Indian South African popular music, the broadcast media, and the record industry, 1920-1983.
This thesis is an historiographical and sociological study of Indian South African broadcasting and the music industry between 1924 and 1983. A multilevel approach which integrates empirical and cultural materialist critical theoretical methodologies reveals the relationships between the media, industry, economy, politics, and culture. Until the sixties, Indian South Africans were denied the civic rights that were taken for granted by white South Africans. Broadcasting, for them, was to be a concession. On being declared South Africans, broadcast programmes were expanded and designed to pacify and Indianise Indian South Africans, preparing them for their role as a middle-class racially defined group, a homelands group without a homeland. South Africanised popular music, and Indian South African Western semi-classical, popular music, or jazz performance was rejected by the SABC. Ambiguous nationalisms shaped Indian South African aesthetics. Global monopoly controlled the music industry. Similarly, disruptions in the global market enabled local musicians and small business groups to challenge the majors. In the late forties and fifties, this resulted in a number of locally manufactured records featuring local and visiting musicians, and special distribution rights under royalty to an independent South Asian company. The local South African records were largely characterised by their syncretic nature, and generated a South African modernism which had the capacity both to draw and repel audiences and officials alike. A glossary of non-English terms and a discography of Indian South African music have been included.
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