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DSc in Philolgy, Professor of the Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod
The article is based on the material of expeditions and stationary observations in one regional tradition and explores the fate of chastushki during the period of this genre’s dying out. In the middle of the 60s of the last century, the chastushka was still active in the village: it retained its original age affiliation and was a part of young people’s culture and preserved its main setting — their outdoor gatherings. A sign of the chastushka’s vitality was also the fact that it preserved and realized its generic communicative function as one of the customary forms of self-expression as for village youth. The chastushka existed in a variety of intra-generis types and melodies; this article examines the types of chastushka melody and dancies and their terminology in Povetluzhye. The process of creating new texts in the chastushka genre was already slowing down, and the main corpus of lyrical chastushki about love recorded in those years had coalesced much earlier.
In the early 1970s, the chastushka disappeared from the lives of young people and only remained among those who had grown up with it. There was a “recoding”according to age and a functional “transcoding”: the chastushka lost its traditional, direct communicative function. A sign of its departure was also the reduction of the number of melodies in local traditions and some measure of their unification.
In the 1980s, there was an upsurge of the departed (or departing) tradition of the chastushka, artificially produced by the television program “Play, accordion!” but which had popular support. It turned out that the village population still remembered the chastushka and that is answered its aesthetic taste and demands. But the genre’s resuscitation did not take place. The chashushka as a genre had existed in an atmosphere of collective, traditional, informal entertainment. This syncretism between genre and the conditions of its existence was so durable that it overcame all other factors. When the usual conditions of its existence disappeared, so did the chastushka.
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