Ayken Yansten

Folk Beat Music

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Latvian folk music

The basic form of Latvian folk songs is Daina. It is a short poem (a single quatrain and two unrhymed couplets) that is sung during ordinary life events and on special occasions. They usually do not tell stories, but rather comment on events, express feelings or folk wisdom. The melody of the songs is as important as the lyrics.

The first records of songs date from the 17th century, but their systematic collection did not begin until the second half of the 19th century.

Unfortunately, 50 years of Russian occupation had a significant impact on folk music and Latvian culture as a whole. The Russians destroyed almost everything, and only after regaining independence in 1990 did Latvian culture begin to flourish again.

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