Musical Images and Imaginations: Tanzanian Music Videos

Kelly M. Askew

in Media and Identity in Africa

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780748635221
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653010 | DOI:
Musical Images and Imaginations: Tanzanian Music Videos

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In Tanzania, multiple musical and cultural trajectories creatively coexist in music videos to form this decade-old popular art form. Music videos, also called ‘music television’, have typically been analysed from the perspective of the visual, by people largely coming from cinema studies, with little attention to the music that gives rise to them, the cultures which inform them, or the histories that make them meaningful. Moreover, they equate music television with American and European rock music videos, because these are what the genre came to be defined by when it emerged in the West. The literature is thus badly in need of revision, given that an enormous variety of musical genres and cultures are finding representation in music videos in ever-increasing numbers. This chapter argues that the aural-visual forms represented in Tanzanian music videos must be understood as the combination of genres which they are – popular music, television, film – without privileging one over the other. Tanzanian music videos should not be seen as amateurish mimicry of MTV, but rather as another creative outlet for the artistic skills and resources of Tanzanian musicians.

Keywords: Tanzanian music; music television; MTV; music videos

Chapter.  4491 words. 

Subjects: African Studies

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