Audiences & the ‘Macarena’

“Dance of the Music Market, Language, and Communities in the Macarena”

University of Texas at Austin  (05.2010)

PDF of abstract (paper was unpublished)

In order to broaden my understanding of culture in Central and South America, I took a course on musical migrations and Latin American identities in graduate school. For the final paper, “Dance of the Music Market, Language, and Communities in the Macarena,” I examined the global music market, language choice, aural misunderstandings and community through the lens of one of the most popular songs of the 1990’s — the Macarena.

During my final presentation, the topic gave way to much nostalgia among my classmates who had first heard it in junior high and high school. It also engendered an excellent discussion about different perceptions of the song from class members who experienced it in the U.S., Guatemala, Costa Rica, Mexico and Estonia.

*Since the course’s length requirement for this paper was quite long, I have included only a short summary here. A copy of this paper may be made available upon request.