Gypsy Romance

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gypsy Romance

 

(also Gypsy art song), a genre of the Russian art song. The Gypsy romance developed before the mid-19th century from the Russian folk song and the bytovoi romans (art song inspired by everyday themes); the distinctive manner in which these songs were performed by the solo vocalists and guitar accompanists of the St. Petersburg and Moscow Gypsy choruses significantly changed their nature and gave rise to the new genre. The Gypsy romance, which is highly charged with emotion, is partly intoned and partly declaimed; the guitarist accompanies the singer by strumming chords and using the bass-line as a counterpoint to the vocal melody. The various characteristics of the Gypsy romance are reflected in several works by such composers as A. E. Varlamov and A. L. Gurilev. The Gypsy romance has been quite popular since the 1870’s but over the years has lost much of its richness.

REFERENCES

Shteinpress, B. K istorii “tsyganskogo peniia” v Rossii. Moscow, 1934.
Druskin, M. S. “K voprosu ob izuchenii ’tsyganshchiny.’” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1934, no. 12.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.