Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Baker, Catherine. “Wild Dances and Dying Wolves: Simulation, Essentialization, and National Identity at the Eurovision Song Contest.” Popular Communication 6 (2008): 173–89.

Through the simulation and essentialization of recognizable folk-musical traits, several Eastern European nations competing at the Eurovision Song Contest in the early 2000s were successfully able to represent, misrepresent, or brand the ethnic folk traditions of their home nation. The Eastern European countries that consistently won the contest between 2001 and 2007 played upon Western stereotypes of the East by incorporating stylized national music, instruments, and ethnic musical characteristics into their song entries. In doing so, they created a distinctively alternative sound to the modern musical styles (such as pop, rock, or disco) featured in the Western countries’ entries. In particular, the Ukrainian singer songwriter Ruslana exemplifies this kind of simulation and essentialization, with her winning entry Wild Dances making use of various traditional instruments, folk-inspired performance practices, and stylistic allusions to Hutsul traditional music that she collected during her ethnographic field work in the Carpathian Mountain region. Her entry is both an example of simulation, as she is presenting a commercialized and stylized version of traditional folk music, and an example of essentialization because her entry only represents a small demographic within Ukraine. Other winning entries, such as Željko Joksimovi’s Lane Moje, also incorporate ethnic folk elements and folk musical tropes.

Works: Ruslana: Wild Dances (175-77, 180, 184); Željko Joksimović: Lane Moje (178), Lejla (178), Call Me (178); Boris Novković: Vukovi umiru sami (179-80).

Sources: Damir Lipošek, Vedran Božić, and Husein Hasanefendić: Moja domovina (179-80).

Index Classifications: 1900s, 2000s, Popular

Contributed by: Cynthia Dretel, Matthew G. Leone

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Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
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