Since its publication in 1974, there has been a concerted effort to force Alejo Carpentier's Concierto barroco to conform to the musical genre from which it derives its name. In spite of Carpentier’s advanced knowledge of musical form, these efforts have largely resulted in imprecise or inaccurate representations of the Baroque Concerto, or selective interpretations that avoid inconvenient narrative details. Without the imprecision or textual violence exhibited in its analytical predecessors, the present article seeks to correct these imprecisions and understand the function of musical form not as a formal constraint, but rather as both a superficial and structuring element in the novel. By first analyzing the neo-Baroque aspects of Carpentier’s technical style, I will offer interpretations of three key moments in the novel when European Baroque musical form is subverted, reinvigorated, and transformed by way of contact with distinctly American styles and perspectives. In considering these moments, I will suggest that the Baroque Concerto of Concierto barroco is not a Baroque Concerto at all. Rather, Carpentier narrates an inventive creation story for a musical genre that is more consistent with the novel’s pro-American ideological stance; the modern, syncretic, and transatlantic counterpart of the Baroque: jazz.
How to Cite:
Matthews, K., 2017. “Baroque Jazz: Toward a New Understanding of Musical Form in Carpentier's Concierto Barroco.”. Latin American Literary Review, 44(87), pp.2–7. DOI: http://doi.org/10.26824/lalr.16