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Mednarodna konferenca / International conference
Popularna glasba in nacionalna kultura
Popular Music and National Culture
Ljubljana, Slovenija, 22.-25. november 2000
Slovenia, November 22-25, 2000
Klub Gromki – Metelkova mesto
Gromki Club - Metelkova City
Hvala / Thanks to:
Sreda, 22. november / Wednesday, November 22
17.00-19.00: Registration / Registracija
19.30: Opening ceremony / Otvoritvena slovesnost : Gromki Club, Metelkova City / Klub Gromki, Metelkova mesto
21.00: Free DJ party / Prosta ploščna ježa
Četrtek, 23. november / Thursday, November 23
Nation in/against Music / Nacija v glasbi in proti njej
address / Uvodno predavanje
SLAPŠAK (ISH, Ljubljana, Slovenia):
MARJAN OGRINC (Independent
journalist and rock critic, Ljubljana, Slovenia):
ALEXEI MONROE (University
of Kent at Canterbury, England, UK):
PETER STANKOVIČ (Faculty
of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia):
NIKOLAI JEFFS (IASPM-Slovenia):
Musics all over Balkany - Convergent Destinies? / Glasbe po vsem Balkanju – konvergentne usode?
Keynote address /
(Gallery of Contemporary Arts, Zagreb, Croatia):
21.00 Concert /
Petek, 24. november / Friday, November 24
Popular Musics in Europes / Popularne godbe v Evropah 1
10.45-11.45: ...Speakers begin at the East... / ... predavatelji začnejo na Vzhodu…
KOVTUN (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA):
WOJCIECH SIWAK (University
of Białystok, Białystok, Poland):
SARAH HILL (Cardiff
University, Cardiff, Wales):
DORLE DRACKLÉ (Institute
of Ethnology, University of Heidelberg, Germany):
ANDREA BALDEMAIR (University
of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria):
ULRICH D. EINBRODT
(University of Giessen, Germany):
NICHOLA WOOD (University
of Edinburgh, Scotland):
Sobota, 25. november / Saturday, November 25
Hybridisation is Going On / Hibridizacija se dogaja
IČO VIDMAR (IASPM-Slovenia):
(Dept. of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Ljubljana,
Popular Music and National Culture
Popularna glasba in nacionalna kultura
Društvo za raziskovanje popularne glasbe, IASPM-Slovenia and the conference on popular music and national culture
Društvo za raziskovanje popularne glasbe (The Society for the Study of Popular Music) is the Slovene branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM; http://www.iaspm.net/). Established in 1997, its members started their activities in 1995. The main activities of the society are the study and promotion of Slovene popular music, the publication of its studies, the release of key musical items in the history of the Slovene popular music on sound carriers and other media as well as the organisation of scholarly conferences and other professional activities.
IASPM Slovenia organised its first – and successful – international conference in 1996 on Balkan Popular Music (Popularna glasba na Balkanu).
The second conference, which will be organised between November 23 and 25 in Klub Gromki in Ljubljana, will touch a new topic for Slovene scholars as the relationship between (global) popular music and (local) national cultures was either underestimated or completely neglected, for, supposedly, being too trivial.
The concept of “national culture” is an ambiguous, abstract, imaginary and changeable matrix, which still needs to be defined. This is so despite the fact it can be traced in Europe as well as through various social, cultural and even political roles that it occupies. However, instead of trivilialization, the discussion of the relationship between the “national” and popular is undoubtedly a more than appropriate way of answering the challenges that we are all facing after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of various “grand narratives”.
Besides, we also have to discuss the horrifying results of nationalist hatred, for instance, those that effected former Yugoslavia. With regards to this, evaluations of the importance of popular music varies, ranging from different experiences such as the “indigenisation” of domestic popular music and culture to challenges of hegemonisation as seen as resulting from the spread of Anglophone popular culture. All world cultures are faced with the expansion of “Western” popular culture, although it must be noted that this process is not unidirectional as we can trace different dynamics in the relationship between the local and the global.
The conference will try to compare experiences from different part of the world, from North to South, and from West to East, attempt to define a specific Slovene position on these questions as well as thematise our dilemmas and those of our immediate geographic neighbourhood. The concept of the “national” may seem obsolete, at least from the “global” point of view, but local ways of resistance to “globalisation” warn us that the cultural struggles between the centre and the periphery may easily become yet another key issue in power struggles of the 21st century.
Povzetki / Abstracts
Nation, National Culture and Popular Music – an Upside Down Introduction
As there have developed different traditions of conceiving and experiencing nation in the last two centuries, there exist very different assessments of nation and its relevance in popular music studies. While some researchers place national culture on the side of the local as a site of resistance to globalisation, others tend to treat it as a more or less neutral container or terrain of musical practices and ideologies.
But precisely in Middle and Central Europe, the nation as political and cultural project included from the very beginning a politics and even policing of music – strait-jacketed into one of the expressions of national essence. This restrictive policing of music continued throughout the development of the state and cultural policies before and after the WW II as well as – perhaps even with more vigour – after 1989. From this point of view, “imported” styles of popular music can be seen primarily as forms of resistance against oppressive nationalist cultural politics – even when the actors themselves are only dimly aware of this.
From Blind to Bad: Women Singers in the Balkans
The image of a woman singer in the Balkans has to be traced back to the “singer of tales” figure. Serbian autodidact Vuk Karadžić noted the songs of several blind women singers (slepa Živana, slepica iz Grgurevaca), and also gave some data on their lives (correspodence with his friends in Zemun). There are also many data on blind women singers in Bulgaria and Macedonia in the 19th ct., and “blind” is a professional title of these women. M. Parry and A. Lord, who recorded and published a lot of singers in Bosnia, Montenegro and Dalmatia in the 1930s, did not notice or paid attention to women-singers. Matija Murko, at the approximately same time, has met, recorded, and photographed several women-singers, but blindness was not more a sign of trade, as most of these women were amateurs, known to their families and a circle of friends, and not professionals (usually beggars).
We cannot understand the position of blind singers if we do not explore the anthropological context of women in a patriarchal community. Being blind is understood in the terms of apotropaic rituals. For a blind woman, epic song is a niche in a patriarchal community as well as for a blind man. Her body is denied and censored by not being seen (as she cannot see herself). In the nation-state community, such place is not negotiable any more, because woman’s body does not fit into the ideological system, it is a scandal everywhere: the ideology is smooth and unifying, there are not more niches to preserve some of women’s activities.
Since it should not be seen, a singing woman’s body has to be determined in terms of social negativity. Therefore women singers since the formation of nation-states in the Balkans are determined as “bad”. The larger picture of the public singing opportunities should be considered: festivities, caffes, variete, theatre, all of which are not accepted by the new bourgeois national society. “Bad girls”sing in such places around the beginning of the 20th ct. and their identity is constructed in terms of bad and dangerous: Koštana by Bora Stanković, rebetika singers in Asia Minor and Greece (like Marika Ninou) - which by this procedure introduce the self-irony in the picture. Together with the “bad girls” singing in Western Europe after the I WW, the Balkan bad girls singers display the same gender consciousness and play around the stereotypes in which they are put.
“More X than X Itself”: Questions of National Identity in the Work of Laibach
There is no more spectacular (and paradoxical) contemporary example of the interface between national identities and popular music than the Slovene group Laibach. Woven into the fabric of its controversial works are a series of national-archetypal symbols evoking both nineteenth century romantic nationalism and twentieth-century totalitarianism. These symbolisms plus Laibach’s aggressive and anthemic music have been seen by many critics and onlookers as evidence of actual political nationalism. However, if Laibach’s music and imagery are nationalistic, then which nationalism is the group in fact advocating?
Laibach is part of the wider Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK) which has attempted to regenerate Slovene culture, yet its work exposes the eclectic and contradictory nature of Slovene and all other national identities. The overtly Slovene national references made by Laibach (preporod, the kozolec) are complimented and contrasted by the better-known Germanic elements. Laibach carry out a “demasking and recapitulation” which massively over-amplifies the internal contradictions of the national archetypes it uses to produce something that, in the words of Žižek (1993), is “more x than x itself”. Even the most archetypically Germanic of Laibach’s music (‘The Hunter’s Funeral Procession’, ‘Leben-Tod’) is never mono-national as it is produced by the Slovene “other” that Nazism and Pan-Germanism continue to try to ignore or erase.
Albums such as Rekapitulacija (1985) and Baptism (1986) present a fantastic, hyperreal version of Slovene, Germanic and European identities and their mutual contradictions. The fact that these symbolisms coexist with avant-garde, pop art and trans-national signifiers further complicates the picture as does Laibach’s involvement in the “NSK State In Time” which removes it from political (as opposed to cultural) association with any one national state or nationalism.
Laibach’s work has reprocessed national archetypes into signifiers of a nationless (NSK) state that has far more in common with the alternative and artistic nations (or “internationals”) of avant-garde artists, civil society activists, punks and intellectuals – they are all, like Laibach, the targets of constant criticism by actual nationalists, both in Slovenia and elsewhere.
The Other Side of the Balkans’ Coin: Rock ‘n’ roll as Integration
In the presentation, author discusses a neglected story about the rock music and culture in former Yugoslavia. According to his opinion, this story shows that there is much more going on in the Balkan area than just ruthless fightings between achaic warriors, mass rapes, ethnic cleansings and mutual hatred: a strong youth culture originating in the peaceful decades in socialist regime actively contributed to the tolerance and respect towards the Other, even if (s)he was, when the war broke out, portrayed in the official discourse as an enemy.
In this context author presents the case of the Slovene rock music from the early 1990s as perhaps the most distinct example of this urban youth’s counter-chauvinistism based on rock music and culture, arguing that this particular example is interesting also because it shows that cultural creativity can be current, interesting and even very up-to-date without falling into one of the two problematic extremes: either blind following of Western fashions, or cultural fundamentalism and paranoid traditionalism.
Rethinking National Idea: The “cultural elite”, Neo-conservatism and the Modern Lessons of Kou-Kou Band
Popular music is perhaps the cultural form which most easily crosses national boundaries while defining simultaneously the local space. Along with the ever increasing power of the cultural globalisation, the issue of national identity becomes more problematic, traditional border ideas get new dimensions, geographical belongings lose their crucial significance, and identity processes outline new markers. The intensive intercultural communication stimulates ideas of a new global modernity, apparently transforming the meaning of dichotomies like center-periphery, self-other, local-global, national-transnational, etc., and gives arguments for postmodern theories in interpreting the seemingly paradoxical processes of both cultural homogenization and cultural heterogenization. Even so, the national idea keeps to be alive not only because of socio-economical and political reasons but also because of the human cultural need to be “physically at home”. In many ways this need questions the Anderson’s concept of the “imagined communities” describing the “national narratives” as already anachronistic and gives a room for new interpretation of the national identity constructs.
Employing the inclusion-exclusion dichotomy, this paper aims to outline two opposing strategies in re-thinking the national idea, observed in the field of popular music during the post-socialist transitional time in Bulgaria. The one is promoted by musical circles identifying themselves as a modern “cultural elite” who admire and follow the global-based pop music practices in their “strait” forms and condemn local minorities’ musics in the name of “clean national ideals” and as a sign of “civilization backwardness”, “local isolationism”, and cultural conservatism.
The other strategy, which could be considered very much as a local representation of the “world music” stream, fuels the national idea with a new meaning. Realising the national as a site of multiculturalism, it celebrates cultural differences by embracing both local-ethnic and global-based musical infusions to create an interplay between “us” and the “horrifying them”, the self and the others, interrelated in fascinating ways. Trying to avoid simplifying or stereotyping answers, the discussion intends to interpret the highly polemical over the last years question of who, after all, serves to neo-conservative or fanatic nationalistic attitudes.
References will be drawn on the recent media and live representations of one of the most nationally successful ethno-rock groups, called Kou-Kou band.
“There are Some People in This Town Whose Main Goal is not to Die Like a Hero”: Multiculturalism and the Alternative Music Scene in Sarajevo, 1992-1996
This paper analyses the Rock Under Siege CD compilations released by Radio Zid in Sarajevo (1995, 1996). It argues that in terms of genre, language choice, motifs and themes, the Sarajevo scene can be understood as articulating a multiculturalism that was predominantly “difference blind”. Thus, and on the one hand, it can be argued that the scene did not postulate subjects in terms of definite ethnic identities and hence “interpellate” them into a general nationalist ideology. With this, a move away from the reproduction of the various political and cultural discourses that fuelled the war, can be discerned. Also, and on the other hand, such multiculturalism can also be seen as challenging those external understandings of Bosnia, ex-Yugoslavia, if not the Balkans as a whole, that homogenize as well as essentialize their subjects, see them as marked not only with ethnocentrism but also with an inherent capacity for violence that stems from this.
Decline and Fall of Rock and Roll-Main Trends and Characteristics in Croatian Popular Music in the Second Half of the Nineties
A main trend in Croatian popular music in the second half of the nineties is the rise of a new hybrid- folk dance. Folk dance is a mix of some different styles. There are elements of Eastern music (rhythm) and Western music (production, image) and of course some elements of Croatian entertainment music. Croatian Folk dance is really a specific Croatian matter, as a music genre. It has the greatest similarity with one another specific musical genre in the Balkans, turbo folk in Serbia.
There were some specific moments in Croatian society in the nineties which influenced the spreading and development of this new genre – folk dance. Folk dance has a great support in Croatian State Television and became the best commercial product on the Croatian music pop scene in the second half of the nineties. The other music genres on the Croatian music scene –hip hop and rap, rock, ethno –are on the margins and wait for changes in the industry of entertainment and in the media.
How the National Element is Treated in Serbian Popular Music in the 1990s within the Pretext of Public Resistance to the “Western Cultural Imperialism”
The work considers the results which the government has acheived in its resistance to “cultural imperialism” and striving to preserve national identity. The consideration dates back to the time of Tito’s Yugoslavia which, unlike the rest of socialist countries throughout Europe allows, and later, even spurs and by means of media promotes West originated mass culture and its set of values (in music embodied in pop-music and rock culture).
Long lasting of the archaic folk music in rural surroundings, as well as the large migrations from village to town, is a particularly important factor for considering the caracteristics of popular music in the Balkans. In the 1990s, the great amount of inhabitants of Belgrade and Province of Vojvodina is the mass public of the “newly composed folk music”. The early 1990s, as well as the death of SFRY, resulted in proclaiming the “national” as the highest value, generating the feeling of being culturally harmed and resistance to the cultural imperialism of the West.
However, the phenomenon of popular music in the 1990s, despite the proclaimed resistance, rests on Western pop and rock models, which, by the time, had been greatly adopted (including their formal organisations and instruments). This form incorporates our national music elements to fit the pretext of current political changes. This is, further on, encouraged by an overall world interest in folk music.
Thus, the original rock, pop and folk music types having suppressed, three courses spring up in popular:
1. Marginal “rock – folk”.
2. Very popular “dance”, later on called “turbo-folk”.
3. Serbian remakes of Greek and Oriental songs.
All the other forms of musical expression remained marginal in the 1990s. The first two types were fully manipulated with during the NATO strikes on Yugoslavia, when concerts were organised on squares throughout the country. Patriotic songs were performed, although, in respect of their tunes, very little “national”, indeed. This phenomenon will be additionally considered and illustrated with audio-video clips.
Analysis of the Turbo-Folk Subculture Phenomenon in Serbia 1990-2000
The musical stage in Serbia during the 1990s was characterized by something which can be called “New Serbian music” and it comprises newly composed or new folk music, turbo-folk and dance, turbo-folk being the most influential direction. Its expansion coincides with the expansion of mass media in Serbia. Television became the key factor of family and social life. With the help of mass media, turbo-folk becomes the dominant cultural pattern in Serbia.
In the first half of the 1990s this is national, newly composed war culture and folk entertainment cultivated by TV Palma and quasi patriotism. From 1994-1995 the trash, kitsch aesthetics of TV Pink, characterized by a “pink” view point and life similar to a video spot is pronounced. TV Pink, as the omnipresent and most influential television station in Serbia, dictates the patterns of behavior, dressing and value system, educating its audience to highly regarded luxury and turbo-folk stars who became the new Serbian elite. By the end of the 1990s (1999-2000) turbo-folk ends up in mannerism of its own style: in banal eroticism, naked bodies and complete immorality. It seems that almost no attraction is going to pay off in the situation of impoverished market and the audience. Has the murder of Željko Ražnatović – Arkan, the leader of the paramilitary formation “Arkan’s tigers” and influential Serbian business man, the spouse of a folk megastar Ceca Ražnatović, marked the beginning of the end of turbo-folk era?
I will present the following:
1. Definition of the turbo-folk. Local musical industry – serial production of music; new folk music as predecessor of of the turbo-folk: musical aspect – connection with the Serbian folklore, sociological aspect – subculture of the “newly composed folk”. Critics of “newly composed culture” – Ivan Čolović, Sveta Lukić, Ines Prica.
2. The appearance and social and political background of the turbo-folk. Turbo-folk as a part of medial culture.
3. The world of turbo-folk – an urban world. Subculture styles: war-image chic, criminals, “Dieselmen'”, “sponsored girls'”, war veterans, “dealers”, recent Serbian businessmen – the styles of turbo-folk and dance. The reversed system of values – crime and violence cult, erotics and emotional structure in the turbo-folk era.
4. Video – the main representative of style and system of values in the turbo-folk era. War-image chic typical of the recent rich ones, girls, homicides, “femmes fatales”, luxurious interiors, fancy cars as elements of the video that turbo-folk rests on.
National and Transnational Trends in European Popular Music
Julia Kristeva has proposed a way of defining European identities by considering the complexly articulated religious traditions of Christianity in its Roman Catholic and Orthodox forms. And, one part of the Europe – the fifteen nations of the European Union – already has its transnational anthem, Beethoven's Ode to Joy (although, as Adorno pointed out, its text is as much to do with exclusion as unity). Even if it is seldom discussed by popular music scholars, the national anthem is surely the pure form of the construction of national identity through music.
But can music that transcends national boundaries also transcend national identity and the supranational “European” identity?
This paper considers this issue by examining several aspects of recent and current trends in the development of popular music in Europe. These are:
Representation of National Time and Space in Early 1990s Czech Popular Music
I propose to examine how time and space are put into a specific Czech, or national, context in post-1989 Czechoslovakia. In order to do so, I will analyze several songs by two artists who were popular at the time, the rock band Už jsme doma, and the late folk singer/songwriter, Karel Kryl. Though representing different musical genres and coming from different generations, both Už jsme doma and Karel Kryl commanded respect in the Czechoslovak popular music scene and earned recognition outside their homeland. Neither artist can be seen as sharing the nationalist views of the increasingly popular right-wing political parties, however, each addressed in their music issues current to the political situation of the day. Moreover, they did so in a “Czech” way, that is to say they localized, instead of globalized, their lyrical content. Hence time and space in their songs are marked by nationality and function as signs for the listener to identify the context as being specifically Czech.
I will use three examples from each artist. From Už jsme doma, I will look at the songs ‘Napul’ and ‘Tradicní kocka’, from the 1990 album Nemilovaný svet, and ‘Belveder’ from their 1992 album entitled Hollywood. As for Karel Kryl, I have chosen the songs ‘Od Cadce k
Dunaju’ and ‘Idyla’, both written in 1990, and ‘Atlantis’, written in 1992. All three songs were featured on his last album Monology, released in 1992. Written and recorded in the same two-year period, the songs make use of similar methods to convey their ideas about the Czechoslovak predicament. All songs are sung in Czech and feature idioms typical to the language. They touch upon the concepts of Truth and Progress and draw quite pessimistic conclusions about the direction their society is taking. In this way, the lyrics mirror the political discourse of the early 1990s, particularly that of President Václav Havel. The songs look backwards rather than forwards. The past is addressed and national symbols are recalled. There are several references to geographic locations that are significant to Czech and even Czechoslovak national identity.
The conclusion I wish to draw is that bands and artists with no ostensible agenda, apart from a basic support for democracy, use more subtle ways to define themselves as “Czech”. By drawing from Czech cultural history and comparing the present to the past, they are gearing their songs toward a Czech audience, thereby selecting the specific over the general and the local rather than the global.
“Nation”, “National Culture” and “National Values” in Contemporary Polish Popular Music
In the paper I would like to focus on three aspects of using term “national” in Polish popular music:
All these cases will be analysed in the context of “national culture” and “values of national culture” as stereotypical terms used by government, Ministry of Culture, and so on.
As a result of the analysis of this three cases I would like to show complexity and models of understanding the term “national” and “national culture” by Polish youth.
Dis-located: Welsh Popular Musicians in the Anglo-American Market
The development of Welsh-language popular music began in the 1960s. At a time when Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, the Welsh Language Society, was campaigning for the preservation of the Welsh language, the use of popular music was an effective tool for mobilising the Welsh-speaking population and creating a sense of community and shared consciousness. Furthermore, this borrowing of the popular Anglo-American model was a means of challenging the dominant paradigm, of adapting one cultural product to feed a burgeoning youth culture and of creating a national culture on the margins of the Anglo-American world.
Since the early days of the Welsh recording industry a number of bands have flirted with national and international audiences; but in the 4 years since the British government’s drive toward a National Assembly for Wales, the first tentative steps toward devolution in the United Kingdom, Welsh pop groups on both sides of the linguistic divide have been exported to the Anglo-American mainstream as representing Wales’ new ‘nationhood’ (Cool Cymru, as the marketing machines have called it).
How are these bands representative of Welsh culture? How has the definition of Welsh ‘culture’ changed in the last 40 years? Is it possible for a band to represent Welsh ‘culture’ while singing in English? And how can a Welsh-language band reach the imagination of an English-speaking audience? In some cases, the bands which have succeeded in the mainstream culture have abandoned the Welsh language in favor of English. What does this suggest about the nature of a minority language struggling for survival and modernity within the English-language dominant? Is it possible to build a modern sense of Welsh-ness on the basis of an Anglo-American cultural product?
I hope to examine these issues while drawing on examples from the Welsh- and English-language pop repertoire, and to try to situate the place of a minority-language culture within or without the Anglo-American dominant.
Música Pimba: Popular Cassette Culture in Portugal
Popular music plays a vital role at local fiestas and dances, in cafés, bars and at other occasions, where people listen to it live, from tapes, or on radio programmes. Música Pimba can be translated as simple, dirty music, and it refers to the derogatory discourse of the educated Portuguese classes including scholars – no study of the phenomenon has been made neither by musicologists nor by ethnomusicologists in Portugal. Instead, everybody seems looking only for the “real”, the “authentic”, and “very old” musical traditions. In my paper I will be giving impressions of a lively musical tradition which had sofar been completely neglected.
Performing with keyboards, accordeon and rhythm machines, the interpreters are proud to orchestrate their own compositions as well as old and new hits the audience likes to accompany by singing. The stories tell about sexuality, love and hate, nationalism, migration, work, the hardness of life and about strange things happening. I will be concentrating mainly on the meaning of Musica Pimba as an aspect for the construction of local and national identity.
“We are One Nation”: The Paradigm of Love, Peace and Unity in German and Austrian Techno-Culture from a Psychological Perspective
During the last ten years the techno-scene has developed from a subculture to the most famous youth movement among western industrialised nations. Again and again slogans like “we are one nation” or “one world, one love-parade”(motto of this year’s Berlin-Love-Parade) is mentioned by the media as well as by insiders of the techno-scene. What does it mean if this “anti-fascist” (Richard 1995: 321) and “anti-authoritarian fun-society” (Klein 1997: 59) uses the phrase “nation” obviously without any specific nationalistic background? Why does the techno-movement proclaim values like “love, peace and unity” on the one hand and on the other dances to fast, strongly rhythmic and “aggressive” electronically produced music? Doesn’t this phrase remind us of the term “Woodstock nation”, which was mentioned and characterised by Dave Laing and Abbie Hoffman in 1970? In how far might there be connections between the “Woodstock-nation” and the “techno-nation”? Is the term “nation”, regarding to its original definition, actually correct? What about the so-called “techno-trance” and the often-quoted (peak)experience of collective ecstasy by dancing with or without the consumption of psychoactive substances? What are psychologists in general saying about the phenomenon of mass-movement? And – last but not least – which are the chances, creative and innovative potentials of the “techno-nation”, where does the danger lie?
This paper presents in extracts the results of the thesis Transcendence – Trance by Dancing on Techno-parties and by Practising the Religious-ritual Body Postures by Dr. F. Goodman – a Qualitative, Comparative Study. The religious ritual body postures are not referred to. The research methodology of this study was an insignificantly modified interview technique regarding to the questionnaire scheme of A. Witzel (1991). The interviews have been analysed in two-steps: firstly the analytic reduction of each interview in relation to thematic relevant statements was done, then the essence of all interviews has been worked out on a comparative level. Out of this analysis, the author has drawn specific considerations, which will be presented in the paper.
White-Power Music: A National Culture or a Global Phenomenon?
To explain White-Power Music means to study the British skinhead-scene. Therefore I will first inquire into the roots of that youth culture. It started originally in the working-class slums of the big cities in Great Britain with high percentage of unemployment at the end of the sixties. Frustration and discontent of a youth that felt underprivileged, lead to agressive and violent behaviour, particularly against foreigners and homosexuals, who had to function as scapegoats. There musical interests were orientated to the Jamaican Ska.
In a second step, I try to explain the development to the White-Power Music. In the seventies a lot of British skins got purposefully and systematically supported by nationally oriented parties like the British Movement or the National Front. Meanwhile the musical interests had switched to Punk and later on to the typical Oi! music.
The content of music got more and more a factor of nationalism and racism. The National Front founded the “White-Noise Club” with the first label for skinhead music and called this music “White-Power Music”. This music was spread all over the country and in the beginning of the eighties Ian Stuart Donaldson brought this music to the continent. He contacted Herbert Egoldt in Germany and got a contract with the Rock-o-Rama-Record label. Several British bands followed his example and soon White-Power Music was known in Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and France.
In a third step, I will give an outline of the network of “Blood and Honour”, founded with a national campaign in 1987. This is the moment to ask whether White-Power Music is national or a global phenomenon. Other countries followed, like Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France, Belgium. After the reunification it appeared in Germany, including former Eastern Germany. Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Greece, Serbia, former Yugoslavia and other countries got their own “Blood and Honour” organisations. The musical sound and the content of the songs were similar: nationalism and racism were the most important themes.
In the nineties, another right-wing organisation, the Hammerskins, spread over the European continent. They also diffuse their national ideas and racial policies along with their songs and their fanzines.
Finally, I will describe the German skinhead scene at the end of the twentieth century. Although the content of the songs are always written in a nationalistic and racist way, some band leaders follow new musical styles. They use well-known popular music or folk music styles for their political ideas. We will observe these developments and ask if this is a special kind of national culture or a global phenomenon.
“Reawakening Pride Once Lost”: Local Content in the Global Space of Folk Metal
The purpose of this paper is to problematize the subject-position of folk metal within the global space of popular culture as a whole, and to investigate its existence as an artifact subculture rather than one wrought through live space. The means through which folk metallers evoke “the folk” – aurally, visually, and textually – reveals a new direction in the production of a heavy metal identity whereby heritage and tradition become primary modes of establishing authenticity within the scene. Ironically, unlike most other forms of heavy metal, folk metal exists without a “scene,” being disseminated largely through material artifacts like compact discs, shirts, posters, and other paraphernalia.
Though many folk metal bands rely primarily on loose musical associations anchored by stronger textual allusions, often directly referencing mythic-historic texts (the Finnish Kalevala or the Elder Eddas, for example), others use traditional melodies and song forms within the framework of their music. Give the highly syncretic nature of such music – the blending of two musical forms existing on opposite ends of the aesthetic spectrum – it is not surprising that few opportunities exist for live performance. The wide dispersion of fans and subsequent lack of appropriate venues plus the inevitable personnel problems inherent in an undertaking such as folk metal create a atmosphere in which “a scene,” as defined by Will Straw among others, becomes impossible.
Questions of primary interest focus first on how traditional elements are used in folk metal. Recorded examples will be used to illustrate the various ways in which “folk” materials can be interpolated into the framework of heavy metal. Album covers will show what cues folk metallers use to connote the genre. Secondarily, the “connected scene” of the World Wide Web – the way in which folk metal exists globally rather than locally – will be detailed through the lens of informants who use the Internet to obtain and discuss artifacts of the genre.
It will be shown that rather than serving to make an immediate link with fans based on shared heritage – as is the case with Basque punk or French chanson – folk metal attempts to make a direct link to a past that is seen as more noble. It evokes a sense of time and place in the form of a highly romanticized past in which the romantic ideals of metallers seem more akin to those of that past.
ULRICH D. EINBRODT
Mysticism, Magic and the Widening Form in German “Krautrock” during the 1970s
As the German beat bands from the sixties tended to imitate the British beat music scene, the bands in the seventies ventured to explore new grounds. Though influenced by the psychedelic movement, the new aim of German musicians in the seventies was not to copy the British or American popular music, but to go back (or forth) to ideas of their own.
Therefore, new musical contents were searched – and found. The long-playing record gave space to a widening of form, to long intros, interludes, solos. Often there were not more than four tracks on one album. There was space for improvisation and chord progressions that had not much to do with the usual blues or rock patterns. Very often the bands refered to mysticism and magic in their lyrics (as a contrast to the love/beat lyrics of the sixties) and so there was the need for a musical expression which in many cases resulted in dark, mystic keyboard sounds with minor chords that were applied to awake strange, alien emotions. Stories of ancient, cosmic, medieval or fictitious fairy-tales had to be set to music. The rise and fall of Atlantis, the four elements fire, water, earth and air, a Sommerabend (Summer Evening), all can be found in the rich romantic period of the so-called “Krautrock”. Some bands and musicians even rediscovered the German language to express their thoughts.
To present a total work of art, many albums introduced one theme where the individual tracks demonstrated certain aspects or phases. As the seventies were the decade of skillfully worked out covers, this media was integrated as well. In many cases the covers could be unfolded to show huge, double-sided illustrations of the main elements of an album.
Bands like Tangerine Dream, Jane, Eloy, Novalis, Ramses and many others were very popular in the seventies. Kraftwerk even tried out a new form of minimalism to create musical patterns. Some of these innovations are still to be found in the music of the new millenium.
The paper is going to present a short story of the Krautrock period of the seventies, illustrations will demonstrate the magic of that art and analyses will bring light to the music behind it.
National Carnivalesque Traditions in Russian Rock Music
In this paper I will examine the peculiarity of Russian rock ‘n’ roll tradition, its nationalist and anti-Western tendencies in musical form and ideology. I will pay a particular attention to how Bakhtin theory of carnival and Medieval humour applies to a tradition of Russian rock, and what makes Russian rock so different from its Western counterpart. I will speak about how Russian rock has become a very complex and deeply national tradition, and has to a great degree departed from the Western roots of the genre, how carnivalesque and humorous national traditions as well as traditions of flamboyant Russian/pan-Slavic conservatism and
traditionalism have influenced development of Russian rock.
I will also speak about strong ideological allience between Russian rock community and forces of Russian political nationalism, such as Russian Liberal Democratic Party and its infamous leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky.
Harmonious Negotiations? The Role of Music in (Re)Producing Scottish National Culture
Processes of devolution in Scotland have prompted a number of debates regarding Scotland’s cultural and political identity and what it means to be Scottish. In this paper I will argue that one way of exploring the complexities embodied within notions of “national culture” and the formation of national identities is through a study of performances of popular music. Based on empirical research carried out at the Celtic Connections 2000 festival in Glasgow, I will consider the ways in which this event, which showcases a variety of “traditional” and “contemporary” Celtic music, provides a space in which notions of “Scottishness” can be experienced, expressed and explored. Whilst, in this paper, I will be questioning the notion of a homogenous or homogenising “national culture” per se, findings from my research would seem to suggest that certain musical performances appear to allow for the expression and experience of “Scottishness”.
Drawing on my own experience of performances at Celtic Connections and interviews with audience members and performers, I will explore a number of performative aspects, such as melodical style, instrumentation and language use, which seemingly allow for the expression, experience and exploration of Scottish identities. Here I will argue that the ways in which notions of “Scottishness” can be expressed and experienced are varied, complex and dynamic as “traditional” forms of national cultural expression are impacted upon by extraneous (global) influences. A consideration of these extraneous phenomena highlights the multifarious and complex nature of the expression and experience of “Scottishness” and also illustrates how contemporary notions of “Scottishness” are influenced by its perceived cultural distinctiveness and links with other Celtic nations.
Hybridity, Syncretism , Local and National Identity in Popular Music Studies
The impetus for this paper comes from David Hesmondhalgh and Caspar Melville’s essay ‘Urban Breakbeat Culture: Repercussions of Hip hop in the UK’ (in Mitchell 2001, forthcoming) where they identify “a position lurking beneath some recent cultural studies which implicitly might see cultural ‘hybridity’ as an easy answer, or adequate compensation for long histories of race and class division.” While drawing on the “anti-anti-essentialist” essays of Paul Gilroy on “black music”, Hesmondhalgh and Melville claim that overuse of the term “hybridity” in some recent writing on music “has come to flatten out the differences between very diverse forms of recombination and intertextuality”. With reference to Gilroy’s notion of the “black Atlantic” and his writing on hip hop, this paper suggests the term “syncretism” may be a more useful vehicle to express the appropriations of often clashing and opposing heterogeneous musical idioms which have occured in recent examples of hip hop outside the USA, and which extend well outside the diasporic limits of any assumed “black Atlantic” in their musical antiphony.
Gilroy’s appropriation of US rapper Rakim’s tag “It ain’t where you’re from, it’s where you’re at”, can be extended to a global diaspora of the “hip hop nation” in which rap music has been indigenised in diverse ethnic, local and national contexts, and syncretised with other music genres such as reggae, rock and dance music. In the process, establishing racial and musical connections between perceived “roots” and migratory musical “routes” becomes problematic.
Reference will be made to popular music in France, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand.
RISTO PEKKA PENNANEN
Popular Music of the Bosnia Muslims after the Bosnian War
Sevdalinka, Bosnian urban songs with Ottoman influences, has been traditionally considered a musical emblem of the Bosnians and especially Bosnian Muslims. Ilahija hymns are Islamic religious songs.
The rituals of Islamic mystics were among the most important Islamic performance contexts during Titoist Yugoslavia. In the early 1990s, during the rapid disintegration process of Yugoslavia, ilahije were transformed into symbols of Bosnian Muslim identity. Ilahije replaced the official Titoist folklorism of sevdalinke as Bosnian music par excellence. Shortly before the Bosnian war, ilahije were performed in large-scale concerts during which political speeches were given as well.
Musical life in the Muslim-Croat federation of Bosnia-Hercegovina has changed considerably after the war. There have been many visiting music ensembles from Turkey and Arab countries. Algerian raï and Turkish arabesk stlyes have become relatively popular; pirate cassettes are sold at market places. The new wave of oriental pop influence had an impact on Bosnian Muslim music. For example, although ilahije were originally performed almost without any musical accompaniment, nowadays there are singers who perform them with a modernised sevdalinka or even a pop band. This is a totally new concept since ilahije as religious songs have been traditionally clearly distinguished from secular music.
National Culture and the Politics of Music: The Case of Two Nepali Bands in the Global Music Market
Nepal’s most internationally successful popular music groups, Sur Sudha and the Namaste Band, promote two distinct constructions of Nepalipan, or “Nepaliness”, through their music and marketing. Despite differences in the content of their respective Nepalipan, however, both bands place a sense of national identity at the center of their music; this emphasis is in turn crucial to their success in the “world music” market.
This paper explores the interaction between notions of national identity as deployed by these bands in the global marketplace and urban Nepalis’ own variously held ideas of Nepalipan. Through this comparison, the paper addresses how globally popular ideologies are challenged, reinforced and incorporated by local practice and perspective.
The writings of Barth (1969) and Geertz (1973) have advanced an understanding of identity formation at points of contact and competition. While these and other authors have largely dealt with identity in terms of interactions “on the ground” between groups occupying neighboring spaces, this paper imagines the point of contact and competition as occurring in the global music market. To be internationally successful, Nepali bands must create a niche; they must generate a commodity that is both recognizable and distinct, and they achieve these dual ends by producing a product that is heavily marked with a sense of “Nepali national identity.” The parallel projects of homogenization (of the nation’s character) and differentiation (from other nations’ characters) in these bands’ ascendance in global music market are significant in the case of Nepal, as they recall the goals that were pursued by Nepal’s Panchayat government (1960-1990) in the campaign to develop a modern nation-state.
The global music market and the Nepali state, then, constitute two overlapping discourses that have constructed Nepal as unified yet distinct. Recognizing the historic and political embeddedness of these discourses allows one to see how the Nepalipan that is deployed for the music industry then returns to impact relations “on the ground.” My paper examines these ground level relations by considering the content of these presentations of Nepalipan. It asks: whom does it include and exclude? How is it received in Nepal? Through these questions, the paper addresses both the interaction between global and local productions of modern Nepali national identity, and the roles that popular music plays in this interaction.
Narodna, Blues, Tango, Opera: Ambiguous Status of the “National” in the Music of Srp, Ljubljana, 1981-84
Local Popular Musics between Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism
Although we could define local popular music scenes within various micro-contexts – e. g., music performed and consumed in villages, small towns, towns or smaller and larger regions – it seems plausible to see them as phenomena shaped within the range of national economies. Such a view has its historical as well as cultural background. National economies most profoundly determine the development and functioning of local popular musics.
Processes of local ways of appropriation, adjustment, reproduction and production of various popular music styles and genres which have spread from the centres of their production have some common points:
This situation can lead into two extreme positions. When a popular music genre begins to operate within exclusively local cultural range, and if it is defined with national economical and political frameworks, it may become self-sufficient, both economically and culturally. Then it may also easily follow (or lead) the voice of nationalist sentiments. If it loses contact with the local environment, it can become a voice of “cosmopolitan” unification pressures. However, this tension may be seen as a main source of local creativity. It can either stimulate development of local alternatives or a locally successful production of “globally” compatible market-oriented music.