The Master and Margarita seen by the bards

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The themes of The Master and Margarita are perfectly suitable to inspire the music of the Russian bards. Bards are singer-songwriters who would accompany themselves typically on guitar. In Russian, their songs are often described with the term авторская песня [avtorskaya pesnya] or author's song. The role of the bards can perhaps best be compared with what the troubadours did.

But the music of the bards has one dimension more. During the Soviet era the bards made their songs outside the Soviet establishment, a bit similar to the protest singers of the 60s in the western world, though the latter were mostly recuperated later by the establishment which they criticized before.

The Russian bards are generally very productive songwriters. Many of them wrote hundreds of songs. A lot of these songs can not be found on regular CD's. They were often recorded on a Магнитоальбом [magnitoalbom] which the artists recorded and distributed themselves. A magnitoalbom was an illegal amateur recording on compact tape cartridges. In the 70s and 80s such tapes were distributed through the thousands of sales stalls which existed everywhere in the Soviet Union, often in the neighbourhood of subway stations or large markets.

There's a possibility that I missed some bards. So if you happen to know about others, please don't hesitate to contact me.

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Music videos from the bards

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