Encyclopedia of Latin American Popular Music

by George Torres, Editor

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Cover image for Encyclopedia of Latin American Popular Music

March 2013


Pages 484
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Race and Ethnicity/Latino and Hispanic Studies

This comprehensive survey examines Latin American music, focusing on popular—as opposed to folk or art—music and containing more than 200 entries on the concepts and terminology, ensembles, and instruments that the genre comprises.

The rich and soulful character of Latin American culture is expressed most vividly in the sounds and expressions of its musical heritage. While other scholars have attempted to define and interpret this body of work, no other resource has provided such a detailed view of the topic, covering everything from the mambo and unique music instruments to the biographies of famous Latino musicians.

Encyclopedia of Latin American Popular Music delivers scholarly, authoritative, and accessible information on the subject, and is the only single-volume reference in English that is devoted to an encyclopedic study of the popular music in this genre. This comprehensive text—organized alphabetically—contains roughly 200 entries and includes a chronology, discussion of themes in Latin American music, and 37 biographical sidebars of significant musicians and performers. The depth and scope of the book's coverage will benefit music courses, as well as studies in Latin American history, multicultural perspectives, and popular culture.


  • Roughly 200 entries on concepts and terminology, ensembles, genres, and instruments
  • 37 biographical sidebars of significant musicians and performers
  • A chronology for Latin American popular music


  • Delivers scholarly, authoritative, and accessible information
  • Offers in-depth information about instruments and genres based in the various cultures of Latin America
  • Provides a single source of reference for popular music in Latin American countries
  • Covers 12 themes in Latin American music
Author Info

George Torres, PhD, is associate professor of music at Lafayette College, Easton, PA, where he teaches courses in music history and literature.



"The reader will find almost every aspect of Latin American popular music covered in some 200 informative entries included in the encyclopedia. . . . [O]ffers a useful one-stop source of information on this subject of current interest."Reference Reviews

"The Encyclopedia of Latin American Popular Music is an excellent jumping-off point, and both students and enthusiasts of Latin music will find that this volume provides broad coverage, plenty of suggestions for further reading, and excellent cross-references."Booklist

"Young adults and adults interested in world music or Latin American music and culture will find this book useful. It does a great job of covering the history and components of a wide array of musical genres, from indigenous to more modern."Library Journal

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