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Eastern stars and Udmurt underground: Russia’s ethnic minorities on YouTube

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Julkaistu 20.5.2020

Pekka Gronow

 

Pekka Gronow on Helsingin yliopiston etnomusikologian dosentti (emeritus). Hän on toiminut aikuiskoulutuksen, politiikan ja radiotoiminnan parissa, viimeksi radioarkiston päällikkönä. Tässä tehtävässä hän vastasi Yleisradion ääniarkistojen digitoinnista. Päätyönsä rinnalla hänellä on laaja tieteellinen tuotanto, joka on painottunut äänilevyn historiaan. Hänen teoksiaan ovat mm The Recording Industry. An Ethnomusicological Approach. Tampere 1996; An International History of the Recording Industry. London & New York 1998 (Ilpo Saunion kanssa) sekä 78 kierrosta minuutissa. Äänilevyn historia 1877 – 1960. Helsinki 2013. Lisäksi hän on toimittanut Christane Hoferin kanssa kymmenosaisen sarjan The Lindström Project. Contributions to the history of the recording industry. Gesellschaft für Historische Tonträger, Wien 2009 – 2019.

Pekka Gronow is adjunct professor of ethnomusicology (emeritus) at the University of Helsinki. He has worked in politics, adult education and broadcasting, as head of the YLE radio archives. He has also produced a large number of books and articles on the history of the recording industry. His workd include The Recording Industry. An Ethnomusicological Approach. Tampere 1996; An International History of the Recording Industry. London & New York 1998 (with Ilpo Saunio) and 78 kierrosta minuutissa. Äänilevyn historia 1877 – 1960. Helsinki 2013. In addition, he has edited with Christiane Hofer the ten-volume series The Lindström Project. Contributions to the history of the recording industry. Gesellschaft für Historische Tonträger, Wien 2009 – 2019.

(A revised version of a paper prepared for the cancelled symposium of the Finnish society for ethnomusicology, Turku, 18.-20. March 2020)

Radik Yulyakshin (Elvin Grey), vuoden hitti – kilpailun voittaja Bashkortostanissa 2017. Concert “Yuldash Heath – 2017”, Radio “Yuldash”, Ufa, State Concert Hall “Bashkortostan”, November 15, 2017. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Many of us think of Russia as the land of Russian language, Russian music and Russian culture. However, Russia has always had a significant minority population. The Soviet Union, the predecessor of today’s Russia, consisted of fifteen Soviet Republics, each with their own national language. Today, the Russian Federation includes twenty autonomous republics and ten regions with significant minority populations. Each has its own cultural institutions such as theatres and regional radio and television stations, which to varying degrees use the titular languages of the regions. 

Folk music groups have a recognized place in Russian culture. Before the 2008 Olympics, a Russian television channel asked a number of folk music groups (including the Karelian Kantele) to perform their versions of the Queen’s “We are the Champions” in their own languages. (1) In 2012, the Udmurt folk music group Buranovskie Babushki represented Russia in the Eurovision song contest. They won the second place.  The grandmothers from Buranovo live in a distant village in Udmurtia, wear folk dress and speak a minority language, but they are known for their participation in the Russian version of the television program ”Do you want to be a millionaire”, and have their home pages on Internet . (2)

The grandmothers, like most Russians, have moved to the Internet age. Almost 80 per cent of the country’s population has Internet access. The most popular services are Google, Yandex and YouTube, the video streaming service. Yandex is the Russian equivalent of Google. YouTube is an international video sharing service. YouTube supports the Cyrillic alphabet. 

Today, there is already a body of research, which surveys the role of Russia’s minority languages on Internet. I have not found any corresponding research on music. How has the music of Russia’s minorities adopted to the Internet age? I have chosen YouTube as the focus of my research, because about half of its content is music, the basic service is free and it is easy to upload new material. The music industry or governments do not control it. My assumption is that it represents the musical activities of large sectors of the population, especially younger generations. 

My research questions are the following:

  • How much music by Russia’s ethnic minorities is there on YouTube? What type of music it is?
  • Who has uploaded it?
  • What is target audience?

How to find your way on YouTube?

The first task is finding relevant materials.  How do we find videos representing the music of Russia’s minorities? YouTube is not very helpful in this respect. Although governments do not control YouTube, it has its own agenda and tries to influence users in many ways, like its competitor Spotify does. YouTube does not support complex searches and prefers to offer users its own recommendations. Usually users already know which songs or artists they want. One can also search by keywords, but terms like “Udmurt music” yield few results. 

Ideally, the researcher should have a command of several minority languages, especially musical terminology. However, many music sites in Russia are bilingual and use English terms, spelled in Cyrillic or Latin alphabet. This also applies to minorities. Russian terms such as “pesni” (songs), ”estrada” (popular music), and “zvezdy” (stars) are common, as are slang terms such as “hiti” (hits). I started by combining musical terms in Russian and English with the names of ethnic groups: ”Lezgi Music Stars”, ”Bashkir estrada” (“Башкирская Эстрада.”)  The algorithms of YouTube often suggest other similar videos. 

As the result of my searches, I found a large number of relevant channels (”Chechen Music”), artists and keywords in minority languages (”Удмурт Кырзанъёс”, ”Лезги Сес”). I also made a cursory search of other online sources such as Google, Instagram, Russian Vikipedia, regional newspapers, and the home pages of local TV stations. For instance, a search for “Dagestanskaya estrada” can lead to a newspaper in Mahachkala, which has a long article on local stars on Instagram. (3)

YouTube also shows the number of views each clip has had. Assuming that the numbers are correct, they indicate the popularity of specific songs, artists, and even languages. The most popular clips in my sample had several million views, the least popular less than a hundred. There is also a possibility for the viewers to leave their comments. The number of comments, and the languages used, provide interesting data on audience response.

How many videos: the four largest groups

YouTube service claims that globally, about 500 hours of new content are uploaded every minute. At the same time, clips are removed for various reasons. This makes it very difficult to present exact figures on specific types of music on YouTube. One thing is clear: there are tens of thousands video clips relevant to this study. Their number seems to be roughly in proportion to the size of the respective groups.

Almost a hundred different minority languages are spoken in the Russian Federation. The most common, Tatar, has nearly five million speakers. The smallest are almost extinct. Chuvash, Bashkir and Chechen have more than a million speakers. There are more than twenty languages with more than a hundred thousand but less than a million speakers. They are most widely spoken in autonomous republics named after the group, such as Mordovia, Yakutia, and Tuva. In Dagestan, more than twenty languages are spoken; the largest are Avar, Dargwan, Kumyk and Lezgian. Altaian, Khakas and Karelian have less than a hundred thousand speakers but have autonomous republics named after them. Many large Russian cities also have large minority populations. The legal position of minority languages in Russia is complicated. They have some official status in their titular republics, but Russian is the only official language of the Federation. Most speakers of minority languages are bilingual.

There are roughly as many Tatar speakers in the world as Finns or Norwegians. Not surprisingly, Tatar music is well represented on YouTube. Tatarstan is one of the wealthier regions of Russia, and it has a well-developed music and entertainment industry. There are two Tatar music video channels, Maidan TV and TMTV (Tatar Music Television).Both are accessible as a live stream. Maidan TV presents modern Tatar pop, while TMTV caters for conservative tastes. There are thousands of Tatar videos on YouTube, representing many levels of professionalism and musical genres. There are YouTube channels for Tatar rap, “retro hits” and live concerts. Tatar music videos are quite inventive and have a distinctive style; they are often “mini-musicals” which visualise the songs in a humorous or romantic style. (4)

Bashkortostan also belongs to Russia’s wealthier regions. Bashkir is a Turkic language closely related to Tatar, and there seems to be a lot of interaction between the two groups. Several Bashkir artists also sing in Tatar. Commercially, the most successful Bashkir artist is Radik Juliakshin, also known as Elvin Grey. He has been named “Man of the year” in both Bashkortostan and Tatarstan. His most successful videos have more than a hundred million views on YouTube. The song “Uilama la” exists both in Bashkir and Tatar versions. It is a good example of the Tatar/Bashkir video style: a mini-musical where the visual narrative moves far beyond the lyrics of the song. There is an interesting sociolinguistic detail: the song is in Bashkir, but the cruel father of Radik’s fictional girlfriend speaks Russian. (5)

Chuvash is the third large minority language in the Central Volga region. It is a Turkic language, but belongs to a branch than Tatar and Bashkir. The latter two are traditionally Muslim, while the Chuvash are Orthodox and use Russian names. Chuvashia’s music industry seems to be the least developed of the three groups, and compared to the other two, there are relatively few Chuvash videos on YouTube. They seem mostly targeted at an older, conservative audience. Musically, they resemble the style of Russian popular music of the 1960s and 1970s, but they seem to be original sings in Chuvash rather than cover versions.

However, there is also an indigenous music scene in Chuvashia, although for some reason it is more prominent on other platforms. There is a separate internet site, www.chuvashmedia.ru, which presents a large number of popular Chuvash videos. Russian social media such as VKontakte also have pages devoted to lovers of Chuvash music. The site “Tshuvashkaya estrada” on VKontakte has 6014 followers, and fans have uploaded music clips and the lyrics of hundreds of Chuvash songs. Many Chuvash videos seem to be excerpts from local television programs, but there are production companies specializing in music videos. The comedian Aleksei Moskovskii has produced several videos commenting on the contrast between modern life and the customs of a traditional Chuvash village (6):

Chechnya, the fourth large ethnic region, differs from the three others as it is almost completely monolingual. Ninety-five per cent of the population speak Chechnyan as their mother tongue. The effects of the 1994-96 and 1999-2000 wars are still felt in the region, but it has recovered quickly and developed a local media and music industry. Chechnyan popular music is largely indigenous; it differs from both Western pop music and the music of the other Caucasian regions. There are several YouTube channels devoted to Chechnyan music, including “Chechen Music FM”. (7)

Small and medium-sized groups

Medium-sized groups, with populations from 200000 to 700000, present a wide range of cultures and languages. The Udmurts are Finno-Ugric, Avars North Caucasian, Ossetians Iranic, Yakuts Turkic and Buryats Mongolian. All are active on YouTube, with hundreds or even thousands of clips, but represent different styles and approaches. Zaynab Mahaeva, “the Queen of Avar pop”, has over 300000 followers on Instagram and is promoted actively on many social media sites. (8) Even small groups such as the Laks and the Tabasarans are on YouTube, although the videos mostly seem to be mostly from private parties and feature amateur performers.

Musically, the most active seem to be the peoples of Northern Caucasia. Although they speak a number of languages, they share social customs that support the employment of musicians. Lezginka, a traditional dance, is popular throughout the region. There are radio stations and production companies which support regional music “with a Caucasian accent” over language barriers. Zvuk-M, based in Mineralnye Vody, describes itself on its English-language pages as “musical production company on the North Caucasus and Southern Russia, whose main activity is the search, production and management of Caucasian pop music” (9) . The site is a good introduction to commercially successful artists in the region. Most of the artists are also active on YouTube and other social media. 

Cherim Nahushev, from Kabardino-Balkaria, is a typical example of Caucasian enterprise. Cherim performs in three closely related languages, Circassian, Kabardinian and Adyghean. According to Russian Vikipedia, he is the creator of modern Circassian and Adyghean pop. His recordings are professional studio productions, and he claims to have sold 200 000 cassettes. In addition, Cherim produces karaoke videos, where the lyrics song are shown in Adyghean. He is also popular in Circassian communities in Turkey, Jordan and USA. (10)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyeTR2R6YE8 

In contrast to the Caucasians, the Finno-Ugric groups of Central Russia have musically a much lower profile. There is a considerable amount of material on YouTube and other sites, including channels devoted to Mari, Mordovian or Udmurt music, but the clips are mostly from local television or amateur productions. The element of professionalism, which is evident in the Caucasus, is absent, and there are no indications of a local music industry. (11)

The remaining ethnic groups present a variety of approaches. Perhaps the most interesting is Yakutia, the Republic of Sakha, a vast region with some of the world’s coldest places. From reindeer herding, the economy has moved to the mining of gold, diamonds and tin. In a short period of time, Yakutia has developed a wide range of popular music styles. Although Russian-style popular songs (”estrada”), with lyrics in Yakut, are common, Yakutia presented the largest number of rock bands in my sample. (12)

Kalmykia, Tuva, Khakassia, Altai, Komi and Karelia, the smallest ethnic republics, also have local television programs and state folk music groups, but I did not find many music videos on the web. Additional research may well produce more results. It is possible that I have not used the right search terms, or the groups prefer to use other social media. In spring 2020, I discovered a considerable number of Lak videos, which I had not found earlier. This may be the activity of a few individuals only, but suggests that situation can change quickly. (13)

Who made the videos?

Who uploads videos to YouTube? The portal was originally envisioned as a social site where anyone could present his own videos. YouTube it still has a lot of the original do it yourself –feeling. Quite by accident, I came across a set of videos presenting village life in Dagestan. The videographer, who calls himself (ironically) “The rich Chechnyan”, seems to be teacher at a school in Kishcha, Dagestan. Many of the videos focus on the school, but there are also scenes of weddings with music. There is very little accompanying information, so the videos seem to be aimed at a small group only. (14)

The most watched videos on YouTube today are products of the music industry: record companies, production companies, concert agencies. This also applies to Russia’s minorities on a smaller scale. Many videos show the address or phone number of the artist, and there are links to other sites where the performance can be downloaded. Like many others, the Dargwan singer Amiran Sultanov has his own YouTube channel, promoting his appearances. YouTube has given artists an opportunity to advertise their services at no cost. (15)

Many videos are excerpts from television programs. Russia has an extensive regional television network, and stations in the autonomous regions usually have some programs in local languages. There seems to be very little research on minority language broadcasting in the Russian Federation today, but many clips on YouTube testify of the existence television programs featuring local performers. Some are uploaded by fans or the artists themselves, but television stations use YouTube as a cheap alternative to building their own home pages. In the Komi Autonomous Republic, the station regularly uploads its regional programs on YouTube. They show a broad view of musical life in the region, for instance concerts by school children. (16)

Professional videographers also use YouTube to advertise their work. This is especially obvious in the Caucasus.  The region has a tradition of extravagant weddings, with large numbers of guests, lavish buffets, live bands, and dancing. Traditionally, photographers were hired to document the festivities, but today videos have replaced photographs. There are numerous YouTube channels devoted to the weddings of specific ethnic groups; Aidemir Shumahov  ( Айдемир Шумахов ) is a videographer in Maykop who specialises in Adygean weddings. (17)

On wedding videos, we can often see guests filming the events; many also seem to upload their videos on YouTube. A large proportion of Russia’s population today has smartphones or video cameras, and there are videos from all kinds of social events, concerts, amateur performances and other musical events. Often they seem to be aimed for a closed group only, as there is hardly any metadata. The person who uploaded them has probably sent his friends links, and the number of views is low. However, the videos are public and can be viewed globally.

Who are the audience?

YouTube is available in most of the countries. The most popular videos have had more than six billion views, which suggests that they have a global audience. On the other hand, many have less than a hundred. The appeal can limited by language, topic, technical quality and other factors. 

Many minority artists have been quite successful in reaching their audiences. I found several that have had more than a million views. A typical figure is ten thousand. A hundred thousand is common, less than a hundred is unusual. But what and where is the audience? 

The Yakutian rap group Zloy Mambet has produced a series of parodies of YouTube’s most watched videos. Their version of Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” has 1,5 million views. It is in Russian, but assumes a familiarity with the original American video. They have also produced parodies of Taylor Swift and the Russian rapper Timati, in a mixture of Yakutian and Russian. The videos suggest that they are made for a Yakutian audience that is fluent in Russian and follows global trends in popular music. (18) “Super Udmurti”, by Murzol Underground, is a similar case. Filmed against an Udmurtian scenery, the performers rap in a mix of Udmurt, Russian, English and other languages. (19)

However, most videos seem to focus on a local audience. YouTube invites viewers to leave comments on the videos. Often there are none, but some have hundreds. Most suggest a familiarity with the artists and the musical genre. Most comments are in Russian, although the names of the commentators (“Patimat”, “Zeynab”) indicate that they are from the same region as the artists. This suggests a bilingual audience that uses their mother tongue for oral communication (including music) but is more used to writing in Russian.

A closer study could show interesting differences between minority groups. In Yakutia, for instance, comments are often in Yakut. The choice of languages may have been influenced by the fact that some minority languages use characters that may be difficult to produce on common internet platforms. YouTube supports Cyrillic but not the additional characters required by Caucasian and Turkic languages.

Towards larger audiences?

Russian is the official language of the Russian Federation, and the language of administration and business. Many of the biggest stars of Russian popular music have an ethnic background. They have found a larger audience by singing in Russia. Sofia Rotaru, one of the most popular singers in Russia in the 1980s, started by singing in Moldovan but later changed to Russian. ( 20) Dima Bilan, the winner of the 2008 Eurovision song contest, is from Karachayevo-Cherkessia, but made his career singing in Russian and English. (21)

Most of the autonomous republics also have a considerable Russian-speaking population. In some regions, Russian-speakers are the majority. In Buryatia, for instance, about half are Russians and half Buryats. In a situation like this, an artist can increase his opportunities by performing in both languages. In Buryatia, Chingis Lee is an example of artists who have adopted this strategy. (22)

The Russian songs in Chingis’ repertoire are well-known Russian pop songs, but there is also another trend: minority artists singing local songs in Russian translation. Radik Juliakshin (Elvin Grey), who is one of the most successful artists in Bashkortostan and Tatarstan, has also recorded a number of songs in Russian. His Russian-language song “Chernoglazaya” has 122 million views on YouTube, and several others have passed the million mark. (In comparison, the most popular Finnish music video in 2019 had 5 million views.) “Chernoglazaya” is originally a Tatar songs, and although it is sung in Russian, it has a distinct Oriental style and the lyrics contain references to Muslim customs (“She is so beautiful, Inchallah”). (23)

Elvin is one of the artists on the playlist of the radio network Vostok FM (“East FM”). This network has stations in Moscow and many southern cities like Derbent, Maykop and Nalchi. Its target group is an urban population between 25 and 35 years with an ethnic background; the language is Russian but the playlist is a mix of Russian, European and Oriental music. The list of “featured artists” on the station’s web pages shows that the most popular performers have a Central Asian, Turkic or Caucasian Background. The station also promotes regular concerts in Moscow and other large cities, which can afterwards be seen on YouTube. (24)

Radio stations like Vostok FM suggest that there is a new genre of Pan-Oriental music in Russia today: music for listeners who have Turkic or Caucasian roots but speak Russian as their (main) language. The trend is a parallel to the growth of modern English-language Latin music in the United States.

Conclusions

At this stage, my conclusions are preliminary. In a relatively short time, I was able to find several thousand videos. All Russian minorities with a population over a hundred thousand are active on YouTube today. It is not surprising that the largest number of videos comes from the largest groups. Tatarstan, Bashkortostan and Chuvashia have local music industries comparable to many European countries. Maidan TV is a Tatar music video channel on satellite, cable and YouTube. It has about 1500 clips on YouTube. Tatarstan presents the broadest range of music online, ranging from folk singers and ”retro hits” to hip-hop and rap. 

The size of their music industries is also evident in the visual quality of the videos. They are professional studio productions by named directors. Tatar music videos have a distinctive visual style. There are also concerts, fan videos and artists’ Vlogs. 

Chechnya, which is still recovering from war, is a special case. There is a lot of Chechen music on the web, and there are several channels dedicated to the subject. Even the president of Chechnya likes to appear on YouTube with local pop singers, but the republic maintains a Soviet-era system where the ministry of culture supervises musicians, and erring artists have to make public apologies. 

For the middle-sized minorities, with populations between a hundred thousand and a million, population size is not the only factor determining their visibility on the web. The peoples of Northern Caucasus are very active. Despite the large number of languages, the region has a strong music industry that supports local artists. In Dagestan, Avar artists are promoted on YouTube, Instagram, VKontakte, Spotify and iTunes. The smaller languages like Dargvan, Lak, Lezgian, Tabasaran and Kumyk also have a strong presence. 

Yakutia and Buryatia also have lively music scenes. The Finno-Ugric peoples of the Volga region, on the other hand, have a relatively low Internet profile. Local television seems to be the most significant venue for their music. Mari artists do not promote themselves on Internet like singers from Dagestan, and their clips usually only have a few thousand views. The Udmurt group Мурӝол Underground has attracted national attention on Russian TV with their videos promoting language revival. This video is produced by the local TV station Moya Udmurtiya.

Beyond the number of clips, I was interested in the overall use of minority languages. A majority of the postings are bilingual in Russian and a minority language. A channel devoted to Mari music has the Russian name “Mariiskie pesni”, and fans leave their comments in Russian, although the songs are in Mari. However, there is a wide range of variation. In Chechnya, Chechnyan is widely used, and in Yakutia, too, fans often comment in Yakut. I also found that YouTube users outside Russia follow artists singing in Turkic languages, and there are greetings from “brothers in Kazakhstan” and other Central Asian countries. 

In spite of the widespread use of Russian, most minority artists and their fans clearly identify with their own ethnic group. There is no attempt to market the music to a wider world. The artists perform on local television and at weddings, concerts, and parties. In Dagestan, a region with a rich musical life, we find YouTube channels like “Lezghi Music Stars”, “Avar songs”, “Tabassaran concert” and “Dargwan world”. There are also artists who see YouTube as a global stage. The Yakut rap group Zloy Mambet makes parodies of popular YouTube videos, such as Bruno Mars’ “Uptown funk”. 

There is also a new genre of Russian Oriental pop music on YouTube. It is popular music sung in the Russian language in Caucasian or Turkic style. This trend is promoted by radio stations such as Kavkaz Hits and Vostok FM, with a target group of 25 – 35 year old urban listeners with an ethnic background. 

My study had two goals: to investigate the possibilities of using YouTube for ethnomusicological research, and more specifically, to make a preliminary survey of the music of Russia’s ethnic minorities on YouTube.

The results suggest that YouTube has become a useful source in ethnomusicology.  It is (almost) global, it has a huge number of users, and it contains a large amount of music not published elsewhere. It also provides interesting data on users. On the other hand, YouTube has very poor metadata. The service is not designed for finding music sung in specific languages. There is a need to develop better methods for the study of YouTube.

On the basis of this study, we can safely say that YouTube is widely used by Russia’s ethnic minorities today. It is a rich source of music, which would otherwise be difficult to find. The results suggest new topics for research. If possible, the research should be done in cooperation with native speakers of the languages.

One question raised is the uneven presence of different minorities. Why are some groups are musically more productive than others, even though the the populations are the same? Is this just a result of the method used, or are there significant differences in the musical cultures?

There are also differences in the written comments made by viewers. They could be an interesting source for a sociolinguistic study. There have been many studies of the official position of minority languages in Russia, but YouTube is an open forum where all activities depend on the initiative of the users.

There are other possible topics. YouTube is a rich source of on current dance styles. The number of wedding videos stands out. Many of them include performances of music and dancing in an authentic context. In many regions, wedding are important carriers of tradition – but also a source of employment for musicians and photographers. 

I would like to close my presentation with a short video from Chechnya titled “нохчийн синкъерам“ (A Chechnyan party). The performers and the videographer are unnamed, but video has attracted 83000 views, although the accompanying text is only in Chechnyan. The attitude of the performers and the circumstances suggest that it was made by a member of the group or a close acquaintance (note that the Chechnyan woman at left is also holding a smartphone.) This is a good example of “do-it-yourself ethnomusicology” on YouTube. (25) 

NOTES

(All web references last used 9.5.2020)

  1. Kantele, ”We are the Champions”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajXkx-OrABc&list=PL800496599D8DF496&index=4
  2. Buranovskie Babushki, Official website, http://www.buranovskie-babushki.ru/ 
  3. Mahachkalanskie Izvestiya, ”Dagestanskaya estrada shturmuet Instagram”, 6.11.2015 http://midag.ru/news/shou_biznes/dagestanskaya_estrada_shturmuet_instagram-18456/
  4. For Tatar music videos, see TMTV (Tatar Music Television), with links to a large number of videos:  https://www.youtube.com/user/TMTVchannelKAZAN , 

or Maidan TV online, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw7j00bLaHA55gLn7ySE7Pg/featured . 

In April 2020, a large number of Maidan TV clips were removed from YouTube, probably by the channel itself.

  1. Elvin Grey, ”Uilama la”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBw_A4NgpWI
  2. Tshavash Media, https://chmedia.ru/. For an example of Moskovski’s videos, see https://chmedia.ru/clips/8447/. See also ”Tshuvashkaya estrada” on VKontakte,  https://vk.com/chestrada 
  3. Chechen Music Fm, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7ce5EWEQIqeV6VXjoUF1qQ , and Chechen Music Official, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFcqM6tGnFNwpnuQYY-i8Hg 
  4. Zaynab Makhaeva on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/makhaeva_zaynab/?hl=fi 
  5. ZVUK-M, https://zvuk-m.com/en 
  6. Cherim’s YouTube Channel is https://www.youtube.com/user/NahushCherim  

 See also his entry on Russian Vikipedia, https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9D%D0%B0%D1%85%D1%83%D1%88%D0%B5%D0%B2,_%D0%A7%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B8%D0%BC_%D0%A5%D0%B0%D1%87%D0%B8%D0%BC%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B8%D1%87  

  1. For Finno-Ugric peoples on YouTube, see ”Mariiskie pesni,” https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRYJqIn3MRmnY8daXf-rjtQ 

Udmurtskie pesni, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQoesYzZJp_Sszth1pqcfsg  

Stanislav Shakirov is a Mordovan artist who has his own YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCylnLyFCHmaV5ruzTl4LoTw 

  1. Yakutian estrada, see ”Ырыа ыллыга”, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh-OXrYsVEX3nsFG-URwPhg/videos ; For an examples of Yakutian rock, see the group Sitim at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTmeqzegGv4   
  2. See, for instance, ”лакчы поют”, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsOozKAw51JRRW1uYI4z79Q/videos 
  3. See ”богатый чеченец”,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uThbxUYwWGA
  4. Amiran Sultanov started his YouTube channel in 2015; so far he has over four million views. See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsOozKAw51JRRW1uYI4z79Q/videos  
  5.   Komi Gor, https://www.youtube.com/user/komigorchannel/videos 
  6. Aidemir Shumahov, https://www.youtube.com/user/HDKADR01  
  7. Zloy Mambet, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmSvPw_Qzj8 
  8. Murzol Underground, Super Udmurti, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3ILJJXA8XY 
  9.   ”Sofia Rotaru”, in B. Savtchenko. Kumiry rossiyskoy estrady, Panorama, Moscow 1998, p. 304-5
  10. Dima Bilan, Vikipedia https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%91%D0%B8%D0%BB%D0%B0%D0%BD,_%D0%94%D0%B8%D0%BC%D0%B0_%D0%9D%D0%B8%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%BB%D0%B0%D0%B5%D0%B2%D0%B8%D1%87
  11. Chingis Lee TV, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeepS5vvFdLBx6lR6-0pyWg 
  12. Elvin Grey, ”Chernoglazaya”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STtyY1fGJEE

Tatar version, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gH8Xb_YkVdA   

  1. Vostok FM, https://vostok.fm/   

 For a sample of the station’s artists, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wshsEyO_H-k   

  1. “нохчийн синкъерам“, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpzolcsq2WA   
Comments
  1. Eero

    Thank you for a very interesting presentation! It is always an inspiring moment to see beyond the algorithms that rule our viewpoint on the world.

    I understood from your presentation that there are different goals and expectations in the minds of those who publish videos on YouTube. It seems to me that mostly the main target on those minority group published videos is to spread information and data to their own people, own folk, who share their common language and lifestyle.

    Interesting is, that those, who seem to have bilingual culture and professional music industry behind them, will get much bigger and global audience. But then again it is very much interesting that some of those amateur music videos still have over 100k hits.

    But as I said earlier: there are different goals in publishing music on YouTube.

    That’s why YouTube could be absolutely magnificent tool in etnomusicology! Besides the knowledge we get, as a reader, it is great way to get to pass prejudiced thoughts and assumptions people have according to minority folks and their music culture.

  2. Tuomas Leinonen

    Hieno ensikosketus venäläisten vähemmistöjen musiikkiin. Valtava maa, suuret vähemmistöt ja melkoinen musiikkibisnesten yhdistelmä. Tee-se-itse-musiikkitiede on hyvä termi ja käytettävissä kaikenlaiseen tallentamiseen Unelmahäistä lavatansseihin myös Suomessa. Valtion kontrolli ylettynee kuitenkin myös YouTubeen, vai riippuuko se alueesta ja kielestä? Venäjän laulukilpailujen (esim. Voice- ja Idols -tyyppiset versiot) analysointi olisi myös kiinnostavaa: näin jonkin episodin käydessäni Pietarissa ja kulttuurierot ilmenivät suhteellisen nopeasti. Rock mainittiin vain kerran. Onkohan sitä enemmän pohjoisissa osissa?

  3. Emmi

    Kiitos erinomaisesta esitelmästä! Venäjä on todellakin valtava maa lukuisine vähemmistöineen, ja tämä oli oivallinen pieni katsaus niistä moniin.

    Olet käyttänyt luovia hakusanoja videoiden löytämiseksi, mainiota! Kertoo todellakin jotain Youtuben suosittelukäytännöistä, kuinka vaikeaa näitä videoita on löytää hakemalla. Myönnän, että olisin stereotypisesti ajatellut, etteivät (esimerkiksi) Venäjän kielivähemmistöt juurikaan käytä Youtubea tai muista sosiaalisen median palveluita aktiivisesti, ja tämä ainoastaan siksi, ettei kyseisiä videoita koskaan tule minulle vastaan mediassa. Tämä oli todellakin silmiä avaava esitelmä!

  4. Rebecca

    Kiitos mielenkiitoisesta ja ajatuksia herättävästä esitelmästä! Tämä oli minulle ensikosketus Venäjän vähemmistöihin ja heidän musiikkiinsa. Esitys käsitteli opettavalla tavalla vähemmistöjä ja toi esiin kiinnostavia eroja näiden välillä. Esitys osoitti myös, että YouTube on yllättävän hyvä alusta musiikkitieteen harjoittamiseen, ollessaan tavallaan miniatyyri maailmasta.

  5. Yair

    Kiitos mielenkiintoisesta artikkelista, Pekka! Please check “Small Languages Rock” on social media/Youtube – a brand new project with some of Russia’s minority languages in focus.

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