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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Andean musicians in Vancouver : transcultural traditions and identity Bracewell, Maureen


Since the 1980s, "traditional" music of the Andes has become familiar to Vancouver audiences, as well as to those in urban centres throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Japan. This thesis explores the performance and presentation of Andean music in Vancouver, as an example of music making in transcultural displacement. Profiles of three musicians are presented, based on data compiled through formal interviews with musicians, observation of performance events, and research of promotional materials produced by Andean musical groups. All three are part of the Latin American immigrant "community" of Vancouver, and all have many years experience performing what they identify as Andean folkloric music. Their backgrounds, however, are diverse, as are the styles of music they currently perform. There are differences, also, in how their music relates to the construction and presentation of their ethnic identities in Canada. Central to this study is the issue of how musicians in a transcultural setting consider the notion of authenticity in maintaining musical traditions. The relation of a musical tradition to musicians' sense of identity, and how it may change over time, is also examined. This study demonstrates that in order to understand how and why a musical tradition changes through the process of globalization, we must examine the dynamics among musicians sharing that tradition, and the complex cultural and social networks in which each is embedded.

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