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Glorification of the 'merry thief' archetype.

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However, during the Soviet Union, the style changed, and the songs became part of the culture of samizdat and dissent. Musical style[ edit ] The musical style of the older Russian criminal songs, much like the Russian Bard songs, are heavily influenced by the classical Russian romance genre of the 19th century, more specifically a subgenre known as the City or Urban Romance.

The strumming pattern is also predictable: Politics, Ideology, and People, ed. World Literature Today 53 There is a subgenre of Chanson known as Military chanson.

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Love in the context of criminal life, the conflict usually being either betrayal or separation due to imprisonment. In fact, this is one of the reasons for naming the genre after the French Chanson the other best e juice review uk dating musical similarity.

This often leads to confusion: Arkady was one of the rare performers who focuses exclusively on collecting and performing old criminal songs. The songs sung by serfs and political prisoners of the Tsar are very similar in content to the songs sung in the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation today.

Bulat Okudzhavaa bard often criticized by Soviet officials, was invited to give a concert at the Soviet embassy in Warsaw. The outlaw songs did not have the same civic-minded messages as their official counterparts, and were instead much more personal.

They are usually only played late at night, if they are played at all. Even songs that were not openly critical of the Soviet union, like the songs of Vladimir Vysotskycame under attack for their content and the way they were performed. Although the strict cultural control of the Soviet Union has ended, many Russian officials still publicly denounce the genre.

The interesting thing is that it is common for a Chanson artist, regardless of the time in which he writes his songs, to include songs of all periods in his repertoire, and write songs set in an era different from his own.

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The songs of the bards spread through the sharing and recopying of these tapes. Notice that with the exception of Severny, these performers are usually better known for their Bard songs. For example, songs set in the Odessa of the s tend to be more cheerful, and are sharply contrasted by the dark, depressing, and violent songs set in the Stalinist era.

When the former prisoners returned from the gulags back to their homes in the s, the songs that they had sung in the camps became popular with Soviet students and nonconformist intelligentsia.

Johns Hopkins University Press, Since Soviet culture officials did not approve of the songs, many of the bards initially became popular playing at small, private student parties.

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Soviet officials[ edit ] Many of the Soviet bards also worked as writers and actors for the Soviet state. This was in part due to his use of sarcasm as opposed to criticism, his lack of political activity, but mainly due to his immense popularity among the Soviet People.

Being sent to, or released from, a labor camp. White Guard anticommunist side of the Russian Civil War The execution of a traitor to a criminal gang the first such song is probably "Murka".

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Romance songs were traditionally played on a Russian guitarsince its tuning makes playing these chords easier most of them are played as a single-finger bar chord.

This, combined with the influx of cheap and portable magnetic tape recorders led to an increase in the popularity and consumption of the criminal songs. The songs which previously needed to be distributed unofficially through personally copied tapes could now be purchased in stores.

History[ edit ] The Russian chanson originated in the Russian Empire. A more recent artist who plays chanson with Rock music is Grigory Leps. Recurring themes in Chanson songs include: Romance songs are almost always divided into four-line rhymed couplets, rarely have a chorus, and follow a fairly consistent chord progression Am, Dm, and E, sometimes with C and G added.

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Chanson themes vary greatly depending on the time in which the songs were written and the places in which they are set. These songs are often narrations of weddings and parties, sometimes based on real events. These artists were required to submit their works to government censors for approval.

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This is usually in the context of the Russian criminals' lawwhich punishes betrayal very harshly. Military and patriotic themes. When bards performed uncensored pieces which fans would then distribute, they risked their official jobs.

As seen above, chanson is rooted in prison life and criminal culture, but some chanson performers insist that the genre transcends mere criminal songs, and look upon Alexander Vertinsky and Alla Bayanova as their precursors.

Appeal to emotions towards relatives or beloved ones, often leading unlawful or morally controversial lives. Elena Vaengaanother recently popularized singer, actress and songwriter, sings in the styles of Russian shanson, folk music and folk rock.

Political satire of different forms. Still, many politicians are fans of the genre, and one of the popular modern chanson singers, Alexander Rosenbaumwas a member of the Duma as part of the United Russia Party.

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In Yuli Kima Russian language and literature teacher at a boarding school attached to Moscow State Universitywas dismissed for performing uncensored songs critical of the Soviet Union.

These songs are often set in the city of Odessawhere the Jewish Mafia was characterized as being particularly cheerful and colorful. Modern artists affiliated with the Chanson genre often sing not in the traditional style used even by the Khrushchev-era performers, but more professionally, borrowing musical arrangements from poprockand jazz.

Odessa Couplets often depict the rich and glorious life before Stalin's regime, when Odessa was among the only cities in the young Soviet Union to have free trade.

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