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Paper Session
Nov 21, 2021 05:00 PM - 05:50 PM(America/Chicago)
20211121T1700 20211121T1750 America/Chicago Race and Coloniality in 20th-Century Latin America AMS 2021 ams@amsmusicology.org
Adolfo Salazar in Modern Mexico, 1939–1958: Spanish Musicological Dominance within the Mexican State
Individual Paper 05:00 PM - 05:50 PM (America/Chicago) 2021/11/21 23:00:00 UTC - 2021/11/21 23:50:00 UTC

Spanish-language musicology of the twentieth century has been dominated by Adolfo Salazar (1890–1958), who settled in Mexico in 1939 after he fled his home country of Spain as an exile. While in Mexico, he wrote and published many texts on music history (focused primarily on the music of Spain) and redefined the practice of music criticism, advancing his already substantial international reputation. After his death in exile, Mexican historians called him "the most eminent Spanish musicologist of all time." His powerful influence there has, to this day, clouded a deeper understanding of the connections between Salazar's musicological discourse and the formation of the postcolonial elite in Mexico after its Revolution (1910–1920).

This paper offers close readings of a few of Salazar's writings published during his Mexican years and reveals subtexts of Spanish cultural superiority. In the eyes of Salazar, Spanish music stands at the apex of a long historical tradition, while musics from colonized nations such as Mexico exist in a perpetual state of development. Salazar's writings show a Eurocentrism typical of other early twentieth-century musicologists; however, his assertions of musical hierarchies reflect racial historical bias that places Spanish culture over the achievements of Mexican _mestizo_ culture and of "larval" indigenous cultures. I argue that Salazar's musicology articulated his power status as a Spanish intellectual in post-revolutionary Mexico, and that his hierarchical discourse appealed to Mexican revolutionary elites, such as composer and diplomat Carlos Chávez (1899–1978), who supported Salazar with encouragement and financial opportunities.

Therefore, I examine Salazar's publications on music history within broader contexts of Mexican twentieth-century politics, Latin American postcolonial theory, and Spanish-language musicology as a colonialist practice. I build from current research on Salazar and introduce theoretical approaches from postcolonial studies by Albert Memmi and Homi Bhabha. By reconsidering Salazar's hegemonic role in Mexican musical nationalism, I reveal how Spanish Eurocentrism helped define Mexican politics and music and legitimized foreign intellectualism over native cultural processes.

Presenters
AH
Adam Heyen
Arizona State University
Milhaud’s Pan-Latinism as Colonialist Ideology
Individual Paper 05:00 PM - 05:50 PM (America/Chicago) 2021/11/21 23:00:00 UTC - 2021/11/21 23:50:00 UTC

Darius Milhaud's Americas-inspired compositions, such as _Le boeuf sur le toit_ (1919) and _Saudades do Brasil_ (1920), famously engage with the melodies and rhythms that Milhaud heard while living in Brazil. They are typically understood as benign exemplars of transnational musical influence, illustrating an enlivening cultural exchange and demonstrating Milhaud's esteem for Latin American music. Yet the cultural doctrine underlying such compositions, which Milhaud discussed under the rubric of the "Latin," remains largely unexplored despite connections to both contemporaneous and current conversations about coloniality and race. I term Milhaud's theory "pan-Latinism," as a parallel to contemporaneous pan-Americanism, because it proposes commonality and comity between cultures sharing, in his words, "l'idéal latin" or "de tradition latine."


In this paper I examine the articles and lectures in which Milhaud expounded pan-Latinism in the 1930s and '40s, reading them in dialogue with postcolonial and critical race theorists. Milhaud describes a confluence of musical sensibilities over vast historical and geographical regions, stretching back as far as the twelfth century and spanning the Mediterranean world and Latin America. "Chez tous les grande maîtres, on trouve un point de depart," he writes: "Perrotin le Grand [. . .] annonce Debussy." These sensibilities encompass stylistic characteristics as well as cultural traits-"musiciens spontanés, vifs, gais, charmants, brillants, dont les oeuvres reflètent une sensibilité profonde, ardente"-which he explores through historical, ethnographic, and autobiographical narratives. Milhaud often juxtaposes his idea of Latin music against compositions by German musicians and stereotypically German stylistic characteristics, proclaiming after Nietzsche that "Il faut méditerranéiser la musique" and exposing a fundamentally contra-Teutonic orientation.


More submerged, however, are the theory's colonial affordances. Drawing on thinkers such as Walter Mignolo, Dipesh Chakrabarty, and Crystal Marie Fleming I argue that pan-Latinism replicates colonialist ideologies and economies, and foretells today's debates over French universalism. Milhaud's pan-Latinism, I suggest, prompts us to reconsider how even relatively anodyne transnational exchanges participate in colonial and racial power structures, and I conclude by considering how his Americas-inspired compositions might be re-heard from this new perspective.

Presenters
ZS
Zachary Stewart
Yale University
Post-colonial Strums: Heitor Villa-Lobos and the Traces of Peripheral Modernism in Andrés Segovia’s Guitar Repertoire
Individual Paper 05:00 PM - 05:50 PM (America/Chicago) 2021/11/21 23:00:00 UTC - 2021/11/21 23:50:00 UTC

Andrés Segovia's repertoire - known in Spanish as the repertorio segoviano - has crucially mediated the classical guitar canon. While some guitar scholars argue that these works helped rescue the instrument from the periphery of art music, others contend that, by commissioning music from minor, conservative composers, Segovia missed the chance to request pieces from the most influential twentieth-century modernists. In so doing, Segovia would have condemned the classical guitar to an unadventurous repertoire made up of irrelevant works. These scholars usually include the music of the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos in the repertorio segoviano, arguing that his guitar pieces were significantly shaped by the Spaniard's conservative views.

Based on archival work in American, Brazilian, and Spanish archives, this article questions the alleged conservative homogeneity of the repertorio segoviano. Focusing on Segovia's collaborations with Villa-Lobos, I argue that his repertoire contains traces of the composer's peripheral modernism - an approach informed by Latin America's post-colonial condition (García Canclini 1992; Madrid 2008; Jáuregui 2008; Sarlo 1996). The relationship between the Spaniard and the Brazilian was more conflicted than the official narrative suggests. Several sources demonstrate that Segovia disliked Villa-Lobos's music, criticizing its clarity and balance in both ethical and aesthetic terms. Although the dominant personalities of the two musicians partly explained these tensions, they were also shaped by conflicting musical ideologies. While Segovia shared the ethical and aesthetic views of the Spanish right, a post-colonial form of modernism informed Villa-Lobos's musical ideology. Nevertheless, as both needed each other for advancing their careers, they negotiated these discrepancies in their musical collaborations - tensions that were performatively carved into these compositions (Madrid 2015). Indeed, Villa-Lobos was able to negotiate his socio-musical ideology with Segovia's conservatism, thus leaving traces of his peripheral modernism in the repertorio segoviano. In inserting the classical guitar in post-colonial struggles, this paper thus foregrounds the musical agency of peripheral composers such as Villa-Lobos in the perceived modernization of the classical guitar in the twentieth century.

Presenters
LA
Luis Achondo
Case Western Reserve University
Race(ism) and Art Music in Argentina: Analyzing Alberto Williams’ “La patria y la música” (1921)
Individual Paper 05:00 PM - 05:50 PM (America/Chicago) 2021/11/21 23:00:00 UTC - 2021/11/21 23:50:00 UTC


At the turn of the twentieth century, numerous Argentine intellectuals embraced positivist thinking in order to claim the "superiority" of the white race and exclude the Indigenous and African-descent population from the foundational mythologies of the Argentinian nation-state. Darwin's ideas on evolution –especially the concept of "survival of the fittest" as filtered through the work of Herbert Spencer– colored the discourses of a myriad of Argentine intellectuals, including artists. The creation of a nationalist music was a foremost concern among Argentine composers, who, influenced by these ideas, believed an Argentinian "high" art should "elevate" folk music through European techniques. 


In this paper I analyze in particular the Argentine composer Alberto Williams' article on musical aesthetics called "La patria y la música" [The fatherland and the music], published in 1921 in the music magazine La Quena. A student of César Franck at the Conservatoire de Paris, Williams (1862–1952) was a central figure among Argentinian artists. The self-proclaimed "father" of Argentine art music, Williams was responsible for the education of generations of Argentine musicians: he established a conservatoire in Buenos Aires in 1893 that within forty years expanded to over a hundred branches all around the country. The conservatoires' magazine, La Quena, edited by Williams, became the venue in which he published his thoughts on different aspects of music, ranging from theory to history. While in his article "La patria y la música" Williams begins discussing music in purely aesthetic terms, he then describes a hierarchical classification of three races (white, yellow and black), claiming that the white race is superior and the yellow and black are weaker, a fact that would lead to their inevitable "extinction." Following Williams combination of European discourse of art for art's sake and commentaries about race, I argue that the discourses on a national Argentine art music were not purely based on problems of aesthetics, but were in fact inseparable from a racist ideology that promoted the superiority of white Western (in particular European) culture. 


Presenters
VW
Vera Wolkowicz
Universidad De Buenos Aires
Arizona State University
Case Western Reserve University
Universidad de Buenos Aires
Yale University
 Juan Velasquez
University of Michigan
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