In Asia

In West Asia, improvisation was especially common in Afghanistan and the "Zakne" song which today still remains very popular, was improvised by an illiterate called Mira.

In Jean Ithurriagues book (former curator of the Basque Museum in Bayonne, author of "A people who sing: the Basques". 1947, Editions Edimpress, Paris out of print), we also learn that: "Russian folklore" also has an incomparable wealth of improvised songs and poems. Sobolievskis collection alone includes 4772 texts, not counting the collections of songs from different regions.

In 1934 during a writers conference during which Maxime Gorki read a very curious report on oral poetry and its relations with human activity, Souleinan Stalski was heard. He was an illiterate old man. His improvisations were so brilliant that Gorki named him "the 20th century Homer".

Jean Ithurriague also tells us about "Tsastouchki", songs composed by improviser poets, who use "established formulae that are reworked and renewed in a thousand different ways. For example, after learning the initial verses of a former quatrain three new verses are added whilst more or less keeping the rhyme".

The subjects of Tsastouchki are very varied and, an important detail which is worth noting is that Tsastouchki are accompanied by a dance, which gives it its rhythm.