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Revista musical chilena

versão impressa ISSN 0716-2790


SILVA-PONCE, René  e  CADIZ, Rodrigo F.. Music sentenced to live: heritage and resilience of the Chilean street barrel organ. Rev. music. chil. [online]. 2021, vol.75, n.235, pp.26-54. ISSN 0716-2790.

In 1962 the Chilean writer José Donoso published in Ercilla magazine an article entitled “Music Sentenced to Die”, which foretold the unavoidable disappearance of street barrel organs in Chile. The organ grinder job was not attractive to the young anymore, and Enrique Venegas, who (according to Donoso) was the unique street barrel organ technician in the country, did not train anyone else in his trade. Effectively after Venegas’ death, street barrel organs faced a difficult time. Nevertheless, and against all odds, these instruments survived and are utilized to the present. This paper reviews this history of resilience and expect to deepen some confusing historical aspects that the scarce bibliography about the topic has forgotten. To reach this goal, this research focused on three iconic people: Lázaro Kaplan, Enrique Venegas y Manuel Lizana Quezada, reviewing three important stages of the Chilean barrel organ history. First, when the organ grinder job was born with the arrival of the first instruments to Chile. Second, we characterize the rise and fall of Chilean barrel organs, and finally we study the recovery period, its current situation, and its projection to new generations.

Palavras-chave : street barrel organs; heritage; organ grinders; Lázaro Kaplan; Enrique Venegas; Manuel Lizana Quezada.

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