On the Analysis of Form in the Southern Russian “Prolonged” Folksong

Key words
prolonged song, shaping, melody, breathing, pulsation, polyphony
Anastasiya B. Okhlobystina, Tatiana A. Starostina
About the Author
Anastasiya B. Okhlobystina
E-mail: a.okhlobystina@yandex.ru Tel.: +7 (495) 691-05-54
11, Merzlyakovskii side-str., Moscow, 125009, Russian Federation
Head of Practical Training, Lecturer, Academic Music School at the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory

Tatiana A. Starostina
E-mail: i.starostin@gmail.com Tel.: +7 (495) 629-07-70
13/6, Bolshaya Nikitskaya str., Moscow, 125009, Russian Federation DSc in Arts,
Professor of the Department of History of Russian Music, Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory
Date of publication

This article concerns the problems of analyzing the form of the Russian “prolonged” folksong (protyazhnaya pesnya). It is based on examples of such songs from the Belgorod-Voronezh borderland. The authors begin with a history of the study of form in the field of Russian folksongs. They note the leading role of the musical factor in shaping the prolonged song. The novelty of the authors’ position lies in their attention to the performative aspect. They find that in prolonged songs, the physiological basis of folk singing greatly contributes to the structural organization of the melody. Depending on the rhythm of the singing breath, melodic waves are formed and cadence stops are made on the accentuated notes of the chord. The authors make use of graphic representations of polyphonic chants. This method was once employed by E. E. Lineva, but at present it is rarely utilized. Thеse graphs allow us to verify the individual internal structure of each song and to attribute it to the female or male singing tradition. The authors also examine the characteristic effects of compositional parameters in prolonged songs. In contrast to the “parallel” actions of melody, harmony and syntax in classical Romantic music, in folksongs these different parameters do not directly depend on each other. In particular, the greatest freedom is observed in the distribution of the verbal text within the song stanza. This leads to the conclusion that the musical basis of a prolonged song hinges on the temporal ordering of sonic matter.


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For citation

Okhlobystina A. B., Starostina T. A. On the Analysis of Form in the Southern Russian “Prolonged” Folksong. Traditional Culture. 2022. Vol. 23. No. 3. Pp. 28–46. In Russian.