Coriun Aharonian (Montevideo, 1940– ) and Julio Estrada (Mexico City, 1943– ) are two composers of a same generation and a same social-political doctrine, who have devoted their lives to understand, defend and explain the value of plurality and tolerance in Latin America. However, they also symbolize a paradox, central to Latin America’s history: being sons of immigrants, their work is a milestone in terms of regional identity. Comparable cases are historical figures, as diverse as Francisco Xavier Clavijero (1731–1787), Miguel Hidalgo (1753–1811), or Alejo Carpentier (1904–1980), advocates of the rights and customs of indigenous population, despite—or perhaps because—being born from Europeans. Such a paradox is a key to understanding a basic aspect of Latin America’s modern culture, given that local identity is profiled by a negotiation with external influences. Besides, it is clear that Latin America is not a closed space, but lives also from the “outside”, something that also occurs in other regions reflecting fundamental relationships of survival and exogamy as basic process for the enrichment of genetics and epigenetics, including culture.
Many questions arise, however, identifying the features of Latin America’s music as a product of a negotiation of recent immigrants with indigenous population, or with social groups emerging from previous migrations. This project investigates how different Latin America's socio-historical strata produce sediments in which the most recent layers have also some of the sharpest and most creative abilities, since their social issues are in a full process of (self-)revision and adaptation. By contrast, attention is also paid to the fact that first-generation descendants of immigrants from underdeveloped countries, professionally active in industrialised societies, are much less influential as composers or music theoreticians, than first-generation descendants of immigrants in Latin America. Furthermore, first-generation descendants of immigrants in industrialised countries, never are concerned with the “recovery” of local musical identity (which usually is not assumed as “lost” by the local community), but rather with their own social legitimation.
In addition, evidence is provided to show that, within a “globalised world”, there is a cultural bias in favour of specific values established by economic and political powers, contributing to a rapid deterioration of music as a universe of diversities. Within this frame, the musical exchange between pairs from different societies, results extremely unequal. In order to clarify these ideas, some concepts proposed by Aharonian and Estrada are discussed.