Popular Music in Eastern Europe by Ewa Mazierska

205b90de2eac1df-261x361.jpg Author Ewa Mazierska
Isbn 9781137592729
File size 7.7MB
Year 2016
Pages 311
Language English
File format PDF
Category music


Pop Music, Culture and Identity Series Editors Steve Clark Graduate School Humanities and Sociology University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan Tristanne Connolly Department of English, St Jerome’s University Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Jason Whittaker School of English & Journalism, University of Lincoln Lincoln, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom Pop music lasts. A form all too often assumed to be transient, commercial and mass-cultural has proved itself durable, tenacious and continually evolving. As such, it has become a crucial component in defining various forms of identity (individual and collective) as influenced by nation, class, gender and historical period. Pop Music, Culture and Identity investigates how this enhanced status shapes the iconography of celebrity, provides an ever-expanding archive for generational memory and accelerates the impact of new technologies on performing, packaging and global marketing. The series gives particular emphasis to interdisciplinary approaches that go beyond musicology and seeks to validate the informed testimony of the fan alongside academic methodologies. More information about this series at http://www.springer.com/series/14537 Ewa Mazierska Editor Popular Music in Eastern Europe Breaking the Cold War Paradigm Editor Ewa Mazierska School of Humanities and Social Sciences University of Central Lancashire Preston, UK Pop Music, Culture and Identity ISBN 978-1-137-59272-9 ISBN 978-1-137-59273-6 (eBook) DOI 10.1057/978-1-137-59273-6 Library of Congress Control Number: 2016948833 © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016 The author(s) has/have asserted their right(s) to be identified as the author(s) of this work in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. This work is subject to copyright. All rights are solely and exclusively licensed by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher, the authors and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, express or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. Cover illustration: © Split disc jockey Domagoj Veršić at work in Disco Club Gusar, 1969 © Sloven Mosettig 2016 Printed on acid-free paper This Palgrave Macmillan imprint is published by Springer Nature The registered company is Macmillan Publishers Ltd. The registered company address is: The Campus, 4 Crinan Street, London, N1 9XW, United Kingdom ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This book would not be possible without the help of many colleagues and friends, to whom I wish to express my gratitude. One of them is my previous research assistant, Lars Kristensen, who encouraged me to conduct research on popular music. I am also grateful to Elżbieta Ostrowska, Zsolt Gyori, Laszlo Strauss and Aimar Ventsel for their insightful comments on the introduction and some of the chapters included in this collection. I am also grateful to various individuals and institutions who granted us interviews and allowed us to use the photos in specific chapters, and to Felicity Plester and Sophie Auld at Palgrave for making working on this book as pleasant and efficient process as it can be. v CONTENTS 1 Introduction Ewa Mazierska 1 Part I State Policies and its Interpretation by Grassroots 2 Propagated, Permitted or Prohibited? State Strategies to Control Musical Entertainment in the First Two Decades of Socialist Hungary Ádám Ignácz 3 Pop-Rock and Propaganda During the Ceaușescu Regime in Communist Romania Doru Pop 4 Estonian Invasion as Western Ersatz-pop Aimar Ventsel 5 The Eagle Rocks: Isolation and Cosmopolitanism in Albania’s Pop-Rock Scene Bruce Williams 31 51 69 89 vii viii CONTENTS Part II The Function of ‘Gatekeepers’ 6 Censorship, Dissent and the Metaphorical Language of GDR Rock David Robb 109 7 Folk Music as a Folk Enemy: Music Censorship in Socialist Yugoslavia Ana Hofman 129 8 ‘The Second Golden Age’: Popular Music Journalism during the Late Socialist Era of Hungary Zsófia Réti 149 9 Youth Under Construction: The Generational Shifts in Popular Music Journalism in the Poland of the 1980s Klaudia Rachubińska and Xawery Stańczyk 171 10 The Birth of Socialist Disc Jockey: Between Music Guru, DIY Ethos and Market Socialism Marko Zubak 195 Part III Eastern European Stars 11 Karel Gott: The Ultimate Star of Czechoslovak Pop Music Petr A. Bílek 217 12 Czesław Niemen: Between Enigma and Political Pragmatism Ewa Mazierska 243 13 Omega: Red Star from Hungary Bence Csatári and Béla Szilárd Jávorszky 265 CONTENTS ix 14 Perverse Imperialism: Republika’s Phenomenon in the 1980s Piotr Fortuna 283 Index 303 LIST Fig. 4.1 Fig. 5.1 Fig. 5.2 Fig. 6.1 Fig. 8.1 Fig. 8.2 Fig. 10.1 Fig. 10.2 Fig. 11.1 Fig. 11.2 Fig. 11.3 Fig. 12.1 Fig. 12.2 Fig. 13.1 Fig. 13.2 Fig. 14.1 OF FIGURES Fix in Vanemuise theatre, Tartu, Estonia, 1983 Matura 72 Aleksandër Gjoka in concert Silly in the 1980s The total number of popular music-related articles in the Hungarian youth press, 1964–1974 Popular music content in Ifjúsági Magazin, 1973–1989 Pioneer disc jockey Domagoj Veršić at work in 1969 in Split’s Gusar club A 1975 self-made promotional poster for Zoran Modli’s travelling disco show Gottmania explodes in Prague: Karel Gott faces the crowd of people who welcome him after his return from Las Vegas at the Prague airport Karel Gott posing as a star before his departure for Rio de Janiero festival in 1968 Karel Gott receives the title of National Artist from president Husák in 1985 Flamboyant Niemen at the peak of his career Niemen performing Mournful Rhapsody in Memoriam of Bem Omega in its heyday in the mid-1970s Band members celebrating the 25th anniversary of Omega in 1987 Grzegorz Ciechowski performing during Rockowisko festival in 1981 82 98 102 125 154 156 201 208 227 231 236 246 256 275 278 287 xi CHAPTER 1 Introduction Popular Music in Eastern Europe: Breaking the ‘Cold War Paradigm’ Ewa Mazierska The purpose of this collection is to examine popular music in Eastern Europe during the period of state socialism. Its roots lie in frustration at the limited amount of scholarly work available in English concerning popular music in Eastern Europe and the perspective applied in the majority of them. The number of volumes devoted to popular music originating from, and consumed in countries such as Poland, Hungary or East Germany is low, not only in comparison with books about music in the Anglo-American centre but also with what is known as ‘world music’. It also rarely happens that music from this part of the world is used to illustrate phenomena pertaining to popular music at large, such as stars, genres, music videos, live music, subcultures or local identity. The only exception is when authors discuss the relationship between music and politics (for example, Szemere 1992; Wicke 1992; Wicke and Shepherd 1993; Mitchell 1996: 95-136; Bennett 2000: 49; Connell and Gibson 2003: 120–21), due to the fact that rock E. Mazierska (*) School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2016 E. Mazierska (ed.), Popular Music in Eastern Europe, Pop Music, Culture and Identity, DOI 10.1057/978-1-137-59273-6_1 1 2 E. MAZIERSKA from Eastern Europe is seen as more political than its western counterpart; an opinion which is problematic. Moreover, existing studies focused on Eastern European popular music, most importantly Timothy Ryback’s Rock Around the Bloc (1990) and the collection Rocking the State: Rock Music and Politics in Eastern Europe and Russia (1994), edited by Sabrina Petra Ramet, are based on problematic assumptions which, broadly speaking, reflect a way of thinking pertaining to the Cold War, even if they were already written and published after the fall of state socialism. This collection has the ambition to interrogate and challenge these assumptions. FROM SELF-COLONISATION TO PARTICIPATION IN COSMOPOLITAN CULTURE One of the assumptions made in existing studies concerns the allegedly marginal status of Eastern European popular music not only globally, but also within the Eastern bloc. Ryback and Ramet argue that, whenever permitted, consumers of popular music from Hungary, Poland or Romania tuned into the media broadcasting western music rather than choosing performers addressing them in their own language. In the introduction to Rock Around the Bloc Ryback evokes a meeting of Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachev with the widow of John Lennon, Yoko Ono, in which the then Soviet leader and his spouse present themselves as Lennon’s fans. Ryback also mentions the Beatlemania in Poland, East Germany and the Czech Republic, concluding that: Western rock culture has debunked Marxist-Leninist assumptions about the state’s ability to control its citizens. Across more than eight thousand miles of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, from the cusp of the Berlin Wall to the dockyards of Vladivostok, three generations of young socialists, who should have been bonded by the liturgy of Marx and Lenin, have instead found common ground in the music of the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. (Ryback 1990: 5) Ramet muses: ‘A Yugoslav poll taken in late 1988 found that Eric Clapton, a rock guitarist, was one of the people most admired by young people and that he was more popular among the young than was Serbian party boss Slobodan Milošević.’ Later she adds, ‘There is one figure who casts a long shadow over the entire East European (and Russian) rock 1 INTRODUCTION 3 scene and who served as an inspiration to an entire generation: former Beatle John Lennon’ (Ramet 1994: 6). Such claims, although they might be factually correct, lead to questionable conclusions, such as that Lennon and Clapton were more popular in the East than local stars and that throughout its history the state socialist East remained under the spell of a limited number of iconic western stars, hence being doubly backward, by being unable to develop its own rock culture and having limited access to western rock. Instead, the Gorbachevs’ tender recollection of Lennon might reflect more their generation (being born in the 1930s), their limited knowledge of pop-rock, and their politeness towards their visitor than the true standing of Lennon in the Soviet bloc at the time of Yoko Ono’s visit. Clapton’s greater popularity among young Serbians than Milošević, in my opinion, merely points to the well-known fact that young people (especially after the end of the 1960s) have shown little interest in politics and hence politicians cannot compete with pop stars as role models. If the West provided the East with the only acceptable cultural model, as above-mentioned authors argue, then popular music of any value originating from this region was a product of imitation. Given that during the Cold War the socialist East and the capitalist West were in conflict, the character of such music was oppositional. Rock stars were heroes and martyrs, ‘rocking the state’, as the title of Ramet’s collection announces, fighting with the Leninist ideologues and politicians. In the most extreme version of this view, as proposed by Ramet, ‘the archetypal rock star became, symbolically, the muse of revolution. The decaying communist regimes (in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, and Romania especially) seemed to fear the electric guitar more than bombs and rifles’ (Ramet 1994: 2).1 According to this narrative, if such stars stayed in their own countries, rather than escaping to the West, this was either because they were locked behind the Iron Curtain or felt responsible for revolutionising the masses, rather than because working for the eastern culture industry brought them some benefits, outstripping the potential advantages of working in the West. By the same token, listeners tuned into their stars to capture the sounds of revolution or at least political subversion. This also means that if a given state was seen as particularly totalitarian, there was no pop-rock worthy of its name, as Ramet argues in relation to Albania and Romania (Ramet 1994: ix). These assumptions have been labelled as ‘self-colonisation’ and ‘political subversion versus state propaganda’. The argument in this book is not that they are false, but that they are simplistic and prevent us from appreciating 4 E. MAZIERSKA Eastern European popular music in its richness and complexity, including its artistry. At the same time as projecting the Eastern European rocker as an anti-communist fighter, they render the consumer of such music as a machine for capturing political (sub)text, rather than boys and girls searching for entertainment, for whom catchy melody is more important than the message of a song. In this context it is worth mentioning Simon Firth referring to a survey of high school students that was carried out in Michigan in the 1970s which concluded that ‘the vast majority of teenage listeners are unaware of what the lyrics of hit protest songs are about’ (Robinson and Hirsch, quoted in Frith 2007: 95). If listeners in Eastern Europe were similar in this respect to their American peers, then the researchers’ excessive preoccupation with the political content of pop music from this region by-passes the most important part of their experience. To move away from the ‘self-colonisation’ paradigm, a different framework is proposed by considering Eastern European popular music as an articulation of local culture and an act of participation in the global phenomenon of popular music, and especially in what Motti Regev describes as pop-rock. In relation to the first point authors such as Martin Stokes (2003a, 2003b), Tony Mitchell (1996), Andy Bennett (2000), and the author’s own work (2015) are followed. These authors propose to divert from the colonial discourse or even its specific form, ‘cultural imperialism’, according to which Anglo-American pop-rock ‘displace and appropriate authentic representations of local and indigenous music into packed commercial music commodified for ethnically indeterminate, but predominantly Anglocentric and Eurocentric’ markets (Mitchell 1996: 1). Instead, they suggest that the ‘imperial’ influences are always reworked at a local level, leading to producing music which reflects and addresses local needs and sensibilities, as well as global trends. It is worth mentioning that in the context of popular music in Eastern Europe the term ‘cultural imperialism’ is especially problematic, because, to the vast majority of those listening to western stations broadcasting Anglo-American music, it was not a vehicle of malevolent western powers, but a gentle instrument of enlightenment which was accepted with gratitude, as the term ‘self-colonisation’ reflects. However, what the proponents of the ‘cultural imperialism’ thesis and the advocates of ‘self-colonisation’ have in common is the emphasis on what is taken from the West, rather than how it is relocated and reworked in a new context. By contrast, in this collection, the local context will be foregrounded. Regev is more interested in the global, rather than a local facet of popular music, seeing pop-rock as pertaining to late modernity and consisting of a 1 INTRODUCTION 5 process of intensified aesthetic proximity, overlap, and connectivity between nations and ethnicities or, at the very least, between prominent large sectors within them. It is a process in which the expressive forms of cultural practices used by nations at large (and by groupings within them), to signify and perform their sense of uniqueness, come to share large proportions of aesthetic common ground, to a point where the cultural uniqueness of each nation or ethnicity cannot but be understood as a unit within one complex entity, one variant in a set of quite similar (although never identical) cases. Aesthetic cosmopolitanisation is a term that is best suited to depict this process in world culture [and it] refers to the ongoing formation, in late modernity, of world culture as one complexly interconnected entity, in which social groupings of all types around the globe growingly share wide common grounds in their aesthetic perceptions, expressive forms, and cultural practices. Aesthetic cosmopolitanism refers, then, to the already existing singular world culture (Regev 2013: 3). There are several advantages to applying the concept of aesthetic cosmopolitanism to the phenomena of pop-rock culture in Eastern Europe under state socialism. First, automatically condemning it to the position of a poor relation of music produced in the Anglo-Saxon world is avoided, even if it is widely acknowledged that it has played a privileged role in the global culture of pop-rock (Bennett 2000: 53). Second, it allows one to draw on research about other forms of popular culture produced in Eastern Europe, most importantly cinema, which is typically seen not as an imitator of western culture, but as an autonomous product developing according to its own logic and contributing to global culture along the lines proposed by Regev. Third, by seeing Eastern European popular music as a form of global pop-rock, rather than an imitation, various similarities between popular music can be accounted for within the whole Eastern bloc, and problems with assessing the meaning of the (relatively rare) cases when western artists borrow music from the East can be avoided, as recently happened when Kanye West sampled Omega’s hit Pearls In Her Hair on his track New Slaves.2 Such instances show, as Regev claims, that pop-rock is an interconnected entity and, as argued elsewhere, music is always in the process of relocation and translation (Mazierska 2015). It is also worth mentioning that socialism, both in its Marxist incarnation and that practised in the Soviet Union, did not reject western culture tout court, trying to build a superior one from scratch, as some authors suggest (Risch 2015: 6–7). Rather socialist culture and art were meant to accommodate and build on progressive elements from all previous styles, 6 E. MAZIERSKA being a logical culmination of history. As Boris Groys put it, ‘The attitude of the Bolshevik leaders towards the bourgeois heritage and world culture in general can be summarised as follows: take from the heritage that which is “best” and “useful to the proletariat” and use it in the socialist revolution and construction of the new world’ (Groys 1988: 37). For this reason, Marx praised Balzac, and Lenin appreciated Tolstoy. Following this logic, there was nothing inappropriate or dangerous in drawing on western music created either in the past or in contemporary times if this culture could be seen as progressive in the same way as Balzac’s novels. Its bland rejection by some regimes in some periods rather points to a betrayal of socialist ideals by selfish and insecure political leaders who did not dare to open their policies to comparison with other versions of socialism (Yurchak 2006). Even when dealing with seemingly straightforward cases of imitation, for example when an artist from the East covers a song from the repertoire of a western star, employing the paradigm of aesthetic cosmopolitanism and music as always being ‘on the move’, encourages us to consider it in multiple contexts: global, national and regional.3 Contributors to this collection are interested in all these contexts by, for example, examining the international careers of Eastern European stars and the ways they tried to fulfil expectations of different types of audiences. WHOSE MUSIC?: REWORKING IDEOLOGY AT THE GRASSROOTS LEVEL Together with diverting from the ‘self-colonisation’ paradigm, this book tries to overcome the perception of Eastern European pop-rock as being merely a case of political subversion or collusion with the socialist state, as summarised by Ryback in his catchphrase: ‘Leninism versus Lennonism’ (Ryback 1990: 50). In this sense it follows in the footsteps of the recent collection Youth and Rock in the Soviet Bloc (Risch 2015). Its authors acknowledge that Eastern European pop-rock belongs to the sphere of politics, as does popular music in the West and in the rest of the world, but as John Street aptly observes, musicians under state socialism were not only imprisoned and exiled, but also feted and promoted by the state (Street 2001: 252–53).4 In some countries, most importantly East Germany, they were also involved in producing state policy concerning popular music (Wicke and Shepherd 1993; Robb’s chapter in this collection). On many occasions, it is difficult to say whether a given artist was an anti-communist martyr or a communist collaborator, as is argued in the chapter about 1 INTRODUCTION 7 Czesław Niemen. Moreover, pop-rock artists sang and played not only to upset or flatter the totalitarian rulers but also to express themselves and transmit universal ideas, as well as to gain popularity and earn their living. This often involved avoiding engagement in grand politics and ideology, instead investing their energies in micro-politics, for example being on good terms with local music journalists and music promoters. To understand the specificity of popular music in the Eastern bloc, we have to pay at least equal attention to such micro-politics and the economy of popular music, as to the grand narrative of the Cold War, with its heroes and villains. To do so, it is worth employing the Althusserian concept of ideology, which, although elaborated to account for capitalism, suits state socialism well. Following Marx, Althusser contended that the economic base or the infrastructure of the capitalist system determines a two-level superstructure. First, ‘the State is a “machine” of repression, which enables the ruling classes (in the nineteenth century the bourgeois class and the “class” of big landowners) to ensure their domination over the working class. The Repressive State Apparatus (RSA) encompasses the police, courts, prisons, the army, as well as the head of State, the government and the administration’ (Althusser 2006: 92). Second, there are the Ideological State Apparatuses (ISAs): the church, educational system, family, legislation, political system, trade unions, communications (press, radio, television, etc.) and culture (Althusser 2006: 95–6). The ISAs, contrary to the RSA, which is single and operates in the public domain, are multiple and belong to the private domain. Moreover, while the RSA functions predominantly by repression, including physical repression, and only secondarily by ideological means, the ISAs function chiefly by ideology, but also secondarily by repression even if ultimately this is a very attenuated and concealed form of repression (Althusser 2006: 97–8). Following Marx’s formula that the ideology of the dominant class is a dominant ideology, Althusser believes that ISAs are ultimately in tune with the RSA. However, many authors after Althusser, even those belonging to the Marxist tradition, disagree. They argue that, while striving to appear unified, the terrain of ideology is actually scarred by hidden silences, elisions and contradictions (Eagleton 2006; on its application to Eastern Europe, see Näripea 2016). Moreover, ideology does not work simply by imposing on people certain ideas from the top, but also by reworking them at grassroots level. Ideologies and ideologues change (ordinary) people, but also people affect ideologies and not only during revolutions but at other times as well. This point is conveyed by the authors contributing to this collection. They refer to the fact that there was no single policy towards popular 8 E. MAZIERSKA music in the Eastern bloc. Each country had its own (often unwritten) rules, which changed over the years and even within any given period were open to interpretation by different agents, such as political leaders, local politicians and government clerks, and the state media, including prominent journalists and musicians themselves, who tried to navigate between different expectations, often guessing the best course of action for their careers. One example is jazz, which was considered as the protest music of African Americans as well as ‘bourgeois’ decadent music (Yurchak 2006: 166–67; see also Ventsel and Ignácz’s chapters in this collection). Another example is offered by Ana Hofman in her chapter about the censorship of popular music in Yugoslavia, where she refers to the neo-folk song Jugoslavijo, which was panned by critics as kitsch, offending the taste of the Yugoslav people until it was endorsed by Tito himself as a great patriotic song. Although each country and each period was different, certain commonalities can be found. While the role of RSA was crucial during the Stalinist period, it diminished during the periods of ‘thaw’ when ISAs became more important. At the time, censorship eased and popular music gained more space and autonomy within the official culture. This allowed artists to develop their own idiom of expression, both due to reworking foreign influences and drawing on a larger palette of available motifs. Moreover, from the perspective of socialist ideologues the enemy was initially not only politically incorrect music, but also music seen as kitsch or inauthentic; what fits Adorno’s description of ‘popular music’ (Adorno 1990) and ‘culture industry’ (Adorno 1991). This is because under state socialism the division between serious and popular music was meant to disappear by bringing serious music to the masses5 and creating popular music of a high standard. As Peter Wicke and John Shepherd argue in relation to East Germany, the laws ‘required that the workers who were expending their energies building socialism should be entertained only by highly qualified individuals with an appropriate degree from an artistic educational institution’ (Wicke and Shepherd 1993: 26). Workers were meant to ‘benefit from the best kind of entertainment possible, and what was considered best derived from traditional bourgeois notions of art’ (Wicke and Shepherd 1993: 28). One means to achieving this goal was by encouraging popular musicians to gain a university education and attributing different categories or ‘tariffs’ reflecting their musical craft to them, as demonstrated by passing certain exams. Such an approach might indirectly have led to developing in Eastern Europe music which drew on high art to a 1 INTRODUCTION 9 larger extent than in the West, as exemplified by Czesław Niemen, who in his work drew on Polish romantic poetry, or Karel Gott who sang opera arias. Another aspect of the same approach was the use of folk music, seen as an ‘authentic’ expression of the masses. In this respect (as in many others) music in Eastern Europe was not very different from its western counterpart, where folk versus pop opposition surfaced in the 1960s, in part as a response to Bob Dylan abandoning acoustic guitar in favour of the electric guitar (Buxton 1990: 428). The difference was that the perception of authenticity of folk music lasted much longer in the East, leading to the development there of many types of folk rock, such as ‘shepherd rock’ and ‘ethno-rock’. The advantage of such genres was its attractiveness to foreign audiences, who regarded them as mildly exotic ‘world’ music (Connell and Gibson 2003: 121). Privileging of high(er) art within popular music also led to a situation where some genres of popular music subsidised others. A case in point was the use of revenue from rock concerts in Poland in the 1980s to help sustain the jazz industry (Zieliński 2005: 98-9). After the end of Stalinism not only did it become unlikely for musicians to be sent to prison for singing subversive songs, but the role of (any) ideology in the success of a specific musician or genre diminished. It was rather the quality of ‘music as music’ which decided the popularity and critical acclaim of a given artist or song. At this time it was also impossible for musicians to ignore the needs of the audience. Only by addressing them could they become popular and achieve a degree of artistic freedom and commercial success. It is true that under state socialism there was no simple correlation between the popularity of a particular performer and his or her financial success, largely due to the state monopoly of the record industry, which often reacted with delay to the audience’s needs and did not pay artists royalties in proportion to the sale of their records. Nevertheless, there was a link, as the more copies they sold, the more gigs they could play, which was typically the main source of their income. This also brought the chance to perform on television, which was a source of additional income, or to write music for film or theatre. Furthermore, success in the domestic market increased the chance to perform and make records abroad. Many bands from Eastern Europe had to content themselves with playing in small to medium size clubs, where they earned relatively little in comparison to their western counterparts. However, due to the high exchange rate of western currency on the black market, back home their earnings were significant and allowed them a standard of living which was much higher than the population average. 10 E. MAZIERSKA In the 1980s in some countries such as Poland and Hungary, a slow neo-liberalisation of the popular music industry can be observed. At this time, creating the culture industry in Adorno’s sense was not only tolerated but encouraged. This was reflected in the breaking of the state’s monopoly of the record industry by private companies entering the market and an increase in concert ticket prices. This situation led to a greater differentiation of the economic status between the biggest stars and less popular musicians, and a greater independence of artists from state politics. In Poland in the last years of state socialism, despite the overall economic crisis, one could observe in the popular music business a shift from the economy of shortages to a market economy, where supply exceeds demand. This was reflected, for example, by cancelling various rock festivals and other gigs not because of their subversive character, but because there were not enough people willing to buy tickets (Zieliński 2005: 75-6). Moreover, changes in the technology, most importantly the almost universal accessibility of the audio cassette and a well-developed black market selling cassettes of foreign records, led to a situation where in some Eastern European countries the productions of local musicians had to effectively compete with music coming in from the West. FROM ALBANIA TO ESTONIA, FROM LIGHT MUSIC TO POP-ROCK: MAPPING THE FIELD The main purpose of this collection is to present popular music in Eastern Europe during the state socialist period from perspectives which were previously neglected, and focus on areas which were under-represented. One of them concerns the political conditions of production and consumption of music. The authors consider issues such as the effect of socialist ideology on the state of the music business, paying particular attention to the shifts effected by the changes in the leadership of the communist parties. Another area which is examined is that of the role of censors and music journalists in shaping the discourse on popular music in specific countries. Music journalism is especially neglected in the existing literature on Eastern European music, in part because focusing on music journalists undermines the Manichean vision of Eastern European pop-rock culture, in which nonconformist rockers fought with the oppressive state, by introducing mediators and translators in this battle. Finally, stars are taken into consideration. This is because when thinking about popular music in any country or region one thinks immediately

Author Ewa Mazierska Isbn 9781137592729 File size 7.7MB Year 2016 Pages 311 Language English File format PDF Category Music Book Description: FacebookTwitterGoogle+TumblrDiggMySpaceShare This book explores popular music in Eastern Europe during the period of state socialism, in countries such as Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Romania, Czechoslovakia, the GDR, Estonia and Albania. It discusses the policy concerning music, the greatest Eastern European stars, such as Karel Gott, Czes?aw Niemen and Omega, as well as DJs and the music press. By conducting original research, including interviews and examining archival material, the authors take issue with certain assumptions prevailing in the existing studies on popular music in Eastern Europe, namely that it was largely based on imitation of western music and that this music had a distinctly anti-communist flavour. Instead, they argue that self-colonisation was accompanied with creating an original idiom, and that the state not only fought the artists, but also supported them. The collection also draws attention to the foreign successes of Eastern European stars, both within the socialist bloc and outside of it. v>     Download (7.7MB) Encyclopedia of Eastern Europe Gentleman Troubadours and Andean Pop Stars Meanings of Jazz in State Socialism A Student’s Guide to Music History Regional Dynamics In Central And Eastern Europe: New Approaches To Decentralization Load more posts

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