Migrant and Autochthonous Traditions within Udmurt Folksong (on the Example of the Siberian Udmurt)


  • Nikolai Anisimov
  • Irina Pchelovodova
  • Ekaterina Sofronova


This article investigates, for the first time, the local musical tradition of the Udmurt of Chainsk district (Tomsk oblast). The overwhelming majority of migrants in this region arrived from the Sharkan district of the Udmurt Republic, in Siberia, at the beginning of the 20th century. For a long time they kept their original culture in an ethnically alien environment. However, at the beginning of the 21st century, their singing tradition started to fade under the influence of different factors (such as the disappearance of Udmurt rituals and festivals, as well as mixed marriages). The aim of this article is to compare the ‘Chainsk migrational’ singing tradition to the ‘Sharkan original’ musical tradition. The main collection of audio recordings covering the Chainsk district Udmurt musical tradition is conserved in the archives of the Udmurt Research Institute at the Russian Academy of sciences. It is comprised of fieldwork material gathered by researchers from the Institute in 1974 and 2006. We discovered new sources of audio and video recordings of the singing tradition in this territory, which allowed us to integrate more song samples. The analysis of both traditions reveals the basic genres of ritual singing, each of which has been examined from the point of view of the topic of the poetic text, the mood structures, and the metro-rhythmic and melodic peculiarities of their development.


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