Romani Routes Cultural Politics and Balkan Music in Diaspora

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-05-03
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Over the past two decades, a steady stream of recordings, videos, feature films, and concerts has presented the music of European Gypsies, or Roma, to Western audiences, who have greeted them with exceptional enthusiasm. Yet, as author Carol Silverman notes, "Roma are revered as musicians and reviled as people." In this book, Silverman introduces readers to the people and cultures who produce this music, offering a sensitive and incisive analysis of how Romani musicians function successfully within oppressive circumstances. Focusing on the Romani communities in southeastern Europe then moving to the diaspora, her book examines the music within the Gypsy communities, the lives and careers of outstanding musicians, and the presentation of music in the electronic media and "world music" concert circuit. Silverman touches on the way that the Roma exemplify many qualities--rootlessness, cultural hybridity, transnationalism--that are taken to characterize late modern experience. Rather than just celebrating these qualities, she presents the musicians as complicated, pragmatic individuals who work creatively within the many constraints that inform their lives. As both a performer and presenter on the world music circuit, Silverman has worked extensively with Romani communities for more than two decades both in their home countries and in the diaspora. At a time when the political and economic plight of European Roma and the popularity of their music are objects of international attention, Silverman's book is incredibly timely.

Author Biography

Carol Silverman, Professor of Anthropology and Folklore at the University of Oregon, has been involved with Romani culture for over 25 years as a researcher, teacher, activist, and performer. Her numerous articles have appeared in anthropology, folklore, ethnomusicology, and cultural studies publications.

Table of Contents

Balkan Roma: History, Politics, and Performance
Musical Styles and Genres
Dilemmas of Diaspora, Hybridity, and Identity
Music in Diasporic Homes
Transnational Families
Transnational Celebrations
Transnational Dance
Music, States, and Markets
Dilemmas of Heritage and the Bulgarian Socialist State
Cultural Politics of Postsocialist Markets and Festivals
Bulgarian Pop/folk: Chalga
Musicians in Transit
Esma Redzepova: "Queen of Gypsy Music"
Yuri Yunakov: Saxophonist, Refugee, Citizen
Romani Music as World Music
Collaboration, Appropriation, and Transnational Flows
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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