Martor No. 22 / Year 2017
Margaret Beissinger, Speranța Rădulescu, and Anca Giurchescu (eds.), Manele in Romania: Cultural Expression and Social Meaning in Balkan Popular Music, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2016.
Author: Claudiu Oancea
About the author:
PhD., Independent Scholar, Romania.
E-mail: oancea_claudiu at yahoo dot co dot uk
Keywords: manele, music underground / periphery, Roma people, “transnational ethnopop”, interdisciplinarity, transition, Westernization, Orientalism, national identity de-construction.
Manele in Romania provides the first comprehensive analysis of one of the most controversial, but also one of the most dynamic popular music genres to emerge on the Romanian music scene during the past thirty years, a genre whose roots extend, however, as far as the 19th century, as several of the contributors to the volume claim. As it embarks on the ambitious task of tackling manele, the book under review surpasses in depth and width of analysis the Romanian public sphere magazine articles, editorials, or highbrow essays which have addressed this topic. The volume brings together ethnomusicology, anthropology, cultural studies to provide a detailed and nuanced account of manele as a music genre, and as a social and cultural phenomenon. Furthermore, the book’s interdisciplinary approach covers various facets of manele, their performers, their audiences, their lyrics and the way in which they represent the transition of Romanian society and culture from the communist period to one marked by capitalism, neoliberalism, Europeanization, and globalization.
How to cite this review: Oancea, Claudiu. 2017. “Margaret Beissinger, Speranța Rădulescu, and Anca Giurchescu (eds.), Manele in Romania: Cultural Expression and Social Meaning in Balkan Popular Music, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2016.” Martor 22: 208-211.