Nueva Canción and Protest Song in Latin America


This week, we turn our attention to Latin America. On Monday, we’ll discuss Nueva Canción in Chile and Argentina. In addition to the chapter by Pablo Vila in Rockin’ The Boat, we’ll also be discussing this article by Jeffrey Taffet.

On Thursday, we’ll be discussing Nueva Trova in Cuba and MPB in Brazil. Please read the chapter on Nueva Trova in Moore’s Music and Revolution and this chapter by renowned Brazilianist (and professor of Portuguese at University of Florida) Charles Perrone.

The musicians and songs we’ll be discussing had antagonistic relationships with the rise of dictatorships in South American countries. In the last year or so, some of these nations have taken steps to reconcile the past. Over the last week, many news outlets have been covering the exhumation of Chilean poet (and outspoken communist dissident) Pablo Neruda to determine his cause of death just after Augusto Pinochet seized power in 1973. Similarly, just a few months ago, the agents of the Pinochet regime who murdered Nueva Canción singing Víctor Jara were finally arrested. And over the last year, the Brazilian government formed a “Truth Commission” to help shine some light on the horrors of the decades of the dictatorship that began in 1964 and gradually ended in the 1980s.

Needless to say, our topics over the next week are very timely.

Here is the listening for the week.



Cuban Music Resources

As you work your way through the materials for this week, there are a few resources that might help you.

Ned Sublette produced an hour-long program for AfroPop Worldwide a few years ago on Cuban Music that is both entertaining and informative.

For those of you who want a more hands-on explanation of the interrelation between Cuban popular music genres, this page is part of the supporting materials for PBS’s Latin Music USA documentary.

Materials for Week 5

As discussed in class and on the syllabus, all of the reading for this week is available in Robin Moore’s book Music and Revolution about music in the Cuban revolution. For Monday, we are reading chapters 1 and 2. We’ll discuss chapter 4 for Thursday.

Here is a link to this week’s music. You’ll notice that the reading provided considerably more music to choose from this week. It was quite difficult to pare down the listening to just 12 examples.