How are national identities constructed and articulated through music? Popular music has long been associated with political dissent, and the nation state has consistently demonstrated a determination to seek out and procure for itself a stake in the management of 'its' popular musics. Similarly, popular musics have been used 'from the ground up' as sites for both populist and popular critiques of nationalist sentiment, from the position of both a globalizing and a 'local' vernacular culture.
The contributions in this book arrive at a critical moment in the development of the study of national cultures and musicology. The book ranges from considerations of the ideological focus of cultural nationalism through to analyses of musical hybridity and musical articulations of other kinds of identities at odds with national identity. The processes of global homogenization are thereby shown to have brought about a transitional crisis for national cultural identities: the evolution of these identities, particularly with reference to the concept of 'authenticity' in music, is situated within broader debates on power, political economy and constructions of the self. Theorizations of practice are employed after the manner of Bourdieu, Gramsci, Goffman, Gadamer, Habermas, Bhabha, Lacan and Žižek.
Each contribution acts as a case study to characterize the strategies through which differing modes of musical discourse engage, critique or obscure discourses on national identity. The studies include discussions of: musical representations of Irishness; the relationship between Afropop and World Music; Norwegian club music; the revival of traditional music in Serbia; resistance to cultural homogeneity in Brazil; contemporary Uyghur song in Northwest China; rap and race in French society; technobanda from the barrios of Los Angeles, and Spanish/Moroccan raï. In this way, the book seeks to characterize the ideological configurations that help to activate and sustain hegemonic, ambivalent and dissident articulations of national identity and musical practices.
About the Author
Ian Biddle is Senior Lecturer and Head of Postgraduate Studies in Music at Newcastle University, UK. He is a cultural theorist and musicologist, working on a range of topics in music and sound-related areas. His work ranges from the cultural history of music and masculinity, music in the Holocaust, theorising music's intervention in communities and subjectivities, sound, soundscapes and urban experience, and the politics of noise. He has interests in memory studies, sound studies, Italian workerist and autonomist theory, psychoanalysis and theoretical approaches to 'affective' states. He is co-founder and co-ordinating editor (with Richard Middleton) of the journal Radical Musicology.
Ian Biddle, Vanessa Knights, John O'Flynn, David Murphy, Parvati Nair, Helena Simonett, Brian George, Joanne N. Smith, Robin Warner, Regina Nascimento, Robert Hudson, Stan Hawkins, Richard Middelton.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction: National popular musics: betwixt and beyond the local and global, Ian Biddle and Vanessa Knights. Part I Positions: National identity and music in transition: issues of authenticity in a global setting, John O'Flynn; Where does World Music come from? Globalization, Afropop and the question of cultural identity, David Murphy. Part II Locations: Voicing risk: migration, transgression and relocation in Spanish/Moroccan raï, Parvati Nair; Banda, a new sound from the barrios of Los Angeles: transmigration and transcultural production, Helena Simonett; Rapping at the margins: musical constructions of identities in contemporary France, Brian George; The quest for national unity in Uyghur popular song: barren chickens, stray dogs, fake immortals and thieves, Joanne N. Smith; The singer and the mask: voices of Brazil in Antônio Nóbrega's Madeira Que Cupim Não Rói, Robin Warner and Regina Nascimento; Popular music, tradition and Serbian nationalism, Robert Hudson; Those Norwegians: deconstructing the nation in Europe through fixity and indifference in Norwegian club music, Stan Hawkins; Afterword, Richard Middelton; Bibliography; Index.