From Aural Places to Visual Spaces: The Latin/o and General Music Industries
MetadataShow full item record
This manuscript tells the stories of the Latin/o and general music industries in the United States from 1898 to 2000. It argues that performers transformed the local identities of aural industries based in place and melody into global industries of visual identities designed for space and celebrity. Both the Latin/o and general music industries shifted back and forth along a local-sound-to-global-sight spectrum more than once, from sounds of music rooted in specific places to sights of musicians uprooted across universal spaces between 1898 and 2000. This claim is supported by a textual analysis of archival materials, such as trade press articles, audio recordings, still photographs and motion pictures. While the general music industry's identity changed, the Latin/o industry's identity stayed the same, and vice-versa. Specifically, when the general industry identified with transnational performers and images between 1926 and 1963, the Latin/o industry retained its identification with the sounds of music rooted in specific places. From 1964 to 1979, as the Latin/o industry moved from one end of the spectrum to the other, only to return to its initial position, it was the general industry that maintained its identification with the midpoint of the spectrum. During the 1980s, the general industry zigzagged from the midpoint to the global-visual end and back again, while the Latin/o industry remained at the local-sonic end of the spectrum. In the 1990s, the Latin/o industry's local and sonic identity continued, and the general industry moved from the midpoint to the global-visual end of the spectrum with the Latin boom. The general industry's identity changed during each interval except 1964-1979, the only period in which the Latin/o industry's identity fluctuated. From Aural Places to Visual Spaces: the Latin/o and General Music Industries should be of interest to anyone invested in the relations between creativity and commerce, substance and style, or geography and genre.
Westgate, Christopher Joseph (2011). From Aural Places to Visual Spaces: The Latin/o and General Music Industries. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from