Music, Race, and Nation: Musica Tropical in Colombia

Overview

Long a favorite on dance floors in Latin America, the porro, cumbia, and vallenato styles that make up Colombia's música tropical are now enjoying international success. How did this music—which has its roots in a black, marginal region of the country—manage, from the 1940s onward, to become so popular in a nation that had prided itself on its white heritage? Peter Wade explores the history of música tropical, analyzing its rise in the context of the development of the broadcast media, rapid urbanization, and ...
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Overview

Long a favorite on dance floors in Latin America, the porro, cumbia, and vallenato styles that make up Colombia's música tropical are now enjoying international success. How did this music—which has its roots in a black, marginal region of the country—manage, from the 1940s onward, to become so popular in a nation that had prided itself on its white heritage? Peter Wade explores the history of música tropical, analyzing its rise in the context of the development of the broadcast media, rapid urbanization, and regional struggles for power. Using archival sources and oral histories, Wade shows how big band renditions of cumbia and porro in the 1940s and 1950s suggested both old traditions and new liberties, especially for women, speaking to a deeply rooted image of black music as sensuous. Recently, nostalgic, "whitened" versions of música tropical have gained popularity as part of government-sponsored multiculturalism.

Wade's fresh look at the way music transforms and is transformed by ideologies of race, nation, sexuality, tradition, and modernity is the first book-length study of Colombian popular music.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
This original, scholarly work will hold wide appeal to students of Latin American music and culture, and provides a unique study on the music of Columbia. This narrow focus goes far beyond most general 'world music' features to analyze the roots of the musical styles in that country, considering its rise, regional struggles, and the effects of local styles on Columbian politics and culture as a whole. Narrow, yes: but the focus will prove essential for any studying Columbian history.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226868448
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2000
  • Series: Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 331
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
A Note on Recorded Music
1 Introduction 1
National Identity 3
Race and Nation 14
Nation, Gender, Race, and Sexuality 16
Music, Identity, and Music Capitalism 23
2 La Costa and Musica Costena in the Colombian Nation 30
The Colombian Nation 30
La Costa in the Nation 39
The Identity of La Costa 42
Colombian Popular Music and Costeno Music 47
3 Origin Myths: The Historiography of Costeno Music 53
Cultural Dynamics in the Nineteenth Century 53
Porro 55
Cumbia 60
Vallenato 61
4 Music, Class, and Race in La Costa, 1930-1950 67
Class in Barranquilla, 1920s-1940s 67
Changes in Music, 1920s-1940s 72
Music, Class, and Race in La Costa 100
5 Alegria! Costeno Music Hits the Heartland, 1940-1950 106
Bogota and Medellin before Costeno Music 106
The Beginnings of Costeno Music in the Colombian Interior 116
Costeno Music: Reaction and Counterreaction 125
6 The Golden Era of Costeno Music - and After 144
"Al Ritmo Paisa": The Recording Industry 149
Changes in Costeno Music, 1950-1980 153
7 Costenos and Costeno Music in the Interior: Rejection and Adaptation, 1950s-1980s 187
Bogota: Resistance 188
Medellin: "More Costeno than La Costa"? 192
The Costenos in Bogota and Medellin 196
Ownership, Embodiment, and Identity 209
8 Multiculturalism and Nostalgia: The 1990s 213
Patterns of Consumption in the 1990s 213
Reviving Old Costeno Music 216
Costeno Music and Costeno Identity 220
A "Multicultural" Nation 225
9 Conclusion: Writing About Colombian Music 231
App. A List of Interviewees 239
App. B Musical Examples 244
Notes 255
References Cited 287
Index 311
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