Skip to main content
×
×
Home

“Sobre las olas”: Cultural Synecdoche of the Past

  • TERESA MAGDANZ
Abstract

Composed in 1888 by Juventino Rosas, the waltz “Sobre las olas” (“Over the Waves”) soon made its way to North America and beyond, reverberating in the great spaces of the circus, fairground, skating rink, dance hall, and park. Recycled in cartoons and films, in television, and in various cover versions, Rosas's waltz has become a kind of popular liminal music. The complex, circuitous routes it has traveled have led to a present-day musical convention. This essay attempts to lay bare the mechanisms at work in the dissemination of such a widely known piece of music in three ways: 1) by accounting for the multiple themes related to “Sobre las olas”; 2) by considering the range of technologies through which Rosas's waltz has been disseminated; and 3) by theorizing public knowledge of the waltz as a musical “quote,” a snippet recognizable after a few notes.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Agee James. “Comedy's Greatest Era.” Life 5 September 1949: 7088. Repr. in Agee On Film: Reviews and Comments by James Agee. Vol. 1 2–19. London: Owen, 1963–65.
Badger Reid. 1979. The Great American Fair: The World's Columbian Exposition & American Culture. Chicago: Nelson Hall
Bessette Roland L.. 1999. Mario Lanza: Tenor in Exile. Portland, Ore.: Amadeus Press
Bierley Paul E.. 1973. John Philip Sousa: American Phenomenon. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall
Bopp Ron. 1998. The American Carousel Organ: An Illustrated Encyclopedia Matthew Caulfield St. Cloud, Minn.: Palmer Printing
Bordwell David. 1996. “Convention, Construction, and Cinematic Vision.” In Post-Theory: Reconstructing Film Studies David Bordwell and Noël Carroll, 87107 Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press
Bradbury Ray. 1988. Foreword. In Steve Schneider That's All Folks! The Art of Warner Bros. Animation 1011. New York: Henry Holt
Brenner Helmut. 2000. Juventino Rosas: His Life, His Work, His Time. Warren, Mich.: Harmonie Park Press
Caulfield Matthew O.. ed. A Catalog of Music Rolls For The Wurlitzer Military Band Organ Style 165 Comp. Gary Watkins. August 1999 http://wurlitzer-rolls.com.
Cline Beverly Fink. 1979. The Lombardo Story. Don Mills, Ontario: Musson Book Co.
Geertz Clifford. 1983. Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretative Anthropology. New York: Basic Books
Hall Stuart. 1981. “Notes on Deconstructing ‘the Popular.” In People's History and Socialist Theory Raphael Samuel 22740 London: Routledge & Kegan Paul
Hamm Charles. 1979. Yesterdays: Popular Song in America. New York: W. W. Norton
Hazen Margaret Hindle, and 1987. Robert M. Hazen. The Music Men: An Illustrated History of Brass Bands in America, 1800–1920. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution
Kalinak Kathryn. 1992. Settling the Score: Music and the Classical Hollywood Film. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press
Lombardo Guy, and Jack Altshul. 1975. Auld Acquaintance. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday
López Velarde Ramón. 1971. Obras José Luis Martínez México: Fondo de Cultura Económica
Lord Tom. The Jazz Discography. 19922004. West Vancouver, B.C.: Lord Music Reference
McKennon Joe. 1972. A Pictorial History of the American Carnival. Vol. 1 Sarasota, Fla.: Carnival Publications of Sarasota
Magdanz Teresa. “The Waltz: Technology's Muse.” Journal of Popular Music Studies 18/3 (December 2006): 25181.
Mannering Derek. 2001. Mario Lanza: Singing to the Gods. London: Robert Hale
Mannering Derek. 1991. Mario Lanza: A Biography. London: Robert Hale
Middleton Richard. 1990. Studying Popular Music. Milton Keynes: Open University Press
Miranda Ricardo. Review of Helmut Brenner Juventino Rosas: His Life, His Work, His Time Latin American Music Review 23/1. (Spring–Summer 2002): 14349.
Miranda Ricardo. 2001. Ecos, Alientos y Sonidos: Ensayos sobre Música Mexicana. Xalapa, Ver.: Universidad Veracruzana; México, D.F.: Fondo de Cultura Económica
Nervo Amado. 1962. Obras Completas. Vol. 1. Ed. Francisco Gonzalez Guerrero. Madrid: Editorial Aguilar
Revised Catalog of Music Rolls for the Wurlitzer Player Piano/Catalog No. 8/“Long Tune Tracker Frame.” 1917. New York: Rudolph Wurlitzer Co.
Revised Catalog of Music Rolls for the Wurlitzer Player Piano/Catalog No. 8/“Regular and Roll Changing.” 1917. New York: Rudolph Wurlitzer Co.
Richie Donald. 1985. George Stevens: An American Romantic. New York: Garland
Rubin Martin. 1993. Showstoppers: Busby Berkeley and the Tradition of Spectacle. New York: Columbia University Press
Smart James R. 1970. The Sousa Band: A Discography. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress
Stevens George. 2004. George Stevens: Interviews, Paul Cronin Jackson: University Press of Mississippi
Stewart Susan. 1993. On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press
Stockfelt Ola. 1997. “Adequate Modes of Listening.” In Keeping Score: Music, Disciplinarity, Culture David Schwarz, Anahid Kassabian, and Lawrence Siegel, 12946. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press
Studwell William E., Charles P. Conrad, and Bruce R. Schueneman. 1991. Circus Songs: An Annotated Anthology. New York: Haworth Press
Tawa Nicholas E. 1990. The Way to Tin Pan Alley: American Popular Song, 1866–1910. New York: Schirmer
Warfield Patrick. “Making the Band: The Formation of John Philip Sousa's Ensemble.” American Music 24/1 (Spring 2006): 3066.

Filmography

Berkeley Busby, dir. 1940. Strike up the Band. Loew's
Clampett Robert, dir. 1943. An Itch in Time. Leon Schlesinger Studios
Freleng Friz, dir. 1950. Canary Row. Warner Bros. Pictures
Jackson Peter, dir. 1994. Heavenly Creatures. Fontana/Miramax
Kershner Irvin, dir. 1972. Up the Sandbox. Barwood/First Artists
Nigh William, dir. 1940. The Ape. Monogram Pictures Corp.
Schertzinger Victor, dir. 1934. One Night of Love. Columbia Pictures Corporation
Stevens George, dir. 1935. Annie Oakley. RKO Radio Pictures
Stevenson Robert, dir. 1964. Mary Poppins. Walt Disney Productions
Thorpe Richard, dir. 1951. The Great Caruso. MGM
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of the Society for American Music
  • ISSN: 1752-1963
  • EISSN: 1752-1971
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-society-for-american-music
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed