Mapping the Globalization of Musical Entertainment in Latin America, 1850-1950

Pablo Palomino

Three questions animate this presentation. The first is about the application of the concept “globalization” to Latin American history, and to Latin American culture and music in particular. In other words, it is about the global nature of music during the nation-making process in the region. The second question is about the economic dimension of the musical globalization and the creation of national music markets. In other words, how the circulation of music, musicians, repertoires and musicologists across Latin America and beyond produced (and was enabled by) economic structures. The third and final question is about the big picture of musical entertainment over a century. How can we describe it? What map would express the extremely diverse set of actors, spaces and markets that created modern Latin American music? The comparison with the experience of the United States illuminates the complexity of this issue. I address these three questions by describing in very broad terms, first, the origins of commercial music, then the formation of markets in the first half of the 20th century, and finally the diverse forms of commercial mediation in the music business.