The ethnically and geographically heterogeneous countries that comprise Latin America have each produced music in unique styles and genres - but how and why have these disparate musical streams come to fall under the single category of "Latin American music"? Reconstructing how this category came to be, author Pablo Palomino tells the dynamic history of the modernization of musical practices in Latin America. He focuses on the intellectual, commercial, musicological, and diplomatic actors that spurred these changes in the region between the 1920s and the 1960s, offering a transnational story based on primary sources from countries in and outside of Latin America. The Invention of Latin American Music portrays music as the field where, for the first time, the cultural idea of Latin America disseminated through and beyond the region, connecting the culture and music of the region to the wider, global culture, promoting the now-established notion of Latin America as a single musical market. Palomino explores multiple interconnected narratives throughout, pairing popular and specialist traveling musicians, commercial investments and repertoires, unionization and musicology, and music pedagogy and Pan American diplomacy. Uncovering remarkable transnational networks far from a Western cultural center, The Invention of Latin American Music firmly asserts that the democratic legitimacy and massive reach of Latin American identity and modernization explain the spread and success of Latin American music.
About the Author
Pablo Palomino is Assistant Professor of Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Mellon Faculty Fellow at Oxford College of Emory University.