Retuning Culture

Musical Changes in Central and Eastern Europe

Retuning Culture

Book Pages: 320 Illustrations: 3 tables Published: December 1996

European Studies > Eastern Europe and Russia, Music

As a measure of individual and collective identity, music offers both striking metaphors and tangible data for understanding societies in transition—and nowhere is this clearer than in the recent case of the Eastern Bloc. Retuning Culture presents an extraordinary picture of this phenomenon. This pioneering set of studies traces the tumultuous and momentous shifts in the music cultures of Central and Eastern Europe from the first harbingers of change in the 1970s through the revolutionary period of 1989–90 to more recent developments.
During the period of state socialism, both the reinterpretation of the folk music heritage and the domestication of Western forms of music offered ways to resist and redefine imposed identities. With the removal of state control and support, music was free to channel and to shape emerging forms of cultural identity. Stressing both continuity and disjuncture in a period of enormous social and cultural change, this volume focuses on the importance and evolution of traditional and popular musics in peasant communities and urban environments in Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, the former Yugoslavia, Macedonia, and Bulgaria. Written by longtime specialists in the region and considering both religious and secular trends, these essays examine music as a means of expressing diverse aesthetics and ideologies, participating in the formation of national identities, and strengthening ethnic affiliation.
Retuning Culture provides a rich understanding of music’s role at a particular cultural and historical moment. Its broad range of perspectives will attract readers with interests in cultural studies, music, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Contributors. Michael Beckerman, Donna Buchanan, Anna Czekanowska, Judit Frigyesi, Barbara Rose Lange, Mirjana Lausevic, Theodore Levin, Margarita Mazo, Steluta Popa, Ljerka Vidic Rasmussen, Timothy Rice, Carol Silverman, Catherine Wanner


“[This book] uses the domain of music as a window into the complex interaction of economic and ideological factors as they unfolded both during and since the socialist period. In the process, it illustrates the profound extent to which musical activities in one world area have been informed by, and have helped to bring about, larger political and social realities. . . . Retuning Culture offers a wealth of sophisticated analyses of the role of music in the politics of culture. . . . A highly readable collection that should be of broad interest to scholars and music aficionados alike.” — Jane C. Sugarman, Yearbook for Traditional Music

“This work contributes importantly to understanding recent music history in Russia, Eastern Europe, and the Balkans; the relationship of music and politics; and the interaction of the intelligentsia and popular music making.” — B. Nettl , Choice

Retuning Culture explores vital new ground in the way musical—as opposed to broad cultural—change has occurred recently in Eastern and Central Europe. It adds substantially to our knowledge of how musical behavior, performance, and traditions act and are acted upon in providing both continuity and adaptation to change.” — James Porter, University of California, Los Angeles

“An example of new thinking in area studies, Retuning Culture is an important book, valuable for its originality and for its overall statement regarding the nature of culture in political change. Of all the professional discourses brought to bear on the study of Eastern Europe in the past, musicology has been the least developed. This book will change that.” — Michael Holquist, Yale University


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Mark Slobin is Professor of Music at Wesleyan University.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Introduction / Mark Slobin 1

Dmitri Pokrovsky and the Russian Folk Music Revival Movement / Theodore Levin 14

Kundera's Musical Joke and "Folk" Music in Czechoslovakia, 1948-? / Michael Beckerman 37

The Aesthetic of the Hungarian Revival Movement / Judit Frigyesi 54

Lakodalmas Rock and the Rejection of Popular Culture in Post-Socialist Hungary / Barbara Rose Lange 76

Continuity and Change in Eastern and Central European Traditional Music / Anna Czekanowska 92

The Southern Wind of Change: Style and the Politics of Identity in Prewar Yugoslavia / lLjerka Vidic Rasmussen 99

The Ilahiya as a Symbol of Bosnian Muslim National Identity / Mirjana Lausevic 117

Nationalism on Stage: Music and Change in Soviet Ukraine / Catherine Wanner 136

The Romanian Revolution of December 1989 and Its Reflection in Musical Folklore / Steluta Popa 156

The Dialectic of Economics and Aesthetics in Bulgarian Music / Timothy Rice 176

Wedding Musicians, Political Transition ,and National Consciousness in Bulgaria / Donna A. Buchanan 200

Music and Marginality: Roma (Gypsies) of Bulgaria and Macedonia / Carol Silverman 231

Change as Confirmation of Continuity As Experienced by Russian Molokans / Margarita Mazo 254

Works Cited 277

Contributors 293

Index 295
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-1847-7 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-1855-2
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