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Title:Performing samba: Aesthetics, transnational modernisms, and race
Author(s):Kuyumjian, Marcelo Boccato
Director of Research:Hertzman, Marc A; Solis, Gabriel G
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Hertzman, Marc A
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Silvers, Michael J; Carrillo, Teofilo
Department / Program:Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
popular music
Abstract:Beginning in the middle of the nineteenth century, Rio de Janeiro became an important hub of an emerging Black Atlantic entertainment industry. Cariocas—the people who lived in Rio de Janeiro—listened to samba in ways that challenged and produced racial categories, celebrated the creativity of Black musicians and reinforced primitivistic notions of blackness. Analyzing an extensive archive of sound and text that includes commercial recordings of music, sheet music, newspapers, and writings on music that documents the city’s musical activities from 1830 to 1968, this dissertation examines how musicians, intellectuals, journalists, critics, and audiences produced such contrasting ways of listening to Black music. These contrasting ways of listening, I argue, reveal two distinct aesthetic-political projects: music as knowledge for relationship-building amidst difference, or the knowledge of musical difference as a sign of racial difference and irreconcilable alterity. Samba and other forms of Black music are produced in transnational networks and increasingly consumed through mass media, but music meaning continues to be negotiated locally and collectively. Commodified music is given life through embodied acts of music making. This dissertation focuses on the importance of local groups in shaping communities’ engagement with commodified music. It examines local groups that claimed a stake in defining samba, considering how they articulated diverse representations of samba through sound, performance, and discourse and in turn, how they shaped the contested and relational nature of listening to Black music. It is through these institutions that individuals can learn to find in commodified forms of music the rich histories and experiences of Black communities across the diaspora, or the persistent legacies of race that dehumanize black subjects and reinforce racial hierarchies.
Issue Date:2021-04-23
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Marcelo Kuyumjian
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-09-17
Date Deposited:2021-05

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