¡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

Llorando, Tomando, Bailando, Rezando

¡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.


This chapter addresses the centrality of rhythmic hooks, dance crazes, and repetition in many examples of música del coronavirus. Popular Caribbean music genres such as reggaeton, hip-hop, and dembow are often characterized by shouted hooks that employ repetition and take advantage of the pre-existing cadence of spoken language to build rhythmically-memorable motifs and achieve commercial success. This chapter examines how words and phrases such as “coronavirus,” “virus,” “pandemia,” “covid diecinueve,” and “cuarentena,” among others, have been adeptly used in the manner described above to create earworms that reproduce the recursive inner voice of an individual living through an all-consuming crisis. The chapter also considers sampled spoken or shouted vocal clips from Caribbean coronavirus songs have been integrated into transnational remix culture, and the ways choreographed dances have contributed to the proliferation of these songs via video sharing social platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. The chapter considers the cultural implications of the commercial success for these varieties of coronavirus music receiving millions of views and listens, and discusses them within the continuum in vernacular music responses among tiny regional audiences confronted with the same set of pandemic challenges.

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Margolies, Daniel; Strub, J.A.. Llorando, Tomando, Bailando, Rezando. ¡Maldito Coronavirus! - Mapping Latin American Musical Responses to the Pandemic Moment. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 173-218 Jul 2024. ISBN 9781800503977. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=43040. Date accessed: 16 Jun 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.43040. Jul 2024

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