Ripe for revolution? The role of loud popular music in revolutionary social and political processes
Rock ‘n’ roll, metal music included, is often portrayed as revolutionary music. There is indeed some evidence that loud popular music (LPM) has preceded, or at least been associated with radical political changes in authoritarian regimes, the dissolution of the Soviet Union being the most illustrious example. But very little is known about the causal and social mechanisms that could account for these effects. This is the lacuna that this article seeks to fill by addressing the following two questions: What is the causal link between LPM and authoritarian unravelling? What are the physiological, psychological and social processes at play? The article will pay special attention to the level of individuals, seeking to develop a set of conceptual mechanisms that account for the effects of LPM on individuals that help make them proto-revolutionaries ‘ripe for revolution’. The article will also include empirical examples, using the historical case of the Singing Revolution in the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic at the turn of the 1990s and describing how these mechanisms have operated in practice. Similarly, the article will contain a concluding section that ponders the relevance of these mechanisms in the present situation of the changing metal business and markets and that addresses the question of whether LPM will continue to have revolutionary effects in the future.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: University of Tampere
Publication date: 01 September 2017
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- Metal Music Studies is the journal of the International Society for Metal Music Studies.
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