Venezuelan maraca playing is largely unknown to musicians with Western Art Music backgrounds. While some composers utilize the instrument and its associated performance practices, the resources available to learn about the subject are limited and scattered. Through research, observations, and studying with correspondences, this document will explore the vastness of Venezuelan musical concepts and maraca techniques to seek out common goals and generate a resource that is accessible to musicians and musicologists. A large part of this research will focus on the Contemporary Music in the Western tradition that has been inspired by Venezuelan maraca playing. I will explain the context in which this music is commonly found and how to apply it to a contemporary setting. The individuals I interviewed span a variety of backgrounds and expertise. All have extensive experience in Venezuelan maraca traditions. Their individual points of view will give unique perspectives to help affix the music of the past to the creation of music in the future. The limited resources on this subject inhibit education, performance quality, new music, and further research. Ultimately, my document and recordings will provide imperative examples to help develop a greater understanding of an understudied Venezuelan art form.
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- The confluence of folkloric maraca performance and contemporary artistry: assessing the past, present, and Inspiring the future
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by Jeremy Muller