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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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Chicano Fine Arts
Program #

Literature, Music
Richard Goodman
Richard Goodman

Chicano Fine Arts

Richard Goodman first discusses several characteristics of Chicano literature and its development in the 20th century. Chicanos occupy a unique place between two distinct cultures: Mexican and Anglo, and that duality marks much of the literature they have produced. Referencing the work of Carlota Cardenas de Dwyer, Goodman discusses how Chicanos use both Spanish and English in their literature as a way to evoke an alternate reality that encompasses both Anglo and Mexican cultures and that represents Chicano culture. Before World War II, Mexican culture strongly influenced Chicano literature, but in the post war period, writers began to look towards Anglo culture as the ideal. This changed in the sixties and seventies when Chicanos and Chicanas began to write about their bitter experiences being Mexican-American in the United States. For many years, only Chicano-owned publishing house printed Chicano literature. In recent years major publishing house have began publishing anthologies that collect various examples of Chicano literature in one place.

Goodman then discusses the origins, influences and styles of Chicano Classical music. Because social and economic conditions were not conducive to the development of the fine arts in the Chicano community, most composers lived in Mexico. For much of the 19th century, European classical music influenced Mexican composers immensely, and they trained in Germany, France and Italy under the great masters of the time. After the 1890s, Mexican composers, such as Carlos Chavez, began to produce classical music that was uniquely Mexican in origin. In the post-war period, Mexican composers began to incorporate rhythms from other countries, while continuing to develop their own style and they became internationally recognized. Also during this period, Chicano classical musicians and composers emerged in Texas and California where they formed their own orchestras and groups. Lydia Mendoza and Beto Villa have been two of the most famous Chicano classical musicians.


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