Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gaita in the Neighborhood

One reason I teach is so that I can keep learning! Many thanks to my student Rosie for introducing me to yet another genre of Latin American music with which I was not yet familiar. Like Rosie, I am not yet a fan of the La Gaita sound per se, which we both find a bit tinny and repetitive. Music is important in its own right, however, and is also a gateway to other aspects of cultural geography. This particular music video offers an intimate look at neighborhood life on one street corner in Maracaibo, in the far northwest of Venezuela. The on-screen comments in English help to illuminate the role of the music in the community, and help to make some of the inside jokes accessible to outside viewers.

For more information about La Gaita, see:
Carruyo, Light. 2005. "La gaita zuliana: Music and politics of protest in Venezuela." Latin American Perspectives 32.3: 98-111. 

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