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Open Access Publications from the University of California


Diagonal: An Ibero-American Music Review is the open access online journal of the Center for Iberian and Latin American Music at the University of California, Riverside. Its purpose is to highlight the latest research into the vast musical heritage of Iberia and Latin America, as well as other regions once under Iberian colonial rule whose cultural traditions bear some imprint of Spanish or Portuguese influence, e.g., the Philippines or parts of the United States. The name refers to the fact that the journal's mission cuts across disciplinary and regional boundaries. It accepts contributions in Spanish, Portuguese, or English from scholars in musicology, ethnomusicology, and related disciplines. Diagonal: An Ibero-American Music Review is a peer-reviewed journal with an editorial board, and it conforms to the highest standards of modern humanistic scholarship.


Melodías para versos silenciosos: Bailes, danzas y canciones para violín en el Manuscrito de Salamanca (ca. 1659)

The Salamanca Manuscript (ca. 1659), preserved in the Biblioteca Nacional de España but virtually unknown to date, is the earliest Spanish violin-music source that has been located. It contains ten melodies of bailes (popular dances), danzas (courtly dances), and canciones (songs) from Spain, Portugal, Italy and Latin America. Most of this repertoire was sung, played and danced simultaneously. The manuscript includes five dance types of which Iberian melodic examples prior to 1700 were hardly known to date: folijón, morisca, zarambeque, chaconne and Spanish galliard. In addition, it contains examples of three schemata that are better known: ruggiero, jácara and canario. The music is written in tablatures that symbolize violin fingerings, but not the rhythm or harmony, so the transcription is very problematic. The article contains a codicological study of the source and a "historically informed re-composition" that departs from various sources, not only musical (e.g., Sanz and Ruiz de Ribayaz), but also iconographic (e.g., Velázquez) and literary (e.g., Cervantes). The proposed transcriptions allow for refining the musical prototypes of the eight aforementioned bailes and danzas so far extant. This small music selection shows the intense internationalization of popular repertory in the mid seventeenth century.

From Elite to Popular: Estudiantinas in La Paz, Bolivia, 1880s to 1940s

In recent years, the estudiantina (a type of plucked string orchestra of Spanish origin) has become a topic of increased interest among music historians, including Latin Americanists. The Bolivian case, however, has not been the focus of detailed historical research, even though music scholars long have acknowledged that in the early-to-mid 20th century the estudiantina represented one of Bolivia’s most popular ensemble-types, and served as an important vehicle for the performance of typical criollo-mestizo musical expressions. This article traces the trajectory of La Paz’s estudiantina tradition, from its emergence in the 1880s as an upper-class criollo form of music making that centered on European repertoire, to its peak of popularity in the late 1930s and mid-1940s, when working-class mestizo musicians predominated in the milieu and most ensembles performed local genres (e.g., huayño, cueca) and indigenista (Indianist) works. The principal goal of this essay is to document this major shift. In the pages that follow, I discuss various groups, but devote special attention to the Orquesta Típica La Paz. Founded in 1945, this estudiantina represents the earliest instance of a Bolivian state-sponsored music group whose establishment formed part of a broader state attempt to court urban blue-collar workers.

From La leyenda del tiempo to La leyenda del espacio. Three Decades of Rock and Flamenco Hibridisation in Andalusian Music

This paper aims to analyse and consider the hybridisations of popular music genres emerged in Andalusia, Spain, during the last thirty-five years. Fusions between urban music such as rock, pop and indie, and the folk music typical from the south of Spain: flamenco. For these purposes, two of the most important albums of this trend have been analysed, La leyenda del tiempo by the flamenco singer José Monge, also known as “Camarón” and La leyenda del espacio by the Spanish indie band from the city of Granada Los Planetas: origin and evolution of formal, aesthetic, social and commercial parameters of these albums.


“The Notes that bathe the Mediterranean”: Spanish Flamencos and Moroccan Musicians in Creative Convivencia

Recent scholarship in ethnomusicology foregrounds issues of globalization; transnational identity, deterritorialization and migration as they are articulated in musical practice. For centuries the music of the peoples of Spain has moved back and forth between Andalusia and North Africa. The recent collaborations between Spanish and North African musicians present a discourse of a pan-Mediterranean sensibility which articulates shared historical roots and shared contemporary realities, as it simultaneously references notions of convivencia (the shared co-existence of the three cultures in medieval Spain) and expresses contemporary inter-dependence. This article explores musical collaborations in Spain. ranging from interactive musical dialogues to hybrid fusions between musicians of both cultures. In what ways do these musical collaborations articulate identities; acknowledge shared histories and musical affinities; reflect contemporary socio/political realities and function as expressions of solidarity? In presenting the collaborative work of Spanish and North African musicians, I address issues these collaborations represent. I examine these collaborations from the perspectives of the musicians involved, and the discourse surrounding these musical creations. In so doing, I explore concepts of transnational and pan-Mediterranean identities, as well as the role of cultural imagination in constructing narratives of community and collective memory.


El curioso epistolario unilateral de Francisco Fedriani padre confesor y factotum de Manuel de Falla

Una de las primeras obras de Manuel de Falla (1876-1946) fue su  ópera llamada “El Conde de Villamediana” (c1891). El nombre de este noble ítalo-español es Juan de Tasis (1582-1622). Tasis llegó a ser uno de los mayores poetas barrocos y uno de los más atrevidos de su  época.  Nuestro compositor y Tasis vivían  una vida sexual peligrosa: aquél homosexual y éste bisexual. Son orientaciones peligrosas en  las vidas de nuestros personajes. Esta ópera de  Falla desapareció inmedia y permanentemente en 1891. Y nadie en el público general se ha enterado de su última parada.    Me inclino a creer que el Falla adolescente optó por el tema de Tasis precisamente porque los dos tenían orientaciones sexuales parecidas. Sugiero que el joven compositor mostró su manuscrito ,”pecaminoso” al padre gaditano Francisco Fedriani de Paula Bermúdez de Castro (1853-c1936), Este padre habría quedado horrorizado y prohibió su publicación. Don Francisco fue el padre espiritual de Falla hasta la tumba. Las relaciones entre presbítero y penitente produjeron un nutrido epistolario unilateral que en este estudio se analiza. Desafortunadamente el epistolario es  unilateral lo cual dificulta comprender muchas cartas del sacerdote. Tampoco se sabe del destino de las cartas de Falla. A través del epistolario de don Francisco espero dar tanto con  las cartas desaparecidas de Falla  como con el libretto de su ópera. Estas cartas presentan al lector  una rara oportunidad de ver la interdependencia entre padre confesor y confesante.