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What Musicology is. ACT I: All things have a beginning.

Updated: May 21, 2021

Before talking to you about what musicology is (if you know what it is, I congratulate you, and if you don't, I'll help you to know!) I would like to tell you how I literally stumbled upon this career.

I don't exactly come from a musical family, as most of them are educators. I come from an ungovernable city somewhere in Venezuela called Maracaibo, a city within Zulia, the region known for its oil, its great lake with a still unexplained phenomenon called Catatumbo lightning (Spanish: Relámpago del Catatumbo) and the Colossal Rafael Urdaneta Bridge.

The musical artistic movement had its golden age, musicians and groups were never absent, our culture is superimposed on the music of our folklore, protest music, haughty music. If you're wondering why, since we live at 90 °F (32° ~ 40 °C) here, we are almost always "euphoric" (so to speak).

All this had its effect on me, and of course, Maracaibo being a port city, foreign merchandise is also a regular thing, not to mention the large amount of piracy that occurred when cassette or CD formats were in vogue.

You can imagine a 90s kid from Maracaibo with traditional music around him and the growing impact of TV where figures like Shakira and Britney Spears began to build their great musical empires.

So from very early on I would begin to secretly sing and write silly ditties that would later shape my humanistic preferences over scientific ones, even if the career that I did not wrongly chose is scientific in nature.

After graduating from high school, I decided that I would stop being shy about singing and take lyrical singing lessons, because I dreamed of being a great opera singer like Pavarotti.

Many do not believe me, but when I saw a YouTube video of Britney Spears vocalizing as a soprano, that was when I was inspired and of course Sarah Brightman came to expand my musical palette.

Of course, I had a big struggle with my parents by wanting to be a musician, so I started at The State's University LUZ (La Universidad del Zulia/Zulia’s University, I curse you!) which in its time enjoyed prestige and was known for... who knows? Account that it is only corruption and the entry of political parties does not help things improve.

I was fed up with that place, and it didn't represent me at all, so I kept insisting on singing and I met a Christian girl who invited me to the Zulia’s symphonic choir, it was here that I met the "famous" system of youth choirs and orchestras of Venezuela, (a topic for another post perhaps, who knows?).

Long story short: of course, I passed the audition and that was when a sheet of music was first placed in my hands. Ah! I forgot to mention a tiny but great detail within this story. Not having its own headquarters, the choir rehearsed at the facilities of the Cecilio Acosta Catholic University.

The only university that gave a degree in music in the city (it's funny because in Spanish, for its acronym it is called UNICA - Universidad Católica Cecilio Acosta- and the word “única” in Spanish means: unique or only; and well, if you by any chance know Spanish, you already know that there is a play on words here).

In order not to make a mistake similar to that of LUZ of entering a wrong career, I decided to see the syllabus of the music career on the official site of the Catholic university in question, then I find that the career has a mention.

Music’s career was mostly focused on choral conducting, which I honestly wasn't very excited about. So I took a look at the Musicology curriculum and I must say, I just saw the light.

Musicology offered a greater world of possibilities, compared to Music without mention.

I would say then that it was here that my scientific seed with a tendency towards the human sciences sprouted. I say that this seed was asleep for a long time because since I was little, apart from my sensitivities and artistic inclinations, there was always the curiosity to know how the world works and to understand relationships and human behaviour.

(Fun fact: I was rejected from psychology school at another private university three times in my attempt to flee away from LUZ).

I hope you liked this piece of my personal journey through Musicology, stay tuned for the next post in which I’ll explain what Musicology is all about. Also, I’m very glad I had the chance to spill some slight details of my home city. Thanks for your attention!

Integrity. Love. Unity.

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