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Chechnya Forbids Music Outside 80-116 BPM Tempo

A folk art festival in Chechnya.

Authorities in Russia’s republic of Chechnya have imposed limits on music tempos to abide by strict cultural norms in the deeply conservative Muslim-majority region.

“From now on all musical, vocal and choreographic works should correspond to a tempo of 80 to 116 beats per minute,” Chechnya’s Culture Ministry said in a statement earlier this week. 

The new tempo standard, which is relatively slow in the context of popular music, was announced following Chechen Culture Minister Musa Dadayev’s meeting with local state and municipal artists.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov had instructed Dadayev to make Chechen music “conform to the Chechen mentality,” according to the statement.

“Borrowing musical culture from other peoples is inadmissible,” Dadayev said.

Local artists were ordered to “rewrite” their music by June 1 to accommodate the changes. “Otherwise, they would not be allowed for public performance,” the Culture Ministry wrote on the messaging app Telegram.

Many genres in popular and traditional music are already within the 80-116 BPM range.

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