A Song for Europe: Popular Music and Politics in the Eurovision Song Contest

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RobertDeam Tobin
Routledge, Jul 5, 2017 - Music - 216 pages
The world's largest and longest-running song competition, the Eurovision Song Contest is a significant and extremely popular media event throughout the continent and abroad. The Contest is broadcast live in over 30 countries with over 100 million viewers annually. Established in 1956 as a televised spectacle to unify postwar Western Europe through music, the Contest features singers who represent a participating nation with a new popular song. Viewers vote by phone for their favourite performance, though they cannot vote for their own country's entry. This process alone reveals much about national identities and identifications, as voting patterns expose deep-seated alliances and animosities among participating countries. Here, an international group of scholars from a variety of disciplines, including musicology, communications, history, sociology, English and German studies, explore how the contest sheds light on issues of European politics, national and European identity, race, gender and sexuality, and the aesthetics of camp. For some countries, participation in Eurovision has been simultaneously an assertion of modernity and a claim to membership in Europe and the West. Eurovision is sometimes regarded as a low-brow camp spectacle of little aesthetic or intellectual value. The essays in this collection often contradict this assumption, demonstrating that the contest has actually been a significant force and forecaster for social, cultural and political transformations in postwar Europe.

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1 Camping on the borders of Europe
The cultural significance of musical change in the Eurovision Song Contest
PostWall and PostStonewall
Switzerlands identity struggle in the Eurovision Song Contest
Ralph Siegel and the Grand Prix Eurovision de la Chanson
Bringing blackness to the Eurovision stage
Nationality failure and shame in the Finnish media
Yugoslavia Cold War politics and the Eurovision Song Contest
tATu performs at Eurovision 2003
Israeli gay men and the Eurovision Song Contest
Turkey Europe and Eurovision 2003
AutoOrientalism at Eurovision 2003
Nationalism in the panArab vocal competition Superstar
Shifting visions of the Red and White Song Contest

9 Lithuanian contests and European dreams

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