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Family music and family bands in New Mexico music

Author: Mary Jane Walker
Publisher: 2008.
Dissertation: Ph. D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 2008
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Thesis/dissertation : Manuscript   Archival Material : EnglishView all editions and formats
Publication:Dissertation Abstracts International, 69-05A.
Summary:
The popularity of family bands in New Mexico music inspired the central research questions for this dissertation. Why are family bands so popular in New Mexico music? Related questions involve what family means to those involved in New Mexico music and why the family remains such a prominent social institution and identity unit for Nuevomexicanos. I consider how Nuevomexicano families, in various forms, have
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Details

Material Type: Thesis/dissertation, Manuscript, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Archival Material, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Mary Jane Walker
ISBN: 9780549636922 0549636927
OCLC Number: 301577578
Notes: Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 69-05, Section: A, page: 1856.
Adviser: Thomas Turino.
Includes supplementary digital materials.
Description: iv, 387 leaves, bound ; 29 cm + 2 CD-ROMs
Responsibility: by Mary Jane Walker.
More information:

Abstract:

The popularity of family bands in New Mexico music inspired the central research questions for this dissertation. Why are family bands so popular in New Mexico music? Related questions involve what family means to those involved in New Mexico music and why the family remains such a prominent social institution and identity unit for Nuevomexicanos. I consider how Nuevomexicano families, in various forms, have functioned in the past and currently as institutions that enable individual and collective success. Histories of New Mexico repeat stories of challenging living conditions that have made family connections essential to survival. Together, land, family and place make up a Nuevomexicano worldview that enables survival and guides the creation and maintenance of collective identity in the "flesh and soil" of New Mexico. I look at current genealogy practices as one expression of the land-family-place ethos to show the importance of having a well-established, traceable family in New Mexico. To Nuevomexicano genealogists, the past and present are seen as linked realities where both transgressions and successes of ancestors can directly reflect on their descendents. This identification across even distant generations lends support to the centrality of family in Nuevomexicano identity.

I continue analysis of family meanings through the lives and music of three family bands: Los Blue Ventures, Los Garrapatas and Los Reyes de Albuquerque. I argue that New Mexico music operates as a sign of intergenerational family-based socializing, anchored in the Nuevomexicano cultural home of New Mexico. New Mexico music comes to signify both a family-land-place ethos and personal family relationships through ongoing performances at family-centered dances. In order to encourage multigenerational participation, New Mexico music is characterized by simplicity, recognizability, and tends toward conservation of repertoire. These qualities create an approachable and familiar musical context in which all family members can participate. Critics of the aesthetic of simplicity in New Mexico music generally do not respect participatory musical styles as distinct musical practices compared to presentational styles. Such critics therefore, do not understand and respect that New Mexico music's fundamental purpose is to drive multi-age participation and rearticulate the family-land-place ethos.

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