My thesis is a historical analysis of a group of musical forms called m£sica criolla in twentieth-century Peru. I analyze the historical relocation of these musical forms as symbols of Peruvianness during the period 1920 to 1960. I argue that the idea of the existence of a national music called m£sica criolla emerged as a product of the urban modernization that had been transforming the landscape of the city of Lima since the second half of the nineteenth century. Faced with this transformation, early twentieth-century Lime¤o intellectuals asserted that Lime¤os displayed distinctive artistic attitudes in their daily lives. For them, the best example of these attitudes was the practice of m£sica criolla, which they argued embodied the authentic mood of the city. In the 1950's, several Lime¤o writers began to stress that m£sica criolla was the typical musical practice of the city, different not only from foreign musical practices but also from the musical practices of the Andean immigrants who began to arrive to Lima en masse in the 1940's.