- Sounding stereotypes: Construction of place and reproduction of metaphors in the music of Goran Bregović
- Award date
- 9 December 2013
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
This dissertation explores the labelling of the Balkans in the popular/world music realm, through a case-study revolving around the music of Goran Bregović, the self-declared Balkan music composer. It examines the ways the Balkans are reproduced as a spatial reference, both in the minds of their inhabitants as well as the worldwide consumers of Bregović’s music. A related pillar of Bregović’s international image, next to the Balkans, is his representation of Roma and his identification with the romanticised image of Gypsies. His readiness to take over Balkan and Gypsy stereotypes serves an important purpose, that of justifying his compositional and ethical choices, particularly when it comes to musical borrowing and recycling as his preferred compositional techniques.
A secondary goal of this study is to examine the musical features of Bregović’s "Balkanised" sound, music purposefully arranged so as to sound like authentic Balkan music. This is accomplished by comparing multiple versions of his tunes which were targeted at different inter- and transregional markets. In later chapters the delicate dynamics between Bregović’s image as a traditional musician on the one hand, and a postmodern creator of a commercial commodity on the other, is discussed. He presents himself as an exponent of traditionalism and authenticity in one context, and an empowered (rule-breaking) voice of the postcolonial margin in another. His active engagement with the Balkan image creates a feedback loop with his international listeners, which importantly extends beyond his music and applies to all musics labelled as Balkan.
- Due to copyright restrictions, the sound examples that accompany the dissertation are not (yet) available in UvA Dissertations
Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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