#QuédateEnCasa y Huapango! Diasporic Community and Musical Wellbeing in Streamed Live Performances of Son Huasteco music




Margolies, Daniel S.
Strub, J.A.

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Journal of Music, Health, and Wellbeing


This article is an examination of the varied ways in which online music performances and gatherings via YouTube livestreams served as foundational affective spaces in the son huasteco community’s response to the coronavirus crisis. Son huasteco is a folk music tradition from the Huasteca, a geo-cultural region spanning the intersection of six states in central Mexico. Huapango is the term used to describe the style’s musical repertory as well as the communal and competitive events at which it is performed. Through interviews and the analysis of audio, video, and chatroom text, this study describes and theorizes the emergent social infrastructure of the cyber-Huasteca and the live-streamed virtual huapangos around which this technologically-mediated community is oriented. This study demonstrates how these virtual spaces played an important role in the maintenance of emotional and social wellbeing at a time of collective duress, while also serving as a platform for discussion, information-sharing, and normsetting in the face of a global health crisis. Focusing on the early pandemic period between March and August, 2020, this study examines both highly-organized digital huapango events as well as more quotidian nightly livestreams where the chat function serves as a community forum. These regularized events have sustained Huastecan musical culture while traditional huapangos became untenable due to social distancing, and have opened new avenues for transnational participation across the diaspora. This study further reveals how the digital infrastructure created before the pandemic to fulfill the emotional wellbeing needs of the diaspora readily scaled to meet the challenges of the coronavirus moment and the needs for connection among the wider huapanguero community. This trajectory is highlighted through a close study of YouTube channel GavBroadcast and its development into a popular epicenter of digital huapango culture. Drawing from the literature on music and wellbeing, DIY archiving, participatory media platforms, and music, affect, and diaspora, this study contextualizes observations of a novel and emergent digital habitat within larger phenomena at the nexus of pandemic, technology, society, and culture.




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Margolies, D. S., and Strub, J. A. #QuédateEnCasa y Huapango! Diasporic Community and Musical Wellbeing in Streamed Live Performances of Son Huasteco music. Journal of Music, Health, and Wellbeing, Autumn 2021. ISSN: 2515-981X