Nationalists, Cosmopolitans, and Popular Music in Zimbabwe

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University of Chicago Press, Jun 20, 2008 - Music - 352 pages
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Hailed as a national hero and musical revolutionary, Thomas Mapfumo, along with other Zimbabwean artists, burst onto the music scene in the 1980s with a unique style that combined electric guitar with indigenous Shona music and instruments. The development of this music from its roots in the early Rhodesian era to the present and the ways this and other styles articulated with Zimbabwean nationalism is the focus of Thomas Turino's new study. Turino examines the emergence of cosmopolitan culture among the black middle class and how this gave rise to a variety of urban-popular styles modeled on influences ranging from the Mills Brothers to Elvis. He also shows how cosmopolitanism gave rise to the nationalist movement itself, explaining the combination of "foreign" and indigenous elements that so often define nationalist art and cultural projects. The first book-length look at the role of music in African nationalism, Turino's work delves deeper than most books about popular music and challenges the reader to think about the lives and struggles of the people behind the surface appeal of world music.

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User Review  - jameskilgore - LibraryThing

Definitely a book for someone with a very specialist interest in Zimbabwean history and music, Turino's work is a fascinating look at the development of local music and its connection to global ... Read full review


Social Identities and Indigenous Musical Practices
Indigenous Music and Dance in Mbare Township 19301960
The SettlerState and Indigenous Music During the Federation Years
The African Middle Class Concerts Cultural Discourse and All That Jazz
Music Emotion and Cultural Nationalism 19581963
Musical Nationalism and Chimurenga Songs of the 1970s
On the Margins of Nationalism Acoustic Guitarists and Guitar Bands of the 1960s
Stars of the Seventies The Rise of IndigenousBased Guitar Bands
Nationalism Cosmopolitanism and Popular Music after 1980
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Page 3 - We moderns believe in a great cosmopolitan civilisation, one which shall include all the talents of all the absorbed peoples — " "The Senor will forgive me," said the President. "May I ask the Senor how, under ordinary circumstances, he catches a wild horse?
Page 7 - I use the term cosmopolitan to refer to objects, ideas, and cultural positions that are widely diffused throughout the world and yet are specific only to certain portions of the populations within given countries.
Page 3 - Nicaragua we had a way of catching wild horses — by lassoing the fore feet — which was supposed to be the best in South America. If you are going to include all the talents, go and do it. If not, permit me to say, what I have always said, that something went from the world when Nicaragua was civilized.
Page 3 - This schoolmaster does not know how to ride on a camel; let us pay a Bedouin to teach him." You say your civilization will include all talents. Will it? Do you really mean to say that at the moment when the Eskimo has learnt to vote for a County Council, you will have learnt to spear a walrus?
Page 18 - In this emphasis we avoid, at least, the excessive localism of particularist cultural relativism, as well as the overly global vision of a capitalist or technocratic monoculture. And in this perspective the notion that certain classes of people are cosmopolitan (travelers) while the rest are local (natives) appears as the ideology of one (very powerful) traveling culture.

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About the author (2008)

Thomas Turino is a professor of musicology and anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the author of Moving Away from Silence, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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