Download Full Text (180 KB)
In the wake of the November 2010 elections, one important signal of the Myanmar government’s commitment to change was the cessation of the censorship of music recordings in October 2012.
1 Prior to that date, the country’s Press Scrutiny Board conducted rather rigorous censoring of so-called stereo series (albums), in cassette and later in compact disc formats. Producers wishing to sell their series in retail shops were required to submit a copy of the recording and ten copies of the song lyrics to the censors at the Press Security Board (MacLachlan 2011:148). Although the censoring was supposed to be provided for free, as a government service to recording artists, producers in fact incurred regular and sometimes large costs in the form of “fees” and “fines” (MacLachlan 2011: 149). Ending the censorship requirement, then, represented the lifting of a financial burden borne by musicians and producers. Even more importantly, it was a powerful symbol of the transition government’s commitment to freedom of artistic expression.
Myanmar Media in Transition: Legacies, Challenges and Change
ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute
Ethnomusicology | Music
MacLachlan, Heather, "Myanmar’s Pop Music Industry in Transition" (2019). Books and Book Chapters by University of Dayton Faculty. 83.