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Simón BolívarTravels and Transformations of a Cultural Icon$
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Maureen G. Shanahan and Ana María Reyes

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062624

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062624.001.0001

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Simón Bolívar’s Centennial Anniversary

Simón Bolívar’s Centennial Anniversary

Music for a Triumphal Parade

(p.78) 4 Simón Bolívar’s Centennial Anniversary
Simón Bolívar

Juan de Dios López Maya

University Press of Florida

On July 24, 1883, as part of the ten days of festivities celebrating the centennial anniversary of Simón Bolívar’s birth, one of the most remarkable public events in Venezuelan history took place in Caracas: the Triumphal Parade and Apotheosis of El Libertador. The event was solemnized with music and the most prestigious musicians in the capital were commissioned by the authorities to provide new works. The anniversary offered an occasion for Antonio Guzmán Blanco’s government to deploy all its power, reiterate a message of national unity, and for Guzmán Blanco to associate his own image with Bolívar’s. This paper explores the musical events related to El Centenario, highlighting its theatricality and the centennial’s role in staging the government’s authority. The paper also addresses the role of music in the creation of the message of “national unity” as well as the music community’s active participation in the celebrations.

Keywords:   Centennial, Apotheosis, Triumphal Parade, Bolívar, Antonio Guzmán Blanco, Venezuela, national unity

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