• 272 pages
  • 6 x 9
  • 18 figures, 19 halftones, 1 map
  • Price: $71.50
  • EAN: 9781439900574
  • Publication: Sep 2012
  • Price: $71.50
  • EAN: 9781439900598
  • Publication: Sep 2012

Whose National Music?

Identity, Mestizaje, and Migration in Ecuador

Ketty Wong
  • Latin American Studies Association Ecuadorian Studies Section Book Prize for the most outstanding work published in the field of Ecuadorian studies, 2012

A title in the Ethnomusicology Multimedia.

Musical genres, musical instruments, and even songs can often capture the essence of a country's national character. In Whose National Music?, the first book-length study of Ecuadorian popular music, Ketty Wong explores Ecuadorians' views of their national identity in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries through an examination of the music labels they use. Wong deftly addresses the notion of música nacional, an umbrella term for Ecuadorian popular songs often defined by the socio-economic, ethnic, racial, and generational background of people discussing the music.

Wong shows how the inclusion or exclusion of elite and working-class musics within the scope of música nacional articulate different social, ethnic, and racial configurations of the nation for white, mestizo, indigenous, and Afro-Ecuadorian populations.

Presenting a macropicture of what música nacional is—or should be— Whose National Music? provides a lively historical trajectory of a country's diverse musical scene.


"Wong has produced a very important work—the first comprehensive book on Ecuadorian popular music with interviews, a thorough, readable study of the local record industry, and participant-observation fieldwork. She succeeds in linking the issues of national identity with popular music, explaining música nacional , the history of the pasillo , of the musica rocolera , of musica chicha and the tecnocumbia . Her arguments are solid and her theoretical approach is informed."
Raul R. Romero, Director of the Institute of Ethnomusicology at the Catholic University of Peru

"Whose National Music? introduces an analysis rich in historical depth and socio-musical complexity of the idiosyncratic, changing, and inevitably contested use of the term música nacional in Ecuador. Ketty Wong provides a fascinating discourse analysis, one that focuses on the power of language to claim and label music as a participatory act in imagining the nation."

About the Author(s)

Ketty Wong is an Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Kansas. In 2010, she received the prestigious Casa de las Américas Musicology Prize for La música nacional: Identidad, mestizaje y migración en el Ecuador, the Spanish language version of this book.

In the Series

Studies in Latin American and Caribbean Music

No longer active. Studies in Latin American and Caribbean Music, edited by Peter Manuel, aims to present interdisciplinary studies in the traditional and contemporary musics of Latin America and the Caribbean.