Jazz, Rock, Punk: Music in Communist Eastern EuropeBack to modules »
Popular music has always been just as closely associated with revolt as with conformism. This was no different under Eastern European Communism. However, when it comes to oppressive regimes that aim to control their citizens' private lives to a lesser or greater extent, the significance of music as a vehicle of expressing political opinion is intensified. State Socialism created a strictly supervised popular music scene: the Party defined who was allowed to start a band, who could perform and where, who could release an album and get airtime on the radio. It also restricted the distribution of Western popular music. The public interest in various genres of popular music was so great, however, that the rules of the game had to be constantly renegotiated, and a plethora of strategies and cultural practices evolved creating very complex and exciting music scenes in countries of the region. This module helps students orient themselves in the former Eastern European underground, a revival of which can be seen today as well. The COURAGE Registry allows them to discover certain paths and patterns of music production, as well as subcultures and their relationship to dissident circles across the region.