Publisher: UNDP Mongolia Communications Office/Press Institute of Mongolia
Managing Editor: David South
Editorial Advisors: Ts. Enkhbat, Mustafa Eric, David South
Author and Researcher: Peter Marsh, Indiana University
Copy Editor: N. Oyuntungalag
Production Editor: B. Bayarma
It was the late 1990s. Mongolia was still recovering from “one of the biggest peacetime economic collapses ever” (Mongolia’s Economic Reforms: Background, Content and Prospects, Richard Pomfret, University of Adelaide, 1994). But it was the country’s young musicians who were showing the way out of the crisis, setting an example for entrepreneurship in the new, free-market economy that emerged in the country after 1990.
As UNDP Communications Officer N. Oyuntungalag wrote in the Blue Sky Bulletin (BSkyB) newsletter, “A thriving pop and rock scene has emerged over the last four years. .. The energy of these musicians and singers has not gone unnoticed by the burgeoning advertising market. Pop bands are promoting many things, from face creams to beer. … [but] there has been little serious writing on the business of popular music.”
As the book’s author, American ethnomusicologist Peter Marsh, said in an interview with UNDP’s Blue Sky Bulletin newsletter, “we thought our book would provide important ideas about the direction and nature of the nation’s development.
“My impression about Mongolian pop-rock is that it is a lively, diverse and at times innovative Mongolian art form that closely reflects many of the hopes, fears and aspirations of its primary audience, Mongolian youth.”
The book still stands as an unusual and innovative contribution to thinking around the role played by youth in development and business and in crisis recovery.
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Other publications by Peter K. Marsh:
The Horse-head Fiddle and the Cosmopolitan Reimagination of Tradition in Mongolia by Peter K. Marsh, Routledge, 25 Sept. 2008.
Journal Article Review. Reviewed Works: Mongolian Bling by Benj Binx, Nubar Ghazarian; Live from UB by Lauren Knapp, Dulguun Bayasgalan. Review by Peter K. Marsh, Ethnomusicology, Vol. 62, No. 1 (Winter 2018), pp. 157-162.
Moving the World Through Two Strings: The Horse-head Fiddle and the Cosmopolitan Reimagination of Tradition in Mongolia by Peter K. Marsh, Indiana University, 2002.
Our generation is opening its eyes: hip-hop and youth identity in contemporary Mongolia by Peter Marsh, Central Asian Survey, Volume 29, 2010 (https://doi.org/10.1080/02634937.2010.518013).
Interviews with Peter K. Marsh:
“Culture and art – immunity for any nation during globalization”, Baljmaa.T, The Mongol Messenger, 2020-05-13.
More on this topic here: Why Does China Have 1.4 Billion People and No Good Bands? – Mongolia rocks out while its giant neighbor slumbers.
More on the development of contemporary Mongolian music and its rising global profile:
The Unexpected Rise Of The Hu: The Mongolian Heavy Metal Band Resurrecting Rock
With more YouTube views than Stormzy, this metal band is a surprising smash hit – and they’ve only just begun. by Eleanor Peake
More music writing by David South:
“You Can’t Have A Bird If You Want To Be The Biggest Band In The World”: Oasis Has Arrogance, A Pile Of Attitude And The Best Album Of 1994
ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5311-1052.
© David South Consulting 2021