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Our time series analysis revealed several interesting (albeit, not statistically highly significant due to sampling biases) correlations between song attributes and historical events in the Soviet Union. The first line graph (titled Positive vs Negative Over Time on the analysis page) shows an increase in negative outlook during the rapid-fire authoritarian regime changes that followed Leonid Brezhnev's death in the years 1982-1984. Similarly, the graph titled References to Hope vs Apathy and Disillusionment Over Time shows an uptick in apathy and a correpsonding decrease in hope. When Mikhail Gorbachev took power in 1985, he instituted several popular anti-authoritarian reforms known collectively as glasnost ("openness") and perestroika ("rebuilding"). This caused a resurgence in hope among rock musicians, which is displayed in the uptick in positivity during the years 1985-1986. The hope vs disillusionment graph also shows this trend with a rapid increase in hope and a decrease in apathy/disillusionment. However, the new openness of the reforms also allowed musicians to voice their criticism without fear of persecution, and so as the Soviet economy veered closer to collapse starting in 1987, negative emotions returned in full force. However, there was also hope, as shown in the hope vs disillusionment graph.

Interestingly, references to change seem somewhat anti-correlated with the aforementioned period of political reform in the second half of the 1980s, as shown in the graph titled References to Time vs References to Change Over Time. This can best be understood an example of musicians expressing their desires, rather than current affairs. On this same graph, the references to time seem somewhat chaotic, probably due to the variety of contexts in which it was mentioned.

Turning our attention to the graphs titled Frequency of Protest References Over Time and Frequency of Satirical References Over Time, we see a clear time of low protests between 1981 and 1986. There are several possible reasons for this trend: it may be due to the crackdown on rock music that occurred in the early 1980s (for example, the arrest of members of the band Voskreseniye in 1982), or it could be because there was general satisfaction among musicians (unlikely considering the censorship of music at the time and the simultaneously high level of satire). The avoidance of explicit/political references during this period is visible in both the protest and (particularly) in the satire graph; it seems that musicians had to rely more on aesopian language (phrases with hidden meaning) to convey their dissatisfaction. Notably, after glasnost and perestroika began, explicit and political references became the most frequent forms of satire and protest, reflecting the new freedoms of the time.

The two of the last three graphs are somewhat more mysterious, and reflect the limitations of our sample size and selection. The relatively low numbers of soviet symbols and alcohol references mean that a couple songs are able to skew the results, resulting in the sharp spikes shown; more data would be necessary to draw meaningful conclusions. The high number of militarism references at the beginning of the deacade is reflective of the start of the unpopular Afghan War. The subsequent decrease may be due to censorship before perestroika and then a period of adjustment immediately afterwards, which would explain why war songs did not return until perestroika was well under way.

Depsite our limited sample size, we were able to extract several trends from Soviet Rock music in the 1980s which correspond to real historical events, including regime changes and the institution of liberal reforms. These dissident musicians were accutely tuned in to current events in their country and cleverly worked within the constraints of the system to provide commentary on life in the Soviet Union.