Folktron: Folklore influences in contemporary Bulgarian popular music

Asya Draganova

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    As Bulgarian popular music strives for distinctiveness within the global cultural field, folklore has taken on a central position as a source of inspiration. The incorporation of folkloristic references—presented subtly or as central motifs—can be observed across commercial genres such as pop-folk as well as within areas of music experimentation in styles like electronica, jazz, and rock. This chapter draws upon open-ended interviews with musicians and industry figures, textual analyses, and a range of ethnographic observations. It interprets the use of folklore elements in Bulgarian popular music in relation to Bulgaria’s “crossroad” position between the imagined constructs of “East” and “West” as well as the notion of Balkanism: a concept akin to orientalism, which refers to a set of inferiority stereotypes. The chapter suggests that the use of folklore elements can result in both trivialization and innovation and that drawing upon folklore tradition comes with significant cultural responsibilities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Slavic and East European Folklore
    PublisherOxford Academic
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 18 Jul 2023

    Publication series

    NameOxford Handbooks


    • Bulgaria
    • Balkans
    • Globalisation
    • pop-folk
    • folklore
    • orientalism
    • popular music


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