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«The Diatonic Harp in the Performance of Paraguayan Identity Committee: _ Gerard Béhague, Supervisor Andrew Dell’Antonio Veit Erlmann Richard ...»

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Copyright

by

Alfredo Cesar Colman

The Dissertation Committee for Alfredo Cesar Colman

certifies that this is the approved version of the following dissertation:

The Diatonic Harp in the Performance of Paraguayan Identity

Committee:

___________________________

Gerard Béhague, Supervisor

____________________________

Andrew Dell’Antonio

____________________________

Veit Erlmann

____________________________

Richard Flores ____________________________

Stephen Slawek The Diatonic Harp in the Performance of Paraguayan Identity by Alfredo Cesar Colman, B.M., M.M.

Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Texas at Austin in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy The University of Texas at Austin August, 2005 To Paraguayan harpists Dionisio Arzamendia Párriz and Luis Bordón Acknowledgements First, I would like to acknowledge the inspiring figure and mentorship of Dr.

Gerard Béhague, my dissertation supervisor, who from the beginning stages of my doctoral studies at the University of Texas at Austin expressed a genuine interest in me as a student and as a researcher of Latin American musicology and ethnomusicology. I would also like to express my gratitude toward each one of the members of my dissertation committee: Andrew dell’Antonio, Veit Erlmann, Richard Flores, and Stephen Slawek, who offered advice, encouragement, and suggestions through the various phases of the research and writing process.

Many thanks to my friends Tomás Báez, Diego Sánchez, and Rudi Torga, who guided me through the first stages of my fieldwork and research in Paraguay, making contacts and providing names and addresses of local harpists; and to professors Werner Giesbrecht and Werner Franz at the Facultad de Música de la Universidad Evangélica del Paraguay, who offered me a teaching appointment which enabled me to support myself financially during the course of my fieldwork. I would like to thank those Paraguayan musicians and other professionals who shared with me their comments, experiences, and stories related to the folk harp and other expressions found in Paraguayan culture, mainly harpists Tito Acuña, Dionisio Arzamendia Párriz, Luis Bordón, Odilón Dávalos, Prisciliano Fernández Fleitas, Tony Genes, Abel Sánchez Giménez, Carlos Talavera, and Gerardo Zárate; luthiers Epifanio López, Eligio Monges Báez, Adelio Ovelar, and Mario Ovelar; musicians Yverá Barboza, Angel Benítez, Alejandro Cubilla, Delia Picaguá, Victor Riveros, Oscar Nelson Safuán, and Felipe Sosa; anthropologists Bartomeu Melià and Guillermo Sequera; historian Alfredo Viola; journalists Víctor Barrios and Serafín

–  –  –

help of the staff at several local libraries: Adelina Pusineri and Raquel Salazar from the Biblioteca Andrés Barbero, and the personnel at Biblioteca del Museo José Asunción Flores, Biblioteca Municipal, Biblioteca Nacional, and Biblioteca del Colegio María Auxiliadora in Villarrica; the staff at the Museo Monseñor Juan Sinforiano Bogarín and Rubén Milessi Gómez from the Museo de Arte Popular; and the personnel at the archival offices of local newspapers ABC, Diario Noticias, and Ultima Hora. My heartfelt thanks are also extended to Jorge Luis Candia, Stefan Fiol, Diego García, Victoria Giménez, Ana María Gamell, Víctor Lombardo, Demetrio y María Emilia Núñez, Alberto Sosa, Marlene Sosa Lugo, and Alfredo Vaesken.

I would like to express my gratitude to friends and colleagues from the ethnomusicology division at the University of Texas at Austin who read, critiqued, and offered insightful comments during the writing process of the manuscript, with special thanks to Peter Kvetko, Emily Pinkerton, and Ketty Wong; to my editors, Wilma Barker and Maimy Fong; and to the staff at the School of Music microcomputing lab: Jeremy Cumbo, Rob Deemer, David Hainsworth, Brad Johnston, and Bryan Walls, who continuously assisted me with technical help and support. I would also like to acknowledge Dr. Helen-Jo J. Hewitt for finding a font which enabled me to incorporate the Guarani nasalized vowels. Many thanks to Douglas and Rose Clark, Ed and Karen Humphrey, and the congregation at First Baptist Church, Wells Branch, Austin, for their unwavering encouragement and financial and moral support. Finally, I am grateful to Cecilia Béhague for encouraging me to persevere and thankful for the prayers and support of my family in Paraguay, Argentina, and in the United States, the manifold

–  –  –

The diatonic harp, Paraguay’s emblematic instrument, constitutes a symbol of identity for most social groups in the country. First used as a liturgical instrument associated with the Jesuit missions during colonial times, the transplanted European diatonic harp underwent local transformations and was adopted into the folk and traditional music vocabulary of Paraguay and the Río de la Plata region. Receiving the designation of arpa paraguaya (Paraguayan harp) in the twentieth century, the diatonic harp became Paraguay’s unofficial national folk instrument through a series of socio-historical processes. Since the commercial success of Paraguayan harpist Félix Pérez Cardozo in the 1930s in Argentina, the symbolic value of the Paraguayan diatonic harp as an icon of social, cultural, and national identity has been articulated and validated through musical performances and other local traditions associated with popular folk music festivals and formal recitals of traditional music. Not only have the Paraguayan diatonic harp and its traditional music become part of the practices associated with local folk traditions in the twentieth century, but the instrument has also become a symbol reinforcing the sociocultural values associated with paraguayidad (Paraguayan-ness), a national sentiment closely connected to the culturally imbedded idea of the Paraguayan tekó (the way of being), concepts which consequently serve to construct Paraguayan identity.





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List of Figures………………………………………………………………………. xiii List of Tables……………………………………………………………………….. xiv List of Examples……………………………………………………………………. xv Introduction ………………………………………………………………………… 1 The Paraguayan Tekó and the Paraguayan Diatonic Harp……………………… 7 Harpists…………………………………………………………………………. 13 Identity, Paraguayidad, Tekó…………………………………………………... 20 The Articulation of the Historical Memory…………………………………….. 25 General Review of the Dissertation Structure………………………………….. 30 CHAPTER ONE: The Setting and the Advent of the Harp ………………………. 32 The Setting Geographical and Regional setting…………………………………………. 32 Etymology of the Word “Paraguay”………………………………………... 32 Colonial Period: Historians and Historical Sources………………………… 33 Conquest and Colonial Times: Historical Background…………………….. 39 The Advent of the Harp Societas Jesu: Missionaries and Teachers………………………………….. 48 Vocal and Instrumental Music in the Jesuit Missions………………...…….. 55 The Harp in Medieval and Renaissance Spain…………………………..….. 64 Documented References to the Harp in Paraguay and the Río de la Plata Area……………………………………………………………………… 67 CHAPTER TWO: Harps and Harpists …………………………………………….. 75 The Paraguayan Diatonic Harp: Introduction………………………………….. 75 The Paraguayan Diatonic Harp: Characteristics……………………………….. 79 Caja [Armónica] ([Harmonic] Box)………………………………………... 79 Tapa [Armónica] ([Harmonic] Cover or Board)…………………………… 80 Cabeza or Consola (Head)………………………………………………….. 81 ix Brazo (Arm or Forepillar)…………………………………………………… 83 Strings……………………………………………………………………….. 83 Paraguayan Harps in the Nineteenth Century…………………………………… 84 Harp Luthiers in the Twentieth Century………………………………………… 85 Paraguayan Harp Techniques……………………………………………..…….. 92 Trino – trémulo – trémolo paraguayo (Paraguayan Tremolo)……………… 94 Bordoneado…………………………………………………………………. 95 Glissando……………………………………………………………………. 96 Tuning Systems…………………………………………………………………. 96 Performance (Technique and Interpretation) Schools………………………….. 98 Arperos……………………………………………………………………… 98 José del Rosario Diarte…………………………………………………. 99 Agapito Morínigo (“Tacho’í”)………………………………………….. 106 Arpistas Profesionales……………………………………………………… 110 Félix Pérez Cardozo……………………………………………………. 111 Dionisio Arzamendia…………………………………………………… 120 Luis Bordón…………………………………………………………….. 123 Digno García…………………………………………………………… 131 Lorenzo Leguizamón…………………………………………………... 138 Tito Acuña……………………………………………………………... 140 Nicolás (“Nicolasito”) Caballero………………………………………. 144 César Cataldo…………………………………………………….…….. 146 Raquel Lebrón…………………………………………………………. 148 Ismael Ledesma………………………………………………………... 152 Arpa, Arperos, Arpistas : Conclusion………………………………………… 154 CHAPTER THREE: Paraguayan Traditional Music……………………………… 158 Paraguayan Traditional Music: Repertoire and General Characteristics……… 159 Polca and Galopa………………………………………………………….. 162 Compuesto…………………………………………………………………. 175 Guarania…………………………………………………………………… 177 Vals o Valseado……………………………………………………………. 182

–  –  –

Bibliography……………………………………………………………………… 304 Vita……………………………………………………………………………….. 322

–  –  –

Figure 21. Photograp of the Conjunto de Juan Carlos Oviedo y los Hermanos Acuña……

–  –  –

Table 1. Placement of strings in five Paraguayan diatonic harps………………….

. 98 Table 2. Elements of paraguayidad as a reflection of Paraguayan identity……….. 260 Table 3. Elements of the tekó in relationship to paraguayidad and Paraguayan identity………………………………………………………………......... 262

–  –  –

Example 1. Articulation of ascending and descending passages………………….

.. 93 Example 2. Traditional harp ostinato accompaniment for the left hand…………… 93 Example 3. Harp arpegio pattern for both hands…………………………………... 94 Example 4. Harp arpegios in parallel octaves……………………………………… 94 Example 5. First sixteen measures of Cascada by harpist Digno García………….. 136 Example 6. First thirty-eight measures of Regimiento 13 “Tuyutí” by Emiliano R.

Fernández and Ramón Vargas………………………………………… 170

–  –  –

In the midst of Alfredo Stroessner’s totalitarian regime years, through a child’s eyes – oblivious to the complacent attitude of the adults in my world toward the massive dissemination of propaganda – I eagerly absorbed the sights and sounds of Asuncion, Paraguay in the 1970s. One of my most cherished activities was tuning in to the daily television and radio shows which, as part of a government-mandated program to construct a national folklore, would dedicate a portion of each show to broadcasting Paraguayan folk and traditional music, sometimes referred to as música nacional (national music). Unaware of the political agenda behind these broadcasts, I grew to appreciate and love Paraguayan traditional music at a very early age. I was especially fascinated by the performances of vocal conjuntos1 accompanied by harp and guitars, a configuration typical of folk and traditional music in Paraguay. I vividly recall a particular music show, Domingos Folclóricos (Folklore on Sundays), that aired every Sunday at noon on Channel 9 TV Cerro Corá, now the SNT – Sistema Nacional de Televisión (the National System of Television). Domingos Folclóricos featured interviews with local artists, soloists and conjuntos performing traditional music, as well as ballet groups dancing polkas and galopas2 accompanied by a banda típica (a folk music band consisting of two trumpets, two saxophones, two trombones, a tuba, a pair of crashing cymbals, and a bass drum.). Hosted by Miguel Angel Rodriguez, a prominent figure in Paraguayan radio and television in the 1970s and 1980s, Domingos Folclóricos later assumed the name Felíz Domingo (Happy Sunday) and aired for about eight years.

A traditional vocal conjunto consists of two vocalists singing in parallel thirds and accompanied by guitars and harp or accordion.

Genres of Paraguayan traditional music. For more details see Chapter Three.



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