Privado: Ethnomusicology in Cuzco

General Information

This course is for students interested in approaching the Andean popular culture through music and its various ceremonial and ritual contexts. To achieve this purpose, a major cultural region of Peru will be visited: The Sacred Valley of the Incas, an area of ancient Inca and colonial cultural tradition.

The Sacred Valley is located in the Cuzco region, 940 miles southeast of Lima. It owes its name to the fact that it was the preferred residence valley of the Incas because of its high level of corn productivity—the favorite food of the Andean gods—and its mild climate, if compared with the cold city of Cuzco—the ancient imperial capital. Here we will observe the famous festival of Mamacha Carmen which is held in Pisac, where the participants represent many ethnic dances—of social and mythical origins—accompanied by indigenous and mestizo musical ensembles. In the city of Cuzco, we will visit the museum of musical instruments, and we have reserved two days off for students interested in visiting the citadel of Machu Picchu and other historical attractions of the region.

In the first week, students enrolled in the program will expand their knowledge of Peruvian history, Andean beliefs and rituals, and popular music genres and instruments in the country. They will also attend workshops on audiovisual methods that are required for field work, in theoretical and practical sessions.

After the field trip, students will systematize their information and data in the university lab for their personal use and keep a copy in the documentary and audiovisual archive of the university Institute of Ethnomusicology (IDE). For our program students, the experience gained in this course has been the basis for future research topic development at their universities.

Professors of the Course

RAÚL R. ROMERO (Ph.D. Harvard University)

Raúl Romero is professor of anthropology at the PUCP, where he is also director of the Institute of Ethnomusicology and the PUCP School of Music. He is author of several articles and books on the topic of Andean music and culture. He is a recipient of the Endangered Archives Programme Award by the British Library and of a Guggenheim Fellowship. Dr. Romero has been Visiting Professor in the Department of Ethnomusicology at the University of California and a NEH Visiting Professor in the Native American Studies Program at Colgate University.


Manuel Ráez Retamozo did his undergraduate and graduate studies in anthropology at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, where he is currently professor at the Department of Social Sciences. He is also a researcher, member of the Institute of Ethnomusicology for over 25 years. He is author of the books “En los dominios del Cóndor: fiestas y música tradicional en el valle del Colca”, “Melodías de los valles Sagrados: fiestas y danzas tradicionales” y “Dioses de la Quebradas: fiestas y rituales en la sierra alta de Lima”. He is author as well, of several articles in books and academic journals about ethnomusicology and andean heritage of Peru and Ecuador, so that; he has a remarkable audiovisual collection.

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Lima – Cuzco.

Time period:

1 month / 4 weeks

Number of hours:

180 hours.


6 credits

Language of Instruction:



Raúl Renato Romero, Ph.D.
Manuel P. Ráez, M.A.