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Stalin's Music PrizeSoviet Culture and Politics$
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Marina Frolova-Walker

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300208849

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300208849.001.0001

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High and Low

High and Low

(p.182) Chapter Eight High and Low
Stalin's Music Prize

Marina Frolova-Walker

Yale University Press

This chapter examines various musical genres that lie outside highbrow art music within the context of the Stalin Prize. Socialist Realism was often envisioned as a way for higher and lower varieties of art to meet on an equal footing. High art would descend from its ivory tower, while the folk and the popular art would be raised and ennobled. Their meeting in the middle would result in that highly prized ‘music for the people’. This chapter considers ‘high’ vs. ‘low’ art by focusing on the Stalin Prize lists. It also discusses the attitudes of the Stalin Prize Committee toward popular songs with hints of operetta and toward operetta itself. Finally, it describes ‘light classical’ music as well as hybrids between popular and classical music.

Keywords:   musical genres, art music, Stalin Prize, Socialist Realism, high art, low art, Stalin Prize Committee, popular songs, operetta, light classical music

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