Socialist Realism is not as easily quantified in music as it is in literature and representational art due perhaps to the sonic nature of it’s expression. Don’t get me wrong, the commissars knew what they liked and what they liked was therefore good for the people. That was kind of a Neoclassicism with heroic and noble themes easily grasped by the masses for propoganda purposes, other more ‘challenging’ expressions deemed bourgeois, ‘decadent, degenerate and pessimistic’.
Socialist Realism must follow these rules laid down by the Congress of 1934
- Proletarian: art relevant to the workers and understandable to them.
- Typical: scenes of every day life of the people.
- Realistic: in the representational sense.
- Partisan: supportive of the aims of the State and the Party.
Despite that it also (depending on the patronage and power of its State sponsors as well as their personal tolerance for difference) it also included avant garde elements like Jazz and 12 Tone, Dodecaphony, and serial techniques.
Perhaps the most popular Soviet composer in the Socialist Realism style was Isaak Dunayevsky who achieved notable success in collaboration with director Grigori Aleksandrov in creating the scores for many comedic films.
Among his favorite works was Circus
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