What's <i>Not</i> on Egyptian Television and Radio! Locating the ‘popular’ in Egyptian <i>Sha‘bi</i>

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:
What's Not on Egyptian Television and Radio! Locating the ‘popular’ in Egyptian Sha‘bi

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The role of the new Arab mediascapes is quite important in reconfiguring the Arab popular music industry. The division between the rich and the poor is demarcated by access to the technological gadgets required to receive popular music disseminated via new and costly technology. Egyptian sha'bi music, though extremely popular among the masses, has not been granted access to emerging media equal to that bestowed upon other forms of Egyptian music. Although there are many similarities among international music that are identified as “popular,” Egyptian popular music defies some of the basic Western understanding of popular music. The categorical dynamism of Egyptian music means that the classification “popular” must be construed as an index of currency and acclaim, as opposed to designating a specific musical genre.

Keywords: musical genre; popular music; technology; Egyptian music; sha'bi

Chapter.  9173 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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