“El Sistema, ‘The Venezuelan Musical Miracle’: The Construction of a Global Myth”

My article “El Sistema, ‘The Venezuelan Musical Miracle’: The Construction of a Global Myth” has just been published in Latin American Music Review.


The Venezuelan orchestral training program El Sistema represents a paradox. It may be the most famous and lauded music education system in the world, yet scholarly examination in recent years has revealed numerous flaws in the dominant narrative, which appears increasingly like a myth. This article examines the processes by which this narrative was established both nationally and internationally, focusing on the creation, dissemination, and consolidation of the myth by the media, program evaluations, and an emerging global El Sistema industry.

This is the third in a trilogy of peer-reviewed journal articles in 2018, all focusing on the production of knowledge about El Sistema and the circulation of (dis)information. The other two can be found here and here.

If you do not have institutional access to these articles, you may email me at geoff.baker@rhul.ac.uk and I will send you copies.