Politically-Purposed Music Genres

TitlePolitically-Purposed Music Genres
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsLena, J. C., and R. A. Peterson
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Keywordsgenres, music, politics

Building on previous work documenting musical genre forms in the United States,

this exploratory study reports the discovery of a new type, which the authors term

the politically purposed genre. They find two major types: those sponsored by

governments, which benefit from national distribution and legal protection, and an

anti–status quo type supported by an opposition party or constituency that shares

its critique of the existing sociopolitical and economic order. Four nation-cases have

been examined: the People’s Republic of China, Chile, Serbia, and Nigeria. The

authors examine each case in turn and close with a discussion of the limitations and

possibilities of this discovery.