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Recasting Folk in the HimalayasIndian Music, Media, and Social Mobility$
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Stefan Fiol

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041204

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252041204.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 27 July 2021

Turning Dying Folk into Living Folk

Turning Dying Folk into Living Folk

The Musical Activism of Narendra Singh Negi

Chapter:
(p.73) 3 Turning Dying Folk into Living Folk
Source:
Recasting Folk in the Himalayas
Author(s):

Stefan Fiol

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252041204.003.0004

Chapter three examines the various factors that precipitated the commercialization of Indian folk music in the late twentieth century, including the growing economic clout of regional migrants in Indian metropolises and in the diaspora, the technological developments of studio recording and music dissemination, the expanding economic and political influence of regional polities within the federalist democracy, and the broad neoliberal reforms of the 1990s and early twenty-first century. These developments are best observed through the life of Uttarakhand’s most famous and most commercially successful musician, Narendra Singh Negi, whose forty-year career reveals a commitment to developing the “folk element” in his recordings. Like the modernist reformers of Indian classical music, Negi, by his musical activism, reveals a concern for revitalizing Uttarakhandi folk music by borrowing from, reforming, and, when he deems it necessary, replacing low-caste hereditary musicians.

Keywords:   Narendra Singh Negi, Garhwali geet, vernacular music industry, folk element, All India Radio, Uttarakhand movement, regionalism, protest songs, social activism, casteism

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