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Russian and Soviet Music

After the Russian Revolution, cultural field of Russian music has changed dramatically. Early 1920s were the era of avant-garde experiments, inspired by the "revolutionary spirit" of the era. New trends in music (like music based on synthetic chords) were proposed by enthusiastic clubs such as Association for Contemporary Music. But later with 1930's and Joseph Stalin arriving, music was brought within certain boundaries of content and innovation. Classicism was favoured, and experimentation discouraged. Jazz music was introduced to Soviet audiences by Valentin Parnakh in 1920s. Singer Leonid Uteosov and film score composer Isaak Dunayevsky helped its popularity, especially with popular comedy movie Jolly Fellows that featured jazz soundtrack. Eddie Rosner, Oleg Lundstrem and others contributed to soviet jazz music. The 1960s and 1970s saw the beginning of modern Russian pop and rock music. It started with the wave of VIA's (vocal-instrumantal ensemble), a specific sort of music bands performing radio-friendly pop, rock and folk, composed by members of Union of Composers and approved by censorship. This wave begun with Pojuschie Gitary and Pesnyary, popular VIA bands also included Tcvety, Zemlyane and Verasy. It was also the time of new individual pop stars such as Sofia Rotaru, Alla Pugacheva, Yuri Antonov. Many of them remain popular to this day. "Bards" or "authors' song" is an umbrella term for the singers-songwriters movement that arose at the early 1960s. It can be compared to the American folk revival movement of the 60's, with their simple single-guitar arrangements and poetical lyrics. Initially ignored by the state media, bards like Vladimir Vysotsky, Bulat Okudzhava, Alexander Galich gained so much popularity that they finished being distributed by the state owned Melodiya record company.

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