Toward a More 'Modern' Music Industry: The Creative Economy of Popular Music in Uganda
Klingenberg, Krystal Kabakama
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CitationKlingenberg, Krystal Kabakama. 2019. Toward a More 'Modern' Music Industry: The Creative Economy of Popular Music in Uganda. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractThe mainstream popular music of Uganda over the last 40 years has largely been imitative of genres from other countries and professionals in the East African nation’s music business give a variety of answers as to why Uganda lacks its own “sound.” Chief among these are a lack of support for the music industry by government and a high level of cultural diversity in the country, precluding one central representative sound, derived from a single ethnic source. What is local music in a country where the core of mainstream sound has been imported from elsewhere? In this dissertation I argue that it is an aspirational practice of modernity driving the development of Uganda’s music industry and consequently, the lack of a trademark, national “sound.” In making this argument, I explore the production and distribution of popular music and the barriers to creative and economic growth for Uganda’s music business overall. In order to explore these domains, I conducted ethnographic interviews with artists, producers, and other music business affiliates in Kampala, the capital city and the center of the Ugandan popular music industry. In addition to addressing the above concerns, I discuss the state of popular music and the recording industry in Uganda, the efficacy of copyright in the Ugandan context and efforts toward its enforcement, the political conditions around the production of pop music, the musical substance of the “Ugandan sound,” and “locality” in Ugandan music. Charting the growth of the Ugandan music industry, this thesis also tells the story of a growing African middle class that has the disposable income to support the music business, as well as changing social mores that find the musician’s respectability increased. This dissertation adds to the small but growing bibliography on Ugandan popular music and offers a unique case study on the music business of a developing nation on the rise.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:42029634
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