Modernism and Film Music in Latin America By Avila, Jacqueline
Modernism in Latin America was, as in Europe, a movement that began as a reaction to late-nineteenth-century artistic currents, primarily in visual and plastic art, literature, and music. It broke down past conceptions of art and sought to find innovation and purpose in other areas utilizing nontraditional means. While waves of modernism flourished in Western Europe at the turn of the century—for example, Dadaism, Futurism, Expressionism—currents also hit the American continents. New advances in technology (particularly the development of telephones, cinema, and sound recordings), new modes of transportation, and industry helped push forward modernist ideologies through a reexamination and interpretation of reality that moved away from traditional forms. The burgeoning practice of cinema provided new juxtapositions of visual and musical art structures that served as a novel conduit for mass entertainment, education, and nationalist projects. Within Latin America, particularly in the larger film industries of Mexico and Argentina, cinema offered new opportunities for musical innovation that juxtaposed popular and folkloric music with practices from the Western art music tradition.