The folk song is a musical-poetic work, the most common kind of vocal folk music. Folk song – one of the oldest forms of musical and verbal creativity. In some ancient and partly modern forms of folk music, it exists in syncretic unity with dance, play, instrumental music, verbal and pictorial folklore.
Its isolation is the result of a long historical development of folklore. The folk song is distinguished by the richness of genres, of different origin, character and function in popular life. An essential feature of most traditional genres is the direct connection of the folk song with everyday life, work activity (for example, labor songs accompanying various types of labor – burlat, mowing, weeding, reaping, threshing, etc., ritual, accompanying agricultural and family rites and festivities – carols, Maslenichnye, vesnyanki, bathing, wedding, funeral, game calendar, etc.). Dancing folk songs are inseparable from a variety of folk dances. Lyrical songs received the greatest musical development in the folklore of all nations. They sing solo, ensemble, chorus.
It was in this genre that the higher forms of polyphony, complex melodic and musical-poetic composition structures crystallized. The diversity of the content of lyrical folk songs is due primarily to the variety of social groups that create and perform them (farmers, artisans, workers, students, and others). Each social group of society has its own song lyrics.
The folk song is dominated by the stanza and verse form, often with a compositionally singed chorus, chorus or refrain (especially in the choral folk song). Different in content poetic stanzas (verses) of each folk song usually corresponds to one tune, varied with repeated repetition (throughout the entire song). Traditional peasant songs, especially archaic in origin (associated with work and ritual), are characterized by so-called tunes-short melodies, corresponding usually to one verse line or double-stanza stanza and used with texts of different content, but of the same household (or ritual) function ( for example, the numerous wedding songs of one village can be performed on one or two melodic formulas).
A folk singer usually does not think the melody of the song outside of her text, and vice versa. The creation of words and music of folk songs is a single creative process in which tradition is of decisive importance: a folk song arises on the basis of laws that are aesthetically effective in every given song collective, and therefore obeys the norms of the musical and poetic typology. So, in every genre of folk song, there are leading and peripheral in importance song types (rhythmic, melodic), on the basis of which the variation of the folk song is known.
Along with the variation of the main song types in folk art, the old tones’ re-texting and re-intonation of old texts are often used. A special place in the folk-song repertoire is occupied by songs for poems of poets (with folk melodies) and folklore versions of author’s (composer’s) melodies (taken for folk songs). Also known are the so-called “vagabond” melodies, performed by different peoples with their own lyrics. In the folklore of each people there are genuine masterpieces of song melodies. Folk song takes a huge place in the life, culture of every people.