Kiko Mora: Spanish Music in the US Early Recording Industry

Kiko Mora: Spanish Music in the US Early Recording Industry

Wednesday@Noon Lecture

Wednesday, January 24, 2018
12:10–1 p.m.
Arts Building Music Rehearsal Hall, ARTS 157

Kiko Mora, Professor, University of Alicante


In 1896, Thomas Alva Edison founded the National Phonograph Company (NPC) in West Orange (NJ). This year became not only the birth of the NPC’s music business but also marks a turning point closing a cycle in the production of recorded music at a commercial scale, and opening another where, after the conquest of public space, the phonograph and its music cylinders began to colonize more and more the homes of a wide social spectrum of music consumers. This research, granted by the CIOFF/INAEM (International Council of Folklore and Traditional Arts Organizations/National Institute for Performing Arts and Music) focuses on a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the NPC’s phonographic production with regards to Spanish topics and, mainly, to the music titles whose composers and performers are of Spanish origin. This production covers a period of time where music of European origin had a remarkable presence in the company’s catalogues, under the sections called “Foreign records,” “Ethnic Records,” and “Opera records.” This presence was severely diminished with the outbreak of the First World War. In this context, Spanish music played a relevant role if we consider the small number of Spanish immigrants in the United States of America at the turn of the century. What was the NPC’s ratio of production of music related to Spain? What were the most prolific years and cities? What was the ratio of vocal and instrumental music? What was the ratio according to the origin and genre of these musical items? How can these ratios be explained? Who were the most recurring composers and performers? Why? This lecture aims to answer these questions.

Kiko Mora (PhD, the Ohio State University) is a professor of the semiotics of advertising in the Department of Communication and Social Psychology at the University of Alicante and of Spanish cinema for the Council on International Educational Exchange of Alicante.  His research explores the cultural presence of Spain in the United States during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  He is the co-editor of Rock around Spain:  historia, industria, escenas y medios de comunicación (2013).

Professor Mora's research is supported by a grant from the International Council on Folklore and Traditional Arts Organization/National Institute for Performing Arts and Music.

Free and open to the campus
Information: (951) 827-3245 | |

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