The Beatles, Taylor Swift, & Beyoncé Facing Ban in Chechnya as Russian Republic Cracks Down on Musical Tempo

The Russian Republic of Chechnya is looking to ban music above or below a certain BPM—below 80 and above 116 BPM—in a bid to maintain cultural integrity through music, which will affect pop music, techno, and many other genres. According to the Chechen culture ministry, there has already been work to create compliance within music in order to maintain the “Chechen mentality,” according to a report from NBC News.

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While it’s unclear how this new reform will be enforced, apparently it is a bid to return Chechnya to its musical roots. “The musical culture of the Chechens was diverse in tempo and methodology,” said culture minister Musa Dadaev to The Telegram. “We must bring to the people and to the future of our children, the cultural heritage of the Chechen people.”

Pop Music, Techno, and Many Other Genres Could Be Banned in Chechnya

Most pop music will be out it Chechnya—pop averages 100 to 130 BPM, and it’s safe to say that techno will also be out, which ranges from 120 to 125 BPM. For example, Taylor Swift’s “Cruel Summer” and “Shake It Off” are not allowed, as well as Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” and “Run the World (Girls),” as they’d be too fast. However, The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” falls short, and is too slow.

BPM ranges from artist to artist, song to song, and genre to genre, of course. It’s hard to imagine being able to listen to “Deeper Well” by Kacey Musgraves, but not “The Architect” from the same album, for example. Chechnya is gearing up to isolate themselves within the music industry, as Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has allegedly approved the BPM restrictions.

According to Dadaev, “cultural heritage” includes “features of the Chechen character, which includes the entire spectrum of moral and ethical standards of life of the Chechens.” Even though the republic remains part of Russia, following two wars of independence in the 90s and 2000s, Chechnya has maintained its unique culture, practices, and language, and traditions. There is merit to the desire to keep these things alive. However, will it come at the cost of cultural harmony and universality?

Featured Images by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NARAS

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