Sung poetry

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Alina Orlova at concert

Sung poetry is a broad and imprecise music genre widespread in European countries, such as Poland and the Baltic States, to describe songs consisting of a poem (most often a ballad) and music written specially for that text. The compositions usually feature a delicate melody and scarce musical background, often comprising a guitar or piano. Some sung poetry performers are singer-songwriters, others use known, published poems, or collaborate with contemporary writers. Artists of sung poetry include people of various occupations usually with little or no particular music education, as well as stage actors.

Sung poetry shares much in common with the author's song in Russia yet differs from it in a significant way: sung poetry performers often do not compose lyrics themselves. Similar artists in other countries are usually classified as bards, folk music or folk rock (such as Jacques Brel, Lluís Llach, Ovidi Montllor, Georges Brassens, Léo Ferré, Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Djordje Balasevic, Bulat Okudzhava, Vladimir Vysotsky, Paco Ibáñez), or chamber pop. Artists of other musical genres may or may not be included into sung poetry category, such as Czesław Niemen, whose many songs are based on works of esteemed Polish poets, is usually regarded as either a rock or electronic musician. The common forms of expression are individual and collective public performances, festivals of sung poetry, publication of records online and release of music albums.

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