Danzón: The History and Practice of a Transnational Music

Collaborative Group

Professor Robin D. Moore, Professor Alejandro L. Madrid




Derived from European court dances of the eighteenth century and popularized in the New World thereafter through various French and Spanish colonies (including Louisiana), the danzón is a fascinating genre that ties together the entire Atlantic region and contributed in important ways to the development of North American music. Yet the genre remains poorly researched and is virtually unknown to readers in the United States. Few studies of the danzón exist at all, none in English, and none that consider the music’s international movement throughout the Caribbean or its influence on ragtime and jazz. Similarly, current studies fail to recognize the danzón’s ongoing impact on present-day Mexican and Cuban dance scenes, international classical repertoire, Latin jazz, and other repertoires. The proposed collaboration will result in a co-written manuscript that combines multi-site research, archival work, and ethnography, and frames the danzón as a dynamic element of African-influenced transnational culture. Robin Moore brings to the project a long history of work on Cuban music history, and Alejandro Madrid a specialization in Mexican music in its diverse manifestations. This is the first extended written project they have worked on jointly. Award period: August 25, 2011 - August 24, 2012