Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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Introduction: A Sense of Urban Africa

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pp. 1-14

This book is about the morality and ethics of musical identity and expression in a West African city: Bamako, Mali (Figure 1). Bamako is a city that incorporates multiple scales of place: national, local, translocal, and global. It is Malian, the multiethnic capital...

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1. Representing Bamako

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pp. 15-46

I first met Issa and Lassy through one of those moments of serendipity that crop up (or so you hope) in the course of long-term fieldwork. I had entered my second month of research in Bamako, feeling overwhelmed by the density of a project not yet distilled by time. I was sitting at...

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2. Artistiya

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pp. 47-76

Following the proclamation of the newly independent Republic of Mali on September 22, 1960, a group of young musicians in the capital’s Bamako Koura (New Bamako) neighborhood formed an orchestra.1 Their style was Afro-Cuban, consonant with the popular Caribbean and...

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3. Ethics and Aesthetics

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pp. 77-106

Applause from the audience fades. The artist bows his head; his eyes closed. He is alone on the stage. His hands return to his instrument and his thumbs strike a pair of strings. A low drone swells in the darkened theater space, an annex to the French Cultural Center along the Boulevard...

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4. A Pious Poetics of Place

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pp. 107-130

“I take refuge in God from the accursed Devil,” Tata Diabaté declares, enunciating her words clearly in the sacred verse of classical Arabic. She stands, clothed in shimmering green robes, accented in gold, before a bride and groom in a capacious hall at the Hotel de...

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5. Money Trouble

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pp. 131-154

In November 2006, the Triton Stars, an aspiring Malian dance band (whose work we encountered in chapters 2 and 3), finished up a four-day run at Studio Bogolan in Bamako (Figure 18). The recordings were for the band’s second album, a follow-up to their first release, Immigration, which had...

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6. Afropolitan Patriotism

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pp. 155-180

Beginning in June 2012, international news reports about the crisis in the West African Sahel frequently gathered around a common theme: what anthropologist Paul Stoller called, in a recent editorial, “the death of music in Mali” (2013). In the context of an aggressive and expansive Islamist...

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Conclusion: An Africanist’s Query

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pp. 181-188

“Is Afropolitanism the answer?,” asks art historian Salah Hassan, pairing this question with the phrase, “rethinking cosmopolitanism” in his Bashorun M.K.O. Abiola Lecture at the 2013 annual meeting of the African Studies Association.1 Hassan’s title raises two related...

Acknowledgments

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pp. 189-192

Notes

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pp. 193-208

Bibliography

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pp. 209-226

Index

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pp. 227-233

About the Author

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