Gentleman Troubadours and Andean Pop StarsHuayno Music, Media Work, and Ethnic Imaginaries in Urban Peru

Gentleman Troubadours and Andean Pop StarsHuayno Music, Media Work, and Ethnic Imaginaries in Urban Peru

Joshua Tucker

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226923956

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

Exploring Peru’s lively music industry and the studio producers, radio DJs, and program directors that drive it, this book is an account of the deliberate development of artistic taste. Focusing on popular huayno music and the ways it has been promoted to Peru’s emerging middle class, the author tells a complex story of identity making and the marketing forces entangled with it, providing insights into the dynamics among art, class, and ethnicity that reach far beyond the Andes. He focuses on the music of Ayacucho, Peru, examining how media workers and intellectuals there transformed the city’s huayno music into the country’s most popular style. By marketing contemporary huayno against its traditional counterpart, these agents, the author argues, have paradoxically reinforced ethnic hierarchies at the same time that they have challenged them. Navigating between a burgeoning Andean bourgeoisie and a music industry eager to sell them symbols of newfound sophistication, the book is an account of the real people behind cultural change.