Migration of People and Melodies in the Taiga Area of Southern Siberia

  • Galina Sychenko Free researcher


The article focuses on the song tradition of the Chalkans – a small Turkic-speaking population living in a taiga zone of southern Siberia. The main objectives are: analysis of archival collections; comparison of the results of this analysis with historical data; and possible reconstruction of the historical process of the spreading of melodies in the area.
The introduction examines different concepts of transhumance as applied to cultural artefacts. This concept is then discussed with regard to the Chalkan culture. Natural, social, economic and historical contexts are briefly described prior to the analysis of Chalkan songs.
After discussing materials and methodology, historical strata of the song tradition are described, and the category of lyric songs with modal tunes is examined in greater detail. A general description is provided of its grammar as well as the conceptualisation of the songs, followed by analysis of the distribution of two main versions of tunes (3H- or “major” and 3L- or “minor”) according to local and gender criteria.
Preliminary conclusions are provided on the presence of two local traditions (Suranash, or Lebed’, and Kurmach-Baigol, or Baigol) and male and female performance styles.

How to Cite
Sychenko, G. (2022). Migration of People and Melodies in the Taiga Area of Southern Siberia. European Journal of Musicology, 20(1), 39–62. https://doi.org/10.5450/EJM.20.1.2021.39