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Popular Music in Communist and Post-Communist Europe

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Edited By Jan Blüml, Yvetta Kajanová and Rüdiger Ritter

Through selected topics, the book presents an up-to-date and comprehensive view of the popular music of communist and post-communist Europe. The studies introduce new sources, discuss transformations of the institutional background of popular music of the given geopolitical sphere, its social, cultural-political, or artistic conditions. Thanks to the time span of nearly thirty years since the fall of the Iron Curtain, the authors have in many ways revised or supplemented traditional post-communist perceptions of the issues in question. This is being done with respect to the genres such as jazz, rock, pop, singer-songwriters, hip-hop, or White Power Music, as well as across the whole region from the former Yugoslavia through Central European states to the countries of the former Soviet Union.

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Historical Backgrounds of Marxist Music Sociology in Socialist Hungary. The Study of Generative Musical Abilities

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Abstract: Nowadays, popular music studies in Eastern Europe is often viewed as a brand-new and typically Western-oriented discipline, while popular music-related research which began in the state socialist era still remains largely unexplored and unknown, even on a local level. This research, however, was not about following the contemporaneous Western trends unfolding during the early 1960s. The different political, social and institutional frameworks beyond the iron curtain resulted in work that was particular in terms of methods, topics as well as motivation, and was not connected with fans or rock musicians, but rather with classical music-educated academics from important political and musical institutions. Their work was, moreover, regularly motivated by cultural policy objectives, such as forming the taste and aesthetic sensibility of the masses and aiding young people to acquire the perception of music deemed valuable by those in power. Within the Eastern Bloc, musicology and music sociology in Hungary was considered as one of the most important locations for such experimentation.

Keywords: Marxist music sociology; state socialism; 1960s and 1970s; popular music; generative musical abilities

Political and Historical Considerations. As long as popular music composers were mainly classical educated musicians well-versed in different techniques and genres of the musical tradition, it did not so much occur (both to policy makers and experts) that pieces of popular music can be analysed from a social and youth-political point of view. It was only from the 1960s onwards that amateur music-making had become a massive social...

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