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      READING MUSIC BACKWARDS: ALEJO CARPENTIER'S UNPUBLISHED TEXT 'LOS ORÍGENES DE LA MÚSICA Y LA MÚSICA PRIMITIVA'

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      International Journal of Cuban Studies
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            Abstract

            This article examines Alejo Carpentier's unpublished and undated text 'Los orígenes de la música y la música primitiva' (The Origins of Music and Primitive Music). This important but hitherto unknown document appears to be the most important antecedent for the musicological discussions narrated in Carpentier's groundbreaking novel Los pasos perdidos (1953), an account of a musicologist-composer who travels into the South American jungle to collect musical instruments and discovers the origin of music among South American so-called primitives. In 'Los orígenes de la música y la música primitiva', Carpentier proposes that speech and music emerged simultaneously, seeking the origin of music in rhythm. He incorporates the paradigm of cultural evolution, making extensive use of the nineteenthcentury analogy between prehistoric humanity and current-day 'primitives'. Carpentier also adheres to some of the concepts and methods of comparative musicology-which made use of evolutionary models-stressing the potential of primeval music for Western researchers and composers. The present study frames 'Los orígenes de la música' in the context of evolutionary theory, drawing on a range of anthropological and musicological accounts. It traces how Carpentier assimilates, resists, distorts and challenges theories concerning primeval music by Charles Darwin, Herbert Spencer, Richard Wallaschek, Jules Combarieu and Fernando Ortiz, among others. The article concludes with a brief examination of the discussions of primeval music and ethnomusicological research in Los pasos perdidos.

            Content

            Author and article information

            Journal
            intejcubastud
            10.2307/j50005551
            International Journal of Cuban Studies
            Pluto Journals
            17563461
            1 April 2011
            : 3
            : 1
            : 10-31
            Article
            10.2307/41945925
            5290d597-6d94-41b2-9eca-072ead7d765f
            © INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF CUBA

            All content is freely available without charge to users or their institutions. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission of the publisher or the author. Articles published in the journal are distributed under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

            Categories
            Academic Articles

            Literary studies,Arts,Social & Behavioral Sciences,History,Cultural studies,Economics

            Notes

            1. Haiti in 1943,

            2. Los pasos perdidos is Pablo Montoya Campuzano's (2005). Miller (2000).

            3. Brennan 2001: 3 González Echevarría (1985) South American jungle, including the Popol Vub, Gumilla's El Orinoco ilustrado, Darwin's various writings, Humboldt's Personal Narrative of Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent, Schomburgk's Reisen in Britisch-Guiana in den Jahren 1840-1844, Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Conan Doyle's Lost World, Rivera's La vorágine, Gallegos's Canaima, among others (González Echevarría 1985: 40-1). Birkenmaier 2006: 100-16

            4. Cancio Isla (1994).

            5. Sachs 1955 [1948]: 1

            6. Taylor (2003: 204-33), www.darwinsdeli.co.uk

            7. Laforgue and Allendy 1924

            8. Montoya Campuzano 2005: 61

            9. 'Darwin y los hijos del Fuego' (2009).

            10. McEwan et al. (1997).

            11. Stravinsky 1947 [1942]: 32

            12. El acoso (1956), Chornik (2011: 70-88).

            13. Ortiz 1952-55: 183-202

            14. González Echevarría 1977: 41

            15. Mendel (1934), Day (1976) Krebs (1998).

            16. Rae (2008: 388-9).

            17. Carpentier 1956 [1953]: 183-4

            18. Carpentier 1956 [1953]: 213-14

            19. John Martin and Kathleen McNerney (1984) Caroline Rae (2008) Leonardo Acosta (2008) Montoya Campuzano (2005) Carpentier 1987 [1929]: 427

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