Communisms, communist musics

Adlington, R. (2013) Communisms, communist musics. In: Red Strains: Music and Communism Outside the Communist Bloc. British Academy/Oxford University Press, London, pp. 1-20. ISBN 9780197265390 (hardback) 9780191760440 (e-book)


This chapter sketches key contexts (both global-political and scholarly) for the research presented by this book. By way of introduction to the individual chapters in the book, a number of connecting preoccupations are identified: debates over artistic experiment and populism, and over the handling of cultural difference; the diverse motivations for communist organisations to become involved in music, and their anxieties about such an involvement; attempts made to evade the grasp of political and economic structures (state and commerce especially) that communists typically opposed; and experimentation in alternative forms of musical practice that were imagined better to reflect communist ideology. The irreducible plurality of positions staked out by communist musicians and groups is emphasised.

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