1st Edition

Musical Mobilities Son Jarocho and the Circulation of Tradition Across Mexico and the United States

By Alejandro Nieto Copyright 2018
    162 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    162 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    How do musical practices move? Though technology increasingly plays a great part in establishing different degrees of spatial proximity, music making still seems to be tied to specific geographical locations, cultures or communities. The identity of musical traditions, in particular, is often demarcated by a presumed degree of uniformity amongst its practitioners.

    Musical Mobilities analyses how a musical tradition moves literally and metaphorically: the ways in which people, objects and information travel across geographical locations, just as practices as recognisable entities circulate along with meanings, competencies and embodied dispositions. This unique ethnography focuses on son jarocho, a musical practice originating in southeast Mexico that is currently reproduced through transnational connections, particularly in the United States. Paradoxically, the transformation of son jarocho has been a noticeable outcome of its recuperation and preservation. Thus, in describing the moves of this musical tradition, this book provides a theoretical and empirical perspective on the dissonances between cultural continuity and change.

    The first ethnographic work to explicitly address the continuity and transformation of a musical practice through the analysis of multiple forms of mobility and fixity, Musical Mobilities will appeal to undergraduate and postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers interested in fields such as Latin American & Hispanic Studies, South American Music, Ethnomusicology, Cultural Studies and Sociology of Culture.

    List of Figures


    Introduction: Music, Circulation and Performance

    1 The Heartbeat of Fandango

    2 The Historical Circulation of Son Jarocho

    3 Learning at Workshops

    4 Journeying with a Practice

    5 Rhythm, a Manner of Flowing

    6 In the Grip of Friction




    Glossary of Selected Terms



    Alejandro Miranda Nieto is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Sociology and Social Research at the University of Trento, Italy.