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Balkan Fascination: Creating an Alternative Music Culture in America (American Musicspheres) [Kindle Edition]

Mirjana Lausevic
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In Balkan Fascination, ethnomusicologist Mirjana Lausevic, a native of the Balkans, investigates why so many Americans actively participate in specific Balkan cultural practices to which they have no family or ethnic connection. Going beyond traditional interpretations, she challenges the notion that participation in Balkan culture in North America is merely a specialized offshoot of the 1960s American folk music scene. Instead, her exploration of the relationship between the stark sounds and lively dances of the Balkan region and the Americans who love them reveals that Balkan dance and music has much deeper roots in America's ideas about itself, its place in the world, and the place of the world's cultures in the melting pot.

Editorial Reviews


"Mirjana Lausevic's lively account of Balkan music's transplantation to the United States and its development as a quirky musical subculture deftly links the Balkan music scene to broader currents in American social history. Lausevic's insightful analysis comprises a first-rate contribution to current scholarship on the role of transnational culture and affinity communities in America today."--Theodore Levin, Dartmouth College

"This thorough examination of the facets of Balkan music in America gives it a very human side, and although it's hard to reach truly definitive conclusions about anything in this area, Lausevi marshals her facts and ideas well, and presents them cogently and readably. The result is a fascinating window opened on an American subculture that looks beyond its own borders."--Sing Out!

"After decades of American researchers studying the music practices of 'other' cultures, it's about time someone studied us. This book deals with many important and relevant questions, interpreted by an unusually observant and insightful investigator: Why do we fall in love with particular kinds of music and dance, to the extent that a first hearing/seeing changes the course of our lives? And even more crucial: How are many of our personal life decisions (that we believe are totally self-motivated and independent) influenced by historical forces beyond our awareness? Finally, and most broadly: What motivates us to do anything? This monograph may be focused on a particular topic, but the ideas and methods presented here are applicable to numerous aspects of sharing and learning in our globalized music world."--Mark Levy, University of Oregon

"Lively examination, a solid jumping off point for further research by either scholar or layperson."-Dirty Linen

"The way Lausevic interpreted her results reveals a very perceptive and knowledgeable researcher." --The World of Music

"This insightful, thorough, and easily accessible book remains a testament to [Lausevic's] scholarship and teaching. It will serve well in Balkan music and dance circles, in undergraduate and graduate courses, and in the libraries of scholars and institutions of higher learning and research." --Yearbook for Traditional Music

About the Author

Mirjana Lausevic was Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. She came to the United States from her native Sarajevo in 1991, where she was a musician, ethnomusicologist, and music commentator on Bosnian radio and television.

Product Details

  • File Size: 4336 KB
  • Print Length: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; Har/DVD edition (January 4, 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0014AHJUY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #370,289 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascination is right! May 25, 2013
By JoLynn
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Balkan musical traditions for decades. I not only listen to the intricate rhythms and melodies, but also sing and dance and occasionally drum along with them. This book explores the history of Balkan music in America from arrival on our shores to today's hottest Balkan dance clubs found in major cities, and the friendly but intense rivalry between folkdancers who have learned Balkan dances through folkdance clubs and recorded music, and the clubbers who attend the Balkan dance houses to hear and dance (sometimes wildly) to live Balkan music. The CD/DVD accompanying it makes the whole phenomenon more accessible to the uninitiated.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Many folks have found their niche in the Balkan Music craze...dancing, singing, and playing the instruments of the Balkan countries even though they may have no connection to these ethnicities at all! This book explores the reasons and the history behind this exploration and its development here in the US. A enclosed CD/DVD helps the reader to become a Balkan fan also! HIGHLY recommended!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book August 24, 2014
By Gulya
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a great book for those who want to get a deeper understanding of Balkan music. It comes with the CD which is very useful addition to the book. The author is very detailed about providing the insight on who the balkanites are and what attracted them to the Balkan music. Easily written. I read it in one breath.
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