April 18, 2024

Chechen Rhythm Codified


Chechen Rhythm Codified
The Chechen capital, Grozny.  Rasul70, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

On April 4, the Chechen Ministry of Culture banned music that does not fall between a BPM (beats per minute) of 80 and 116. According to Chechen Minister of Culture Musa Dadayev, songs that fall within this range "conform to the Chechen mentality and sense of rhythm." 

This decision is part of a larger effort to reduce the influence of Western culture and media in Chechnya, a majority-Muslim autonomous republic in Russia known for its strict conservative culture.

Dadayev said:  “Borrowing musical culture from other peoples is inadmissible. We must bring to the people and to the future of our children the cultural heritage of the Chechen people. This includes the entire spectrum of moral and ethical standards of life for Chechens."

What this has to do with the musical tempos now outlawed is unclear.

Local musicians have until June 1 to make sure their music conforms to these restrictions. Meduza noted that, ironically, per these standards, the Russian national anthem, at 76 BPM, would be banned.

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