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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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Rock, Pop and Jazz Research Development in the Former Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and Present-Day Slovakia

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Abstract: Jazz, rock and pop music research in the former Czechoslovak Socialist Republic was initially conducted by enthusiasts outside of academic institutions. They included Igor Wasserberger, Antonín Matzner, Ivan Poledňák, Jiří Fukač, Ladislav Šoltýs, Pavol Zelenay and Július Kinček, who were mostly media employees. After overturning the view that rock, pop and jazz did not bring any artistic values to music culture, universities in Prague, Brno and Olomouc in the mid-1960s had already commenced education in jazz music. In Slovakia, this came later when, in 1983, the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Bratislava began to offer jazz courses and was followed by the Faculty of Arts at Comenius University in 1985. However, systematic research into jazz, rock and pop music at academic institution in Slovakia did not start until after 1990 when it had already been fully developed at Czech universities.

Keywords: Czechoslovakia; music literature; Slovakia; socialism; academic research

Research During the Era of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (1948–1989). During the span of the former Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (ČSSR), academic research into jazz, rock and popular music was hindered by the assumption that these genres have neither artistic nor historical value. Since jazz, rock and pop music were viewed as a cheap entertainment and not worthy of research, this, in turn, influenced public opinion, listeners’ perception and also the professional status of its musicians. It was a perspective purposely spread and supported by the ideology that...

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