Education About Asia: Online Archives

Dance of Life: Popular Music and Politics in Southeast Asia

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By Craig A. Lockard

HONOLULU: UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII PRESS, 1998 390 PAGES

As the title implies, Craig A. Lockard has written a book that is far more than a traditional ethno-musicology. Originating in the author’s own 1960s American experience that combined political awareness and action with contemporary popular music, this text seeks to interpret modern political trends and developments in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia, and Singapore through an examination of contemporary popular music culture. The work is prefaced by an introductory chapter that defines the scope of the study and contextualizes the importance of popular music in Southeast Asia and the Third World in general. Then, his analysis of the popular music of each country is expanded within the context of its historical background in relation to the relevant political and social life of the country.