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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.

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    Abstract

    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
    ETD Committee:
    ETD Committee TypeCommittee MemberEmail
    Committee MemberEuba, Akinaeuba@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberSene, Jean-JacquesJSene@Chatham.edu
    Committee MemberGlasco, Laurencelag1@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberLewis, MaryEmerita) (lsm@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberDavis, Nathanndavis@pitt.edu
    Title: Afrobeat,Fela and Beyond: Scenes, Style and Ideology
    Status: Unpublished
    Abstract: 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.
    Date: 30 January 2011
    Date Type: Completion
    Defense Date: 12 December 2010
    Approval Date: 30 January 2011
    Submission Date: 09 December 2010
    Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
    Patent pending: No
    Institution: University of Pittsburgh
    Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
    Refereed: Yes
    Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
    URN: etd-12092010-141235
    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
    Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Music
    Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 15:09
    Last Modified: 25 May 2012 09:25
    Other ID: http://etd.library.pitt.edu/ETD/available/etd-12092010-141235/, etd-12092010-141235

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