Strange as it may seem lots of famous pop music hits were recorded in that very period. Rock music came to Russia from the West and for a long time remained underground and rebellious to the stale oppressive atmosphere of the Soviet Establishment.For a long time having no opportunity to use good professional instruments and up-to-date electronic equipment for recording and sound mixing, Russian rock musicians got accustomed to a peculiar minimalism in music.This is mainly due to the range of operas created in the second half of the 19th century and certain operas of the 20th century.Among the most popular operas on the world stage of the late 20th - early 21st cc are Boris Godunov by Musorgsky, Pikovaya Dama/Queen of Spades and Eugeny Onegin by Chaikovsky, Knyaz Igor/Prince Igor by Borodin, and Zolotoi Petushok/Golden Cockerel by Rimsky-Korsakov, all dating back to the 19th century.Jazz started gaining wide popularity in the 1930s, to a great extent thanks to the Leningrad jazz ensemble headed by famous actor and singer Leonid Utyosov.Soviet authorities displayed quite ambiguous attitude towards jazz: Russian jazzmen, as a rule, were not banned, though jazz as such was severely criticized in the context of overall criticism of Western culture on the whole. Punk music penetrated into the USSR in the early 1980s.By the early 1960s Russian-language pop music developed into one of the biggest music markets in the world.In the 1990s when the country was undergoing severe economic and political crisis Russia and Moscow in particular still remained to be significant producers of Russian-language music industry.
Folk song and dance ensembles present old country repertoire with songs often blending pagan roots and Christian symbolism, songs either sad and drawling or merry, as well as dances - dignified and graceful or rollicking and vigorous, accompanied with traditional musical instruments (balalaikas, whistles, guslis, wooden spoons, bayan, etc.) and colourful costumes.
Read about the phenomenon of bard song in Russia and about such distinguished authors and performers as Alexander Vertinsky, Boulat Okoudjava, Vladimir Vysotsky and Alexander Bashlachev.
The author's song is a chamber genre aimed at a peculiar audience as compared to rock music attracting wide public (especially the youth) due to its versatile sound and eccentricity. Genres of pop music widely spread in modern Russia and CIS countries started taking shape back in the USSR epoch and were somewhat different from similar styles both of the West and the East.
Just recall the famous "Ochi Chyornie" (Black Eyes)! Sweeping various style definitions aside we would like to introduce you the most prominent singers of the 20th century who belonged to various genres.
One thing uniting them is that their charismatic personalities and artistry left an influential trace in the musical history of Russia.