Not long ago, a friend told me about the little space that specialized music magazines have in our context and their corresponding readings about the manifestation of the genre in Cuba. I wanted to explain and claim his attention, but everything was in vain: his arguments - although nothing academic - outshined my attempts and I gave up all the enlightening talk.And he's right, music magazines have been declining, and sadly, they have been forgetting the average reader over the years.
However, the most worrying thing is that in a country where music is a matter of national relevance, it exhibits less than it should and speaks more than it should be. Because as a Latin quote of some Roman character would say, and I embraced from my youth: ‘’I saw volant scripta manent’’, which means ‘’ Words flies. The written, remains".
Why the ‘’almost’’inexistence of the different music magazines in Cuba? Why going to more simplistic languages around the extensive Cuban musical world?
If we refer to history, we would agree that both, the analysis and the treatment of ‘’faranduleros’’ or social issues attempted to shine in earlier times, and each population sector assumed its role in shaping the taste that each of these edges proposed, and all lived in an apparent and beloved harmony. With the arrival of the new restrictions imposed by the external economic fence, as well as certain local lack of vision, some relevant musical publications died, leaving their readers - and the public debate - waiting for a reengagement or deoxygenation. Thus, journals and related publications ceased to be printed and a new scenario was imposed giving way to a new literary and research context, whose result and visibility would be zero or, in other cases, would be close to extinction. And I ask again, couldn’t exceptions be made? Should we have dispensed with most of these magazines?
Even in more recent times, where some lines of editorial work achieved in previous decades could be resumed, there were a lack of forceful initiatives that brought us again those approaches to the average study of our music, unfortunately being the definitive deseeding of illustrious or well-known publications that emerged for the welfare of the Reader in Cuba. There was lack of an essay by Fernández Retamar as a simple songbook, to name the two extremes in which some publications could navigate.It will never be too late to settle our debts, nor can it be seen as a cultural retreat: everything that helps to resume the path to debate or to the necessary and effective information on the formative and creative processes of Cuban music will be well received. The silence and forced divorce suffered by music magazines of the 90s should not mark the new generations, nor be the trend of these times. Our music deserves more!!!
Taken from Granma
Translated by Susel Esquivel