Russian Bards

Russian Bards Artists and Bands

Here is a list of all the Russian Bards artists that we have material for, so far.

By clicking on a name, you get access to the artist's page with their complete discography, along with the list of all their Russian cyrillic lyrics, phonetic transliterations, English translations, guitar chords and tabs, as well as some useful links and some information on the artist.

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About Russian Bards

The term bard came to be used in the Soviet Union in the early 1960s (and continues to be used in Russia today) for singer-songwriters who wrote songs outside the Soviet establishment. Bard poetry differs from other poetry mainly in the fact that it is sung along with a simple guitar melody as opposed to being spoken. Another difference is that this form of poetry focuses less on style and more on meaning. This means that fewer stylistic devices are used, and the poetry often takes the form of a narrative. What separates bard poetry from other songs is the fact that the music is far less important than the lyrics; chord progressions are often very simple and tend to repeat from one bard song to another. A far more obvious difference was the commerce-free nature of the genre: songs were written to be sung and not to be sold.

Stylistically, the precursor to bard songs were Russian "city romances" which touched upon common life and were popular throughout all layers of Russian society in the late 19th - early 20th centuries. These romances were traditionally written in a minor key and performed with a guitar accompaniment.

Bard poetry may be roughly classified into two main genres: tourist song and political song, although some other subgenres may be recognized, such as outlaw song (blatnaya pesnya) and pirate song.

Initially the term "bard" was used by fans of the tourist song, and outside these circles, the term was often perceived as ironic. However there was a need for a term to distinguish this style of song from the traditional kind of concert song, and the term eventually stuck.

Many bards performed their songs for small groups of people using a Russian guitar, and rarely, if ever, would they be accompanied by other musicians or singers. Those who became popular would be able to hold modest concerts. Bards were rarely permitted to record their music, given the political nature of many songs. As a result, bard tunes usually made their way around via the copying of amateur recordings (known as magnitizdat) made at concerts, particularly those songs that were of a political nature.

From Wikipedia's article on Russian Bards

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