By Craig Lockard
No matter what its present function and value in Anglo-American society, renowned song has been and is still an immense social and cultural strength in lots of components of the area. this article explores the connections among renowned track genres and politics in Southeast Asia, with specific emphasis on Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. over the last few a long time, the nations of Southeast Asia have reverberated to the song of superstars like Indonesia's Rhoma Irama. Articulating the perspectives of powerless voters, they supplied a severe discourse on nationwide and foreign affairs. a few have been even pointed out with mass-based sociopolitical activities looking switch.
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Extra resources for Dance of Life: Popular Music and Politics in Southeast Asia
116 Popular musicians themselves have often proclaimed the political significance of their art form. 117 Music (perhaps all art) can never be completely divorced from politics. Art can certainly be a tool of politics (the Orman position); it can also use politics (Brecht). Perhaps music is simply politics by other means; it never exists in a vacuum, independent of other considerations. A major debate has occupied specialists on the question of who has ultimately controlled the production of popular music, and consequently, depending on your answer, whether it can actually serve as a significant political influence in society.
Music is a way of holding off time, making the present fill all space. It joins us with others yet defends our privacy. It lifts the spirit, assuages grief, and sometimes teaches us as well. 91 While accepting the view that mass mediation and commercialization have generally been integral components of popular music, I prefer in this study to discuss not only the obvious music fitting that category. Other kinds of political music that in some manner derived from or reached a wide audience, or influenced substantial sections of a population in the direction of significant change, criticism, or protest, will also be discussed.
For example, the enka songs of Japan were once somewhat political and indeed closely connected to the Peoples’ Rights movement of the Meiji era. But in recent times they became more sentimental and full of nostalgia (drenched in tears of longing and parting). Enka is based heavily on older Japanese styles and hence has a strong national flavor. 97 Sometimes a musician can be identified with the soul of a nation or society, as seems to have been the case with the great Egyptian singer Oum Kalthoum.