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Alejandro L. Madrid


photo of Alejandro L. Madrid

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. Ohio State University



Alejandro L. Madrid holds a B.M. and an M.F.A. in guitar performance from The Boston Conservatory (1992) and SUNY-Purchase (1995) respectively, an M.M. in musicology from the University of North Texas (1999), and a Ph.D. in musicology and comparative cultural studies from the Ohio State University (2003). His research focuses on the intersection of modernity, tradition, globalization, and identity in popular and art music, dance, and expressive culture from Mexico, the U.S.-Mexico border, and the circum-Caribbean. His interests include the performance of democratic values through music, media, and technology; questions of continuity, change, cosmopolitanism, and race in Latin American late 19th-century and early 20th-century music; and transnationalism, gender, and embodied culture in contemporary popular music.

Madrid’s books include In Search of Julián Carrillo and Sonido 13 (Oxford University Press), Danzón. Circum-Caribbean Dialogues in Music and Dance (Oxford University Press) [co-authored with Robin Moore], (Oxford University Press), Nor-tec Rifa! Electronic Dance Music from Tijuana to the World (Oxford University Press), Sounds of the Modern Nation. Music, Culture and Ideas in Post-Revolutionary Mexico (Temple University Press), and Los sonidos de la nación moderna. Música, cultura e ideas en el México post-revolucionario, 1920-1930 (Casa de las Américas). He is editor of Transnational Encounters. Music and Performance at the U.S.-Mexico Border (Oxford University Press) and co-editor [with Ignacio Corona] of Postnational Musical Identities. Cultural Production, Distribution and Consumption in a Globalized Scenario (Lexington Books). Madrid is also the editor of Oxford University Press's award-winning series Currents in Latin American and Iberian Music.

His writings on music, performance, history, and popular culture have appeared in Boletín Música, Ethnomusicology, Fragmentos de Cultura, GLQ: Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies, Heterofonía, Hispanic American Historical Review, Journal of Music History Pedagogy, Latin American Music Review, Latino Studies, Popular Music, Popular Music and Society, Resonancias, The World of Music, as well as Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, the Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World and The Grove Dictionary of American Music. He was guest editor of a special issue on music and performance studies for Trans: Revista Transcultural de Música (2009) and Senior Editor of Latin American and Latino entries for The Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd edition. Additionally, he serves on the advisory boards of Boletín Música (Cuba), Dancecult: Journal of Dance Music Culture, Latin American Music Review, Sounding Out! The Sound Studies BlogTrans: Revista Transcultural de Música (Spain), the collection “Instrumentos para la Investigación Músical” of SIBE (Iberian Society for Ethnomusicology), the music collection of Editorial Doble J (Spain).

Professor Madrid is a recipient of the Dent Medal (2017), given by the Royal Musical Association and the International Musicological Society for "outstanding contributions to musicology", being the first Latinamericanist/Hispanist and first Latin American scholar to receive this prestigious honor. He has also received the Humanities Book Award from the Latin American Studies Association-Mexico Section (2016), the Robert M. Stevenson Award from the American Musicological Society (AMS) (2016 and 2014), the Béla Bartók Award from the ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Awards (2014), the Ruth A. Solie Award from the AMS (2012), the Woody Guthrie Book Award from the International Association for the Study of Popular Music-US Branch (2009), the Casa de las Américas Prize for Latin American Musicology (2005), the Samuel Claro Valdés Award for Latin American Musicology (2002), the A-R Editions Award of the AMS, Midwest Chapter (2001-2002), as well as fellowships and subventions from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Fulbright Program, the Ford Foundation, the AMS, and Fundación Carolina. 

Professor Madrid has held positions as researcher at Mexico's Centro Nacional de Investigación, Documentación e Información Musical "Carlos Chávez" (CENIDIM) and as visiting scholar at the Lozano Long Institute for Latin American Studies of the University of Texas at Austin and El Colegio de la Frontera Norte-Tijuana. He has taught musicology, ethnomusicology, music aesthetics, music history courses, performance studies and Latin American cultural studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Northwestern University, Texas A&M University, and Universidad de las Américas-Puebla, and has been a visiting professor at Harvard University, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Universidad de la República in Uruguay, Instituto Superior de Artes in Cuba, Universidad de San Martín and Universidad Nacional de Córdoba in Argentina, and The Newberry's Teacher Consortium of the Newberry Library in Chicago. Dr. Madrid is currently professor of (ethno)musicology at Cornell University. He is frequently invited as an expert commentator on 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.


Ethnomusicology; Latin American and Latina/o music; performance studies; sound studies; transnationalism and globalization


  • American Studies Program
  • Latina/o Studies Program
  • Music

Graduate Fields

  • American Studies
  • Latino Studies
  • Music
  • Performing and Media Arts


  • Latin American Studies



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