Media Metamorphoses of Estrada Musicians in Bulgaria after 1990 - New Roles Cover Image
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Медийните метаморфози на естрадните музиканти след 1990 г. – нови роли
Media Metamorphoses of Estrada Musicians in Bulgaria after 1990 - New Roles

Author(s): Zhana Popova
Subject(s): Fine Arts / Performing Arts, Music, Sociology of Art
Keywords: Bulgarian estrada; state propaganda; artists’ hierarchy

Summary/Abstract: The paper presents an analysis of publications in newspapers and TV interviews between 1990 and 2017 on and with estrada musicians in Bulgaria, how they were paid for their work before and after 1989. During socialist government in Bulgaria until 1989, estrada musicians were entrusted with additional social roles. The best performing work was assessed based on who was the best entertainer of the labor force: this is how the “honored artist – people’s artist” hierarchy emerged. This hierarchy of wages and assessment of their work ceased to exist after 1990. Musicians prior to 1990 were also the “face” of the Socialist state to the world. There is a particularly large number of publications in the corpus of estrada musicians’ stories of the pay of missions, their foreign assignments, festival prizes, and how they were distributed. Thus, estrada musicians got paid also for this role in the state’s propaganda.One of the most debated scandals in the Bulgarian music business over the past 30 years was the fire in the Concert Directorate after 1990, the place where the data on salaries of musicians were kept. As a result, many of the celebrities of the socialist estrada were left without pensions at the beginning of the 21th century. The state started to compensate for this injustice, by inventing pensions for musicians with particular merits to the state. However, these symbolic inequalities created tensions and scandals, because in addition to money, criteria for determining who brings fame to Bulgaria were also important.

  • Issue Year: 2019
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 250-268
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Bulgarian