Skip to main content
Skip to main content

Fernando Rios

Fernando Rios Profile Photo

Division Coordinator & Associate Professor, Musicology & Ethnomusicology

(301) 405-8585

3110E The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
Get Directions

Research Expertise

Latin America
Musicology & Ethnomusicology
Mythology and Folklore

Fernando Rios is a specialist in Latin American music, with a concentration on the expressive practices of the Andean countries (especially Bolivia). His broader research interests include folklorization and nation-building, globalization and cosmopolitanism, music and political movements, the politics of cultural appropriation, and historical ethnomusicology. His first book (forthcoming from Oxford University Press), which focuses on the 1930s to 1960s, traces a wide variety of folkloric, indigenous, and popular music trends in the setting of La Paz city, and illuminates how these developments set the stage for Bolivia’s adoption of the Andean conjunto or Pan-Andean ensemble tradition as the country’s preeminent form of “national folkloric music.” The book also elucidates how urban La Paz’s leading national music currents articulated with Bolivian government initiatives, and at the same time, with transnational artistic movements involving nonindigenous musical representations of indigenous traditions (in particular trends emanating from Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, and France).

An active member of the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM), he recently has served as Chair of the Latin American and Caribbean Section (LACSEM), SEM Council Member, and Vice-President of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter (MACSEM).



Forthcoming. Panpipes and Ponchos: Andean Music, Folklorization, and the Rise of a Bolivian National Tradition. Oxford University Press.


Refereed Journal Articles

2018. “From Elite to Popular: Estudiantinas in La Paz, Bolivia, 1880s–1940s.” Diagonal: An Ibero-American Music Review 3(1): 40–59.


2017. “Las Kantutas and Música Oriental: Folkloric Music, Mass Media, and State Politics in 1940s Bolivia.” Resonancias: Revista de Investigación Musical 21(41): 57–85.


2014. “They’re Stealing Our Music: The Argentinísima Controversy, National Culture Boundaries, and the Rise of a Bolivian Nationalist Discourse.” Latin American Music Review 35 (2): 197–227.


2012. “The Andean Conjunto, Bolivian Sikureada, and the Folkloric Musical Representation Continuum.” Ethnomusicology Forum 21(1): 5–29.


2010. “Bolero Trios, Mestizo Panpipe Ensembles and Bolivia’s 1952 Revolution: Urban La Paz Musicians and the Nationalist Revolutionary Movement.” Ethnomusicology 54(2): 281–317.


2008. “La Flûte Indienne: The Early History of Andean Folkloric-Popular Music in France and Its Impact on Nueva Canción.” Latin American Music Review 29(2): 145–189.




MUSC 210 The Impact of Music on Life

MUSC 438D Area Studies in Ethnomusicology: Music of Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru

MUSC 438M Area Studies in Ethnomusicology: Mexican and Mexican-American Music

MUSC 632 The Anthropology of Music

MUSC 633 Field Methods in Ethnomusicology

MUSC 679N Seminar in Ethnomusicology: Music and Nation-Building

MUSC 679G Seminar in Ethnomusicology: Music and Globalization

MUSC 679A Seminar in Ethnomusicology: Readings in Latin American and Latinx Music