Gypsy Music

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gypsy Music

 

(1) The national music of the Gypsies, comprising songs of the city and the Gypsy camp sung in the Romany language. It includes extended songs, love songs, songs to accompany dancing, and ballads. Gypsy music, which is characterized by an abundance of chromaticisms and a distinctive expressiveness, has been considerably influenced by the vocal art of the peoples among which the Gypsies live. Such composers as J. Haydn, J. Brahms, and S. V. Rachmaninoff used authentic Gypsy melodies in their works, as well as original melodies written in the spirit of Gypsy music. In the USSR new Gypsy songs, some of which are composed and some of which are drawn from folklore, often show a similarity to popular songs. Gypsy songs are performed by Gypsy song and dance ensembles and are included in shows at the Romen Moscow Theater.

(2) The music of various peoples as interpreted by Gypsy performers. Gypsy music is noted for its vividly emotional character, heavily underscored contrasts, and improvisational elements. Special styles that have developed under the influence of Gypsy performers include the flamenco in Spain and the verbunkos in Hungary. Gypsy choruses with solo vocalists and guitar accompanists have been popular in Russia since the early 19th century; their style of performance gave rise to a discrete genre, the Gypsy romance.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.