Overview

Why would a punk band popular only in Indonesia cut songs in no other language than English? If you're rapping in Tanzania and Malawi, where hip hop has a growing audience, what do you rhyme in? Swahili? Chichewa? English? Some combination of these?

Global Pop, Local Language examines how performers and audiences from a wide range of cultures deal with the issue of language choice and dialect in popular music.

Related issues confront performers...

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Global Pop, Local Language

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Overview

Why would a punk band popular only in Indonesia cut songs in no other language than English? If you're rapping in Tanzania and Malawi, where hip hop has a growing audience, what do you rhyme in? Swahili? Chichewa? English? Some combination of these?

Global Pop, Local Language examines how performers and audiences from a wide range of cultures deal with the issue of language choice and dialect in popular music.

Related issues confront performers of Latin music in the U.S., drum and bass MCs in Toronto, and rappers, rockers, and traditional folk singers from England and Ireland to France, Germany, Belarus, Nepal, China, New Zealand, Hawaii, and beyond.

For pop musicians, this issue brings up a number of complex questions. Which languages or dialects will best express my ideas? Which will get me a record contract or a bigger audience? What does it mean to sing or listen to music in a colonial language? A foreign language? A regional dialect? A "native" language?

Examining popular music from a range of world cultures, the authors explore these questions and use them to address a number of broader issues, including the globalization of the music industry, the problem of authenticity in popular culture, the politics of identity, multiculturalism, and the emergence of English as a dominant world language. The chapters are written in a highly accessible style by scholars from a variety of fields, including ethnomusicology, popular music studies, anthropology, culture studies, literary studies, folklore, and linguistics.

Harris M. Berger is associate professor of music at Texas A&M University. He is the author of Metal, Rock and Jazz: Perception and the Phenomenology of Musical Experience (1999).

Michael Thomas Carroll is professor of English at New Mexico Highlands University. He is the author of Popular Modernity in America: Experience, Technology, Mythohistory (2000) and co-editor, with Eddie Tafoya, of Phenomenological Approaches to Popular Culture (2000).

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781604738032
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
  • Publication date: 1/27/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 17 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Politics and Aesthetics of Language Choice and Dialect in Popular Music
Pt. 1 Language Choice, Popular Music, and Globalization
Doin' Damage in My Native Language: The Use of "Resistance Vernaculars" in Hip Hop in France, Italy, and Aotearoa/New Zealand 3
Language Ideologies, Choices, and Practices in Eastern African Hip Hop 19
"Goodbye My Blind Majesty": Music, Language, and Politics in the Indonesian Underground 53
At the Crossroads of Languages, Musics, and Emotions in Kathmandu 87
Pt. 2 Nation, Region, and Ethnicity in the Politics of Music and Language
Mucho Loco for Ricky Martin; or The Politics of Chronology, Crossover, and Language within the Latin(o) Music "Boom" 113
Just for Fun? Language Choice in German Popular Music 131
The Choices and Challenges of Local Distinction: Regional Attachments and Dialect in Chinese Music 153
"Ordinary Words": Sound, Symbolism, and Meaning in Belarusan-Language Rock Music 187
Cockney Rock 207
"Raising One Higher than the Other": The Hierarchy of Tradition in Representations of Gaelic- and English-Language Song in Ireland 233
Pt. 3 Music and Words: Language Choice and Dialect in Song and Performance
"Trying to Break It Down": MCs' Talk and Social Setting in Drum & Bass Performance 269
Singing Hawaiian and the Aesthetics of (In)Comprehensibility 291
"Chanter en Yaourt": Pop Music and Language Choice in France 329
Contributors 349
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