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Music as a Cultural Weapon

SEP 24, 2011 | 10:00 AM TO 4:00 PM



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue




September 24, 2011: 10:00 AM-4:00 PM




212-817-1819 or


Professor Silvia Martinez from la Escola Superior de Musica de Catalunya and Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona will lead an interactive seminar with discussions, lecture, and listening examples.

The seminar examines the relationship between popular music and ethnic identity through the historical example of Catalonians in Spain. By comparing two historical moments -- the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1990s -- the seminar aims to highlight the ways groups use musical expression as a way of transmitting a sense of belonging. Particular to this example, the Catalan language is an important element for the Catalonian identity and is central to the seminar’s discussion of the sociopolitical movements of the time.

This case presents a model for studying the relationship between musical expressions, socio-economic conditions of a musical scene, and the potential of consolidation of an ethnic identity, which can be compared with other American and international cases.