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Playing It Dangerously (Paperback)

Tambura Bands, Race, and Affective Block in Croatia and Its Intimates

Hobbies & Lifestyle > Music

Imprint: Wesleyan University Press
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780819579027
Published: 1st October 2019
Casemate UK Academic

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Playing It Dangerously questions what happens when feelings attached to popular music conflict with expressions of the dominant socio-cultural order, and how this tension enters into the politics of popular culture at various levels of human interaction. Tambura is a genre-crossing performance practice centered on an eponymous stringed instrument, part of the mandolin family, that Roma, Croats, and Serbs adopted from Ottoman forces. The acclamation that one is a “dangerous player” connotes exceptional virtuosic improvisation and rapid finger technique and, as the highest praise that a musician can receive from his peers. Tambura has served as a site of both contestation and reconciliation since its propagation as Croatia’s national instrument during the 1990s Yugoslav wars. This study combines ethnographic fieldwork with archival research and music analysis to expound affective block: a theory of the dialectical dynamics between affective and discursive responses to differences in playing styles.

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