Two Different Worlds: Afghan Music for Afghanistanis and Kharejis

Baily, John S.. 2010. Two Different Worlds: Afghan Music for Afghanistanis and Kharejis. Ethnomusicology Forum, 19(1), pp. 69-88. ISSN 1741-1912 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This paper examines the two largely separate worlds of audio recordings of Afghan music made for the Afghan market and Afghan music recordings that have found their way into the ‘world music’ market. It shows how recordings aimed at the two domains have remained largely independent, and offers some suggestions as to how and why this should be. The new Afghan popular music on compact disc, privileging the use of electronic keyboards with their programmable percussion libraries, is of little interest to the world music audience, which seeks the exotic timbres and ‘authenticity’ of non-Western instruments. Packaging, lack of content information and the marketing of Afghan-produced recordings are also part of the explanation. Conversely, recordings of traditional music represent an Afghan culture that Afghans have moved away from in their quest for modernity. The ‘two different worlds’ syndrome probably applies to other transnational communities whose creative centres lie in the diaspora rather than in the original homeland.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Music > Afghanistan Music Unit (AMU)



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Date Deposited:

27 Sep 2011 10:56

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2017 15:54

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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