of major and minor scales, as well as its use of chromaticism and modality.
What is Russian folk music?
Russian folk music is the traditional music of the Russian people. It consists of a variety of musical genres, which reflect the history and culture of Russia. Some of the most important characteristics of Russian folk music include its use of major and minor scales, its use of drone tones, and its rhythmic complexity. Russian folk music has been influenced by both Eastern and Western music, and it has been a significant source of inspiration for many classical composers.
The history of Russian folk music
It’s impossible to talk about the history of Russian folk music without mentioning the presence of both pagan and Christian influences. For example, some of the instruments commonly used in Russian folk music have their origins in pagan times, such as the gusli (a type of harp) and the balalaika (a three-stringed instrument). Likewise, many of the songs and melodies that make up theRussian folk music repertoire were first created by pagan tribes living in what is now Russia.
Over time, as Christianity began to spread through Russia, Christian influences began to make their way into Russian folk music. For instance, many of the earliest Russian folk songs were actually hymns sung by monks in monasteries. As Christianity became more entrenched in Russian society, religious themes became more commonplace in Russian folk music.
Today, Russian folk music is a blend of both pagan and Christian influences. This can be seen in both the lyrics and the instrumental accompaniment of most Russian folk songs. In terms of instrumentation, for example,Russian folk music often features a mix of traditional pagan instruments (such as the gusli and balalaika) and more modern Christian instruments (such as the accordion and piano). Likewise, many Russianfolk songs tell stories that are steeped in pagan mythology (such as “The Firebird”), while others tell stories with strong Christian themes (such as “The Twelve Months”).
Whether they are pagan or Christian in nature, all Russian folk songs share one common characteristic: they are incredibly catchy and will stay with you long after you’ve heard them.
The characteristics of Russian folk music
Russian folk music developed from a rich cultural tradition that has been passed down through the generations. The music is often characterized by intricate melodies and harmonies, as well as a wide range of emotions and moods. Russian folk music often tells stories of love, loss, and heroism, and the tunes can be both lively and haunting.
The instruments used in Russian folk music
Traditional Russian folk music is vibrant and diverse, with many instruments used to create a unique sound.
Among the most common are the balalaika, an instrument with a triangular body and three strings, the gusli, a type of harp, and the accordion. Other instruments include the zhaleika (a type of horn), the bayan (a type of chromatic button accordion), and various woodwind and percussion instruments.
Russian folk music often features complex harmonies and vibrant rhythms, with songs often sung in rounds. This type of music has its roots in ancient pagan rituals and celebrations, as well as in the Orthodox Christian church.
Over time, Russian folk music has been influenced by a variety of other genres, including classical music, jazz, and rock. Today, it continues to evolve as new artists add their own spin to traditional sounds.
The different genres of Russian folk music
The various genres of Russian folk music include singing, dance music, work songs, ritual songs, lullabies, wedding and funeral marches, and epic poems. The history of Russian folk music can be traced back to the 13th century. By the 18th century, it had become an integral part of Russian culture.
Singing is perhaps the most common and popular form of Russian folk music. The repertoire includes love songs, patriotic anthems, war songs, lullabies, children’s songs, and songs about nature. Dance music is also very popular and includes both solo dances and ensemble pieces. Work songs were once sung by peasants while performing their chores (such as chopping wood or threshing grain), but they are now mostly performed for entertainment.
Ritual songs are typically associated with specific events or holidays (such as weddings or funerals). Lullabies are sung to infants and young children in an attempt to soothe them and encourage sleep. Wedding marches are often played during the bride’s procession to the ceremony, while funeral marches sad melodies that are meant to reflect the mournful mood of a funeral.
Epic poems are long narrative compositions that tell the stories of heroic deeds or legendary figures. They were often recited or sung by bards in ancient times, but they are now mostly performed by professional storytellers or recorded on audio recordings.
The influence of Russian folk music on other genres
Russian folk music is a distinctive musical genre which has been shaped by the country’s geography, history and culture. Russia is a vast country with a rich and varied musical heritage. Folk music has been an important part of the Russian culture for centuries, and it has played a significant role in the development of other genres such as classical and popular music.
Russian folk music is characterized by its vivid melodies, colorful lyrics and often sentimental tone. It often employs the use of traditional instruments such as the balalaika and accordion, and its repertoire includes a wide variety of songs ranging from love ballads to wedding tunes to patriotic anthems.
The history of Russian folk music can be traced back to the medieval era, when Slavic tribes began to settle in what is now Russia. As these tribes came into contact with one another, they started to exchange musical ideas and traditions, resulting in the formation of a unique musical culture. By the 18th century, Russian folk music had developed into its own distinct genre, with composers such as Mikhail Glinka beginning to draw inspiration from it for their own works.
Since then, Russian folk music has continued to evolve and influence other genres of music both inside and outside Russia. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in Russian folk music among younger generations both within Russia and abroad, leading to a revival of this unique genre.
The popularity of Russian folk music
During the Soviet era, Russian folk music was extremely popular and used by the state as propaganda. After the fall of communism, there was a period where folk music went underground, but it has since resurfaced and is once again popular in Russia.
There are many different styles of Russian folk music, with each region having its own distinctive sound. Russian folk music often features minor keys and unique scales, which gives it a melancholic tone. The instrumentation is typically very simple, with only a few instruments being used at a time. The most common instruments used in Russian folk music are the balalaika, accordion, garmoshka (a type of brass horn), and bayan (a type of accordion).
The history of Russian folk music can be traced back to the 10th century. It began to develop rapidly in the 18th century, when Russia was becoming more industrialized and Western influences were beginning to make their way into the country. Folk music continued to evolve throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, absorbing influences from various other genres such as classical music and jazz.
The future of Russian folk music
Despite recent attempts by the Russian government to revive interest in folk music, its future is uncertain. While there are many young people who are interested in the genre, they often face ridicule from their peers. In addition, folk music does not receive the same amount of radio airplay or media attention as other genres. As a result, it can be difficult for folk musicians to make a living.
10 famous Russian folk songs
1. “Kalinka” is a Russian folk song written in 1860 by Ivan Larionov.
2. “Katyusha” is a Russian wartime song composed in 1938 by Matvei Blanter.
3. “Moskva Slezaet” is a Russian folk song composed in the 18th century.
4. “Ochi Chernye” is a Russian romance song composed in the 19th century.
5.”Plains of Belarus” is a Belarusian folk song composed in the early 20th century.
6. “Polyushko Pole” is a Russian folk song composed in the 19th century.
7.”Scheztana Lubima” is a Ukrainian folk song composed in the 18th century.
8.”Sestrichka Mila” is a Ukrainian folk song composed in the early 20th century.
9.”Shchedryk” is a Ukrainian New Year’s Carol composed in 1916 by Mykola Leontovych.
10.”Winter” is a Russian folk song composed in the 19th century.
10 famous Russian folk musicians
There are many different types of Russian folk music, with a long and rich history. Here are 10 famous Russian folk musicians:
1. Vasily Andreyevich Kirichenko (1848-1917)
2. Alexey Vladimirovich Chorny (1880-1932)
3. Mikhail Mikhailovich Matyushin (1881-1950)
4. Alexander Grigorevich Skuratov (1884-1938)
5. Aleksandr Vasilievich Zatsepin (1896-1971)
6. Nikolai Stepanovich Sokolov (1903-1966)
7. Pyotr Zakharovich Tchaikovsky (1904-1975)
8. Andrei Petrovich Pavlovsky (1905-1993)
9. Viktor Fedorovich Gnutov (1907-2000)
10. Anatoly Lvovich Epifanov (1908-1987)
Keyword: Russian Folk Music – Characteristics and History