Alejandro L. Madrid is the Walter W. Naumburg Professor of Music at Harvard University. He is a cultural theorist of sound and music working in Latin American and Latinx studies. His eight books –five monographs, a textbook, and two edited volumes– and a host of distinguished articles, have established him as one of the foremost musicologists of his generation and one of the leading scholars in Ibero-American music studies. His five monographs, Tania León’s Stride. A Polyrhythmic Life
(University of Illinois Press, 2021), In Search of Julián Carrillo and Sonido 13
(Oxford University Press, 2015), Danzón. Circum-Caribbean Dialogues in Music and Dance
(with Robin Moore; Oxford University Press, 2013), Sounds of the Modern Nation. Music, Culture, and Ideas in Post-Revolutionary Mexico
(Temple University Press, 2009), and Nor-Tec Rifa! Electronic Dance Music from Tijuana to the World
(Oxford University Press, 2008), as well as his edited volume Transnational Encounters. Music and Performance at the U.S.-Mexico Border
(Oxford University Press, 2012), have all received top awards from organizations like the American Musicological Society (AMS), the Latin American Studies Association, the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM), the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM), and the ASCAP Foundation. He has been awarded the Humboldt Forschungspreis, the Dent Medal, given by the International Musicological Society and the Royal Musical Association for “outstanding contributions to musicology,” as well as Cuba’s Premio de Musicología Casa de las Américas, and Chile’s Premio de Musicología Samuel Claro Valdés.
His work has been described as a “model for future works that aim to cross boundaries between musicology and ethnomusicology” and as “scholarship that intervenes in a number of important critical conversations.” Madrid’s scholarly output includes innovative and influential work on technology and cyber-communities, alternative modernisms, postcolonial musical interventions, nationalism and postnationalism, embodied culture, the materiality of musical instruments, and the musical performance of masculinities. His work engages popular, folk, and art musics from multi-methodological perspectives, making him one of today’s most effective scholars crossing over and often blurring the disciplinary boundaries between historical musicology, ethnomusicology, popular music studies, and cultural studies.
His research has been funded by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the J. William Fulbright Scholarship Board, and the Ford Foundation, among other institutions.
Apart from his remarkable and extensive award-winning publication record, Professor Madrid has served the scholarly community as editor of Oxford University Press’s Currents in Latin American and Iberian Music series, co-editor of Cambridge University Press’ journal Twentieth-Century Music
, as well as in the Executive Committee of IASPM, as council member of the AMS and the Society for Ethnomusicology, and in the editorial board of several international scholarly journals and publishing projects. Furthermore, Professor Madrid is frequently invited as an expert commentator to national and international media outlets and most recently acted as music advisor to acclaimed filmmaker Peter Greenaway, whose latest film, Eisenstein in Guanajuato
(2015), is set in early 1930s Mexico.
More information about Professor Madrid’s work can be found in the following websites: