Viru Viru Viru Viru: Infectious Rhythms and Música del Coronavirus

Maldito Coronavirus! - Mapping Latin American Musical Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic - Daniel Margolies

Daniel Margolies [+-]
Virginia Wesleyan University
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Daniel Margolies is Professor and Chair of the History Department at Virginia Wesleyan University. He is the author of Henry Watterson and the New South: The Politics of Empire, Free Trade, and Globalization (University Press of Kentucky, 2006) and Spaces of Law in American Foreign Relations: Extradition and Extraterritoriality in the Borderlands and Beyond, 1877-1898 (University of Georgia Press, 2011); editor of Companion to Harry S. Truman (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012) and co-editor (with Umut Özsu, Maïa Pal, and Ntina Tzouvala) of The Extraterritoriality of Law: History, Theory, Politics (Politics of Transnational Law) (Routledge, 2019). Margolies has written numerous history articles on a wide array of subjects as well as interdisciplinary studies of Mexican migrant music and articles and essays on cultural sustainability and other aspects of Texas-Mexican conjunto music. His article “Latino Migrant Music and Identity in the Borderlands of the New South,” was awarded the 2010 Carl Bode Award for Outstanding Article in the Journal of American Culture in 2009 by the American Culture Association. Margolies has been a Fulbright Senior Scholar at Sogang University in Seoul, Korea, a Faculty Fellow at the American Center for Mongolian Studies in Ulaanbaatar, and twice a Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Law and Society at the University of California-Berkeley. He is founder and Artistic Director of the Festival of Texas Fiddling, which features son huasteco and Tejano music, and is an advising consultant to the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center for the annual Tejano Conjunto Festival in San Antonio. More information is at DanMargolies.com.
J.A. Strub [+-]
University of Texas, Austin
J.A. Strub is a dissertator in ethnomusicology at the University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on questions of community pedagogy and participatory culture in música huasteca. J.A's writings on music, foodways, urban studies and participatory democracy have been featured in the Atlantic, CityLab, the Nation, Edible Queens, Democracy Journal, StarChefs Magazine, and publications by the Roosevelt Institute, the Russel Sage Foundation, and the Walt Whitman Forum on Culture. He has presented at various conferences including the Fourth International Conference on Participatory Budgeting, Frontiers of Democracy 2016, El 13ro Encuentro de Son Jarocho, Son Huasteco, Huapango, Fandango, y Trovada, and the virtual Sounds of the Pandemic Conference. Strub has been awarded grants by the Rainwater Foundation, the Bruno Salazar Network, the William H. Macaulay Opportunities Fund, and the Goldsmith Foundation. He is a development consultant for Mexico Beyond Mariachi, a teaching arts and traditional music research organization based in New York City, and is the founder of the Foro de Cultura Huapanguera en Texas, a showcase of huapango music, regional gastronomy, and scholarship on the culture of migration. Strub is an avid listener and active performer of traditional and vernacular Latin American musics, including son jarocho, son huasteco, vallenato, salsa and timba.

Description

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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Citation

Margolies, Daniel; Strub, J.A.. Viru Viru Viru Viru: Infectious Rhythms and Música del Coronavirus. Maldito Coronavirus! - Mapping Latin American Musical Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Sep 2023. ISBN 9781000000000. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=43040. Date accessed: 27 Nov 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.43040. Sep 2023

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