Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tuesday Question

The question for your response to the Moore chapter is: "Why did white Cuban intellectuals take up Afro-Cuban music in their search for a Cuban national culture?"

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thursday question

"If, as we have seen, black culture on the Americas depends on both history and the act of remembering or reconstructing that history in the present, how does each (history and remembering/reconstructing that history) figure in the black political movement in Colombia discussed by Julio César Montaño/in the Tumaco festival?"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Reading for Tuesday 2/22.

I've sent the reading and posted it on Blackboard:

Wade, Peter. “Black Music and Cultural Syncretism in Colombia.” Beyond Slavery: The Multilayered Legacy of Africans in Latin America and the Caribbean, ed. Daren J. Davis (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, [1995] 2007), 121-146

You might want to refer to posts from last Thursday on Colombian music or the article in The New Grove Encylopedia of Music, if necessary.

The question: What makes black Colombian musics black in Wade's account?

Mexico: Son de Artesa

Mexico: La bamba

Mexico: La petenera, by Los Azahuasteles of Tixtla, Guerrero

Mexico: La Malagueña Curreña, performed by ismael Añorve of Cuajuincuilapa

Even more African-influenced guitar: Santiago de Murcia's "Cumbée"

Here with a drummer - and spectacular facial hair:

More African-influenced guitar: Zarabanda (Gaspar Sanz again)

African-influenced Spanish guitar: Gaspar Sanz's 1674 "Canarios"

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

February 17 readings

•Sublette, Ned. Cuba and Its Music. From the First Drums to the Mambo. (Chicag: Chicago Review Press, 2004), p. 73-83
•Budasz, Rogério. “Black guitar-players and early African-Iberian music in Portugal and Brazil.” Early Music, 35:1 (2007), 3-21

•Lewis, Laura A. “Blacks, Black Indians, Afromexicans: The Dynamics of Race, Nation, and Identity in a Mexican ‘moreno’ Community (Guerrero).” American Ethnologist 27:4 (2000), 898-926

Question: "In what ways do these examples show that creolization goes both ways (between Africans and Europeans)?"

Thursday, February 10, 2011

February 15 Assignment

The reading for this class is:

Röhrig Assunçao, Matthias. Capoeira: The History of an Afro-Brazilian Martial Art. (London and New York: Routledge, 2006), 32-66

The entire book is on Blackboard - please just read pp. 32-66 (I saw from your comments that some foyou suffered through my whole chapter instead of reading just the specified pages...)

The question:
How does the specific case of the capoeira dance/fight/game/music show the kinds of syncretism between African cultural groups and/or between African descendants and others that we've been talking about in the class? As a bonus question (which you can get to if you have the space in your response), how does capoeira exemplify the kinds of ethics and sociality that we talked about today?

You can see (and hear) that last question all over capoeira, as in the video below, a capoeira game between Mestre Cobra Mansa (without bandanna) and Mestre Jogo de Dentro (bandanna):

Colombia: Violín Caucano

Colombia: Papayera

A brass band accompaniment for your drunken bull-fighting pleasure...

Afro-Colombian Music Cheat Sheet

By yours truly, hosted by La Mediatheque du Caraibe in Guadeloupe, French West Indies, here

Colombia: Carnaval de Barranquilla

Bullerengue: Petrona Martínez

Gaita/Cumbia (Colombia)

Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto

A little polycentrism

Speaking of polycentrism, a little Cuban rumba, from an old Cuban documentary...

Afro-Cuba in New York, and the Muñequitos de Matanzas in Boston

Just so you know (and thank your classmate Johnny Bohórquez for reminding me) - there's going to be a gigantic festival of Cuban music this spring in New York. Details here. New York is a little far, but one group I would go down (on foot if necessary) to hear anyhow is the Muñequitos de Matanzas, founded 60 years ago, not in the States since 2002, and hands-down the most famous group playing traditional Afro-Cuban rumba music: guaguancó, yambú and columbia. Luckily, they'll also be in the Boston area March 30 and April 1. I'm going to try and cook up a way to get the class, or at least interested members of it, down there. In the meantime, check out this video from that last tour

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Febrary 10 Assignment

The readings for Thursday's class are up on blackboard (link)

The required readings are:

• Dixon Gottschild, Brenda. “Crossroads, Continuities, and Contradictions. The Afro-Euro-Caribbean Triangle.” Caribbean dance from abakuá to zouk : how movement shapes identity, ed., Susanna Sloat (Gainesville Fla.: University Press of Florida, 2002), 3-20
• Birenbaum Quintero, Michael. “The Poetics of Sound in the Black Southern Pacific World.” Rites, Rights and Rhythms: A Genealogy of Musical Meaning in Colombia’s Black Pacific. (Manuscript), 9-24, 32-40

Note that you only need to read pages 9-24 and 32-40 in my piece. Please post as comments your answers to the following question:
How do the musical forms described in the Birenbaum Quintero piece exemplify some of the aspects described in the Dixon Gottschild piece? Which ones? How can musical practice in general be understood as inculcating ethical behaviors?

Also, I will be lecturing on music in Colombia, If you have a special interest, you might want to check out the suggested reading, also linked on Blackboard:

• Gerard Béhague, et al. "Colombia." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. 8 Feb. 2011
II. 1 The Atlantic Coastal Region
II. 2. The Pacific Coastal Region
III. Popular Music
And, tangentially,
II. 3. The Andean region

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hi all - no reaction paper necessary for the Mama Lola excerpts.
E. Franklin Frazier (1894-1962)

Melville Herskovits (1895-1963)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Assignment: Thursday February 3

Please read the following:
Yelvington, Kevin A. "The Anthropology of Afro-Latin America and the Caribbean:Diasporic Dimensions." Annual Review of Anthropology 30 (2001) pp. 227-260
There is a link here:

The question:
How could what Yelvington describes be related to the kinds of musical practices we've been discussing in class?