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Afrobeat,Fela and Beyond: Scenes, Style and Ideology

Dosunmu, Oyebade Ajibola (2011) Afrobeat,Fela and Beyond: Scenes, Style and Ideology. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Afrobeat first emerged in the late 1960s amid the rapidly changing postcolonial terrain of Lagos, Nigeria. Created by Fela Anikulapo-Kuti (1938-1997), the genre blends scathing anti-establishment lyrics with Yoruba traditional music and Western forms, particularly jazz. Fela's ideological dictum: "Music is the Weapon of the Future," encapsulates his view of music as an oppositional tool, his enactment of which led to frequent violent confrontations with the Nigerian state. Throughout his lifetime, Fela held hegemonic sway over afrobeat's stylistic and ideological trajectories. However, following his death, the genre has witnessed a global upsurge with protégés emerging in New York City, San Francisco, Paris, London and other cultural capitals of the world.In my dissertation, I chronicle afrobeat's transnational networks and discuss processes of stylistic and ideological affiliation through which such networks have emerged. Using the conceptual tool of genre as social process, I combine archival and ethnographic data collected during several months of fieldwork in the United States and Nigeria, in order to argue the conditionality of genre definitions and boundaries.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Dosunmu, Oyebade
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee MemberEuba, Akinaeuba@pitt.eduAEUBA
Committee MemberSene,
Committee MemberGlasco, Laurencelag1@pitt.eduLAG1
Committee MemberLewis, MaryEmerita) (
Committee MemberDavis, Nathanndavis@pitt.eduNDAVIS
Date: 30 January 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 12 December 2010
Approval Date: 30 January 2011
Submission Date: 9 December 2010
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Music
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Africa; Afrobeat; Antibalas; Colonial; Diaspora; Fela; Fela Anikulapo-Kuti; Fela Kuti; Fela Ransome-Kuti; Fela the Musical; Femi Kuti; Genre; Global; Highlife; Ideology; Jazz; Lagos; Language; Networks; New York City; Nigeria; Pidgin English; Politics; Popular Musc; Post Colonial; San Francisco; Scenes; Seun Kuti; Style; Tony Allen; Transnational; United States; Yoruba; Yoruba traditional music
Other ID:, etd-12092010-141235
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:09
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:54


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