Focus: Popular Music in Contemporary India examines India’s musical soundscape beyond the classical and folk traditions of old to consider the culturally, socially, and politically rich contemporary music that is defining and energizing an Indian youth culture on the precipice of a major identity shift. From Bollywood film songs and Indo-jazz to bhangra hip-hop and Indian death metal, the book situates Indian popular music within critical and historical frameworks, highlighting the unprecedented changes the region’s music has undergone in recent decades. This critical approach provides readers with a foundation for understanding an Indian musical culture that is as diverse and complex as the region itself.
Included are case studies featuring song notations, first-person narratives, and interviews of well-known artists and emerging musicians alike. Illuminated are issues of great import in India today—as reflected through its music—addressing questions of a "national" aesthetic, the effects of Western music, and identity politics as they relate to class, caste, LGBTQ perspectives, and other marginalized voices. Presented through a global lens, Focus: Popular Music in Contemporary India contextualizes the dynamic popular music of India and its vast cultural impact.
Part I: Understanding Indian Music / 1. India in Musical and Cultural Perspective / 2. Concept and Style in Indian Music / Part II: Popular Music in India / 3. East-West Cross-Cultures: Inspiration and Collaboration / 4. Indian Film Music: Aesthetics, Hybrids, and Representations / 5. India’s Independent Popular Music Scene / Part III: Focusing In: Youth and Music in India Today / 6. Youth Music Culture: Bollywood and Beyond / 7. Modern Music Gurus / Conclusion: Indian Popular Music into the Future
The Focus on World Music Series is designed specifically for area courses in world music and ethnomusicology. Written by the top ethnomusicologists in their field, the Focus books balance sound pedagogy with exemplary scholarship. Each book provides a telescopic view of the musics and cultures addressed, giving the reader a general introduction on the music and culture of the area and then zooming in on different musical styles with in-depth case studies.