Accepted paper:

Music, technology, entrepreneurship and the common good in Merida, Yucatan


Gabriela Vargas-Cetina (Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan)

Paper short abstract:

Music in Merida Yucatan is considered part of everyday life and an important part of Yucatecan identity. Trova and Jarana music in particular are said to be the soul of Yucatecans. Here I look at musicians, music technology and organization in the city of Merida, Yucatan.

Paper long abstract:

Music in Yucatan is considered a fundamental part of who Yucatecans are and how they see and enjoy themselves. Because of this, musicians have long received the support of the state of Yucatan's government and the general public. Music technology and local organizations have played major roles in the development and changes of what is considered 'Yucatecan music'. At the end of the nineteenth century and throughout the twentieth century, musicians relied not only on their own entrepreneurship, playing to make a living, but also on musician associations, local businesses and clubs. Trova and, to some extent, Jarana music, have been the two most collectively supported type of music, while tropical music has relied more on the local money-driven side of the market. This configuration, however, is now changing, and as the new generations of musicians subscribe to other styles of music, they are also creating and spurring new forms of organization and music support. In the twenty-first century Yucatecan musicians are expected to be entrepreneurs, but many of them believe in public access and public domain music, and they are trying to balance this with the help of digital technologies. In Merida, the musicscape has become highly varied, and there are now many types of local music, accompanied by many types of music-related economic strategies and sociality-based groups; the musicians and supporting organizations are creating new organizational configurations, and music continues to be perceived as an important part of life.

panel P113
Local entrepreneurial responses to global forces: new and alternative enterprise re-configurations in times of crisis and economic hardship (EASA Network for Economic Anthropology)