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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Computers, culture and music: the history of the recording industry in Malawi
Authors:Lwanda, JohnISNI
Kanjo, Chipo
Periodical:The Society of Malawi Journal
Geographic term:Malawi
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/23611942
Abstract:This paper traces the history of the music recording industry in Malawi which had no indigenous recording industry until the formation of the Nzeru Record Company (NRC) in 1968. Prior to that, recordings were made, first by mobile recording studios, followed by the Federal Broadcasting Studios in Lusaka and then at the national Radio Malawi (later Malawi Broadcasting Corporation) studios. Between 1972 and 1989, after the demise of the NRC, musicians again largely depended on the MBC for recording facilities, which helped to shape the music and its lyrical content. In the early 1980s, there was a conjunction between the IMF-inspired privatization imperatives and the independent mission-owned Baptist Media Centre and other studios beginning to rent out their studios. The establishment of the Copyright Act of 1988 and the liberalization of the political economy in the early 1990s were crucial to the establishment of a recording industry enabling entrepreneurs to form their own studios. The advent of multiparty rule in 1994 further liberated the recording environment. Despite this, producers and musicians found themselves hamstrung by the lack of alternatives for cassette and compact disc presses and distribution channels. Influenced by regional recording industries in South, East and West Africa, as well as socio-political events, musicians and entrepreneurs turned to computer-based digital recording studios towards the end of the 1990s and small independent music studios mushroomed in towns like Blantyre, Balaka and Lilongwe as well as trading centres like Lunzu. This paper further briefly looks at the effects of the use of computer recording on the quality and quantity of the music produced. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]