Hit songs and the dynamics of postcolonial Zimbabwe: a study in popular music trends, 1980-2009
AbstractMy intention to analyze hit songs as an embodiment of collective experiences emanates from the special position they occupy in the musical repertoire of any given society. I deliberately avoid examining songs classified under the broad popular music rubric although they never enjoyed any wide appeal. As Charosh (1997: 480) argues, â€œOne may question the practice of identifying songs that languished, unsung on their publishersâ€™ shelves, as music representative of a publicâ€™s tasteâ€. Among the songs a particular musician produces on a single album, only one or two, and sometimes none, qualify to acquire the prestigious status of a hit song. Hit songs are a tiny percentage of the huge body of songs recorded during any particular period in a given society. Whereas the vast number of songs that fail to reach hit status are usually forgotten, those few that acquire this celebrated status remain vibrant in the societyâ€™s collective memory.