World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Gypsy punk

Article Id: WHEBN0004414193
Reproduction Date:

Title: Gypsy punk  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Punk rock, Gypsy punk, List of punk rock bands, 0–K, Viza, Gogol Bordello
Collection: Gypsy Punk, Punk Rock Genres
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Gypsy punk

The Gypsy punk genre takes its name from Gypsy Punks, a 2005 album by Gogol Bordello, pictured here in concert in 2006.

Gypsy punk is a hybrid musical genre that crosses traditional Romani music with punk rock. One of the first rock groups to incorporate elements of punk and Gypsy music was Motherhead Bug, which was active mostly in the early 1990s. A broader audience became aware of the genre after the band Gogol Bordello released the album Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike, with front man Eugene Hütz describing their performance as a "Gypsy Punk Cabaret".[1] The term "Gypsy punk" then came to describe the genre and then came under criticism as it was considered exploitative of Roma culture. Gogol Bordello have since insisted it was just the name of their album, which was then taken and used by the music press as a term to define the genre of their music and similar artists — not an offshoot term for authentic Gypsy music.

Gypsy punk bands usually combine rock beats and instrumentation with more traditional Gypsy instrumentation such as drums, tambourine, accordion, fiddle, trumpet and saxophone.[2] In addition, due to the varied ethnic makeup of the Gypsy culture, many bands sing in several different languages, often switching language many times within a single song.


  • History 1
  • Philosophy 2
  • Gypsy punk bands 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5


The origin of the term Gypsy Punk may be disputable, but it is agreed that the Romani culture is how the style of it began. The Romani people, who are spread out throughout the world, have affected the music industry in the west as seen through bands such as Gogol Bordello. Eastern European and traditional instrumentation and multilingual lyrics are both common characteristics of Romani music. In the case of Gogol Bordello, the upbeat tempo and “punk scream-singing” [3] along with these common “gypsy” characteristics create a concrete example of what is known as gypsy punk. “The word “gypsy” coupled with the term “punk” has interesting implications in that punk encapsulates a particular mode of rebellion, anarchy, and resistance in a Western context”[4] which is good to note since at the time Gogol Bordello and other bands were introducing this genre, “the punk movement became identified in mass culture as the definitive statement of the annihilation of musical and societal norms, collectively rejecting the rules of the past because of the bleak and hypocritical present and future they provided”. This is to say that the Roma that have settled down in the west have taken elements from “Romani music in a style that is indebted to Western punk” [5] Because gypsy punk is a mixture of traditional music and popular music to the western culture, the Romani are colonizing and seemingly settling into a loose identity of their own. The music itself “is considered to be a post-colonial movement”. [5]


Since their migrations from their original homeland in India, the Romani have been so spread out that they “lack a homeland”. Gypsy punk is not just full of Romani culture, but also the lack thereof. For the Romani, music has been identified as a “primary form of cultural expression”[5] The Romani, through their ties with the western punk influence, have created music that allows those who play to express themselves and forge an identity.

Gypsy punk is not only utilized and performed by people of the Romani, or “gypsy”, culture. Punk encapsulates “rebellion, anarchy, and resistance”. These thoughts are transferred then to the hybrid genre of “Gypsy Punk”. This insinuates that gypsy performances and the music itself promotes a freedom for those who participate in the genre. It’s a romanticized version of the lives of an actual “gypsy”. Instead of being “Russian”, “Jewish”, “Eastern European”, etc. they can “articulate their identities, while joining in the performance of being a wild and wandering gypsy”. By making the actual gypsy culture seem like something it is not, “it does not consider the authenticity of Roma representation but rather replicates an idealized and dreamed-up version of what being a gypsy means. [4]

Gypsy punk bands

See also


  1. ^ The Village Voice: "Gogol a Go-Go"
  2. ^ Ben Sisario, "The Rise of Gypsy Punkers", New York Times, 2 July 2005
  3. ^ Hajdu, David. “TRIUMPH OF THE GYPSIES.” New Republic 241, no. 7 (May 13, 2010): 27–30.
  4. ^ a b Jablonsky, Rebecca. “Russian Jews and ‘Gypsy Punks’: The Performance of Real and Imagined Cultural Identities Within a Transnational Migrant Group.” Journal of Popular Music Studies 24, no. 1 (2012): 3–24.
  5. ^ a b c “348273587Colonized CultureRomani.pdf”, n.d.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.