Intonational Elements of the Spasovskaya Chastushka Song (Honoring the Legacy of Evgeny Gippius)

Yuri E. Boyko


The outstanding Russian ethnomusicologist Evgeny Vladimirovich
Gippius turned his attention to the music of the
Russian chastushka song long before it attracted the attention
of the following generation of folk music scholars. This article
demonstrates the melodicism in the analysis of folk music with
its numerous variants on the example of the local “Spasskaya”
form of chastushka song. The “Spasskaya” chastishka is based
on a symmetrical harmonic formula of S–T–D–T, however, the
shift of the melody in regards to the tune brings in a characteristic
asymmetry. The melody and the tunes are exclusively varied.
The different variants of the tune when brought together into a
vertical sonority present almost a complete “cluster” set, i.e. on
each position practically any scale step is possible. Analogous
“clusters” are resulted from the variants of the melodies of the
tunes upon their vertical projections. On this account, it becomes
appropriate to examine the chastushka song only in regard to two
parameters: the overall ambitus and the consonant sounds of the
phase endings.

Keywords: Evgeny Gippius, chastushka, Russian folk
instrumental music

Full Text:

PDF (Russian)


Boyko Yu. E. Chastushka Srednego Urala (napev

i naigrysh) [The Chastushka Songs of the Middle Urals

(Melody and Tune)]. Ekspeditsionnye otkrytiya poslednikh let

[Discoveries from Folk Music Expeditions of Recent Years].

Saint Petersburg, 1996, pp. 115–144.

Gippius E. V. Intonatsionnye elemtenty russkoy

chastushki [Intonation Elements of the Russian Chastushka

Song]. Sovetskiy folklor [Soviet Folklore], 1936, no. 4–5,

pp. 118–142.

Morgenstern U. Die Musik der Skobari. Göttingen, 2007.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.