Music Music of Puerto Rico
by
Marysol Quevedo
  • LAST MODIFIED: 27 February 2019
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199757824-0254

Introduction

This entry focuses on scholarship on music from Puerto Rico of all genres and time periods. Over the last four decades, research and publications on the music of Puerto Rico have increased dramatically. As the reader will notice, many of these sources have been published since the mid-1990s. This is in great part due to the growing number of music scholars from Puerto Rico conducting ethnographic and archival research in both Puerto Rican and US mainland institutions. One institution in particular, the Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños, has produced several music scholars specializing in music from Puerto Rico. One cannot speak of a native born and bred tradition of Puerto Rican musicology, but rather of a group of sociologists, historians, ethnomusicologists, and musicologists trained in the United States who returned to Puerto Rico after their studies; only recently (since about 2005) have we seen more concerted efforts by university professors in Puerto Rico (at the Universidad de Puerto Rico, the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico, and the Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico) to train students in the various methodologies of music research. This bibliography aims to present the most important sources available today on classical, popular, and folkloric music from Puerto Rico and by Puerto Ricans in the diaspora, spanning from the colonial period (beginning in the early 16th century) to contemporary times. Some genres have received more attention than others; such is the case of the Puerto Rican danza, recognized as the national classical genre of Puerto Rico, which is the subject of several monographs and articles. Other time periods and genres have received less attention because of availability or lack of documentation; for example, little is known about the music in Catholic church services during colonial times, because most materials have been lost in fires or natural disasters. And other musics and genres have only recently received more attention because of racialized identity politics, such as the plena and bomba, which for many years were not considered representative of all of Puerto Rico, but only of its Afro-descendant community.

General: Caribbean and Cultural

The music of Puerto Rico is usually discussed in collections of essays and monographs that deal more broadly with Latin American music. Such is the case in Manuel, et al. 2006 and Kuss 2004, which include chapters on folkloric and popular music genres from Puerto Rico. Manuel, et al. 2006 offers an introduction to the music of several islands of the Caribbean and is approachable by readers who are not music specialists or Caribbean history specialists. There are also monographs devoted specifically to the culture of Puerto Rico, in which music is also discussed within this broader context, as in Galván 2009.

  • Galván, Javier A. Culture and Customs of Puerto Rico. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2009.

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    Introduces readers to a broad view of the cultural practices of Puerto Rico and is intended for a general reader. Two introductory chapters present the history of the island and issues regarding its political status. The eighth chapter focuses on performing arts practices, including music, dance, and theater. This book does not provide in-depth descriptions of music, but should serve as an introduction to Puerto Rican cultural practices.

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    • Kuss, Malena. “Puerto Rico.” In Music in Latin America and the Caribbean: An Encyclopedic History. Vol. 2. Edited by Malena Kuss, 151–188. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2004.

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      Kuss provides a basic introduction to Puerto Rican music traditions, including musíca jíbara, bomba, plena, the Puerto Rican danza, and Fiestas de la Cruz de Mayo, as well as the classical music tradition. The two volumes as a whole are aimed at a reader who has some music knowledge but is unfamiliar with the music traditions of Latin America; it is ideally suited to serve as an introduction to the music traditions of the island.

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      • Manuel, Peter, Kenneth M. Bilby, and Michael D. Largey. Caribbean Currents: Caribbean Music from Rumba to Reggae. 2d ed. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2006.

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        The most recent edition of this volume includes two chapters that deal directly and indirectly with Puerto Rican music. The third chapter, “Puerto Rico,” covers topics from the Fiestas patronales (Patron Saint festivities) of Loíza Aldea to plena and bomba and Puerto Rican music in the diaspora. The fourth chapter, “Salsa, Reggeatón, and Beyond,” deals with two genres in a more transnational context.

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        General: On Puerto Rican Music

        There are numerous monographs and dictionaries dedicated to the music of Puerto Rico. They range widely in both depth and breadth, from more general dictionaries and encyclopedic volumes, such as Campos Parsi 1976 and Toro Vargas 2003; to introductory guides to the music of Puerto Rico, such as Callejo Ferrer and Allende-Goitía 2015, Díaz Ayala 1998, and Cepeda, et al. 2012; to more specialized monographs on race and politics in music, such as Allende-Goitía 2010 and Dower 1983.

        • Allende-Goitía, Noel. De Margarita a El Cumbanchero: Vida musical, imaginación racial y discurso histórico en la sociedad puertorriqueña (1898–1940). San Juan, PR: Ediciones Puerto, 2010.

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          In this monograph Allende-Goitía provides a sociological examination of racialized Puerto Rican identity politics by examining writings about music (as in the first chapter) and music examples themselves. Allende-Goitía’s strength lies in the nuanced sociological analysis of the writings about music, rather than in musical analysis itself. The book is well-suited for a reader unfamiliar with musical theory or analysis, but who is well-versed in Puerto Rican history.

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          • Callejo Ferrer, Fernando, and Noel Allende-Goitía, ed. Música y músicos puertorriqueños. San Juan, PR: Ediciones Clara Luz, 2015.

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            Updated edition of a book originally published in 1915, which serves as a primary source for the state of research on Puerto Rican music in the early 20th century. The first part is a brief historical, chronological account of Puerto Rican music history since 1660. The second part consists of biographies of Puerto Rican composers and musicians, organized alphabetically. The remaining sections are devoted to singers, competitions, composers, prominent instrumentalists, regional music, and professors.

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            • Campos Parsi, Héctor. La gran encyclopedia de Puerto Rico, Música. Vol. 7. Madrid: Ediciones R, 1976.

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              A volume dedicated to music that is part of a multivolume encyclopedia on Puerto Rican history and culture. It is not organized in alphabetical order, but rather into four sections by topic and chronological stages: (1) music of the Taíno (the indigenous people of the region), (2) popular music up to the 20th century, (3) popular music in the 20th century, and (4) classical music. It includes images of photos, facsimiles of scores, and music notation and examples.

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              • Cepeda, William, J. Emanuel Dufrasne-González, and Juan Cartagena. La música de Puerto Rico: Raíces y evolución. San Juan, PR: Casabe Record, 2012.

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                A four-volume encyclopedia with accompanying CDs of musical examples and DVDs with videos of performances. Each volume is dedicated to a specific Puerto Rican music genre: Vol. 1, “La bomba”; Vol. 2, “La plena”; Vol. 3, “La música jíbara”; and Vol. 4, “La danza.” It includes illustrations, maps, and some notated music.

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                • Díaz Ayala, Cristóbal. La marcha de los jíbaros, 1898–1997: Cien años de música puertorriqueña por el mundo. Río Piedras, PR: Editorial Plaza Mayor, 1998.

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                  Collection of essays on Puerto Rican music between 1898 and 1997, with particular attention to those musicians, performers, and composers whose work traveled the world, specifically to New York, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico. Díaz Ayala authored the “Prologue,” and the remaining seven chapters were written by other authors with varied areas of specialization. Photos of some of the performers are provided at the end of each chapter.

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                  • Dower, Catherine. Puerto Rican Music Following the Spanish American War: 1898, the Aftermath of the Spanish American War and Its Influence on the Musical Culture of Puerto Rico. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1983.

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                    Dower’s aim is to show a thriving musical scene during a time period (the years following the Spanish American War, which ended in 1898) that has historically been described as stagnant. She focuses on the musical activities of the Ateneo Puertorriqueño, the music of various religious holidays, band concerts, and public school programs. The book’s concluding section focuses on musicians and composers, providing brief biographies and a discussion of their musical contributions.

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                    • Toro Vargas, Cirilo. Diccionario biográfico de compositores puertorriqueños. Ponce, PR: Ediciones Guayacán, 2003.

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                      Biographical dictionary of Puerto Rican composers. It is organized alphabetically and includes photographs of some of the composers, when available. However, the entries for most of the composers are very short, covering two to three paragraphs at most, and the volume should therefore only be consulted as a very basic introductory text. Among the more useful aspects are the reference lists provided at the end of every entry.

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                      Catalogues, Bibliographies, Anthologies, and Journals

                      The first academic publications on music in Puerto Rico offered readers and researchers guides, catalogues, and primary source readings on where one can find collections of music and how discussions of music have appeared in the local press. Such is the case with the various articles, catalogues, and anthologies cited here: Thompson 1986, Thompson and Thompson 1991, Thompson 2002, Díaz Ayala 2009 (a comprehensive discography of Puerto Rican popular music), Degláns and Pabón Roca 1989 (focusing on contemporary classical music), and Menéndez Maysonet 1993 (on colonial music). As interest in music research has grown, so has the quantity of journals dedicated to Puerto Rican culture and music research, including Revista del ICP, Resonancias, La canción popular, Musiké, and Centro Journal.

                      • Centro Journal.

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                        The leading scholarly journal focused entirely on Puerto Rican history and culture. Published three times a year by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, CUNY, its first issue was published in 1987. It includes many articles on music from Puerto Rico from a variety of disciplinary perspectives (musicological, literary, gender, socioeconomic, etc.).

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                        • Degláns, Kerlinda, and Luis E. Pabón Roca. Catálogo de música clásica contemporánea de Puerto Rico. Río Piedras, PR: Pro-Arte Contemporáneo, 1989.

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                          The catalogue is organized alphabetically, with entries for individual composers. Each entry contains a short biographical essay on the composer and a list of works by the composer. The authors focus on classical music composers, and acknowledge the exclusion of composers who only wrote danzas, a genre that is considered by many music scholars to be part of the classical tradition in Puerto Rico. The text is provided in both Spanish and English.

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                          • Díaz Ayala, Cristóbal. San Juan–New York: Discografía de la música puertorriqueña, 1900–1942. Río Piedras, PR: Publicaciones Gaviota, 2009.

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                            Contains an extensive discography of recordings of Puerto Rican music produced in New York and Puerto Rico between 1900 and 1942. The seven chapters that precede the well-organized discography offer readers an introduction and historical account of the recording history of Puerto Rican music during these years.

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                            • La canción popular: Revista de la Asociación Puertorriqueña de Coleccionistas.

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                              This is the magazine of the Puerto Rican Association of Music Collectors. Publication began in 1986. It was founded by the lawyer and music researcher Pedro Malavet Vega. Its contents are in line with those of a trade magazine.

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                              • Menéndez Maysonet, Guillermo. Catálogo temático de la música de Felipe Gutiérrez y Espinosa (1825–1899). Río Piedras: Sección de Musicología, Centro de Investigaciones Históricas, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras, 1993.

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                                Thematic catalogue of the works of Felipe Gutiérrez y Espinosa, the chapel master at the San Juan Cathedral between 1858 and 1898. Because he was chapel master, most of the works are for religious services, but many secular works, such as romanzas, operas, and overtures, are also included.

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                                • Musiké: Revista del Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico.

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                                  The music journal of the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. It publishes scholarly articles and reviews of albums, books, DVDs, and any other materials relevant to the conservatory’s scope. Its aim is to promote scholarly discussion of musical matters at the national and international level. It is published electronically and all issues are available online. The first volume was published in 2008.

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                                  • Resonancias: La revista puertorriqueña de música.

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                                    Music journal published biannually by the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña. It began publication in 2001, and includes pieces written by composers, musicologists, ethnomusicologists, music theorists, sociologists, and music critics.

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                                    • Revista del ICP.

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                                      Multidisciplinary academic journal published by the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (Institute of Culture of Puerto Rico). It had an initial run of more than one hundred issues published between 1958 and 1996, and a second ongoing series that began in March 2000. The Revista del ICP is fully available online and includes articles on various aspects of Puerto Rican music.

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                                      • Thompson, Donald. “The Music Collection of the Puerto Rico General Archive.” Fontes Artis Musicae 33.4 (1986): 288–292.

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                                        A description of the music collection of the Puerto Rico General Archive. The archive’s collection includes documents from the Spanish colonial period and into the years of US involvement. These consist of collections of manuscript and printed music. Thompson provides an alphabetical list of the most prominent Puerto Rican composers represented in the collection, as well as short descriptions of the works contained in the collection.

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                                        • Thompson, Donald. Music in Puerto Rico: A Reader’s Anthology. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2002.

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                                          In this volume, Thompson provides English translations of dozens of historical writings on musical activities in Puerto Rico, from early Spanish chronicles describing Taíno musical practices to contemporary music criticism in the late 20th century. The source readings deal with various aspects of Puerto Rican musical life, including classical, religious, popular, and folkloric traditions.

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                                          • Thompson, Donald, and Annie F. Thompson. Music and Dance in Puerto Rico from the Age of Columbus to Modern Times: An Annotated Bibliography. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1991.

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                                            In this annotated bibliography, Thompson provides readers with a list of sources on Puerto Rican music published up to 1991. The bibliography includes entries for reference books, monographs, chapters and sections of books, journal articles, and master’s and doctoral theses. Does not include materials on Puerto Rican music in the United States. The book is organized by music genre or type of source.

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                                            Historical/Classical Music

                                            Classical music in Puerto Rico has recently received more scholarly attention. This follows a general trend in music research in Latin America marked by increased efforts of institutions to preserve and catalogue archival materials, and by researchers tying their local findings and musical practices and histories to similar occurrences in other Latin American countries. The broader section on classical music is subdivided into four categories: the Historical/Classical Music: General section looks at sources that deal with classical music across long time spans. This is followed by a section dealing with Pre-Columbian and Colonial music and materials, a section on the Danza, and, finally, a section on sources on music in the Twentieth Century.

                                            General

                                            Although a monograph specifically devoted to classical music in Puerto Rico is still a much needed resource, the two sources cited here offer readers an initial glimpse at the rich resources of classical music in Puerto Rico. Olivieri 2000 is an anthology of sacred music, and Thompson and Schwartz 1998 is a collection of source readings on music criticism.

                                            • Olivieri, Luis A. Antología de la música coral sacra puertorriqueña. San Juan: Ediciones Schola Cantorum de Puerto Rico, 2000.

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                                              An anthology of sacred choral music produced in Puerto Rico from the mid-19th century through the 20th century. It includes musical settings of psalms, hymns, and mass parts. Each piece is accompanied by an annotation that includes biographical information on the composer and an introduction to the piece. This volume would be useful for choral directors who want to perform sacred music by Puerto Rican composers.

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                                              • Thompson, Donald, and Francis Schwartz. Concert Life in Puerto Rico, 1957–1992: Views and Reviews. San Juan: Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, 1998.

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                                                The volume collects reviews of classical music concerts and presentations found in Puerto Rican periodicals from 1957 to 1992. Both authors acknowledge their own roles in the island’s musical life as music critics for the San Juan Star, yet they remind readers that they have differing opinions on several musical matters. Largely absent are music reviews found in Spanish newspapers and periodicals by other music critics.

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                                                Pre-Columbian and Colonial

                                                As more sources are discovered and preserved in Puerto Rican collections and archives, scholarly writing on these sources continues to increase. The articles Mendoza de Arce 1988, Mendoza de Arce 1989, Mendoza de Arce 1995, and Goldberg 1997 all deal with describing colonial music for the Catholic Church, in particular the chapel masters and the music of the San Juan Cathedral. Batista 2015 is the only source to deal with one particular composer, Felipe Gutiérrez Espinosa. Allende-Goitía 2006 is the first article to deal with broader issues of race and culture in colonial music in Puerto Rico, and it reflects the more recent influence of cultural studies. Thompson 1993 explores historical and archeological sources that provide information on pre-Columbian music making.

                                                • Allende-Goitía, Noel. “The Mulatta, the Bishop, and Dances in the Cathedral: Race, Music, and Power Relations in Seventeenth-Century Puerto Rico.” Black Music Research Journal 26.2 (2006): 137–164.

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                                                  Taking Cayetano Coll y Toste’s 1691 description of a Christmas celebration at the San Juan Cathedral as a point of departure, Allende-Goitía examines the complex relationship between music expression, religion, race, and gender in colonial Puerto Rico. Allende-Goitía interprets Coll y Toste’s account as an early postmodern imaginary, and focuses on the blend of sacred and popular, as well as racial mixing, present in religious contexts.

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                                                  • Batista, Gustavo. Felipe Gutiérrez y Espinosa (1852–1899): Y el ambiente musical del San Juan de su época. San Juan, PR: Publicaciones Gaviota Batista, 2015.

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                                                    Although the first part of the title of book might lead one to think that it consists mainly of biographical information on the composer Felipe Gutiérrez Espinosa, the majority of the book is a thorough cultural study of classical musical life in Puerto Rico from the earliest colonial times (1500) up to the end of the 19th century. Starting with chapter 4, each chapter has a section on Gutiérrez Espinosa.

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                                                    • Goldberg, Rita. “Nuevos datos sobre la historia de la música en Puerto Rico: Pedro Núñez De Ortega, arcabucero y maestro de capilla.” Latin American Music Review 18.1 (Spring-Summer 1997): 57–67.

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                                                      Provides information about the musical activities at the San Juan Cathedral during the 17th century. It focuses on new (in 1997) findings regarding the arrival from Spain of the musician Pedro Núñez de Ortega. The article provides a detailed chronological account of the institutional history regarding musical activities at the San Juan Cathedral, listing the various organists and chapel masters.

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                                                      • Mendoza de Arce, Daniel. “Music in the Constitutions of the Diocese of Puerto Rico (1604).” Latin American Music Review 9.2 (Autumn-Winter 1988): 233–240.

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                                                        In this article, Mendoza de Arce provides a short account of the role of music during the establishment of the Puerto Rican Diocese in the early 17th century. It follows musical developments at the San Juan Cathedral, and shows how these were affected by shifts in support and power from Spain and the Catholic Church.

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                                                        • Mendoza de Arce, Daniel. “Panorama of the Music in the Cathedral of San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1749–1857.” Latin American Music Review 10.1 (Spring-Summer 1989): 53–68.

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                                                          Based on extensive archival research using church minutes, secondary sources, and primary sources found at the Centro de Investigaciones of the University of Puerto Rico, Mendoza de Arce provides an overview of musical activities at the Cathedral of San Juan over a hundred-year period.

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                                                          • Mendoza de Arce, Daniel. “Domingo Delgado Gómez (1806–56): Puerto Rican Master Composer.” Latin American Music Review 16.2 (Autumn-Winter 1995): 154–164.

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                                                            Biographical article on the composer Domingo Delgado Gómez, who, according to Mendoza de Arce, is the most important composer of the early 19th century in Puerto Rico, due to the greater amount of extant compositions by him than by any of his contemporaries. The article is divided into two main sections: the first provides biographical information on Delgado Gómez, and the second examines his musical output. Mendoza de Arce also provides a list of works by Delgado Gómez in an appendix.

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                                                            • Thompson, Donald. “The ‘Cronistas de Indias’ Revisited: Historical Reports, Archeological Evidence, and Literary and Artistic Traces of Indigenous Music and Dance in the Greater Antilles at the Time of the ‘Conquista.’” Latin American Music Review 14.2 (Autumn-Winter 1993): 181–201.

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                                                              Thompson points out the historiographical issues regarding the information about music that was recorded by early colonial chroniclers in the Caribbean, which were informed by a Eurocentric point of view. Thompson notes that we have little evidence of the actual musical practices of the Taíno before or after the period of European colonization, citing the few artifacts from archeological digs as some of the few reliable historical items.

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                                                              Danza

                                                              The danza puertorriqueña was one of the first music genres of Puerto Rico to receive serious scholarly attention, as evidenced by Rosado 1977 and two publications from the 1950s, Cadilla de Martínez 1950 and Deliz 1957. This is due to the place the genre has been afforded within Puerto Rican culture as the first truly native classical music form, and as a symbol of national identity—topics that are broached in Díaz and Manuel 2009. Most of the sources listed in this section offer readers chronological accounts of the evolution and musical traits of the genre (Balseiro 1984, Muñoz de Frontera 1988, Villarini 1980), including López Sobá 2013 on its predecessor, the contradanza.

                                                              • Balseiro, José Agustín. La danza puertoriqueña. San Juan: Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, Centro de Investigaciones y Ediciones Musicales de Puerto Rico, 1984.

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                                                                Balserio provides a brief chronological account of the danza genre, with separate biographical introduction of prominent danza composers, and well as descriptions of their works. Serves as an introduction to the genre, but does not provide a thorough analysis of the compositions or the sociocultural milieu in which they were composed, performed, and danced.

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                                                                • Cadilla de Martínez, María. “La histórica danza de Puerto Rico en el siglo XVI y sus evoluciones.” Revista Musical Chilena (1950): 43–77.

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                                                                  Takes as point of departure the reference to a dance called “El Puertorrico” in the writings of the 16th-century chronicler Mateo Rosas de Oquendo, who observed this dance in Argentina and Peru, alongside sarabandes and chacones.

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                                                                  • Deliz, Monserrate. El himno de Puerto Rico: Estudio crítico de “La Borinqueña.” Madrid: Ediciones G.I.S.A., 1957.

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                                                                    This is a critical study of the history of the Puerto Rican national anthem La Borinqueña. Deliz examines numerous sources, from its earliest mentions in Puerto Rican periodicals to its first appearance as printed sheet music, as well as the contradictory claims of origin and authorship by various authors in the first half of the 20th century. Deliz provides facsimiles of various sheet music editions and an orchestral arrangement.

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                                                                    • Díaz, Edgardo, and Peter Manuel. “Puerto Rico: The Rise and Fall of the Danza as National Music.” In Creolizing Contradance in the Caribbean. Edited by Peter Manuel, 113–154. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2009.

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                                                                      Provides an account of the development of the Puerto Rican danza. The chapter begins with the first accounts of the danza in local newspapers (in 1848), and then traces the genre’s antecedents and development until its fall from popularity in the 1930s. The chapter focuses on the danza’s symbolic power in asserting Puerto Rican national identity, in particular during times of political unrest against Spanish rule in the latter half of the 19th century.

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                                                                      • López Sobá, Elías. La contradanza española: Debates sobre su origen, mudanzas por las cortes de Europa y derivas en el Caribe. Puerto Rico: Copicúa, 2013.

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                                                                        Traces the history of the contradanza in Spain and its colonies in the Caribbean. Chapters 5 and 6 focus on the contradanza in the Caribbean, with a separate subsection on specific countries, including Cuba, Santo Domingo, and Puerto Rico. It goes beyond the works that were originally labeled contradanza and discusses the evolution of this genre into the merengue and the danza in Puerto Rico.

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                                                                        • Muñoz de Frontera, Nélida. “A Study of Selected Nineteenth Century Puerto Rican Composers and Their Musical Output.” PhD diss., New York University, 1988.

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                                                                          Provides an overview of classical music in 19th-century Puerto Rico. It focuses on the biographies and works of Felipe Gutierrez y Espinosa (b. 1825–d. 1899), Manuel Gregorio Tavárez Ropero (b. 1843–d. 1883), Juan Morel Campos (b. 1857–d. 1896), and Jose Ignacio Quintón Rosario (b. 1881–d. 1925). Also provides a catalogue of their works.

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                                                                          • Rosado, Marisa. Ensayos sobre la danza puertorriqueña. San Juan: Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, 1977.

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                                                                            This is a collection of historical essays on the danza puertorriqueña. These include Salvador Brau’s “La danza puertorriqueña” from 1903, Braulio Deuño Colón’s “Estudio sobre la danza puertorriqueña” from 1973, Amaury Veray’s “Viday y desarrollo de la danza puertorriqueña” from 1956 and “La mission social de la danza puertorriqueña de Juan Morel Campos” from 1959, and José A. Balseiro’s “La danza puertorriqueña” from 1960.

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                                                                            • Villarini, Awilda. “A Study of Selected Puerto Rican Danzas for the Piano.” PhD diss., New York University, 1980.

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                                                                              By analyzing a selection of danzas for the piano, Villarini traces the development of the genre. The analysis takes into consideration the form, rhythm, melody, harmony, and pianism of the selected works.

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                                                                              Twentieth Century

                                                                              Studies of classical music in Puerto Rico in the 20th century have focused on specific figures, such as the performer Jesús María Sanromá (Hernández 2008)and the composers Héctor Campos Parsi (Caso 1980, Montalvo 1992), Jack Délano (Faría Jiménez 2014), and Rafael Aponte Ledeé, (Díaz Díaz 1996, Alonso 2016). The other sources deal more broadly with repertories, such as Alonso Rivera 2002, which deals with the string quartet; specific musical ensembles, as in the case of the Reina Pérez 2010; or the Casals Festival, as in Carrión Maymí 2014. Taken together, these sources provide readers with snapshots of some major figures and institutions in classical music in Puerto Rico, though there remains a need for a cultural history of classical music in Puerto Rico during the 20th century.

                                                                              • Alonso, Ernesto. “Inicios de la vanguardia musical puertorriqueña: Rafael Aponte Ledée.” Musiké: Revista del Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico 5.1 (November 2016): 35–49.

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                                                                                Alonso examines Rafael Apone Ledée’s Elegía for string orchestra (1965, rev. 1967) as the work that initiated avant-garde musical practices and composition in Puerto Rico. Alonso points out the delay of the emergence of a musical avant-garde in Puerto Rico when compared to similar developments in Latin America and Europe, and that Aponte Ledée and his contemporaries cultivated a musical style that was not immediately accepted among music circles on the island.

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                                                                                • Alonso Rivera, Ernesto. “The String Quartet in Puerto Rico: Repertory and Organizations.” PhD Diss., Catholic University of America, 2002.

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                                                                                  The dissertation examines string quartet compositions by Puerto Rican composers between 1890 and 1992. Alonso Rivera provides a review of secondary sources and information on the Music Collection of the General Archive of Puerto Rico. The work contains a chronological, annotated list of string quartets, divided into two periods, 1890–1940 and 1950–1992. Because most of the analysis is based on manuscripts, performers would be hard pressed to obtain copies of the works discussed.

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                                                                                  • Carrión Maymí, Ángel L. “Pablo Casals: Embajador cultural del Estado Libre Asociado, 1955–1957.” Musiké: Revista del Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico 3.1 (December 2014): 25–50.

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                                                                                    Examines the role of the cellist Pablo Casals in the cultural politics of Governor Luis Muñoz Marín in promoting Puerto Rico as a tourist and cultural destination. Three musical projects, the Casals Festival, the Puerto Rican Symphony Orchestra, and the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, including Casals’s role in their development, are discussed in the context of the local government’s internationalist aspirations and redefinitions of Puerto Rico’s relationship to the United States.

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                                                                                    • Caso, Fernando H. Héctor Campos Parsi en la historia de la música puertorriqueña del siglo XX. San Juan: Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, 1980.

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                                                                                      Fernando Caso provides an overview of classical music in Puerto Rico from the late 19th century through 1980. Caso presents short biographical sketches of the most prominent classical music composers, setting the stage and context for a biographical and musical discussion of Héctor Campos Parsi and his work. This book is intended for readers with some basic musical knowledge and a strong background on 20th-century classical styles and techniques.

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                                                                                      • Díaz Díaz, Edgardo. “Puerto Rican Affirmation and Denial of Musical Nationalism: The Cases of Campos Parsi and Aponte Ledeé.” Latin American Music Review 17.1 (Spring-Summer 1996): 1–20.

                                                                                        DOI: 10.2307/780335Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                        The author examines how Puerto Rican national identity has been articulated and contested in music in the last century of Puerto Rican history. The article emphasizes Puerto Rico’s relationship to the United States, and how this relationship has shaped notions of “self” and “other” for Puerto Ricans, and for Puerto Rican musicians in particular. Díaz also notes the diverging approaches to compositions between Campos Paris (nationalist) and Aponte Ledeé (avant-gardist).

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                                                                                        • Faría Jiménez, Jean Carlo. “Catálogo, bibliografía y discografía musical de Jack Délano.” Musiké: Revista del Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico 3.1 (December 2014): 1–24.

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                                                                                          Faría not only provides a catalogue of the musical compositions (63 total) by the Ukrainian-born Puerto Rican composer Jack Délano, but also explains the sources used and the process for putting together the catalogue. In the introductory essay, Faría also situates Délano within the contemporary classical music scene after arriving in Puerto Rico in 1941.

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                                                                                          • Glasser, Ruth. My Music Is My Flag: Puerto Rican Musicians and Their New York Communities, 1917–1940. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.

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                                                                                            Monograph on the musical culture of the Puerto Rican community in New York between the world wars. Glasser focuses on the struggles of working-class Puerto Rican musicians and their integration into a multicultural environment, where they worked with musicians of various ethnic, cultural, and racial backgrounds. She explores various scenes, such as the recording industry and the development of plena in New York.

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                                                                                            • Gold, Catherine Dower. Actividades musicales en Puerto Rico: Después de la Guerra Hispanoamericana 1898–1910. Victoria, BC: Trafford, 2006.

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                                                                                              Deals with the musical activities in Puerto Rico in the decade that immediately followed the Spanish-American War. Gold provides a historical overview of the political, social, and economic conditions that led to a general decline in cultural activities in the aftermath of the war. She demonstrates, however, how certain institutions, mainly churches and municipal bands, continued to provide music to Puerto Rican audiences. Includes some musical examples and illustrations.

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                                                                                              • Hernández, Alberto. Jesús María Sanromá: An American Twentieth-Century Pianist. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2008.

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                                                                                                Biographical monograph on the life and performance career of the Puerto Rican concert pianist Jesús María Sanromá (1902–1984). Intended for a general readership, it is the first English monograph on the Puerto Rican pianist, whose early career was closely tied to US and European composers and ensembles, including, most significantly, the Boston Pops Orchestra.

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                                                                                                • Montalvo, José A. “Héctor Campos Parsi, His Life and Music: A Biographical Study with an Analysis of Four Selected Works.” PhD Diss., New York University, 1992.

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                                                                                                  Provides a biographical sketch of Hector Campos Parsi (up to the date of publication), a catalogue of the composer’s works, and an analysis of selected works based on style and compositional techniques. The dissertation is probably outdated at this point, in terms of Campos Parsi’s biography, since it was published in 1992, but it may still be relevant for the musical analysis of the pieces discussed: Sonata en sol, Divertimento del sur, Petroglifos, and Columnas y cícrculos.

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                                                                                                  • Reina Pérez, Pedro A. Crónica en tres tiempos: La Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico (1958–2008). Puerto Rico: EMS Editores, 2010.

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                                                                                                    The historian and journalist Pedro Ángel Reina Pérez provides a chronological account of the history of the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra. He organizes the account into three time periods: 1958–1977, 1977–1990, and 1990–2008. He focuses on the administrative and political aspects of the orchestra’s history and uses materials from newspapers and magazines as his primary sources. The volume serves as an introduction to classical music performance in the second half of the 20th century.

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                                                                                                    Folk Music

                                                                                                    This section looks at sources that have dealt with musics that are usually passed down orally, from generation to generation, regardless of the primary research methods employed by scholars, whether historical and archival or ethnographic. Studies of folkloric music traditions in Puerto Rico have focused on two major themes or subcategories, the so-called música jíbara, which actually focuses on folk music traditions of European descendants, and the music traditions of Afro–Puerto Rican communities, such as a the bomba and plena. This section is subdivided into three subsections. The sources in the first subsection deal with broader folkloric music traditions throughout the island and over time, such as López Cruz 1967, or more specific musical traditions, such as Davis 1972 (both cited under Folk Music: General). The second subsection collects sources specifically dedicated to Afro-Puerto Rican music genres, particularly the bomba and plena, a research topic that has received more attention in recent years. The third subcategory deals specifically with música jíbara.

                                                                                                    General

                                                                                                    The sources listed in this section introduce readers to various folk music traditions of Puerto Rico, starting with the monograph López Cruz 1967. Other sources listed here deal with more specific events or traditions within folk music, such as Davis 1972 and López Cruz 1972, a monograph on the aguinaldo. McCoy 1978 is a dissertation explores both the bomba and the aguinaldo, while Sotomayor Pérez, et al. 2013 surveys the evolution of string instruments in folk music traditions in Puerto Rico. Viera Vargas 2014 surveys the contents of the earliest music recordings of Puerto Rican folk music in the John Alden Mason collection.

                                                                                                    • Davis, Martha Ellen. “The Social Organization of a Musical Event: The Fiesta De Cruz in San Juan, Puerto Rico.” Ethnomusicology 21.1 (1972): 38–62.

                                                                                                      DOI: 10.2307/850442Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                      Davis examines the revival of the Fiesta de Santa Cru in Old San Juan during the 1960s, after a period of decline. The event is analyzed as a symbol of local and national identity, in the face of Puerto Rico’s colonial relationship with the United States.

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                                                                                                      • López Cruz, Francisco. La música folklórica de Puerto Rico. Sharon, CT: Troutman Press, 1967.

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                                                                                                        López Cruz provides a general introduction to the folkloric music traditions of Puerto Rico. One of the salient features of this work is the inclusion of musical examples, not only in the reproduction of lyrics, but also of music transcriptions. López Cruz provides a description and brief history of each genre, followed by the examples. The genres range from the seis tradition to Afro–Puerto Rican genres, as well as music used in various religious contexts.

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                                                                                                        • López Cruz, Francisco. El aguinaldo en Puerto Rico (su evolución). San Juan: Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, 1972.

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                                                                                                          Brief monograph on the musical tradition known as aguinaldo, a folk music tradition practiced mainly during Christmas time and associated with the white rural communities of the jíbaros. The book traces the genre’s roots to the Spanish villancico, and then proceeds to discuss its lyrics, rhythm, harmony, and melody. It is suitable for readers with basic musical knowledge, but also with some background on Puerto Rican history and cultural forms.

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                                                                                                          • McCoy, James A. “The Bomba and Aguinaldo of Puerto Rico as They Have Evolved from Indigenous, African and European Cultures.” PhD Diss., Florida State University, 1978.

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                                                                                                            McCoy examines the antecedents and evolution of two traditional music genres from Puerto Rico, the aguinaldo and the bomba. He provides illustrations of instruments and focuses on the Spanish and West African musical and textual influences on the development of both genres. The text includes some textual and musical transcriptions of aguinaldos and bombas, and it introduces readers to a basic cultural history of the Caribbean.

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                                                                                                            • Sotomayor Pérez, Juan, William R. Cumpiano, and Myriam Fuentes. Cuerdas de mi tierra: Una historia de los instrumentos de cuerda nativos de Puerto Rico: Cuatro, tiple, vihuela y bordonúa. Moca, PR: Juan Sotomayor Pérez, 2013.

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                                                                                                              Illustrated monograph on the history of plucked string instruments in Puerto Rico. It covers the development of the tiple, bordonúa, vihuela, and cuatro. Although the majority of the text is in Spanish, the authors provide a chapter in English where they summarize the development of all the instruments discussed.

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                                                                                                              • Viera Vargas, Hugo René. “La colección John Alden Mason (1914–1915): Una documentación sonora para el estudio de la historia cultural y musical puertorriqueña.” Musiké: Revista del Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico 4.1 (August 2014): 8–54.

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                                                                                                                Viera Vargas examines the potential of the sound recordings found in the John Alden Mason collection (Archives of Traditional Music at Indiana University) for researchers interested in the creation of Puerto Rican literature and culture in the years following the US occupation of the island. The author presents the shortcomings and challenges, as well as the implicit limitations and biases, of the collectors. The article concludes with a brief catalogue of the collection’s materials.

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                                                                                                                Afro–Puerto Rican

                                                                                                                One of the most researched and written-about areas of folk music in Puerto Rico concerns the traditions of Afro-descendants. This first section includes sources that deal with Afro–Puerto Rican music broadly or within various genres, such as Dufrasne González 1994, which explores both bomba and plena, while the works Quintero Rivera and Alvarez 1994, López 2008, Vargas Fuster 2016, Viera Vargas 2017, and Allende-Goitía 2014 deal with broader sociological and historical issues of Afro–Puerto Rican musical traditions.

                                                                                                                • Allende-Goitía, Noel. Las músicas otras: Puerto Rico, el atlántico afrodiaspórico y otros ensayos de estudios culturales de la música. San Juan, PR: Ediciones Clara Luz, 2014.

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                                                                                                                  In this collection of essays published between 2005 and 2013, Allende Goitía explores various music topics using the methodologies of literary theory, social biography, cultural history, and Afrodiasporic studies. The topics range from the development of a national Puerto Rican identity in colonial times to the Puerto Rican danza to the bolero. Most of the essays are in Spanish, with one exception. Readers should already have basic knowledge of Puerto Rican history and vernacular music genres.

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                                                                                                                  • Dufrasne González, J. Emanuel. Puerto Rico también tiene—tambó!: Recopilación de artículos sobre la plena y la bomba. Rio Grande, PR: Paracumbé, 1994.

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                                                                                                                    In this short monograph, the ethnomusicologist J. Emanuel Dufrasne González introduces readers to the history and basic rhythmic patterns of the two quintessential Afro–Puerto Rican music genres, the bomba and the plena. He includes musical transcriptions of the basic rhythms and well-known lyrics and melodies. It is an informative resource for readers already familiar with music notation and musical concepts.

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                                                                                                                    • Quintero Rivera, A. G., and Luis M. Alvarez. “La etnicidad cimarroneada: La melodización de ritmos en la música de la contraplantación.” América Negra 8 (1994): 51–80.

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                                                                                                                      Quintero Rivera and Alvarez explore both contemporary and historical sources to trace the transformation of rhythmic elements into melodic ones in the music of Afro–Puerto Rican communities, which in turn have become a more general practice used by Puerto Rican popular music groups to mark their performances as Puerto Rican. The article provides basic background information on the history of plantation culture and Maroons (cimarrones) in Puerto Rico, making the work accessible to advanced undergraduate students and nonmusicians.

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                                                                                                                      • Vargas Fuster, Carla. “La representación lirico-musical del negro en la obra de dos compositors puertorriqueños: Ejemplos musicales de Héctor Campos Parsi y Catalino “Tite” Curet Alonso.” Musiké: Revista del Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico 5.1 (November 2016): 1–14.

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                                                                                                                        Compares the depiction and construction of blackness in two works by Puerto Rican artists. Vargas Fuster demonstrates how Campos Parsi sets one of the most famous poems, “Majestad negra,” by Luis Palés Matos from the Afroantillanismo poetic movement, as an art song by evoking rhythmic elements from bomba in the piano accompaniment and focusing on the black body; while in the classical salsa song, “Las cara lindas,” Curet Alonso shifts the attention to black faces.

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                                                                                                                        • Viera Vargas, Hugo René. “A son de clave: La dimensión afrodiaspórica de la puertorriqueñidad en la música popular, 1929–1940.” Latin American Music Review 38.1 (Spring-Summer 2017): 57–82.

                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.7560/LAMR38103Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                          Viera Vargas explores the absorption of Afro-Cuban elements in Puerto Rican popular music in the early 20th century. Using early-20th-century recordings held at the John Alden Mason collection, he argues that these adaptations happened prior to the development of the commercial music industry in the Caribbean, and that they reflect a rising Afro-Caribbean/Afro-diasporic identity among Puerto Rican musicians.

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                                                                                                                          Bomba

                                                                                                                          One of the two main genres represented in this section on Afro-Puerto Rican traditions is the bomba, which is examined through various lenses in Vega Drouet 1979, Barton 1995, Cartagena 2004, Alamo-Pastrana 2009, Abadía-Rexach 2015, and Bofill Calero 2014.

                                                                                                                          • Abadía-Rexach, Bárbara I. “¡Saludando al tambor!: El nuevo movimiento de la Bomba puertorriqueña = Saluting the Drum!: The New Puerto Rican Bomba Movement.” PhD Diss., University of Texas at Austin, 2015.

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                                                                                                                            Examines construction of race in Puerto Rican music, through ethnographic and archival research on the predominantly Afro-Puerto Rican genre of bomba. This study does not include detailed or in-depth musical analysis; its approach and methodology is mainly sociological and anthropological. It is in Spanish. For a condensed English version, see Abadía-Rexach 2016.

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                                                                                                                            • Abadía-Rexach, Bárbara I. “The New Puerto Rican Bomba Movement.” African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal 9.1 (2016): 32–43.

                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1080/17528631.2015.1055653Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                              Takes the emerging bomba music-making scene as a site for examining racial categories and tensions, as well as notions of national Puerto Rican identity as a racially mixed group. The author argues that the racial exclusion and inequalities that dominate daily practices contradict the national discourse of racial equality.

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                                                                                                                              • Alamo-Pastrana, Carlos. “Con el eco de los barriles: Race, Gender and the Bomba Imaginary in Puerto Rico.” Identities 16.5 (2009): 573–600.

                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1080/10702890903172736Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                The article examines the gendered aspects of bomba dancing, as well as the colonial and racial contexts within which the genre historically developed. Alamo-Pastrana bases his analysis on ethnographic fieldwork of two youth performance groups from the San Juan metropolitan area and their audiences. This article should be approached after initial readings on bomba and Puerto Rican history, since it takes for granted that the reader is already familiar with the historical context and the genre.

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                                                                                                                                • Barton, Halbert E. “The Drum-Dance Challenge: An Anthropological Study of Gender, Race and Class Marginalization of Bomba in Puerto Rico.” PhD diss., Cornell University, 1995.

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                                                                                                                                  Through extensive ethnographic research, Barton examines the sociocultural factors that have made, until recently, bomba a fairly marginalized genre in Puerto Rican culture. He examines issues of race, gender, and class in the performance (both through drumming and dancing) of bomba in Santurce and Loíza Aldea. The work does not provide detailed musical analysis, but examines this musical practice as a sociological phenomenon.

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                                                                                                                                  • Bofill Calero, Jaime O. “Bomba, danza, calipso y merengue: Creación del espacio social en las fiestas de Santiago Apóstol de Loíza.” Latin American Music Review 35.1 (2014): 115–138.

                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.7560/LAMR35105Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    Bofill examines the celebrations of the Feast of Santiago (St. James) in the predominantly Afro-descendant yet racially heterogeneous municipality of Loíza. He focuses on the use of music and performance to demarcate social spaces during the celebrations, with particular attention to the juxtaposition of sacred and secular manifestations. The musical genres discussed include bomba, merengue, calypso, and danza, which he considers crucial in defining the soundscape of the festivities.

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                                                                                                                                    • Cartagena, Juan. “When Bomba Becomes the National Music of the Puerto Rico Nation.” Centro Journal 16.1 (Spring 2004): 14–35.

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                                                                                                                                      Opening with a thick description of a celebration in a Puerto Rican community in New York centered around bomba, Cartagena discusses the rise of bomba since the 1960s as a musical genre that has been used to celebrate Puerto Rican national identity, especially among communities living in the continental United States. The author also discusses issues of race, including the racialization of the genre as a predominantly Afro–Puerto Rican musical tradition.

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                                                                                                                                      • Vega Drouet, Hector. “Historical and Ethnological Survey on Probable African Origins of the Puerto Rican Bomba: Including a Description of Santiago Apostol Festivities at Loíza Aldea.” PhD Diss., Wesleyan University, 1979.

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                                                                                                                                        Vega Drouet provides a historical and ethnographic account of the bomba tradition in Loíza Aldea. He traces the roots of this tradition to specific groups in West Africa, provides transcriptions of rhythmic patterns of the bomba, and compares them to drumming patterns of West African traditions. He focuses his ethnographic study in the bomba musical practices of the festivities of Santiago Apostol in Loíza Aldea.

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                                                                                                                                        Plena

                                                                                                                                        Although most scholars deal with bomba and plena together, López 2008 and Guerrero 2013 deal with plena separately.

                                                                                                                                        • Guerrero Paulina. “A Story Told Through Plena: Claiming Identity and Cultural Autonomy in the Street Festivals of San Juan, Puerto Rico.” Island Studies Journal 8.1 (2013): 165–178.

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                                                                                                                                          Guerrero analyzes plena performance during the annual Fiestas de la Calle de San Sebastián as a site where musicians express the contemporary concerns of Puerto Rico’s political relationship with the United States. She also examines the commercialization of the fiestas, and the pleneros’ (plena musicians) position within a music scene now dominated by non–Puerto Rican music genres.

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                                                                                                                                          • López, Ramón. Los bembeteos de la plena puertorriqueña. San Juan, PR: Ediciones Huracán, 2008.

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                                                                                                                                            Ramón López provides a history of the plena genre. This is a collection of essays rather than a monograph. Emulating the genre itself, each chapter tells a story in order to trace the ways in which plena has been deployed as a vehicle for narrating events and spreading gossip (bembeteo). It is intended for a general reader, focusing on song lyrics and the genre’s social function.

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                                                                                                                                            Música Jíbara

                                                                                                                                            The term música jíbara is used as an umbrella term to refer to a genre complex of musics traditionally made by European descendants. These musics have not received as much scholarly attention as those of Afro-diasporic origins. Malavet Vega 1987 explores them in the context in which they have become most popularized, as Christmas music. Milland Ramos 2014 traces the history and folklore of string instruments, which prevail in the música jíbara traditions, while Bofill Calero 2013 deals with improvisatory practices in jíbaro music, and Ruiz Caraballo 2015 explores continuity and change in this tradition.

                                                                                                                                            • Bofill Calero, Jaime O. “Improvisation in Jíbaro Music: A Structural Analysis.” PhD diss., University of Arizona, 2013.

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                                                                                                                                              Bofill explores various types of improvisation in jíbaro music (that is, music of rural farmers of Puerto Rico). He focuses on lyrical improvisation in the décima tradition, and in the soloistic melodic/harmonic role of the cuatro player (a small, guitar/mandolin-like string instrument). Bofill’s analysis is derived from ethnographic research in which he uncovers the implicit structures and practices of improvisation (a highly valued trait) that are transmitted orally within the tradition.

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                                                                                                                                              • Malavet Vega, Pedro. Navidad que vuelve: La tradición y el cantar navideño en Puerto Rico. Ponce, PR: Editora Corripio, 1987.

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                                                                                                                                                The monograph introduces the reader to the cultural traditions of Puerto Rican Christmas. It includes a discussion of various customs, including food and beverages, but the bulk of the discussion centers on the music traditions found within the context of religious services and in more secular settings. The final part of the book consists of transcriptions of several interviews with musicians who are best known for their performances and recordings of traditional Puerto Rican Christmas music.

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                                                                                                                                                • Milland Ramos, Eric F. Historia, folclor y tradiciones artesanales de los instrumentos de cuerdas en Puerto Rico. San Juan, PR: E.F. Milland Ramos, 2014.

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                                                                                                                                                  Organological study of string instruments in Puerto Rico, with particular focus on the tiple and cuatro. Provides historical background and an introduction to the musical genres that use these instruments. The book traces the development of these instruments in relation to the religious and secular traditions from colonial times to the 20th century.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Ruiz Caraballo, Noraliz. “Continuity and Change in the Puerto Rican Cuatro Tradition: Reflections on Contemporary Performance Practice.” PhD diss., Kent State University, 2015.

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                                                                                                                                                    Viewing the cuatro (a ten-string guitar-like instrument) as a symbol of Puerto Rican culture and identity, Ruiz Caraballo explores the historical uses and meaning of the instrument, as well as its role in contemporary musical practices. As the title suggests, she focuses on continuity and change, exploring the sites in which the instrument is used to assert or reinforce Puerto Rican identity within Puerto Rico and in the US mainland, as well as across generations.

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                                                                                                                                                    Popular

                                                                                                                                                    Popular music in Puerto Rico has received a great deal of scholarly attention. Many of the sources are written by sociologists, and by and large they do not provide detailed descriptions of the musical traits of popular music genres, yet they do contribute in-depth analyses of popular music’s role in Puerto Rican society (see Malavet Vega 1988, Malavet Vega 2002, and Rodríguez-Rodríguez 1995, all cited under Popular: General). Volumes written by musicologists and ethnomusicologists tend to provide more musical analysis and description, such as Manuel, et al. 2006 (cited under Popular: General). In addition to the Popular: General subsection, this section contains two other subsections in order to deal with the large quantity of publications on two specific genres: Salsa and Reggaetón.

                                                                                                                                                    General

                                                                                                                                                    The sources found in this section either deal with popular music in Puerto Rico in broad terms, such as Malavet Vega 1988 and Malavet Vega 2002, two monographs, Manuel, et al. 2006, a collection of essays, and Viera Vargas 2008, a dissertation; or with specific genres, such as Rodríguez-Rodríguez 1995, on protest music, and Anazagasty-Rodríguez 2002, on rock en espańol. Finally, Fiol-Matta 2017 explores the role of women singers in the second half of the 20thcentury.

                                                                                                                                                    • Anazagasty-Rodríguez, José. “Colonial Capitalism, Hegemony, and Youth Praxis in Puerto Rico: Fiel a La Vega’s Rock en Español.” Latin American Music Review 23.2 (Spring-Summer 2002): 79–105.

                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1353/lat.2002.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                      Taking the Puerto Rican rock band Fiel a la Vega as a case study, Anazagasty-Rodríguez examines the grassroots efforts on rock en español and its criticism of capitalist modes of production and consumption, as well as its role in politicizing youth culture in Puerto Rico during the 1990s. The article offers readers familiar with a general history of rock with a snapshot of the recent development of rock at the national level in Puerto Rico.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Fiol-Matta, Licia. The Great Woman Singer: Gender and Voice in Puerto Rican Music. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2017.

                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1215/9780822373469Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                        Fiol-Matta explores issues of gender, politics, and identity through the careers of four Puerto Rican women singers: Myrta Silva, Ruth Fernández, Ernestina Reyes, and Lucecita Benítez. She focuses on how their vocal and performance styles challenged gender norms, and therefore expressed their individual artistic and political agency. Fiol-Matta places her analysis within the political and social backdrop of Puerto Rican society in the second half of the 20th century.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Malavet Vega, Pedro. Del bolero a la nueva canción: La música popular en Puerto Rico: De los años ‘50 al presente. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Editora Corripio, 1988.

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                                                                                                                                                          Monograph on popular music in Puerto Rico from the 1950s to 1988. Includes little discussion of the music itself, and focuses more on the lives of musicians and the reception of musical genres, including the bolero, nueva canción, rock, and jazz, among others. Intended for a general readership, the volume doesn’t offer in-depth analysis of the music or movements discussed, but it should serve as an introduction to those who are not familiar with popular music in Puerto Rico during this time period.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Malavet Vega, Pedro. De las bandas al Trío Borinquen: (1900–1927). Ponce, PR: Ediciones Lorena, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                                            This monograph traces the development of popular song in Puerto Rico between 1900 and 1927. It provides a cultural history that deals with various genres, composers, and musicians, but it does not include musical analysis of the genres and pieces discussed. It focuses on lyrical content and meaning and includes reproductions of historic photographs.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Manuel, Peter, Kenneth M. Bilby, and Michael D. Largey. Caribbean Currents: Caribbean Music from Rumba to Reggae. 2d ed. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2006.

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                                                                                                                                                              The most recent edition of this volume includes two chapters that deal directly and indirectly with Puerto Rican music. The third chapter, “Puerto Rico,” covers topics from the Fiestas patronales (Patron Saint festivities) of Loíza Aldea to plena and bomba and Puerto Rican music in the diaspora. The fourth chapter, “Salsa, Reggeatón, and Beyond,” deals with two genres in a more transnational context. The book offers an introduction to the music of several islands of the Caribbean and is approachable by readers who are not music specialists or Caribbean history specialists.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Aixa L. “Music as a Form of Resistance: A Critical Analysis of the Puerto Rican New Song Movement’s Oppositional Discourse.” PhD Diss., University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 1995.

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                                                                                                                                                                Focuses on popular music and cultural politics by examining the nueva canción/nueva trova movement in Puerto Rico. It analyzes song texts, with particular attention to oppositional language. More broadly, it provides the social-historical context in which the new song movement developed in Puerto Rico and the basis of a history of the genre through thorough chronological account. It does lack in-depth musical analysis, as it focuses solely on lyrical text.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Viera Vargas, Hugo René. “De-centering Identities Popular Music and the (Un)Making of Nation in Puerto Rico, 1898–1940.” PhD Diss., Indiana University, 2008.

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                                                                                                                                                                  In this dissertation, Viera examines the development of popular music in Puerto Rico in the four decades that followed the end of Spanish colonial rule and the beginning of the island’s complicated relationship with the United States. Viera focuses on the music of the racially and socially marginalized, and on elites’ efforts to promote white peasant cultural forms as representative of the nation at the expense of racialized and more diverse cultural representations.

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                                                                                                                                                                  Salsa

                                                                                                                                                                  Although many musicians, music critics, and scholars would argue the salsa is a transnational genre that emerged out of the Latin American immigrant communities of New York, its connection to Puerto Rican music and the local salsa music scene and musicians have been the topic of several biographies, including Pagano 1987, Figueroa Hernández 1993, and Carrasquillo 2014 on Ismael Rivera; specific studies on issues of gender in salsa, such as Aparicio 1994 and Aparicio 1998; and more general writings on salsa’s significance for Puerto Rican and Latino identity, including Padilla 1990, Boggs 1992, Quintero Rivera 1998, and Berrios-Miranda and Dudley 2008.

                                                                                                                                                                  • Aparicio, Frances R. “‘Así son’: Salsa Music, Female Narratives, and Gender (De)Construction in Puerto Rico.” Poetics Today 15.4 (Winter 1994): 659–684.

                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.2307/1773105Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                    In this article, Frances Aparicio examines the negative portrayal of women in salsa lyrics. Aparicio not only uses salsa lyrics to support her argument, but also relies on ethnographic fieldwork, mainly interviews with Latinas in the United States. Aparicio’s work is some of the first to deal with gender issues in salsa music.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Aparicio, Frances R. Listening to Salsa: Gender, Latin Popular Music, and Puerto Rican Cultures. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Although the book title refers specifically to salsa, Aparicio uses salsa to broach broader topics, ranging from the multiple sites of salsa production, to the patriarchal structures that support how it is produced and consumed, to how women’s bodies and a feminized listening experience have been present in various dance forms in Puerto Rico. The monograph is well suited for readers familiar with the repertory and lyrical tropes used in salsa.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Berríos-Miranda, Marisol. “The Significance of Salsa Music to National and Pan-Latino Identity.” PhD Diss., University of California, Berkeley, 1999.

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                                                                                                                                                                        In this dissertation, Berrios-Miranda explores the tension between national and Pan-Latino identity promoted in salsa. The author presents findings based on musical analysis and ethnographic fieldwork on the performance and reception of salsa. This dissertation examines Puerto Rican music communities in New York.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Berrios-Miranda, Marisol, and Shannon Dudley. “El Gran Combo, Cortijo, and the Musical Geography of Cangrejos.” Caribbean Studies 36.2 (July–December 2008): 121–151.

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                                                                                                                                                                          The authors explore the parallels between El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico’s transnational audiences and the transnational history of the neighborhood of Cangrejos, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The authors argue that the transnational reach is due to the legacy of immigration from other islands to Puerto Rico as well as economic (commercial) developments, making the area of Cangrejos a cultural crossroads. They base their observations on oral histories, musical examples, periodical accounts, and existing scholarship.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Boggs, Vernon. Salsiology: Afro-Cuban Music and the Evolution of Salsa in New York City. New York: Greenwood Press, 1992.

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                                                                                                                                                                            Although the book does not focus solely on Puerto Rican music and musicians, it offers a nuanced narrative of various elements of Caribbean music that were practiced in New York and led to the development of salsa. It is a collection of essays in which the authors approach the subject from a wide array of disciplinary backgrounds, from anthropology to sociology, from history to music criticism.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Carrasquillo, Rosa E. The People’s Poet: Life and Myth of Ismael Rivera, an Afro-Caribbean Icon. Pompano Beach, FL: Caribbean Studies Press, 2014.

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                                                                                                                                                                              A biography of the poet, singer, and songwriter Ismael Rivera. The historian Rosa Elena Carrasquillo frames a biography within the context of Afro-Caribbean history and cultural traditions. Through this book Carrasquillo also reconceptualizes Caribbean history to celebrate Afro-Caribbean individuals as heroes and heroines within historical narratives. More than a biographical monograph, Carrasquillo offers a cultural history of Puerto Rican and Caribbean political, social, and race relations. The book can be approached by general readers and does not contain detailed musical analysis.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Colón Montijo, César. Cocinando suave: Ensayos de salsa en Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico: Ediciones Callejón, 2016.

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                                                                                                                                                                                A collection of essays on diverse aspects of salsa music production within and outside of Puerto Rico. As the title (“Cooking Slowly”), suggests, the culinary metaphor encapsulates the overall theme of the essays: the slow, gradual, and collective process through which salsa music has developed over the last sixty-plus years of evolution and transformation. The contributions range in topic from funerary mourning to salsa collectors, the war on drugs, and Fania’s monopoly on the salsa recording industry.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Figueroa Hernández, Rafael. Ismael Rivera: El sonero mayor. San Juan: Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, 1993.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  A short monograph on the life and work of salsa singer and songwriter Ismael Rivera. Intended for a general reader, it includes an analysis of Ismael Rivera’s musical and lyrical style, with a particular semiotic focus.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • Flores, Juan. Salsa Rising: New York Latin Music in the Sixties Generation. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199764891.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                    Presents an overview of the Latino music scene in New York during the 1960s, focusing on the role of Puerto Rican culture in the development of various musics, including mambo, pachanga, boogaloo, and música típica, that led to the rise of salsa. The last chapter examines salsa in the 1970s, taking into account the mutual influences of soul and disco music.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Padilla, Felix M. “Salsa: Puerto Rican and Latino Music.” Journal of Popular Culture 24.1 (1990): 87–104.

                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1111/j.0022-3840.1990.00087.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                      The article severs as a basic introduction to the genre of salsa, with the premise that it was a creation of the Puerto Rican community in New York. It critically examines the relationship between the recording industry and salsa artists, specifically the creativity of musicians when they faced restrictions or stipulations from the record labels.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • Pagano, César. Ismael Rivera. Medellín, Colombia: Chacata-Pracata, 1987.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        A short biographical monograph on the Puerto Rican composer and singer Ismael Rivera. Published in Spanish, it is structured as a set of vignettes that include lyrics of songs composed during or inspired by the events told in the specific sections. It is journalistic in style and serves as an introduction to Ismael Rivera’s life and musical output.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Quintero Rivera, Angel G. “Salsa, identidad y globalización: Redefiniciones caribeñas a las geografías y el tiempo.” Antropología: Revista de Pensamiento Antropológico y Estudios Etnográficos 15–16 (1998): 183–203.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          Quintero Rivera explores the social conditions that help explain how and why Caribbean immigrants involved in the development of salsa used the genre as a vehicle for asserting their identity and as a mode of resistance to an increasing globalized music culture that mainly promoted rock music at the end of the 1960s. The article examines the early developments of salsa through a sociological and anthropological lens.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Quintero Rivera, Angel G. Salsa, sabor y control!: Sociología de la música tropical. Mexico City: Siglo Veintiuno Editores, 2005.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            Quintero Rivera presents a postcolonial history of the Caribbean and, in particular, Puerto Rico, using music as the subject through which to tell this history. Although the book does not offer detailed music analysis, readers should have a background understanding of Caribbean history. The seven chapters deal with topics such as salsa, Puerto Rican danza, bolero, and the influence of popular music on contemporary classical music compositions.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Rondón, César Miguel. The Book of Salsa: A Chronicle of Urban Music from the Caribbean to New York City. Translated by Frances R. Aparicio and Jackie White. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2008.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              Translated by Aparicio and White, the book offers a chronological account of the evolution of salsa between the 1950s and late 1970s. Rondón, a journalist, presents the transnational scenes and flows of the genre, not only as it developed in New York, but also its specific manifestations in Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic. The book is aimed at a general reader and serves as an in-depth introduction to the genre’s development.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              Reggaetón

                                                                                                                                                                                              There are several articles, theses, and dissertations on reggeatón, as the genre has become commercially successful beyond the confines of the island. It has attracted listeners throughout Latin America and the Latino communities in the United States, and some songs have crossed over to the mainstream pop music charts—the most recent example being Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s Despacito. The two monographs cited here deal with the genre with specificity and place it in the context of Latin American popular music history (Rivera, et al. 2009), and as a cultural phenomenon in an increasingly globalized world (Rivera-Rideau 2015).

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Rivera, Raquel Z., Wayne Marshall, and Deborah Pacini Hernandez. Reggaeton. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                This collection of essays is organized into sections, each containing chapters devoted to more specific aspects of reggeatón. The six parts cover topics ranging from “Mapping Reggeaton” to “Reggeaton’s Poetics, Politics, and Aesthetics.” Although appropriate for a general reader, those who have some prior knowledge of reggeatón, hip-hop, and rap will find the individual chapters engaging, as they analyze the musical phenomenon from a transnational perspective and avoid simple generalizations.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • Rivera-Rideau, Petra R. Remixing Reggaetón: The Cultural Politics of Race in Puerto Rico. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1215/9780822375258Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rivera-Rideau examines how reggeatón challenges existing racial and social disparities and discrimination and how its reception reflects these social forces. She examines the genre as a site for negotiating black identities locally, but also as a transnational phenomenon. She examines how reggeatón engages with other cultural manifestations of the African diaspora and its connection to Afro-Latino identities beyond Puerto Rico.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  In the United States

                                                                                                                                                                                                  In the 21st century, scholars have focused specifically on musical dialogues between musicians and music scenes in Puerto Rico and the US mainland. Flores 2000, Morales 2003, and Negrón-Muntaner 2004 all contribute to the growing trend in music studies on transnational music scenes by exploring this specific topic in depth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Flores, Juan. From Bomba to Hip-Hop: Puerto Rican Culture and Latino Identity. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    A collection of essays on Puerto Rican music and culture in New York, with a particular focus on how the various musical practices discussed throughout the volume serve as vehicles for the expression of Latinidad, belonging, and contested notions of national identity among the Puerto Rican population of New York. Some of the genres explored include bomba, plena, boogaloo, and hip-hop.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Morales, Ed. The Latin Beat: The Rhythms and Roots of Latin Music from Bossa Nova to Salsa and Beyond. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 2003.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Latin Beat is a concise survey of Latin popular music, including several genres from Puerto Rico. It can be useful for readers who are new to Latin American music and would benefit from a broader overview of Latin music and Puerto Rican traditions within this hemispheric context. The music of Puerto Rico and Puerto Rican communities in the United States is covered in chapters 3 and 5.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Negrón-Muntaner, Frances. Boricua Pop: Puerto Ricans and the Latinization of American Culture. New York: New York University Press, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        Negrón-Muntaner examines the development of Puerto Rican identity over the course of the last two centuries, and the influence of Puerto Rican culture on US mainstream culture. The book is organized chronologically, divided into periods that correlate to changes in the political relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States. The latter part of the book deals with Jennifer Lopez and Ricky Martin as representatives of Puerto Rican identity in the mainstream media.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jazz

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Since the early days of jazz, Puerto Rican musicians have been involved in the most prominent ensembles, leaving a mark on the history of jazz. Such is the case of Juan Tizol, the trombonist for the Duke Ellington band and the subject of Serrano 2012, a biographical monograph. Serrano 2015 deals more specifically with broader contributions to jazz by Puerto Ricans during the first decades of development of the genre. And finally, Pinckney 1989 deals more specifically with the development of a subgenre of Puerto Rican jazz.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Pinckney, Warren R. “Puerto Rican Jazz and the Incorporation of Folk Music: An Analysis of New Musical Directions.” Latin American Music Review 10.2 (Autumn–Winter 1989): 236–266.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.2307/779952Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                          In this article, Warren Pinckney focuses on two main points, to show how jazz has been influential in Puerto Rican music and culture, and to demonstrate how Puerto Rican musicians incorporate practices from Puerto Rican folk music into the jazz idiom. Pinckney first provides a short historical background on music in Puerto Rico, followed by a musical analysis of specific pieces by various Puerto Rican popular music and jazz artists.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Serrano, Basilio. Juan Tizol: His Caravan through American Life and Culture. Bloomington, IN: Xlibris Corporation, 2012.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            Basilio Serrano provides a detailed account of Juan Tizol’s contributions to jazz as trombonist, arranger, composer, and transcriber for various big band jazz ensembles, most famously Duke Ellington’s. He first offers a chronological account of Tizol’s life and career, then focuses on his collaboration with various jazz musicians, and concludes with an overview of his compositions. The volume doesn’t provide detailed musical or stylistic analysis, and it is intended for a general reader.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Serrano, Basilio. Puerto Rican Pioneers in Jazz, 1900–1939: Bomba Beats to Latin Jazz. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, 2015.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              Serrano traces the role of Puerto Rican musicians in the development of jazz in the United States during the first four decades of the 20th century. Some of the chapters focus on individual artists, such as Juan Tizol and Rafael Escudero, while others focus on groups of individuals by instrument, such as pianists, woodwind players, and brass players. One chapter is dedicated to Puerto Rican women musicians in the US jazz scene.

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