Grassroots, Rock(s), and Reggae: Music and Mayhem at the Port Moresby Show

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1998
Authors
Neuenfeldt, Karl
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University of Hawai'i Press
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
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Abstract
An important facet of popular music in Papua New Guinea is public performance at cultural shows, which provide opportunities for musicians to develop occupational skills, sell their recordings, and reach large and diverse audiences. Cultural shows are also opportunities for the celebration of society, and sites for sociocultural and political contestation. This article explores the 1996 Port Moresby Show in Papua New Guinea as an example of a cultural show that featured popular music but also intermittently included mayhem, violence that threatened at times to endanger musicians and members of the audience and overwhelm the music. The description and analysis provide a case study of the multifaceted uses and functions of music in cultural shows and celebrations of society in Papua New Guinea, the perspectives of musicians on the violence that occurred at the 1996 Port Moresby Show, and the nature of the public discourse about the moral panic that resulted.
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moral panics, musicians, Papua New Guinea, performance arts, popular music, Port Moresby Show
Citation
Neuenfeldt, K. 1998. Grassroots, Rock(s), and Reggae: Music and Mayhem at the Port Moresby Show. The Contemporary Pacific 10 (2): 317-43.
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