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Manele in Romania Cultural Expression and Social Meaning in Balkan Popular Music by Margaret Beissinger

Manele in Romania Cultural Expression and Social Meaning in Balkan Popular Music

Part of the Europea: Ethnomusicologies & Modernities Series


Manele in Romania Cultural Expression and Social Meaning in Balkan Popular Music by Margaret Beissinger

This edited volume examines manele (sg. manea), an urban Romanian song-dance ethnopop genre that combines local traditional and popular music with Balkan and Middle Eastern elements. The genre is performed primarily by male Romani musicians at weddings and clubs and appeals especially to Romanian and Romani youth. It became immensely popular after the collapse of communism, representing for many the newly liberated social conditions of the post-1989 world. But manele have also engendered much controversy among the educated and professional elite, who view the genre as vulgar and even alien to the Romanian national character. The essays collected here examine the manea phenomenon as a vibrant form of cultural expression that engages in several levels of social meaning, all informed by historical conditions, politics, aesthetics, tradition, ethnicity, gender, class, and geography.


This extraordinary book has a high applicability both among scholars from various disciplines and the wider public of those who want to achieve a greater understanding of the turbulent social reality Southeastern countries are struggling with. * Folkloristika * The richness of grounded knowledge throughout Manele in Romania would distinguish a single-author work in popular and folk music studies, let alone an edited volume. * Slavic Review *

About the Author

Margaret Beissinger teaches in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Princeton University. Her research and writing focuses on Balkan cultures and oral traditions, oral epic, and Romani traditional culture and music-making, with an emphasis on southern Romania, where she has undertaken extensive fieldwork both before and after the 1989 revolution, especially among Romani musicians. Speranta Radulescu is an ethnomusicologist at the Peasant Museum in Bucharest and associate professor at the National University of Music-Bucharest. A specialist on lautar music, she is author of numerous books and articles and supervises the Ethnophonie series (twenty-five CDs so far) that features traditional musics of Romania. Anca Giurchescu was a dance researcher at the Institute of Ethnography and Folklore, Bucharest, for 25 years, settling in Denmark and continuing her research with the Danish National Council for Humanities and the Danish Folklore Archives in Copenhagen. She founded the theory and method of structural analysis for traditional dance.

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Book Info

Publication date

8th August 2016


Margaret Beissinger

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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield


348 pages


World music
Folk & traditional music



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