Instrumentos musicales precortesianos

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Author: Martí, Samuel

Year: 1968

Publisher: Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia (INAH)

Place: Mexico City


378 pages with plates, illustrations (some folding), map, bibliography and index. Royal octavo (9 1/4" x 6 3/4") issued in wrappers. Limited to 2000 copies. 2d edition revised.

Pre-Columbian musical instruments are mostly wind instruments (aerophones). They range from the painted clay panpipes of the Nazca in Peru to the flutes of Mexico, as well as the ocarinas that have been excavated throughout the region. Some of these instruments are very intriguing, because of their beautiful shape or intricate paintings; others receive little attention because they are plain, or simply because they are not easy to recognise as musical instruments. But all arouse our curiosity: who were the people who played them, and on what occasions? One thing seems certain: music played an important role in pre-Columbian society. This can be deducted from the large number of musical instruments excavated, as well as from the numerous images (figurines, paintings) of people singing, playing music, and dancing. The instruments played their role in social life: they were used during (religious) festivals, and often buried with the dead as funeral gifts.Pre-Columbian music and musical instruments may still be encountered today, as forms of 'cultural continuity' or 'cultural revival'. Traditional music of certain contemporary indigenous groups resembles the music of their pre-Columbian ancestors in as far as the musical instruments and the context in which they are used are concerned. And the groups of young people playing traditional music on instruments that already existed in pre-Columbian times, may be seen as a means of reaffirming cultural identity.


Edge wear to wrappers with some tears, spine ends lightly chipped else about a very good copy.

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