Shoot the Singer! Music Censorship Today

Denmark – Shoot the Singer!
Music Censorship Today is a new book on
censorship of music worldwide, edited by Marie Korpe (Executive Director,
Freemuse), published today, May 18, 2004
by Zed Books, London. As part of today’s events, there will be a book launch
and one-day music censorship seminar in London, featuring

Thomas Mapfumo

Banning music strangles the very soul of a culture. Shoot the Singer!
Music Censorship Today surveys contemporary cases of music censorship worldwide
for the first time. It also examines the causes, methods and logic behind
attempts to prevent people from hearing certain kinds of music by governments,
commercial corporations and religious authorities.In this volume, cases come from a wide range of countries, including Israel,
Turkey, North Korea, Mexico, France, South Africa, Afghanistan, Burma, Cuba and
the United States. It is particularly striking how different authorities, in
diverse societies, worry enormously about music, and use a broad range of
techniques to repress it.

As a vivid image of censorship – and a poignant reminder that the same
mechanisms apply to very different parts of the world, ideology notwithstanding
– are two of the books’ photos. One showing a Taliban bonfire of music and video
cassettes, the other showing a ‘destruction rally’ of Dixie Chicks CD’s being
smashed, organized by a local US radio station.

Many of the contributions show that music censorship is not only a developing
countries phenomenon, but very much present in the western world today. As well
as presenting past and present cases – from the blatant (the assassination of
Matoub Lounes, the total ban on music by the Taliban), to the more subtle form
of corporate censorship – this volume also explores the logic behind these
concerns, including two instances where censors themselves explain what they
were doing. Contributions are from scholars, journalists and the testimony of
musicians themselves. The majority of the contributions originates from papers
presented at the Freemuse organized 2nd World Conference on Music and
Censorship, September 2002.

Shoot the Singer!
Music Censorship Today  comes with a free CD, featuring
songs from some of the artists and cases described in the book.

Freemuse, the compilers of this worldwide survey, is the only organization
dedicated to uncovering present day cases of global music censorship – affecting
both musicians and composers – and to developing a global network in support of

Music censorship has been implemented by states, religions, educational systems,
families, retailers and lobbying groups – and in most cases they violate
international conventions of human rights. Nevertheless very little research and
documentation on music censorship has been done.

Buy Shoot the Singer!
Music Censorship Today.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.