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Red StrainsMusic and Communism Outside the Communist Bloc$
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Robert Adlington

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265390

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265390.001.0001

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Communisms, Communist Musics

Communisms, Communist Musics

(p.1) 1 Communisms, Communist Musics
Red Strains

Robert Adlington

British Academy

This chapter sketches key contexts (both global-political and scholarly) for the research presented by this book. By way of introduction to the individual chapters in the book, a number of connecting preoccupations are identified: debates over artistic experiment and populism, and over the handling of cultural difference; the diverse motivations for communist organisations to become involved in music, and their anxieties about such an involvement; attempts made to evade the grasp of political and economic structures (state and commerce especially) that communists typically opposed; and experimentation in alternative forms of musical practice that were imagined better to reflect communist ideology. The irreducible plurality of positions staked out by communist musicians and groups is emphasised.

Keywords:   communism, avant-garde, Marxist-Leninism, music, musical practice, folksong, popular music, engagement, performance, politics

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