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Music Pop Vocal


Grand Narratives and the Philosophy of the Russian Popular Song since Perestroika

by (author) David MacFadyen

McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2002
Pop Vocal
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2002
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  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2002
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In Estrada?!, the second volume of a three-part series on Russian popular song, David MacFadyen extends his overview of Russian culture and society into the post-Soviet period. Having dispelled several myths surrounding Soviet popular entertainment - known as "estrada" or the "small stage" - in Red Stars, MacFadyen shifts his attention to a newer musical tradition that has emerged from the simultaneous disappearance of Soviet ideology and the loud influx of western music.

The author shows how performance, popularity, and politics have all changed rapidly in Russia following the fall of communism. He highlights the troubled state of Soviet music journalism in the eighties, the deteriorating standards of staging, and the problems of developing a "proper" post-Soviet repertoire given the weakened relevance of songs as propaganda and the tenuous value of an old-style "sentimental education" that performers hoped to offer audiences. MacFadyen shows that for Russia's most famous performers today singing is still a responsibility of both private and public relevance. Even in post-Soviet Europe, song remains the most profoundly consequential of art forms.

About the author

David MacFadyen is a professor of Slavic languages and literatures at UCLA. He has written extensively on Soviet popular culture and is the author of The Sad Comedy of Èl'dar Riazanov and several books on Joseph Brodsky.

David MacFadyen's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Russian cultural studies in general, and in particular the examination of ‘estrada' and popular music, is certainly underdeveloped and under-represented in the literature. MacFadyen indicates estrada's popularity and importance, and his book goes a long way to locating it within contemporary Russian culture. This is a well-written and well-documented addition to the field. It will not only serve the needs of the scholarly community as a significant contribution, but is almost certain to encourage other work in the same and contiguous areas." Allan Reid, Culture and Language Studies, University of New Brunswick

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