Title of the article:



Daria A. Zhurkova 

Information about the author/authors

Daria A. Zhurkova — PhD of Culturology, Senior Researcher, Mass Media Arts Department, The State Institute for Art Studies, Kozitsky Line 5, 125009 Moscow, Russia.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0752-9786
E-mail: jdacha@mail.ru


Theory and history of culture




Vol. 69


pp. 37–55


September 26, 2022

Approved after reviewing

October 10, 2022

Date of publication

September 25, 2023



Index UDK

78, 79

Index BBK



This article was prepared with the support of the Russian Science Foundation, project no. 19-18-00414 “Soviet Culture Today (Forms of cultural recycling of Russian art and Aesthetics of everyday life 1990s–2010s)”.


Among the retro-series about Soviet pop artists, the author identifies three types of soundtrack: 1) quotation (songs of the Soviet era in the sound closest to the original or direct inclusion of an authentic soundtrack); 2) modernized (a conscious and radical change in the sound of original songs through arrangement); 3) stylized (songs specially written for a specific series, presented as songs of the Soviet era).

The main attention in the article is given to the soundtrack of citation and modernized types. Although the quote-type soundtrack strives to be indistinguishable from the original, it works powerfully and reinterprets the popular music of the Soviet era. On the one hand, the “radius” of Soviet popular music is greatly expanding from a chronological and geographical point of view and including foreign pop hits, thieves' songs, old romances. On the other hand, the creators of serials are pursuing a strict repertoire policy towards Soviet popular music. In particular, they almost completely exclude civil-patriotic songs both from the sound landscape of the soviet era and from the biographies of the artists.

The character of a modernized type of soundtrack is highly dependent on the location and function it serves in the structure of the series. It turns out that in the intros to the series and in the dubbing of the love line of the main characters, the original songs undergo an insignificant change. A much more radical introduction into the original text occurs when songs become part of a genre off-screen soundtrack or are transformed for dramatic needs, growing into an independent musical number within the narrative.


Soviet Popular Music, Retro Series, Recycling, Soviet Song, “Magomaev”, “Born to be a Star”, “Lyudmila Gurchenko”.


1 Berezovchuk, L. N. Zhanrovyi kanon miuzikla v zarubezhnom kino s 1972 po 2002 god [Genre Canon of the Musical in Foreign Cinema from 1972 to 2002]. St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg State University of Film and Television Publ., 2003. 92 p. (In Russ.)

2 Egorova, T. K. “Muzyka seriala” [“TV Series Music”]. Sovetskaia muzyka, no. 4, 1985, pp. 98–102. (In Russ.)

3 Zhurkova, D. A. “Retro-serialy ob artistakh sovetskoi estrady: mezhdu konventsiiami, proshlym i real'nost'iu” [“Retro-series About the Artists of Soviet Popular Music: Between Conventions, Past and Reality”]. Khudozhestvennaia kul'tura, no. 4, 2021, pp. 298–331. (In Russ.)

4 Zhurkova, D.A. “Starye pesni o glavnom: al'ternativnaia antologiia sovetskoi estrady” [“Old Songs about the Main Thing: An Alternative Anthology of the Soviet Popular Music”]. Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, no. 169 (3/2021), pp. 148–164. (In Russ.)

5 Kurchenko, A. “Zametki o muzyke v mnogoseriinykh fil'makh” [“Notes on Music in Serial Films”]. Sovetskaia muzyka, no. 8, 1974, pp. 35–41. (In Russ.)

6 Lipovetskii, M. N. “Serial'naia retrotopiia” [“Serial Retrotopia”]. Kul't-tovary: Kommertsializatsiia istorii v massovoi kul'ture: Kollektivnaia monografiia [вставить перевод на англ. яз.], ed. by M. P. Abasheva, M. A. Litovskaia, I. L. Savkina and Cherniak М. А. Moscow, Ekaterinburg, Kabinetnyi uchenyi Publ., 2020,
pp. 286–300. (In Russ.)

7 Petrushanskaia, E. M. “Gipotezy o muzykal'nykh strukturakh serial'nosti” [“Hypotheses about Musical Structures of Seriality”]. Khudozhestvennaia kul'tura, no. 4, 2018,
pp. 224–251. (In Russ.)

8 Sal'nikova, E. V. “Bol'shie ekrannye formy v otechestvennoi povsednevnosti. Ot pozdnego sovetskogo perioda do nashikh dnei” [“Large Screen Forms in Domestic Everyday Life. From the Late Soviet Period to the Present Day”]. Bol'shoi format: ekrannaia kul'tura v epokhu transmediinosti: Part 1 [Large format: screen culture in the era of transmedia: Part 1]. Moscow, Izdatel'skie resheniia Publ., 2018, pp. 279–348. (In Russ.)

9 Tvarizian, A. V. “Estetika muzyki T. N'iumana k teleserialu Klient vsegda mertv” [“Aesthetics of Thomas Newman’s Music to Six Feet Under TV Series”]. Observatoriia kul'tury, no. 3, vol. 16, 2019, pp. 264–277. (In Russ.)

10 Troitskaia, G. “Muzykal'nye gorizonty” [“Musical Horizons”]. Mnogoseriinyi telefil'm: istoki, praktika, perspektivy: sbornik statei [Multi-part TV Movie: Origins, Practice, Prospects: Collection of Articles], comp. G. Mikhailova. Moscow, Iskusstvo Publ., 1976, pp. 149–163. (In Russ.)

11 Chernyshov, A. V. “Rol' zvuka v sozdanii ekrannogo vremeni i prostranstva” [“The Musical Design of the Fiction Tv Series”]. ENZh Mediamuzyka. No. 9. 2018. URL: http://mediamusic-journal.com/Issues/9_2.html (Accessed 01 June 2022). (In Russ.)

12 Shushkova, O. M., Lantseeva, L. A. “Muzyka v teleseriale «Ottepel'»: k voprosu ob intonatsionnoi kharakteristike epokhi” [“Music In TV-Series ‘The Thaw’: on the Musical Characterization of the Epoch”]. ENZh Mediamuzyka. No. 11, 2020. Available at: http://mediamusic-journal.com/Issues/11_3.html (Accessed 03 June 2022). (In Russ.)

13 Babington, Bruce “Star Personae and Authenticity in the Country Music Biopic.” Film’s Musical Moments, eds Ian Conrich and Estella Tincknell. Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 2006, pp. 84–98. (In English)

14 Broad, Leah “Game of Thrones: Music in Complex.” Music and the Moving Image, Vol. 13, no. 1, 2020, pp. 21–42. (In English)

15 Brown, Julie “Ally McBeal's Postmodern Soundtrack.” Journal of the Royal Musical Association, Vol. 126, no. 2, 2001, pp. 275–303. (In English)

16 Drake, Philip “‘Mortgaged to music’: new retro movies in 1990s Hollywood cinema.” Memory and popular film, ed. by Paul Grainge. Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2003, pp. 183–201. (In English)

17 Ford Sam, De Kosnik Abigail and C. Lee Harrington “Introduction. The Crisis of Daytime Drama and What It Means for the Future of Television.” The survival of soap opera: transformations for a new media era. Jackson, University Press of Mississippi, 2011. 344 p. (In English)

18 Garwood, Ian The Pop Song in Film. Close-Up: 01, ed. by John Gibbs and Doug Pye. London, Wallflower Press, 2006, pp. 89–166. (In English)

19 Inglis, Ian “Popular music history on screen: the pop/rock biopic.” Popular Music History, Vol. 2, Issue 1, April 2007, pp. 77–93. (In English)

20 Marshall, Lee, Kongsgaard, Isabel “Representing Popular Music Stardom on Screen: the Popular Music Biopic.” Celebrity Studies, Vol. 3, no. 3, November 2012,
pp. 346–361. (In English)

21 Nelson, Robin TV Drama in Transition. Forms, Values and Cultural Change. London, New York, Palgrave Macmillan Publ., 1997. 287 p. (In English)

22 Piotrowska, A. G. “Analyzing music in TV shows: some methodological consideration.” Nauka televideniia, no. 14.3, 2018, pp. 10–26. (In English)

23 Rodman, Ron Tuning In: American Narrative Television Music. New York, Oxford University Press, 2010. 370 p. (In English)

24 Spirou, Penelope The Musical Biopic: Representing the Lives of Music Artists in 21st Century Cinema: DSc Dissertation Thesis. Sydney, 2011. 304 р. (In English)

25 Tagg, Philip Kojak: 50 Seconds of Television Music: Toward the Analysis of Affect in Popular Music. Gőteborg: Musikvetenskapliga institutionen vid Göteborgs universitet Publ., 1979. 301 p. (In English)

26 Woods, Faye “Nostalgia, music and the television past revisited in American dreams.” Music Sound and the Moving Image, no. 2 (1), 2008, pp. 27–50. (In English)