Live from Dar es Salaam: Popular Music and Tanzania's Music Economy

Overview

When socialism collapsed in Tanzania, the government-controlled music industry gave way to a vibrant independent music scene. Alex Perullo explores the world of the bands, music distributors, managers, and clubs that attest to the lively and creative music industry in Dar es Salaam. Perullo examines the formation of the city’s music economy, considering the means of musical production, distribution, protection, broadcasting, and performance. He exposes both legal and illegal strategies for creating business ...

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Overview

When socialism collapsed in Tanzania, the government-controlled music industry gave way to a vibrant independent music scene. Alex Perullo explores the world of the bands, music distributors, managers, and clubs that attest to the lively and creative music industry in Dar es Salaam. Perullo examines the formation of the city’s music economy, considering the means of musical production, distribution, protection, broadcasting, and performance. He exposes both legal and illegal strategies for creating business opportunities employed by entrepreneurs who battle government restrictions and give flight to their musical aspirations. This is a singular look at the complex music landscape in one of Africa’s most dynamic cities.

Indiana University Press

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Alex Perullo focuses on the creative practices Tanzanians in the music economy in Dar es Salaam utilize as they try to make something of a living in difficult economic times. Perullo also shows how music in Tanzania transitioned from work to a commodity as the country itself moved from a socialist to a capitalist political–economic ideology." —American Ethnologist

"The case [Perullo] makes for Tansania's music economy as one of the most thriving in Africa... and an example of Africans making things happen for themselves, is well documented and convincing.... Through Perullo, we are given a unique insight into the manifold uses of art and artifice by which people shape their own lives in an African city today." —Tanzanian Affairs

David B. Coplan

"This isn't just a book about Tanzanian popular music. It's a compendium of everything one could wish to know and more about Dar es Salaam's performance life, and an ethnographic tour de force that offers an insider's trip to the sweaty heart of an African capital's music scene, without having to go there. The social economy of post-independence Dar es Salaam is painstakingly interwoven into an account of every style, trend, and movement in the city's imaginative life from every angle. Perullo's achievement will set the standard for studies of popular culture in urban East Africa for decades to come." —David B. Coplan, University of the Witwatersrand

Remmy Ongala

"The extensive research for this book provides valuable insight into Tanzanian culture. Live from Dar es Salaam discusses our history and examines current radio stations, performances, recording studios, and music education. In reading this book, young people will learn about what their elders did in the past, and elders will remember those things they took part in. In addition, this book will become a road map for the next generation to use in order to learn about Tanzanian popular music. It is a very important book that illustrates the past, present, and future of Tanzanian music." —Remmy Ongala

Tanzanian Affairs

"The case [Perullo] makes for Tansania's music economy as one of the most thriving in Africa... and an example of Africans making things happen for themselves, is well documented and convincing.... Through Perullo, we are given a unique insight into the manifold uses of art and artifice by which people shape their own lives in an African city today." —Tanzanian Affairs

American Ethnologist

"The author provides a rich analysis of plurality of voices that contest, support, and struggle over the meaning of music in both the colonial and postindependence periods.
" —American Ethnologist

African Studies Review

"The book displays the author’s encyclopedic and deep knowledge of Tanzania’s music economy. It contains rich ethnographic descriptions and persuasive arguments, and would be valuable to anyone interested in the contemporary music scene in Tanzania." —African Studies Review

Ethnomusicology Forum

"Scholars interested in the popular music of urban Africa will welcome Alex Perullo's Live from Dar es Salaam enthusiastically. Perullo's comprehensive examination of a city's musical life is lively and compelling, and readers will be impressed by the breadth and depth of the author's description and analysis." —Ethnomusicology Forum

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253222923
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 10/3/2011
  • Series: African Expressive Cultures Series
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Alex Perullo is Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology and African Studies at Bryant University. He has published in Africa Today, Popular Music and Society, Ethnomusicology, and several edited volumes.

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

Contents
Preface
Acknowledgments
Note on Names and Interviews
Video Clips in the EVIA Digital Archive
1. Kumekucha (It is Daylight/ Times Have Changed)
2. Shall We Mdundiko or Tango?: Tanzania’s Music Economy, 1920-1984
3. Live in Bongoland
4. The Submerged Body
5. Radio Revolution
6. Analog, Digital... Knobs, Buttons
7. Legend of the Pirates
8. Everything is Life
Appendices:
A: Descriptions of Tanzanian Genres of Music
B: List of Tanzanian Radio and Television Stations
C: Clubs with Live Shows in Dar es Salaam
D: List of Tanzanian Promoters Organized by City

Notes
References
Discography
Index

Indiana University Press

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