Preface
Thisreferenceworkbeganlifeovertwentyyearsago.
The idea was developed at the Institute of Ethnol-
ogyand Folklore at the Cuban Academyof Sciences,
andbeganasalistofcomposers,songwriters,musi-
cal interpreters, groups, genres, instruments, musi-
cal institutions, and other relevant classifications.
I added to my own musical knowledge that of re-
searchers, respondents, and journalists, as well as
information found in catalogues, songbooks, press
clippings, and many other diverse sources. I even
made use of those sugary interviews published in
the1940smagazines Bohemia and Carteles.Thisinitial
research was followed by the indexing of records, a
project that, after twoyears, resulted in an extensive
catalogue. Finally the writing of the entries began,
an enterprise that has required constant input, re-
visions, and corrections, right up to the present day.
As I wanted to avoid the common transgression
of planning, researching, and writing from a library
or desk in Havana only, I also traveled around the
island so as to emphasize those other cities of spe-
cific cultural importance. Music is a complete entity
initself,involvinghighlytechnicalelaboration,irre-
spective of time and space, whether it is the playing
of a symphony or the fervent, rhythmic beating of
a drum. Throughout Cuba, experts in all fields of
musichelpedgreatly,anditisimpossibletomention
every individual who provided assistance. Suffice it
to say, I thank all of you for your help and your in-
valuable and permanent contribution to Cuban cul-
ture.
This is the first work in which the music of Cuba
and its musicians appear in a reference format.
Researchers, academics, musicians, teachers, art
workers, and fans now have at their disposal a long-
sought text to consult. I have included a wide range
of composers, interpreters, groups, and institu-
tions. Mycriteria were always based on the subject’s
worthwhile contribution, and everyeffort was made
to avoid turning this reference into a ‘‘phone book.’’
Undoubtedly, there have been mistakes and omis-
sions (unavoidable in this type of work); readers and
specialists will be able to point them out so that they
can be corrected in subsequent editions. As Percy A.
Scholes has written in his prologu
of Music: ‘‘There are many young s
every moment on the horizon bu
clear-sighted of prophets could no
tween those who will ascend high
theworld, and thosewhowill quick
tion.’’
This work is, above all else, a t
music and its musicians, many of
who have brought Cuban music to
g
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