In the absence of recorded Caucasian harmony, Davidenko's and Rechmenskii's harmonization cannot be confirmed as authentic. Even if they are, their harmonization would likely sound very different from the interpretation of Chechen musicians performed on original instruments. Piano transcriptions and Midi recordings are no substitute for recordings of original instruments, which would convey a more accurate sense of performance practice. Nonetheless, I feel that modern arrangements may help to keep Chechen folk melodies alive in practice and should be acceptable as long as the arranger does not attempt to pass his or her harmonization and instrumentation as authentic. In the present day, several composers have written music inspired by Chechen themes, although the use of folk melodies in these works is uncertain.
The third and final example examined was an anthology complied Rechmenskii several years after he published his collection of Chechen-Ingush folk music.29 The first part of the book discusses the musical characteristics of Chechen-Ingush folk music based on his transcriptions of folk melodies. The second part of his book consists of compositions by ethnic Chechen composers trained in Soviet conservatories. According to Rechmenskii, the principle characteristics of Chechen music include: downward moving harmonic lines, alternative triple and duple rhythmic patterns, statement of the melody in the middle voice of three voice harmonies, and frequent shifting between modes.30 While examples from Rechmenskii's 1962 collection exhibit many of these features, Davidenko's compilation does not demonstrate these characteristics as clearly.
“Mother's Lament” is included in a section of Rechmenski's book which includes examples of contemporary compositions by Chechen composers (score example 6,31 listening example 7). An examination of this composition helps illuminate the differences between a lament ostensibly written by Rechmenskii in the in the 1960s with the earlier folk laments transcribed by Davidenko in 1935. It does not require a detailed analysis to discern that “Mother's Lament," differs significantly in form and style from the earlier laments. Few of the characteristic aspects of Chechen folk music identified by Rechmenskii are discernable in “Mother's Lament.” Instead, dense, thickly-voiced chords, tonal progressions and elaborate accompaniment lines indicate a conservative neo-classical style.
One can infer from the stylistic aspects of the piece that it was written by a composer thoroughly trained in the tradition of western tonal harmony. According to Martin, Moscow would have been recruiting Chechen composers for training in Soviet universities beginning in the 1930s. "From 1930 to 1934, elite all-union universities in Moscow and Leningrad were required to reserve a substantial number of their total admission quota for culturally backward nationalities."32 The composer of "Mother's Lament" most likely received his musical training at Russian conservatory under this policy, which would account for the “western” style of the lament.
Rechmenskii's book refers to several indigenous musical institutions established in Chechnya during the 1930s which included a music education system in 1931 and a Philharmonic in 1939. The Chechen Philharmonic was responsible for organizing professional music ensembles until its liquidation in 1944. By the time of the deportations, Stalin was intent on dismantling what few official institutions of Chechen culture remained.
Considering the prevalence of Sufi orders in Chechnya and the Northern Caucasus continuing into the twentieth century, it is possible that a Soviet musicologist attempting to document the musical traditions of the region would have encountered performances of Islamic zikr . If either Davidenko or Rechmenskii encountered zikr , they did not title and catalog the subsequent transcriptions in a way that would make them easily identifiable. It is possible that zikr , as a predominantly vocal form of musical performance, might have been overlooked in favor of music with instrumental accompaniment. Likewise, if they did make recordings of zikr , it might have been cataloged as a dance or religious ritual and thus omitted from these collections of folk songs.
The absence of religious or resistance-related themes in folk music gathered before 1959 indicates that the Soviets might have been selectively choosing songs of politically neutral content. The fact that there were not any folklore-gathering expeditions in Chechnya and Ingushetia between 1935 and 1959 demonstrates that Stalin and his government were not interested in preserving the folk traditions of these people; indeed, the wholesale deportation of these groups in 1944 proved that their identity and cultural traditions were perceived as a threat. The aim of korenizatsiia was to document the folk traditions of the ethnic groups such as the Chechen in a way that would downplay national separatism and encourage assimilation into Soviet society.
The folklore collections by Davidenko and Rechmenskii help demonstrate how the folk music traditions of Chechnya were documented under the Soviet policy of nativization . It is clear that the intent of these compilations was to educate Russians about the backward traditions of the people of the Northern Caucasus . Later editions demonstrate that the Soviets succeeded in westernizing some of these musical traditions. This paper demonstrates that the musical traditions of Chechnya were both preserved and manipulated in Soviet folk music collections . The scores found in Davidenko's and Rechmenskii's editions are tainted by the political aims of the Soviet nativization policy, yet these remain some of the only sources of Chechen folk music. New scholarship in this field should therefore address the need to independently compile recordings and additional transcriptions of Chechen folklore.