Balkan Popular Culture and the Ottoman Ecumene: Music, Image, and Regional Political Discourse
Since the early twentieth century, 'balkanization' has signified the often militant fracturing of territories, states, or groups along ethnic, religious, and linguistic divides. Yet the remarkable similarities found among contemporary Balkan popular music reveal the region as the site of a thriving creative dialogue and interchange. The eclectic interweaving of stylistic features evidenced by Albanian commercial folk music, Anatolian pop, Bosnian sevdah-rock, Bulgarian pop-folk, Greek ethniki mousike, Romanian muzica orientala, Serbian turbo folk, and Turkish arabesk, to name a few, points to an emergent regional popular culture circuit extending from southeastern Europe through Greece and Turkey. While this circuit is predicated upon older cultural confluences from a shared Ottoman heritage, it also has taken shape in active counterpoint with a variety of regional political discourses. Containing eleven ethnographic case studies, Balkan Popular Culture and the Ottoman Ecumene: Music, Image, and Regional Political Discourse examines the interplay between the musicians and popular music styles of the Balkan states during the late 1990s. These case studies, each written by an established regional expert, encompass a geographical scope that includes Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Croatia, Slovenia, Romania, Greece, Turkey, Serbia, and Montenegro. The book is accompanied by a VCD that contains a photo gallery, sound files, and music video excerpts.
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