Magical Flutes: Music Culture and Music Groups in a Changing Bolivia

Sari Pekkola

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


The main part of this dissertation consists of an ethnographic study of three music groups which are part of an urban music movement in Bolivia. I describe the groups Los Masis, Inkallajta and Flor Tani Tani, their experiences and their ideas about music-making. I also summarise their musical activities and give examples of the lyrics in each group's repertoire .

My theoretical approach includes a discussion about how to study changing aspects of popular music and society in Bolivia. I propose that Raymond Williams' theory on culture and society and his concepts of dominant, emergent and residual culture are helpful in understanding some questions on cultural transformation and social changes. A social movement theory as developed by Alberto Melucci and others is used to analyse parts of this development as well.

The method which I have used is ethnographic fieldwork. This includes participant observation and the case studies as well as the use of documentary materials.

Finally, I discuss how musicians produce and reproduce the emergent culture and contribute to the construction of a music movement. The changing role of popular music and the rural-urban connection is taken up and the role of media is discussed. The discovery of a local culture is connected to the given process of globalisation and modernisation. I also take up the issue of 'a new ethnic awakening', which becomes evident through the emergent culture. In this process new definitions of what is Andean and Western are defined by the musicians.

The thesis consists of three parts: i) a background to the empirical study (theory, method, historical and social framework), ii) a section about the music movement and urban musicians and, iii) a summary of the music culture and some reflections related to the proposed theoretical approach.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Sociology
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date1996 Mar 22
ISBN (Print)91-7966-358-3
Publication statusPublished - 1996

Bibliographical note

Defence details
Date: 1996-03-22
Time: 10:15
Place: Edens hörsal, (E 116), Lund
External reviewer(s)
Name: [unknown], [unknown]
Title: [unknown]
Affiliation: [unknown]

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)


  • Sociology
  • Bolivia
  • ethnography
  • urban music movement
  • emergent culture
  • popular music and society
  • Music culture
  • musicians


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