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Title: The Alien Musical Brotherhood of the Colombian Andean Plateau: Sound Worlds, Musical Rhetoric, and Musical Meaning in Bogota's Experimental Tropical Psychedelia (1998-2014)
Authors: Valencia Rueda, Luis Fernando
Advisors: Agawu, Kofi V
Contributors: Music Department
Keywords: Bogota Colombia
Experimental Music
Musical Analysis
New Colombian Music
Psychedelic Music
Tropical Music
Subjects: Music
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: In Colombia, music from the Hispanic Caribbean, typically known as “tropical music,” has been the most popular of popular musics throughout the last half century. The 1990s witnessed a particular boom of this popularity, thanks notably to the uprising of tropical pop star Carlos Vives, which catapulted vallenato to an unprecedented global success. Partly inspired by Vives’s music and its distinctive hybridization of modern and traditional elements, there has appeared in Colombia a variety of mostly urban musical projects known as New Colombian Musics, whose distinctive quality has been the innovative use of local musical languages. Amongst these projects is a series of bands from Bogota that feature projects like Meridian Brothers, Los Pirañas, or Frente Cumbiero. Made up by a group of formally trained musician friends, these bands have exploited the tropical theme that has been so pervasive in the recent Colombian soundscape in a particularly peculiar manner. Besides its prominent tropical vibe, the sound world of these bands has inspired denominations such as “psychedelic,” “electronic,” “experimental,” or “extraterrestrial.” Parting from these descriptors, and taking into account the thoughts of some of these bands’ members, this dissertation on the one hand thoroughly examines and explores the musical and cultural meanings that underlie such denominations, and on the other hand analyzes the specific ways in which musical elements associated with these denominations are treated in this music, so as to ultimately propose a reading about the meanings that this particular strand of urban tropicality has in the present Colombian context.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Music

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