Institute of Archaeology


South American Archaeology Seminar - Music Archaeology of Latin America

22 November 2019–23 November 2019, 10:00 am–5:00 pm

South American Archaeology Seminar - Latin American Music

The next South American Archaeology Seminar, a joint meeting with the Latin American Music Seminar, will be held at Senate House on 22 & 23 November 2019

Event Information

Open to







Bill Sillar – Institute of Archaeology


Chancellor's Hall
Senate House
Malet Street

Despite recent advances in music archaeology and increased interest in its study, the ancient musical practices of Latin America tend to be interpreted in one of two ways: either as disconnected from the present (due to colonial impact and poor preservation) or as unchanged, where contemporary practices are mapped directly onto the past. In this two-day seminar we explore aspects of this tension, asking such questions as: How do archaeologists access and interpret past musical practices? What is the wider impact of this research? In what ways does ancient music, and its imaginaries, influence contemporary music making? How might ancient musical practices be presented in museums and by heritage organizations? Can music complement archaeological education and outreach?


Friday 22 November

9:30: Coffee/Registration

  • 10:00-10:30: Anna Gruszczyńska-Ziółkowska (Universidad de Varsovia), Nuevas perspectivas de los estudios sobre los sonidos de la antigüedad.
  • 10:30 -11:00: Daniela La Chioma (Universidad Sao Paolo), Sound and Music in Andean Pre-Columbian Art: Interdisciplinarity, methodological aspects and interpretative reach.

11:00: Tea

  • 11:30-12:00: Jean-Francois Brohée (Universite Libre de Bruxelles), Heterodyne Sounds and Beats in Mesoamerican Wind Instruments: A Case Study within Two Belgian Public Collections.
  • 12:00-12:30: Sebastian Hachmeyer (RHUL) The Use of Native Woody Bamboos in Flute Making among the Aymara Nations on the Pre-Colombian Altiplano: A First Approximation.
  • 12:30-1:00: Manuel May Castillo (Bonn University), Postcolonial rhythms and ritual spaces of the Maya.

1:00-2:00: Lunch

  • 2:00-2:30 Elizabeth Baquedano, (UCL), The Role of Music in the activities of the Aztec Ruler.
  • 2:30-3:00: Carlos Mansilla (Escuela Naiconal Superior de Folklore Jose Maria Arguedas), Diatonic tuning system in ancient Peru. The case of the panpipes of the Nasca culture. New discoveries.
  • 3:00-3:30 Alexander Herrera (Universidad de los Andes), “TBA”

3:30: Tea

  • 4:00-4:30: Ricardo Alvarez (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso), Bailes Chinos at the Feast of San Pedro: Recreation of Ancient Musical Practices in Contemporary Religious Celebrations in Chile.
  • 4:30-5:00: Ana Maria Alarcón-Jiménez (Universitat de Barcelona), Raquel Jiménez (Universidad de Valladolid) and Margarita Díaz-Andreu (Universitat de Barcelona), Dreaming Music in Water: Representing Yokuts Songs in the early 20th Century
  • 5:00-5:30:  Ian Mursell (UCL): Workshop: Maya and Aztec Music

6:00 – Reception

Saturday 23 November

9:00: Coffee/Registration

  • 9:30-10:00: Katrina Kosyk (McGill University), Sonic Gestures, Engaged Performance, and Sound Materialization.
  • 10:00-10:30: Aleksa K. Alaica (University of Toronto), Luis Manuel Gonzalez La Rosa (University of Toronto), Willy Yepez (Royal Ontario Museum), Justin Jennings (Royal Ontario Museum), Extending semiotics: Signing, sound and communication in Middle Horizon Bone Whistles and Flutes from Arequipa, Peru.
  • 10:30-11:00: Francisco Seone Peyon (Universidad Nacional de Trujillo), Maria Jose Culquichicon Venegas (Universidad Nacional de Trujillo), Stephen Berquist (University of Toronto), Comparative Musical Aesthetics and Social Organization in the Andes.

11:00: Tea

  • 11:30-12:00: Jonathan D. Hill (Southern Illinois University), Can We Cross the Divide? New Ways of Theorizing Contemporary Musical Practices in Latin America.
  • 12:00-12:30: Kristina Nielsen (Southern Methodist University), Lines of Inquiry: The Aztec Past and Present.
  • 12:30-1:00: Matthias Stöckli (Universidad del Valle de Guatemala), Back and forth in Maya music history.

1:00 - Lunch

  • 2:00-2:30 Arnd Adje Both (University of Huddersfield), The Teotihuacan Sound Mapping Project: Exploring the Sonic Sphere of the City of the Gods, Mexico.
  • 2:30-3:00: Miriam Kolar (Amherst College), Re-Sounding the Chavín Pututus: Valuing Sonic Expressivity in Archaeological Interpretation
  • 3:00-3:30: Leslie F. Zubieta; Mª de la Luz Gutiérrez Martínez; Tommaso Mattioli; Mathieu Picas; César Villalobos; Margarita Díaz-Andreu (Universitat de Barcelona), Preliminary Results of the Acoustic Analysis of the Great Mural Rock Art in the Cañón de Santa Teresa, Baja California Sur (Mexico).

3:30: Tea

  • 4:00-4:30: Jared Katz (Denver Art Museum), An exhibition dedicated to music of the ancient Americas at the Denver Museum of the Americas.
  • 4:30-5:00: Plenary Session: Network of Latin American Music Archaeologists and Future Plans? Alexander Herrera (Universidad de los Andes) and Dianne Scullin (University of Bristol)
  • 5:00-6:00: Musical Performance

Further details

The next meeting date is: Saturday 16 May 2020. If you would like to give a talk at a future South American Archaeology Seminar or for further information please contact Bill Sillar (b.sillar@ucl.ac.uk)

Co-sponsored by

Royal Holloway logo
Institute of Musical Research logo
Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London logo
UCL Institute of Archaeology logo



£10 for one day attendance only