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50, Partizanskaya str., Amga, Amga Region, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), 678600, Russian Federation
PhD in Arts, Teacher of Special Piano and Theoretical Musical Disciplines, A. A. Cheremnykh Amga Children’s Art School
One of the main folklore genres of the Yakuts (Sakha) is the “toyuk” — a vocal and poetic improvisation performed in a ritual, socially significant situation. Each local Sakha community has its own musical style of toyuk. The purpose of the article is to investigate the style of this ritual chant as performed by the outstanding ethnophore, virtuoso improviser, and representative of the local tradition of Prilena, U. G. Nokhsorov (1907–1951). On the basis of the toyuk “Day of the Great Victory” that Nokhsorov performed in 1945, the author examines the poetic and musical features of the genre. The author identifies individual features of Nokhsorov’s toyuk and elements that structure the singing. In a toyuk there are at least three sections with an introduction and cadence, depending on the type of versification, and there are a variety of timbre ornamentations and ways of pronouncing syllables. One of the main differences between Nokhsorov’s masterly performance and that of other “toyuksuts” is the three-part chanting of the syllable-notes (slogonoty) which predominates, and which significantly alters the melody. The singer adopted this practice from his teacher T. V. Zakharov-Cheebiya. Other differences include the occasional use of bipartite organi- zation; special timbre techniques of tremolo and descending glissando, which complement the mode and intonational texture of the chant; and a melodic line with a protracted chorus consisting of nine syllables that creates a new configuration of the cadence that ends the toyuk. Studying local varieties of toyuk is important so that the practice of ritual singing in Yakutia will continue.
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