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Music in Portugal and Spain

Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture

Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco and Susana Moreno Fernández

Publication Date - 17 April 2018

ISBN: 9780199920617

160 pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

In Stock

A brief introduction to the music of Portugal and Spain


Ideal for introductory undergraduate courses in world music or ethnomusicology and for upper-level courses on music of the Iberian Peninsula, Music in Portugal and Spain: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture introduces students to the diverse musical cultures of these two Iberian countries. This unique text engages students with the sounds and meanings of Portuguese and Spanish musics that thrive in local and transnational communities. The book characterizes selected musical genres, styles, and practices, and examines the main themes and issues that undergird them. Separate chapters are devoted to fado and flamenco, focusing on repertoire, musical characteristics, historical trajectories, iconic figures, and current trends. Christian, Muslim, and Jewish legacies, and the musical repercussions of the colonial expansion of Portugal and Spain are also discussed. Throughout the chapters, the authors show how the social, cultural, and political environments contribute to shaping music and its meanings and how music and dance are used to construct, vindicate, and articulate region and nation. The authors also engage the reader in fiestas in Portugal and Spain through case studies, showing how music is central in these ritualized social events.


  • The only single volume textbook on contemporary Iberian music
  • Based on the authors' extensive fieldwork, featuring interviews with performers, eyewitness accounts of performances, and vivid illustrations
  • Includes listening activities that enable students to engage critically and actively with the text
  • Accompanied by a 70-minute CD with examples of music discussed in the text (included with all new copies of the text), and a free, open-access companion website with supplementary material for instructors
  • Explores the music of Iberia through the themes of identity, power, and globalization

About the Author(s)

Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco is Professor of Ethnomusicology and Director of the Institute of Ethnomusicology-Center for Music and Dance (INET-md) at the New University of Lisbon in Portugal. She is the editor of the four-volume Encyclopedia of Music in Twentieth Century Portugal. She is currently the President of the International Council for Traditional Music.

Susana Moreno Fernández is Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Valladolid in Spain. She is a member of the board of directors of the two major Spanish scholarly societies in music, SIBE-Sociedad de Etnomusicología and SEdeM-Sociedad Española de Musicología.

Table of Contents

    CD Track List

    1. Portugal, Spain and the World
    The Setting
    A Glimpse at Iberian Music and Dance
    The jota
    The vira
    The romance
    Historical Trajectories on the Iberian Peninsula
    A Shared Heterogeneous Early History
    Maritime Expansion
    From Authoritarian Regimes to Democracy

    2. The Construction of Region and Nation through Music and Dance
    Nineteenth Century Nationalism and Regionalism
    The Sardana: The "National Dance" of Catalonia
    Dictatorships, Nationalism and Expressive Culture
    Music and Dance Traditions in Democracy
    Singing Alentejo
    Staging Cantabrian Identity
    Piping in Galicia and Terras de Miranda do Douro

    3. Music in Fiestas
    The World of Fiestas in Portugal and Spain
    The Fiestas de San Juan de Soria
    The Romaria de São João d'Arga
    Concluding Observations

    4. Fado
    An Evening of Fado in Mouraria
    What is Fado?
    The Fado Icon Amália Rodrigues
    Origins and Historical Trajectory
    Fado in the Twenty First Century

    5. Flamenco
    A Session at the Peña Flamenca de Córdoba
    What is Flamenco?
    Musical Characteristics
    Origins and Early History
    La Niña de Los Peines
    New Paths
    Icons of Nuevo Flamenco: Camarón, Enrique Morente and Paco de Lucía
    Flamenco as Heritage


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