Romani Routes: Cultural Politics and Balkan Music in Diaspora

ISBN : 9780195300949

Carol Silverman
432 Pages
163 x 241 mm
Pub date
May 2012
American Musicspheres Series
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Over the past two decades, a steady stream of recordings, videos, feature films, festivals, and concerts has presented the music of Balkan Gypsies, or Roma, to Western audiences, who have greeted them with exceptional enthusiasm. Yet, as author Carol Silverman notes, "Roma are revered as musicians and reviled as people." In this book, Silverman introduces readers to the people and cultures who produce this music, offering a sensitive and incisive analysis of how Romani musicians address the challenges of discrimination. Focusing on southeastern Europe then moving to the diaspora, her book examines the music within Romani communities, the lives and careers of outstanding musicians, and the marketing of music in the electronic media and "world music" concert circuit. Silverman touches on the way that the Roma exemplify many qualities- adaptability, cultural hybridity, transnationalism-that are taken to characterize late modern experience. Rather than just celebrating these qualities, she presents the musicians as complicated, pragmatic individuals who work creatively within the many constraints that inform their lives. As both a performer and presenter on the world music circuit, Silverman has worked extensively with Romani communities for more than two decades both in their home countries and in the diaspora. At a time when the political and economic plight of European Roma and the popularity of their music are objects of international attention, Silverman's book is incredibly timely.


Table of Contents
Notes on Transliteration
Guide to the Website (video examples, audio examples, photographs, and text supplements)
List of Figures
Part I: Introduction
Chapter 1: Balkan Roma: History, Politics, and Performance
Chapter 2: Musical Styles and Genres
Chapter 3: Dilemmas of Diaspora, Hybridity, and Identity
Part II: Music in Diasporic Homes
Chapter 4: Transnational Families
Chapter 5: Transnational Celebrations
Chapter 6: Transnational Dance
Part III Music, States, and Markets
Chapter 7: Dilemmas of Heritage and the Bulgarian Socialist State
Chapter 8: Cultural Politics of Postsocialist Markets and Festivals
Chapter 9: Bulgarian Pop/folk: Chalga
Part IV: Musicians in Transit
Chapter 10: Esma Redzepova: "
Chapter 11: Yuri Yunakov: Saxophonist, Refugee, Citizen
Chapter 12: Romani Music as World Music
Chapter 13: Collaboration, Appropriation, and Transnational Flows
References Cited

About the author: 

Carol Silverman, Professor of Anthropology and Folklore at the University of Oregon, has been involved with Romani culture for over 25 years as a researcher, teacher, activist, and performer. Her numerous articles have appeared in anthropology, folklore, ethnomusicology, and cultural studies publications.

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