Local Music Scenes and Globalization: Transnational Platforms in Beirut by Thomas Burkhalter
This book provides the first in-depth study of the experimental and popular music scene in Beirut, looking at musicians working for a new understanding of musical creativity and music culture…
Local Music Scenes and Globalization synopsis
This book provides the first in-depth study of the experimental and popular music scene in Beirut, looking at musicians working for a new understanding of musical creativity and music culture in a country dominated by pop music and mass propaganda. Burkhalter studies the generation of musicians born at the start of the civil war in the Lebanese capital, an urban and global center with a long tradition of cultural activities and exchanges with the Arab world, Europe, the United States and the former Soviet Union.
Lebanese rappers, rock singers, metal musicians, jazz, electro-vocal musicians and free improvisers choose local and transnational forms to express their connection to the wider musical, cultural, social and political environment. Burkhalter explores how these musicians organize their own mini-concerts for "informed" audiences, create music companies, and network with like-minded musicians in Europe, the United States, and the Arab world.
Many of the major tracks are analyzed with methods from ethnomusicology and folk music studies, and contextualized through interviews with musicians. By discussing key references from the culture of belly dance (1960s), psychedelic rock in Beirut (1970s), noise of the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), and the transnational networks Pop-Avant-Gardes and World Music 2.0, this book contributes to The study of the localization and globalization processes in music in an increasingly digital and transnational world.
In essence, this music from Beirut challenges "ethnic" perceptions of "status" in music. It attacks the "Orientalist" readings of the Arab world, the Middle East, and Lebanon, and the focus on musical "difference" in the European American music and culture markets. In theory, this music is a small, but passionate attempt to reshape the world into a place where “modernity” is not “European modernity” or “Euro-American modernity,” but where there are potential new formations of modernity afterwards for each other..
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