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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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The Phenomenon of Marek Grechuta—Not Only Poet and Composer

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Abstract: Although recognized as a charismatic performer, remembered and still willingly listened to, Grechuta’s legacy and his artistic accomplishments have never—so far—been thoroughly analysed in a musicological perspective. This study focuses on an examination of his musical language, interpretations of his poetry and his unique performative style. All these factors, coupled with his passion for painting, have actively contributed to the creation of his public persona as a unique figure in the Polish musical landscape—not only as a composer, but also as a poet and exceptional performer.

Keywords: Marek Grechuta; Anawa (cabaret); WIEM (band); sung poetry

This article presents the oeuvre of the Polish vocalist, composer and poet Marek Grechuta (1945–2006).1 Although recognized as a charismatic performer, still remembered and willingly listened to,2 Grechuta’s legacy and his artistic accomplishments have never so far been thoroughly analysed in a musicological perspective. And yet, his unfading popularity in his native Poland can be attested by numerous re-editions of his albums, new arrangements of his songs, as well as the fact that Grechuta is often chosen as a patron of many cultural events (such as song festivals in Kraków or Sławno). Perhaps the reason why Grechuta’s oeuvre is still awaiting a systematic academic review results from the unique combination of numerous elements, which—as a consequence—entail researching not only his musical language, but also his original lyrics, as well as his unique performative style (with gestures and mimics)...

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