Light Music

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Light Music


music that is easy to comprehend and designed chiefly for entertainment purposes. It is distinguished by uncomplicated content, accessible musical language, and simple form; it is related to popular and salon music.

As a rule, light music is cheerful. There are a great many genres, ranging from dances, marches, and songs to instrumental rhapsodies, suites, medleys and fantasies based on popular themes, and musical comedies. Many major composers of the past paid tribute to light music in some degree, including W. A. Mozart and F. Schubert. Such 19th-century composers as J. Lanner, J. Strauss the elder and the younger, and J. Offenbach created classic models of light music.

Light music is prominent in contemporary music and is particularly widespread in jazz form. Along with works of artistic value, there exist a large number of compositions of low quality that are trite and satisfy the tastes of the bourgeois philistine public. Musicians of the USSR and other socialist countries stress the importance of the artistic qualities of light music, which plays a significant role in musical life and serves such cultural ends as entertainment and enlightenment. Soviet composers strive to creatively develop the best traditions of the genre, incorporating elements of folk song and dance.


Sokhor, A. O muzyke ser’eznoi i legkoi. Leningrad, 1964.
Chernov, A., and M. Bialik. O legkoi muzyke, O dzhaze, O khoroshem vkuse. Moscow, 1965.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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