Mass Media and Music in the Arab Persian Gulf

Michael Frishkopf

in Music and Media in the Arab World

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9789774162930
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970139 | DOI:
Mass Media and Music in the Arab Persian Gulf

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The advent of recording and broadcast technologies had a profound impact on music making in the Arab Persian Gulf. Unlike many other parts of the world, however, the arrival of mass-mediated music accompanied a period of dramatic economic, social, and political transformation in the region. This chapter presents an overview of mass media technologies, their musical ramifications, and the interplay of music in mass media with concurrent societal developments from the early twentieth century to the present. Although today the Gulf has become synonymous with oil and wealth, the region was very different at the beginning of the twentieth century, when pearling, date farming, and long-distance trade dominated the local economy. Most of the music traditions involved in mass-mediated music in the Gulf are either urban traditions or urban versions of maritime or Bedouin music.

Keywords: recording technologies; music; urban traditions; mass media; Bedouin music; broadcast technologies; Persian Gulf

Chapter.  6440 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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