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Save the Children or Save the Music: Venezuela’s El Sistema as Syncretic Aesthetic and Pedagogical Export [full paper]

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dc.contributor.author Pedroza, Ludim R.
dc.date.accessioned 2013-05-02T15:06:36Z
dc.date.available 2013-05-02T15:06:36Z
dc.date.issued 2011-10
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2022/15544
dc.description.abstract El Sistema defines itself as a “Venezuelan government social institution for the systematization of instruction and collective practice of orchestral and choral music as instruments of social organization and community development.” The program trains mostly poor children throughout their elementary and secondary education. Some will ultimately join the famous Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra, and a handful, such as conductor Gustavo Dudamel, might become world-renown musicians. Founder José Antonio Abreu emphasizes the social objectives of the program and exhibits a keen consciousness of the versatile nature of Latin America’s modernity and the program’s adaptability and mutability. On the other hand, Abreu’s belief in the “unique” power of music to “transform” echoes Romantic ideologies specifically exemplified in Lisztian philosophy. In short, the program’s history, documentaries, and performances, reflect an aesthetic negotiation between European musical mythology and Venezuelan socio-artistic identity; the resulting entity both nurtures the “classical” canon and challenges it through the inclusion of Latin-American composers and adapted popular dances. Foreign musicians and media, nevertheless, appear to understate the social and musical syncretic potential of the El Sistema phenomenon, emphasizing instead the program as “the future of classical music.” Upon this dualistic foundation, Mark Churchill (of the New England Conservatory) now attempts to build El Sistema USA. This paper will scrutinize the complex aesthetics of El Sistema and its transplantation as a pedagogical model to the U.S. Such scrutiny affords us an opportunity to explore current mythologies of “classical music” and El Sistema’s potential to preserve them or mutate them. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Latin American Music Center en_US
dc.subject Cultural en_US
dc.subject Conferencia en_US
dc.subject Cultural Counterpoints en_US
dc.subject Interactions en_US
dc.subject Latin America en_US
dc.subject Latin American Music Center en_US
dc.subject Music en_US
dc.subject Musical en_US
dc.subject Música en_US
dc.subject Música Latinoamericana en_US
dc.subject United States en_US
dc.subject Fiftieth Anniversary en_US
dc.subject 50th anniversary en_US
dc.subject Venezuela en_US
dc.subject El Sistema en_US
dc.subject Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra en_US
dc.subject José Antonio Abreu en_US
dc.title Save the Children or Save the Music: Venezuela’s El Sistema as Syncretic Aesthetic and Pedagogical Export [full paper] en_US
dc.type Article en_US


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