1st Edition

Music and Identity in Venezuela

Edited By Adriana Ponce Copyright 2024
    426 Pages 21 Color & 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Jenny Stanford Publishing

    426 Pages 21 Color & 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Jenny Stanford Publishing

    Venezuelan music has remained largely unnoticed in the academic English literature. Boasting a tremendous wealth of traditions, it displays influences from the Spanish, indigenous, and enslaved African communities that populated the territory from the “conquest” on and offers a tremendous diversity of genres and styles that vary by region, occasion, time, and sometimes ethnic influences. This book presents critical discussions of some of these traditions in connection with the issue of identity. The discussions capture country and city life, illustrate foundational myths, bring secular traditions closer to Christianity, explore surviving cultural strategies, et cetera. They also analyze the interface between Venezuelan identity and European classical music. The book displays diversity of perspectives in terms of (a) subject matter, as it includes traditional and concert musics; (b) disciplines on which the inquiries are grounded, as it includes essays by scholars and artists from musicology, performance, composition, history, cultural history, and education; and (c) epistemological approaches, as it includes critical, historical, and ethnographic research.


    1. Music and Identity in Venezuela: An Introduction

    Adriana Ponce

    2. Simón Díaz and the Tonada llanera: The Forging of a Referent for Modern Venezuelan Identity

    Adriana Ponce and Irina Capriles

    3. Relocating the Nativity in Song and Celebration

    Adriana Ponce

    4. Corpus Christi Reinterpreted: Power Dynamics and African Diaspora in Venezuela’s Dancing Devils

    Alexandra Siso

    5. To the Beat of African Drums: Afro-Venezuelan Music and Identity through Betsayda Machado and La Parranda El Clavo

    Jessie Dixon-Montgomery

    6. Indigenous Identitary Resistance in 20th- and 21st-Century Venezuela: Pumé and Wayuu Musical Cultures

    Katrin Lengwinat and Juan Daniel Porrello

    7. Patriotic "Glosses": Generic Mutations, Appropriation, and Identity in the Venezuelan National Anthem

    Mariantonia Palacios and Juan Francisco Sanz

    8. Intellectual Thought Behind Venezuelan Musical Nationalism: Ideas, Values, Beliefs

    Miguel Astor

    9. A Ten-Year Break? On Nationalist Music Historiography in Venezuela

    Hugo Quintana M.

    10. Teresa Carreño’s Repatriation and Revival: Nationalism, Feminism, and the Historical Imagination

    Laura Pita

    11. Unknown Pioneers: Approaches to Atonality and Serialism in Venezuelan Composition, 1950–1967

    Manuel Laufer


    Adriana Ponce is an associate professor at Illinois Wesleyan University, USA. She holds a PhD in musicology from Brandeis University, USA. Her research interests revolve around questions of form in 19th-century art music and Venezuelan traditional musics. She has presented at numerous conferences of the American Musicological Society and the Society for Music Theory (USA); the Society of Music Analysis and the Royal Musical Association (UK); the Fryderyk Chopin Institute (Poland); and similar societies in Belgium and the Netherlands. She was also invited to deliver a guest lecture in the Carrigan Music Theory Lecture Series at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. Her publications include “Memory and Non-linear, End-Oriented Coherence in Chopin’s Nocturnes”; “Form, Diversity and Lack of Fulfillment in Schumann’s Fantasie Op. 17; and Sounds Around Us, Vol. 1–5 (a theory, solfege, and musicianship method developed for the Edward Said National Conservatory in collaborations with Habib Shehadeh and Hania Souddah-Sabara).