Adyghe Traditional polyphony and its transformation in modern conditions, by Alla Sokolova
Adyghe State University, Maykop, Russia
Sokolova Alla Nikolaevna – is an expert of ethnic music and ethnic musical instruments research, DC in art criticism, the Adygheya State University’s Art Department’s senior lecturer, the ‘’honored’’ of arts of Adygheya Republic, Russian Composers Union member, the author of more than 100 sicientific articles, the author of up to 200 popular sicientific and publicistic articles about Circassian culture, Cossack culture, Circassian traditional music history and theory, which were issued in Russian, Circassian, Turkish and English languages. Alla Sokolova read her lectures about Circassian music culture at universities of Scotland, Norway, Austria, Italy, Germany, Hungary, etc. In 1979 she succesfully graduated Music Theory Faculty of the Alma-Ati State Conservatory Kurmangazy, in 1994 – postgraduate study of the Russian Art History Institute (Saint Petersburg). Since 1979 she lives and work in Maykop.
Originality of Adyghe Tradit ional mult ipart singing drew attention of travelers, spies, militarians and politicians, merchants, doctors, etc. Great Russian composer S.I.Taneev (who visited North Caucasia in 1885) was one of the first who has described specific Adyghe two-part texture in musical terms and concepts. In the 20th century scholars started to investigate Adyghe vocal polyphony and for a long time searched for the adequate name. Scholars spoke about «special two voice texture» (Shu), «drone polyphony» (Kivalova), «an antiphonal and responsorial singing» (L. Goncharov), «diaphony with drone», «antiphonal oppositions», «stretta-functional two voice texture» (Blaeva), «a solo-group manner linear two voice texture» (Ashkhotov). After the works of Joseph Jordania, and after the publication of the proceedings of the regular scholarly conferences and symposia on traditional polyphony, organized in Georgia from 1984, the definition «solo-group» or «solo-drone» singing has been established in Russian ethnomusicology for a designation of Adyghe polyphony. The European term «multipart singing» - in the Russian ethnomusicology has the generalized meaning connected with the characteristic of any type of polyphony. Terms «solo-group» and «solo-drone singing» were included into an educational practice, and became easily understood for the all-Russian scholarly community. Two distinct parts make a basis for such polyphony: solo and the bass. The soloist in Adyghe is referred as къыхэзыдзэм - kykhazedzem - (lit. “the one who starts to sing”).