Cassette Culture: Popular Music and Technology in North India / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $8.97
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 70%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (11) from $8.97   
  • New (6) from $28.69   
  • Used (5) from $8.97   


In Cassette Culture, Peter Manuel tells how a new mass medium—the portable cassette player—caused a major upheaval in popular culture in the world's second-largest country. The advent of cassette technology in the 1980s transformed India's popular music industry from the virtual monopoly of a single multinational LP manufacturer to a free-for-all among hundreds of local cassette producers. The result was a revolution in the quantity, quality, and variety of Indian popular music and its patterns of dissemination and consumption.

Manuel shows that the cassette revolution, however, has brought new contradictions and problems to Indian culture. While inexpensive cassettes revitalized local subcultures and community values throughout the subcontinent, they were also a vehicle for regional and political factionalism, new forms of commercial vulgarity, and, disturbingly, the most provocative sorts of hate-mongering and religious chauvinism.

Cassette Culture is the first scholarly account of Indian popular music and the first case study of a technological revolution now occurring throughout the world. It will be an essential resource for anyone interested in modern India, communications theory, world popular music, or contemporary global culture.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226504018
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/1993
  • Series: Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 322
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Manuel is assistant professor in the Department of Art, Music, and Philosophy at John Jay College (City University of New York). His other publications include Popular Musics of the Non-Western World, Thumri in Historical and Stylistic Perspectives, and Essays on Cuban Music.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface Motivations and Predispositions Scope and Orientation Methodology Transliteration Acknowledgments
1. Introduction: Theoretical Perspectives
Cassettes and the New Media Technologies Cassette Technology and the "Democratic-Participant" Media Theoretical Approaches: Ethnomusicology and Media Theory Control of the Media Media Content Reception Theory: Effects and Audience Interpretations of Media Content Base and Superstructure in an Integrated Cultural Materialism Conclusions
2. The Impact of Cassettes on the International Recording Industry
Contrasting Patterns of Development The International Impact of Cassette Technology Cassette Piracy The Emergence of Legitimate Cassette Industries
3. The Music Industry and Film Culture up to 1975
The Growth of the Indian Record Industry Radio Film Music and Film Culture Film Music: Context and Content The Impact of Film Music on Folk Music Conclusions
4. The Advent of Cassettes: New Alternatives to His Master's Voice
Cassettes come to India Cassette Producers Financial and Technological Aspects of the Cassette Industry Promotion and Publicity Music-Industry Organizations Piracy Compact Discs
5. Cassettes and the Modern Ghazal The Traditional Ghazal
The Rise and Fall of the Film Ghazal
The Modern Ghazal
"Pop" Goes the Ghazal
6. Devotional Music
Music and Bhakti in Hindu Culture Devotional Music and the Mass Media Ghazal, Cassettes, and the Emergence of the Pop Bhajan
The Mainstream Pop Bhajan: Aesthetics, Ethos, and Commercialism
"Great" and "Little Traditions" in Commercial Devotional Music Production and Marketing of Devotional Music Muslim Devotional Music Cassettes and Live Performance Conclusions
7. The Politics of Parody: Tune-Borrowing in Popular and Folk Music
Parody in Hindustani Music Parody in Folk Music

"Versions": Recycling the Classics Copyright Conclusions
8. Regional Musics
Social Identity and Regional Syncretic Musics Cassettes and Diversification: Region, Language, and Genre Cassettes and Class Expression Gender The Impact of Commodification Song Texts in Regional Cassette-Based Music Cassettes and Lewd Regional Songs Cassettes and Live Performance Regional Cassette Musics Conclusions
9. Rasiya: A Case Study in Commercialization
Braj Culture and Rasiya
Song Texts in Secular Folk Rasiya
Gender Representation in Rasiya
Rasiya and Socioeconomic Modernization
Rasiya and Mass Culture Film Parodies and Hathrasi Rasiya
The Advent of Cassettes Cassettes and the "Little Tradition" of Rasiya Bhakti
Secular Rasiya Cassettes Song Texts in Commercial Rasiya
Disparaging Perspectives M. H. Zaidi, Rasiya Producer Singer-Poet Sevaram "Tanatan" Sharma Conclusions
10. Cassettes and Sociopolitical Movements
Jagori: Cassettes and Women's Liberation Regional Movements in Eastern Bihar Cassettes and the 1989 Elections Regional and Sectarian Movements Cassettes and the Contemporary Hindu-Muslim Conflict
11. Conclusions: A Micro-Medium in Macro-Perspective
Notes Glossary of Indian-Language Terms Bibliography Some Recent Parodies in Film Music Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)