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Mexican progressive rock: fantastic and social discourses

Leopoldo Flores Valenzuela

Leopoldo Flores Valenzuela (Mexico City, Mexico, July 23, 1988). Master in Ethnomusicology by the Master's and Doctorate Music Program in the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Bachelor of Ethnomusicology of the Faculty of Music of the same university (Gabino Barreda medal, 2014). Winner of the 2021 Research Grant Program by the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation. Researcher specialist in religious chants of indigenous Zapotec and peasant communities of the Valley of Oaxaca in its symbolic, political, social and anthropo-historical dimension. Author of the work Alabanceros: canto religioso en el Valle de Oaxaca. Politicidad, simbolismos y sublimación músico-ritual and various articles. Studious of the practice and repertoire for brass band and orchestra of the 19th and 20th centuries, both in Oaxaca and in the Colombian Caribbean. Co-author of Archivo Musical Santa Cruz de Mompox (AMSCM). De la banda militar a la orquesta tropical: Un siglo de música en la Costa Caribe colombiana (2021) and Metodología de catalogación de archivos musicales, herramientas y catálogo I y II in communities of Oaxaca. During 2014–2015, researcher in the project Ritual sonoro en catedral parroquias y pueblos: catalogación e investigación musical en Oaxaca at the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS, PACÍFICO SUR). In 2011, collaborator in the Etnografía de las Cultura Musicales en Oaxaca (ECMO) project for the Central Valley region in the same research center. Performer with professional studies in guitar and traditional genres of Mexican music.

Mexican progressive rock must be understood as a "rare" expression in several senses, since it is an unknown field, hidden from the general population, branded, in its time, as marginal, "misunderstood" and even produced by and for "crazy”. There are really few researchers on the subject, which makes it a highly specialized field. Studies on popular music, ethnomusicology, history or other disciplines have scarcely addressed it, generally relegating journalists, music lovers and rockers who have written on the topic. However, this subgenre of Latin American rock can be understood from the social events that, together with the boom of the international scene, marked the course of music and its associated meanings in Mexico. This work is an initial exploration of the sounds of the pioneer groups of Mexican progressive rock, to try to link them with the reality of their time, in a context of social revolution, youth repression and marginalization of the genre.

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