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The political evolution of gaita zuliana in Venezuela: 1969–2019
Published in Routledge
Volume: 29
Issue: 3
Pages: 356 - 378
The gaita zuliana is a folk musical genre from Zulia State, in Western Venezuela. Its origins reflect an amalgam of Spanish, Indigenous and African elements, serving as a metaphor for Venezuela’s own racial image. By the 1960s, gaita was becoming increasingly standardised, and moved from improvisations in the barrios (poor neighbourhoods) to the recording studio. With that move, gaita also began to take a more active political role, as it coincided with the arrival of democracy in Venezuela. A subgenre developed as ‘protest gaita’, addressing the rampant problems of corruption in Venezuela’s failing democracy. Previous scholarship has addressed some of the political aspects of gaita, but none have studied how Venezuela’s dramatic political events in the last two decades have impacted the genre; likewise, unlike previous scholarship, this article follows an evolutionary process of musical transformation. This article evaluates such developments, considering how, after the rise of Hugo Chavez to power in 1999, protest gaita went into decline, partly due to self-censorship, and it remains this way under Nicolas Maduro’s tenure. © 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
About the journal
JournalEthnomusicology Forum
Open AccessNo