Center of Mexican American Studies
Center of Mexican American Studies

Robin Moore

ProfessorPh.D., 1995, Music, The University of Texas at Austin

Robin Moore



Music and Nationalism; Music and Race Relations; Popular Music Study; and Socialist Art Aesthetics.


Robin Moore (PhD, The University of Texas at Austin, 1995), Professor of Ethnomusicology, has received awards including fellowships from the Rockfeller Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and the National Humanities Center. His publications include Nationalizing Blackness: afrocubanismo and artistic revolution in Havana, 1920-1940 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1998), Music and Revolution Cultural Change in Socialist Cuba (The University of California Press, 2006), Music of the Hispanic Caribbean (Oxford University Press, 2009), and articles on Cuban music in the Latin American Music Review, Cuban Studies, Ethnomusicology, Encuentro de la cultura cubana, and other journals and book anthologies. Since 2005, he has served as editor of the Latin American Music Review.


Music in the Hispanic Caribbean

Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture
First Edition

** Music in the Hispanic Caribbean is one of several case-study volumes that can be used along with Thinking Musically, the core book in the Global Music Series. Thinking Musically incorporates music from many diverse cultures and establishes the framework for exploring the practice of music around the world. It sets the stage for an array of case-study volumes, each of which focuses on a single area of the world. Each case study uses the contemporary musical situation as a point of departure, covering historical information and traditions as they relate to the present.**

The Spanish-speaking islands of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic make up a relatively small region, but their musical and cultural traditions have had a dramatic, sweeping impact on the world. The first brief, stand-alone volume to explore the music of these three islands, Music in the Hispanic Caribbean provides a vibrant introduction to diverse musical styles including salsa, merengue, reggaeton, plena, Latin jazz, and the bolero.

Ethnomusicologist Robin Moore employs three themes in his survey of Hispanic Caribbean music:

* The cultural legacy of the slave trade
* The creolization of Caribbean musical styles
* Diaspora, migration, and movement

Each theme lends itself to a discussion of the region's traditional musical genres as well as its more contemporary forms. The author draws on his extensive regional fieldwork, offering accounts of local performances, interviews with key performers, and vivid illustrations.

A compelling, comprehensive review, Music in the Hispanic Caribbean is ideal for introductory undergraduate courses in world music or ethnomusicology and for upper-level courses on Caribbean and Latin American music and/or culture.

Packaged with a 70-minute CD containing musical examples, the text features numerous listening activities that actively engage students with the music. The companion website ( includes supplementary materials for instructors.

Music and Revolution Cultural Change in Socialist Cuba

Music and Revolution provides a dynamic introduction to the most prominent artists and musical styles that have emerged in Cuba since 1959 and to the policies that have shaped artistic life. Robin D. Moore gives readers a chronological overview of the first decades after the Cuban Revolution, documenting the many ways performance has changed and emphasizing the close links between political and cultural activity. Offering a wealth of fascinating details about music and the milieu that engendered it, the author traces the development of dance styles, nueva trova, folkloric drumming, religious traditions, and other forms. He describes how the fall of the Soviet Union has affected Cuba in material, ideological, and musical terms and considers the effect of tense international relations on culture. Most importantly, Music and Revolution chronicles how the arts have become a point of negotiation between individuals, with their unique backgrounds and interests, and official organizations. It uses music to explore how Cubans have responded to the priorities of the revolution and have created spaces for their individual concerns.

Nationalizing Blackness
Afrocubanismo and Artistic Revolution in Havana, 1920–1940

Moore, Robin Dale


Nationalizing Blackness represents one of the first politicized studies of twentieth-century culture in Cuba. It demonstrates how music can function as the center of racial and cultural conflict during the formation of a national identity.

The 1920s saw the birth of the tango, the “jazz craze,” bohemian Paris, the Harlem Renaissance, and the primitivists. It was a time of fundamental change in the music of nearly all Western countries, including Cuba. Significant concessions to blue-collar and non-Western aesthetics began on a massive scale, making artistic expression more democratic. In Cuba, from about 1927 through the late thirties, an Afrocubanophile frenzy seized the public. Strong nationalist sentiments arose at this time, and the country embraced afrocubanismo as a means of expressing such feelings. Black street culture became associated with cubanidad (Cubanness) and a movement to merge once distinct systems of language, religion, and artistic expression into a collective of national identity. Nationalizing Blackness uses the music of the 1920s and 1930s to examine Cuban society as it begins to embrace Afrocuban culture. Moore examines the public debate over “degenerate Africanisms” associated with comparas or carnival bands; similar controversies associated with son music; the history of blackface theater shows; the rise of afrocubanismo in the context of anti-imperialist nationalism and revolution against Gerardo Machado; the history of cabaret rumba; an overview of poetry, painting, and music inspired by Afrocuban street culture; and reactions of the black Cuban middle classes to afrocubanismo. He has collected numerous illustrations of early twentieth-century performers in Havana, many included in this book. Nationalizing Blackness represents one of the first politicized studies of twentieth-century culture in Cuba. It demonstrates how music can function as the center of racial and cultural conflict during the formation of a national identity.

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