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Balkan High, Balkan Low: Pop-Music Production Between Hybridity and Class Struggle

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Eastern European Popular Music in a Transnational Context

Abstract

This chapter sheds light on some of the basic contradictions present in two genres of Balkan pop music: on the one hand, Balkan music as a world music superstyle, and, on the other, the local pop-folk musical production in the Balkans themselves. Although both of these genres are characterised by similar features (hybridity, Oriental sounds, transnationalism), they actually create and express two parallel worlds. While Balkan world music has received its place in mainstream global musical production, Balkan pop-folk employs an alternative strategy. The latter functions by mobilising the potentials of the social substrate situated at the periphery of the capitalist system, from the masses within the peripheral regions to immigration. Hence this logic reveals the hidden class nature of Balkan pop music, dividing its current streams into two different camps of producers and consumers.

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Karamanić, S., Unverdorben, M. (2019). Balkan High, Balkan Low: Pop-Music Production Between Hybridity and Class Struggle. In: Mazierska, E., Győri, Z. (eds) Eastern European Popular Music in a Transnational Context. Palgrave European Film and Media Studies. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-17034-9_8

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