¡Maldito Coronavirus! - Mapping Latin American Musical Responses to the Pandemic Moment - Daniel S. Margolies

¡Maldito Coronavirus! - Mapping Latin American Musical Responses to the Pandemic Moment - Daniel S. Margolies

Music and Sound in the Pandemic Moment

¡Maldito Coronavirus! - Mapping Latin American Musical Responses to the Pandemic Moment - Daniel S. Margolies

Daniel S. Margolies [+-]
Festival of Texas Fiddling Sonté-New Orleans
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Daniel S. Margolies, Ph.D, is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Festival of Texas Fiddling and a Director at Sonté in New Orleans, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting musical interventions for wellbeing. Margolies runs Zarza Records, which releases new recordings of traditional music and historical reissues, and produces the Tejano Conjunto Festival en San Antonio. He has written dozens of articles and book chapters on musical and historical topics and has written or edited four other books, including Spaces of Law in American Foreign Relations: Extradition and Extraterritoriality in the Borderlands and Beyond, 1877–1898 (2011). More information at DanMargolies.com.
J.A. Strub [+-]
University of Texas, Austin
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J.A. Strub is a researcher, performer, and multimedia producer. He holds a Bachelor's degree in economics and statistics from Hunter College, CUNY and is completing a PhD in ethnomusicology at the University of Texas at Austin. His research interests include music and participatory social life, user-generated platform media, and the role of improvisation and creative agency in musical performance. His work has been supported by the United States Department of Education, the Tinker Foundation, Humanities Texas, and the Rainwater Foundation, among others. More information at JA-Strub.com.


The coronavirus moment is a global crisis experienced, interpreted and confronted in locally- contingent, idiosyncratic, and often virtual ways. The covid pandemic necessitated a mass reduction in human movement and direct interaction, but a diverse cultural life nevertheless has flourished in new ways, many of them presented and experienced online. The inspired, tremendous outpouring of musical responses to the Coronavirus pandemic from Latin American artists addresses similar themes through distinct cultural lenses informed by local histories, affects, and artistic conventions. This introduction considers the challenges and opportunities of the singular covid music moment for Latin American musicians in different regional contexts. It connects the book’s overall study of the region’s musical response with other new research into covid-era individual and community music making, social media technologies, and an array of other new scholarship on the impact of the coronavirus on music, musicians, listeners, and the soundscape. The introduction spatially and culturally maps over 1,600 musical responses to coronavirus from across Latin America collected by the authors, noting points of similarity as well as divergence among the examples and building a conceptual framework for their analysis built around theories of music and wellbeing, diasporic music, Do-it-Yourself (DIY) archiving, ethnopoetics, locality and musical mobility, and sustainable regional music cultures. The introduction presents and contextualizes stylistic, lyrical, and productional diversity of these responses. It explains the thematic connections and interdisciplinary framing of each of book’s chapters, each of which is oriented around a specific theme built on regional music case studies. The introduction concludes with a description of fieldwork and digital ethnography in the time of social distancing and considers ethics, privacy, and ownership in contemporary digital research. Building on the raft of studies of virtual and hybrid ethnography over the past two decades, this book argues that the unprecedented ubiquity and penetration of social media in daily life during the pandemic necessitates a renewed understanding of what it means to make and listen to music as an inescapable aspect of digitally-mediated life. The chapter concludes with a discussion of YouTube, the primary site of the initial research in this project, as a platform that is designed to be simultaneously participatory and stratified and which has emerged as a critical, participatory, DIY archive of regional musical life across Latin America during the pandemic.

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Margolies, Daniel; Strub, J.A.. Music and Sound in the Pandemic Moment. ¡Maldito Coronavirus! - Mapping Latin American Musical Responses to the Pandemic Moment. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. May 2024. ISBN 9781800503977. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=43035. Date accessed: 05 Mar 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.43035. May 2024

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