History Of Russian Folk Music

History Of Russian Folk Music


"Russian folk songs are a living history of the Russian people, rich, vivid and truthful, revealing their entire life," wrote the great Russian writer Nikolai Gogol. 
Russian folk songs have always played an essential part in Russian life, culture, and music. They have played an important part in the work of many great Russian composers. The songs themselves are classified into several categories: calendar songs, lyric songs, work songs, epic songs, historical songs, and the urban songs that emerged in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Russian music includes a variety of styles: from ritual folk song, to the sacred music of the Russian orthodox church, and also included the legacy of several prominent 19th century classical and romantic composers. Major contributions by 20th century Soviet composers as well as various forms of popular music are also a part of Russian music.


The most popular kind of instruments in Medieval Russia were the gusli or gudok. The most popular form of music were bylinas (epic ballads) about folk heroes such as Sadko, Ilya Muromets, and others. They were often sung, sometimes to instrumental accompaniment.


Epic genres such as bylinas

Bylina comes from the Russian “byl”, a word which signifies a story of real events, as opposed to a fictional one and a cognate of the English verb to be.


Most historians of East Slavic and Russian folklore believe that byliny as a genre arose during the tenth and eleventh century.


Byliny structure typically includes three basic parts, introduction, narrative portion and epilogue. The introduction sometimes includes a verse to entice the audience to listen. Introductions often describe heroes at a feast being given a task or setting out on a mission. The narrative portion relates the adventure with exaggerated details and hyperbole to make the story more exciting. The epilogue refers to the reward for the mission, a moral or a reference to the sea, since byliny were often performed to attempt to calm the sea. To help listeners grasp the story, singers used ‘tag lines’ to preface speeches or dialogues, setting up for the audience who is talking to whom.











Обсуждение создано: Назаров Мухаммад Агзамович , 12 Март 09:13
Назаров Мухаммад Агзамович
When was Russian folk music at the top of its popularity ?
I think that the peak of Russian folk music was in the 19-20 centuries, when people put their soul in it. They lived side by side with it , but unfortunately nowadays there are not so many people who are interested in Russian folk music.
Назаров Мухаммад Агзамович
What do you like more: modern or old Russian folk music?
I prefer modern music, but we cannot forget the Russian folk songs, as we all grew up on them, everybody heard and liked them all. It's true folk music is our past, we should remember and preserve it from generation to generation.
Назаров Мухаммад Агзамович
What bylinas of your childhood do you remember?
Have you ever read bylinas?Name the best bylina in your opinion.
I know a lot of bylinas from my childhood. But my favourite is the Russian Knights.
When I was seven years old I liked to read bylinas. It was so interesting to read about our ancient Rus.
Назаров Мухаммад Агзамович
What is the most epic bylina?
Bylina is a traditional epic, heroic narrative poem of the early East Slavs of Kievan Rus. This poetic tradition continued in Russia and Ukraine.
Калинина Алина Владимировна
What do you like more: modern or old Russian folk music?
Фролова Анастасия Александровна
Have you ever read bylinas? Name the best bylina in your opinion.
Акимова Александра Федоровна
When was Russian folk music at the top of its popularity ?
Минаева Елизавета Евгеньевна
What is the most epic bylina?
Крестовская Елизавета Михайловна
What was accompanied role of Russian folk songs in the life
of composers?
Никитина Алина Андреевна
What bylinas of your childhood do you remember?