The Maintenance of Central Thai Cultural Identity through Hybrid Music Genres

Abstract

Thailand has experienced rapid industrialisation, modernisation and cultural change since the mid-nineteenth century. Many Western cultural forms have been adopted into Thai life, including Western popular music. An external view of these processes and their results might suggest that Thailand has become quite ‘Western’. However, closer analysis reveals that elements of foreign cultures have long been adopted and adapted into Thai culture, and used as social capital to build an image of modernity and cosmopolitan sophistication. One of the adaptations made has been the fusion of Western genres with Thai ones, to form new hybrid styles of music. One hybrid genre that has developed largely over the past half century is Dontri Thai Prayuk (‘modernised Thai music’), which fuses aspects of Western pop with elements of Central Thai classical music. As this paper demonstrates, clear patterns emerge in the way Thai musicians have maintained markers of Thai identity and fused them with Western elements that signify

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Ware2012TheMO, title={The Maintenance of Central Thai Cultural Identity through Hybrid Music Genres}, author={V Ware}, year={2012} }