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Intonations: A Social History of Music and Nation in Luanda, Angola, from 1945 to Recent Times with CD (Audio) (New African Histories)by Marissa J. Moorman
Synopses & Reviews
Intonations tells the story of how Angolaandrsquo;s urban residents in the late colonial period (roughly 1945andndash;74) used music to talk back to their colonial oppressors and, more importantly, to define what it meant to be Angolan and what they hoped to gain from independence. A compilation of Angolan music is included in CD format.
Marissa J. Moorman presents a social and cultural history of the relationship between Angolan culture and politics. She argues that it was in and through popular urban music, produced mainly in the musseques (urban shantytowns) of the capital city, Luanda, that Angolans forged the nation and developed expectations about nationalism. Through careful archival work and extensive interviews with musicians and those who attended performances in bars, community centers, and cinemas, Moorman explores the ways in which the urban poor imagined the nation.
The spread of radio technology and the establishment of a recording industry in the early 1970s reterritorialized an urban-produced sound and cultural ethos by transporting music throughout the country. When the formerly exiled independent movements returned to Angola in 1975, they found a population receptive to their nationalist message but with different expectations about the promises of independence. In producing and consuming music, Angolans formed a new image of independence and nationalist politics.
Book News Annotation:
Moorman (African history, Indiana U.) places music at the center of the formation of the Angolan nation and Angolan nationalism between 1945 and 1990. Beyond just lyrical and musical meaning, she argues, music brought people together "across lines of class and ethnicity, through the intimate yet public politics of gender, and in new urban spaces," and reterritorialized an urban-produced sound and cultural ethos across the whole territory of Angola through the spread of radio technology and the establishment of a recording industry in the early 1970s, thereby creating a sense of cultural sovereignty that allowed the Angolans to imagine the Angolan nation in terms beyond the control of the state. The included CD contains 15 musical tracks of Angolan semba. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Marissa J. Moorman is an assistant professor of African history at Indiana University, Bloomington. Her work has appeared in Review of African Literatureand#160; and International Journal of African Historical Studies.
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