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 6:

The "Boyar in the Helicopter": Power, Parody, and Carnival in Manea Performances

Victor Alexandre Stoichita

This chapter deals with the reception of manele by their audiences and, more precisely, the ironic and parodic potential of live performances. Fans and casual listeners converge with critiques of the genre, linking the songs to emotions of might and power. This impression is consistent with the textual and musical characteristics of many manele. The “dedication” interactions, which occur during live performances and often take an agonistic dimension, can be seen as another indicator of the feelings at play. Closer ethnographical observation and listeners' testimonies indicate, however, that their involvement with these strong emotions is rather ambiguous. In cognitive and linguistic terms, they do not appreciate the songs so much for their “direct” meanings as much as for their ironic and parodic potential. This leads to the suggestion that manele are not necessarily emblems of an actual ideology or social group but rather intersecting spaces, opened up through the music, that enable various kinds of participants to experiment playfully with the new freedoms — and related uncertainties — of Romanian society.


Examples 6.1.a-d         Manea dance rhythms.

Dance manele rhythms
Dance manele rhythms

Dance manele rhythms
Dance manele rhythms

Example 6.2         Manea: Cine-i mare barosan? [Who’s the big boss?]. Vocalist: Sorinel Puştiu [Little Sorin the Kid]. Source : Internet, possibly issued on an mp3 CD compilation named Manea Party, Vol. 2, produced by Lesperance Music, date uncertain. Released on Youtube by Lesperance Music,, accessed 3 July 2014. 1:00.

Example 6.3         Manea: Bomba bombelor [The Bomb of all bombs], live performance. Vocalist: Sorinel Puştiu [Little Sorin the Kid], on the album Şarpe lângă casa ta [Snake near your house]. 1:51.

Example 6.4         Manea: Hai gagico la plimbare [Come for a ride, girl]. Vocalist: Florin Peşte [Florin Fish]. Play AJ & Claudia Ghitulescu. Commercial videoclip released on Youtube by Mr Juve, cf., accessed 3 July 2014. 1:23.

Example 6.5         Manea: Tatăl meu este boier [My father is a boyar], live performance. Vocalist: Florin Salam. Sung in various weddings around 2010. Unofficial live recording by the musicians straight from the mixing desk, circulated in mp3 among the lăutari. 0:35.

Example 6.6         Manea: Cenuşăreasa [Cinderella]. Performers: Costel Geambaşu and his ensemble Odeon. Initial recording on a tape circulated illegally between 1984 and 1989. Re-issued on a compilation CD accompanying the magazine Taifasuri [Chit-chat], nr. 194, 13-19/11/2008. 2:05.

Example 6.7         Manea: Şi dacă mă enervezi [If you get on my nerves]. Vocalist: Cristi Nucă [Cristi Nut]. Recorded live at a wedding near Iaşi in 2005. Unofficial live recording by the musicians straight from the mixing desk circulated in mp3 among the lăutari. 1:10.

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