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date: 25 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter looks at cultural policy toward folk music (muzică populară) in socialist Romania (1948–1989), covering three areas: first, the state including its intentions and actions; second, ethnomusicologists as researchers of rural peasant music and employees of the state, and, third, the public as reached by state institutions. The article argues that Soviet-induced socialist cultural policy effectively constituted a repatriation of peasant music that was systematically collected; documented and researched; intentionally transformed into new products, such as folk orchestras, to facilitate the construction of communism; and then distributed in its new form through a network of state institutions like the mass media. Sources indicate that the socialist state was partially successful in convincing its citizens about the authenticity of the new product (that new folklore was real folklore) while the original peasant music was to a large extent inaccessible to nonspecialist audiences.

Keywords: socialist realism, musical folklore, cultural policy, Romania, archive

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