Buena Vista Social Club Case Study

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The Buena Vista Social Club – a global music phenomenon
Cuba, a country that can in some points be seen as rather isolated from general world trends in terms of geography and its socialist political system, has always been very popular and influential in another area: music. With influences from West African and Spanish music, traditional Cuban music has outlived various political and economic crises and has established a priceless part of Cuban identity. Due to enhanced technology and accelerating globalization, the “intensified compression and our increasing consciousness of the world” (Barker 156), Cuban music has enriched many other styles and has been enjoyed all over the world. Nevertheless, the case of the Buena Vista Social Club (BVSC)
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Van Damme thereby takes for granted that cultures are changing over time due to various factors. When analysing this intercultural artistic exchange, several preconditions have to be investigated (van Damme 377). These can be divided into the circumstances that allowed the outside features to be integrated and the factors that made the external features available; both to be regarded under an economical, religious, political and social aspect. Moreover, the agency of the individual and the general motivation for the incorporation or distribution of the art form have to be considered. The former is concerned with the individual’s manner of receiving or distributing an art form and whether this happened on purpose or not whereas the motivation reveals the religious, political economic or social driving forces behind this. Lastly, the nature of the influence has to be analysed in terms of its content, adoption process and its consequences (van Damme 380). Barker provides some further key points like the notion of cultural imperialism and the relation between globalization and hegemony that will be useful for the analysis. On the basis of these theories, BVSC will now be

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