The Sound State of Uzbekistan: Popular Music and Politics in the Karimov Era, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Sound State of Uzbekistan

Popular Music and Politics in the Karimov Era, 1st Edition

By Kerstin Klenke


316 pages | 25 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138486140
pub: 2019-04-18
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The Sound State of Uzbekistan: Popular Music and Politics in the Karimov Era is a pioneering study of the intersection between popular music and state politics in Central Asia. Based on 20 months of fieldwork and archival research in Tashkent, this book explores a remarkable era in Uzbekistan’s politics (2001–2016), when the Uzbek government promoted a rather unlikely candidate to the prominent position of state sound: estrada, a genre of popular music and a musical relic of socialism. The political importance it attached to estrada was matched by the establishment of an elaborate bureaucratic apparatus for state oversight.

The Sound State of Uzbekistan shows the continuing legacy of Soviet concepts to frame the nexus between music, artists and the state, and explains the extraordinary potency ascribed to estrada. At the same time, it challenges classical readings of transition and also questions common binary models for researching culture in totalitarian or authoritarian states. Proposing to approach lives in music under authoritarianism as a form of normality instead, the author promotes a post-Cold War paradigm in music studies.

Table of Contents

Entering Estrada; Prelude: Introducing Estrada; 1. Administering Estrada: Decrees, Institutions and Policies; 2. Approaching Estrada: Opposition, Affirmation and Beyond; 3. Staging Estrada I: Concerts, Reyting and Artisthood; 4. Staging Estrada II: Competitions and Other Activities "at the State Level"; 5. Nationalising Estrada: The Concept of Milliy Estrada; 6. Authorising Estrada: Licences, Certificates and the Status of Milliy Estrada; 7. Mobilising Estrada: Independence Ideology, Nationalist Realism and the Workings of Milliy Estrada; Exiting Estrada

About the Author

Kerstin Klenke is an ethnomusicologist and head of the Phonogram Archive at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna.

About the Series

SOAS Studies in Music Series

SOAS Musicology Series is today one of the world’s leading series in the discipline of ethnomusicology. Our core mission is to produce high-quality, ethnographically rich studies of music-making in the world’s diverse musical cultures. We publish monographs and edited volumes that explore musical repertories and performance practice, critical issues in ethnomusicology, sound studies, historical and analytical approaches to music across the globe. We recognize the value of applied, interdisciplinary and collaborative research, and our authors draw on current approaches in musicology and anthropology, psychology, media and gender studies. We welcome monographs that investigate global contemporary, classical and popular musics, the effects of digital mediation and transnational flows.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General
MUSIC / Ethnomusicology


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