Recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Master's Thesis Award - First Place.
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Open Access Thesis
Although Latin American ethnomusicological scholarship in the last twenty years has addressed much of the Caribbean, particularly Cuba, the popular genre salsa has often been treated as a side project of scholars with other specialties. Much of previous Latin American scholarship has favored nation-based, particularly folkloric, genres, while current trends have largely moved toward either re-engaging nation-based scholarship within postmodern critical contexts or addressing reggae ton as part of the scholarly fascination with global hip-hop culture. Salsa, which has always been created, contested, and claimed. through transnational/global routes, has therefore often been marginalized through its continued association with Latin American musical contexts, particularly through nation-based lenses. Instead, salsa benefits from treatment as a postmodern, global popular music: disseminated throughout varied regional centers, guided by modem capitalist maneuvers, and claimed by diverse groups with different sociocultural purposes, meanings, and practices. In particular, the development of salsa involved a polyphonic interplay of identity, memory, and location as it traveled first between the U.S. and the Caribbean, later throughout the world. As a result, discourses of authenticity often act to mediate the meanings and reception of salsa within sociocultural spheres of influence. The focus of this research project, then, is to investigate and engage emergent subtexts of authenticity historically present in the creation of salsa, highlighting varied negotiations of identity situated among salsa's multiple discourses of race, class, culture, and place.
Year of Submission
Year of Award
Master of Music
School of Music
Melinda Boyd, Chair, Thesis Committee
1 PDF file (v, 126 pages)
©2010 William Guthrie LeGrand
LeGrand, William Guthrie, "Creating salsa, claiming salsa: Identity, location, and authenticity in global popular music" (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 553.