Orchestral music was the music of the working class : Indian popular music, performance practices and identity among Indian South Africans in Durban, 1930-1970.
During the mid-1930s, a tradition of music-making which drew its repertoire almost exclusively from the music of Indian films began among Indian South African ensembles in and around the city of Durban. This dissertation examines the ways in which the re-created music of Indian films served as a popular expressive medium for the majority of Indian South Africans in and around the city of Durban between 1930 and 1970. Unlike ethnomusicological and popular music studies that focus on musics which are generally both composed and performed by the same group of people, this study deals with a repertoire that was by and large imported directly from another geo- 'graphic, political, and social context: India. The study is based on the premise that the performance of music can serve as a valuable historical text, and it posits that the musical structures and performance practices of the ensembles under study encode vital information about shared socio-political experiences and the Indian South African identities that emerged during the period under discussion.
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