Margaret Beissinger

Ch. 1:
Music, Dance, Performance: A Descriptive Analysis of Manele
Anca Giurchescu & Speranța Rădulescu

Ch. 2:
A History of the Manea: The 19th to the Mid-20th Century
Costin Moisil

Ch. 3:
How the Music of Manele is Structured
Speranța Rădulescu

Ch. 4:
Romanian Manele and Regional Parallels: "Oriental" Ethnopop in the Balkans
Margaret Beissinger

Ch. 5:
Actors and Performance
Speranța Rădulescu

Ch. 6:
The "Boyar in the Helicopter": Power, Parody, and Carnival in Manea Performances
Victor Alexandre Stoichita

Ch. 7:
Manele and the Underworld
Adrian Schiop

Ch. 8:
Village Manele: An Urban Genre in Rural Romania
Margaret Beissinger

Ch. 9:
Turbo-Authenticity: An Essay about "Manelism"
Vintilă Mihăilescu

Speranța Rădulescu

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Chapter 4:

Romanian Manele and Regional Parallels: "Oriental" Ethnopop in the Balkans

Margaret Beissinger

This chapter provides a comparative discussion of manele and the various other Balkan ethnopop forms (e.g., Bulgarian chalga, Serbian turbo-folk). They all emerged as popular genres during the latter 20th century and are distinguished by a Middle-Eastern-inflected musical style and hackneyed, often pedestrian, textual content. Wedding parties and urban nightclubs provide the main context for the live performance of Balkan ethnopop; the music also circulates widely on recordings and music videos. These and other resemblances are perhaps not entirely surprising given the larger Balkan cultural continuum in which Romania is situated and the longtime social and historical ties that have existed between Romania and the rest of southeastern Europe. But there are also differences between these regional genres, one of the most conspicuous being the performers. Whereas the singers of manele in southern Romania are by and large male and Romani, the vocalists who perform comparable songs elsewhere in the Balkans are typically female and belong to the ethnic mainstream of their societies. This chapter posits that these differences are due in part to the nature of the power relationships between the elite and/or patrons and performers in the various communities examined and that this matter is arguably related to the centuries of slavery in Romania, a historical social condition that implicated Romani musicians for generations.


Example 4.1         Hajde da se volimo [Hey, let’s love each other]. Lepa Brena, 1987. (accessed 12 October 2014). 0:29.

Example 4.2         Instrumental, Ivo Papazov (clarinet, saxophone). Bulgarian National Television, 1987. (accessed 12 October 2014). 0:27.

Example 4.3         De la prima mea vedere [From the first time (I saw you)]. Albatros with Naste de la Berceni, Hituri nemuritoare, Vol. 1, 1984. (accessed 12 October 2014). 0:34.

Example 4.4         Instrumental. Dan Armeanca and ensemble, 1990. (accessed 12 October 2014). 0:27.

Example 4.5         Od izvora dva putića [Two roads lead from the same spring]. Lepa Lukić, 1964. (accessed 5 September 2014). 0:32.

Example 4.6         Jugoslovenka [Yugoslav woman]. Lepa Brena, 1989. (accessed 5 September 2014). 0:38.

Example 4.7        Levovete v marki [Leva (Bulgarian currency) to Marks (German currency)]. Sashka Vaseva, 1997. (accessed 12 October 2014). 0:37.

Example 4.8         Šta će mi život bez tebe dragi? [What good is life for me without you, my dear?]. Silvana Armenulić, 1969. Y5wypx6i1g--BrfTMhSokTFMujRcC (accessed 12 October 2014). 0:35.

Example 4.9        Plači zemljo [Cry, o earth]. Dragana Mirković, 1995. (accessed 12 October 2014). 0:34.

Example 4.10         Sama [Alone]. Dragana Mirković, early 2000s. (accessed 6 September 2014). 0:38.

Example 4.11        Pustite me da ga vidim [Let me see him]. Svetlana "Ceca" Raznatović, 1990. (accessed 6 September 2014). 0:33.

Example 4.12         Ljubav fatalna [Fatal love]. Svetlana "Ceca" Raznatović, 1995. (accessed 6 September 2014). 0:33.

Example 4.13         Poziv [The Call]. Svetlana "Ceca" Raznatović, 2013.
&mid=D5E935396826FC7E5E6ED5E935396826FC7E5E6E (accessed 12 October 2014). 0.35.

Example 4.14        Ne moga az da te zabravya, Georgi [I can’t forget you, George]. Sashka Vaseva, 1996, (accessed 14 September 2014). 0:35.

Example 4.15        Tseluvai oshte [Kiss me again]. Galina "Gloria" Peneva Ivanova, 2010. (accessed 14 September 2014). 0:31.

Example 4.16         Jumătate eu, jumătate tu [Half me, half you]. Adrian Copilul Minune, 2003. (accessed 12 October 2014). 0:37.

Example 4.17        Ce frumoasă e dragostea [How wonderful love is]. Florin Salam and Claudia, 2012. (accessed 12 October 2014). 3:28. Used by permission.

Example 4.18         Brazilianca [Brazilian girl]. Florin Salam, 2013.
&mid=67D8FBB35292703AB6FB67D8FBB35292703AB6FB (accessed 12 October 2014). 03:04. Used by permission.

Example 4.19        Prinţesa mea [My Princess]. Adrian Copilul Minune, 1998. (accessed 12 October 2014). 00:47.

Example 4.20         Tu eşti femeia visurilor mele [You are the woman of my dreams]. Liviu Puştiu, 2001. =VIRE4#view =detail&mid=83739570622BF89EA00B83739570622BF89EA00B 0:41.

Example 4.21         Eu sunt mare gagicar [I’m a big ladies’ man]. Vali Vijelie, 2000. (accessed 12 October 2014). 0:38.

Example 4.22         Sunt plin de noroc [I’m so lucky]. Nicolae Guţă, 2003.
detail&mid=B2B343 39AE0AE7CC880BB2B34339AE0AE7CC880B (accessed 12 October 2014). 0:38.


Example 4.23         Barosanu’ “Number One” [Boss ‘Number One’]. Sorinel Puştiu, 2005.'+No.+1+&FORM=
(accessed 12 October 2014). 0:32.

Example 4.24         Iar am pus-o [I’ve done it again]. Florin Salam, 2006. (accessed 12 October 2014). 4:22. Used by permission.

Example 4.25         Duşmanii îmi poartă pică [My enemies envy me]. Vali Vijelie, 1999.
VIRE1#view=detail&mid=F9788FA327BA02A15B92F9788FA327BA02A15B92 (accessed 12 October 2014). 0:37.

Example 4.26         Îmi place să mă prefac [I like to pretend]. Florin Salam, 2013. &FORM=VIRE2#view=detail&mid=861797DD7310DAB5977B861797DD7310DAB5977B (accessed 12 October 2014). 7:03. Used by permission.

Example 4.27         Am o cas-aşa de mare [I’ve got such a big house]. Adrian Copilul Minune, 2000. Adrian+Copilul+Minune+Am+o+casa+asa+de+mare&FORM=VDRE#view=detail&mid= 327C5E9B14307C693AF1327C5E9B14307C693AF1 (accessed 12 October 2014). 0:37.

Example 4.28         Astă seară vreau să beau [I want to drink tonight]. Florin Salam, 2004. (accessed 12 October 2014). 4:07. Used by permission.

Example 4.29        Chef de chef [Time to party]. Adrian Copilul Minune, 2004. Adrian+Copilul+Minune+Chef+de+chef+2004&FORM=VDRE#view=detail&mid= 7245A9A9C4F18967BE577245A9A9C4F18967BE57 (accessed 12 October 2014). 0:33.

Example 4.30         Saint Tropez. Florin Salam, 2013. (accessed 12 October 2014). 3:29. Used by permission.

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