Early Music, Vol. 40, No. 2

Early Music, Vol. 40, No. 2 Iberian ‘Otherness’


María Gembero-Ustárroz and Emilio Ros-Fábregas
‘Otherness’ in Spanish early music is a huge field of study that needs both a theoretical approach and a knowledge of many individual case studies to establish a dialogue between the received musicological canon and the more complex reality, where groups of people or issues until now ignored or underestimated are shown to emerge with surprising energy. The five themed articles presented here under the title ‘Musical “Otherness” in the Iberian world, 1500–1800’ show different approaches to particular aspects of ‘Otherness’, centred around ‘foreigners’, ‘women’ and ‘Amerindians’. These were the focus of an International Seminar, The ‘Other’ in Spanish music (16th–18th centuries): an interdisciplinary overview, which took place in Barcelona on 28–9 October 2010 and was organized by a Research Project (HAR2009-07706) of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) at the Milà i Fontanals Institution.


‘Imagine all the people. . .’: polyphonic flowers in the hands and voices of Indians in 16th-century Mexico
Emilio Ros-Fábregas

The manuscript of Doctrina Christiana by Pedro de Gante composed ca. 1547

The testimony of Pedro de Gante (1479?–1572), considered the first music teacher in the New World, and that of many other 16th-century New World chroniclers clearly indicates that Indians in Mexico learned how to copy and perform European monophonic and polyphonic music. However, historiography of Western music has ignored, or seems reluctant to accept, the image of Indians singing from music books at that time. Since there are no extant music manuscripts from Pedro de Gante’s period of activity in Mexico (1523–72), the musical accomplishments of Indians during those 50 years seem to have been underestimated. The secondary role assigned to Indian musicians in later periods has tainted the perception of what they accomplished during the 16th century. As a consequence, the Indian musician has been imagined as an ‘Other’, incapable of understanding polyphony or even characterized by a voice unfit for stylistically acceptable performance. A 1589 inventory of music books at Mexico Cathedral, however, suggests that some mid-16th-century printed books could have been used earlier in the century, and therefore could have been in the hands of Indian singers. The confluence of music traditions made it possible that, in the presence of Pedro de Gante, Indians sang both cantares in their Nahuatl language and Western polyphony in the same ceremony. The ‘flower-and-song’ (xochicuicatl) of Indian musicians in Mexico constitutes a powerful image that may help change our perception regarding their performance of polyphonic music

Women as dedicatees of artes de canto in the early modern Iberian world: imposed knowledge or women’s choice?
Ascensión Mazuela-Anguita

Only two known 16th-century music books printed in the Iberian world were dedicated to women: El arte Tripharia (1550) by Juan Bermudo (c.1510–after 1559) and Arte de canto llano (1594) by Francisco de Montanos (c.1528–after 1595). The first one, dedicated to Isabel Pacheco, Abbess of the Santa Clara convent in Montilla (Córdoba), was addressed to her nuns. The second, dedicated to the noblewoman Catalina de Zúñiga y Sandoval (1555–1628), was a plainsong handbook consisting of only the first section of a previous work by Montanos, Arte de musica theorica y pratica (1592), which had been dedicated to Catalina’s husband, Fernando Ruiz de Castro, 6th Count of Lemos. El arte Tripharia has usually been taken as evidence to claim that Renaissance Iberian music treatises considered women as intellectually inferior learners, to be taught passively only the practical side of music. This article, in addition to questioning received opinion about El arte Tripharia, focuses on the connections (generally overlooked) between Montanos’s Arte de canto llano and Catalina de Zúñiga. Both the dedication by Montanos and the prefatory material of other books dedicated to Catalina de Zúñiga support the hypothesis that this noblewoman was not a passive receptor or a prospective user of Montanos’s book, but might in fact have commissioned the publication of this work to serve her own agenda as a religious patroness. I will argue that these two music handbooks dedicated to Isabel Pacheco and Catalina de Zúñiga were not conceived nor regarded at that time as books for ‘women’ as a category, relating these two cases to the wider debates about the role of women in the creation and transmission of culture and the representation of women in literature and art.

Lo que un cantor debe saber: the Italian school of singing in Spanish music treatises, 1754-1799
María del Coral Morales Villar

¿Qué quita a lo noble un airecito de maja? National and gender identities in the zarzuela Clementina (1786) by Luigi Boccherini and Ramón de la Cruz
Juan Pablo Fernández-Cortés

Integrating musical Otherness in a new social order: indigenous music from Moxos, Bolivia, under Spanish Governor Lázaro de Ribera (r.1786-1792)
María Gembero-Ustárroz

Performance in San Marco: a picture and two puzzles
Frederick Hammond

Deus ex machina: a royal witness to the court — origin of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas
Andrew Pinnock

Time management at Turin’s Teatro Regio: Galuppi’s La clemenza di Tito and its alterations, 1759
Margaret R. Butler

The singularity of Alfred Deller (1912-1979)
Nicholas Clapton

Beethoven’s five-part scherzos: appearance and reality
Jonathan Del Mar

The Mass as poetry
Kate Helsen

Mapping medieval music
Lisa Colton

Machaut in three dimensions
David Maw

Cherished chansonniers
Helen Deeming

Renaissance theory in practice
Richard Wistreich

The soft touch
David Ledbetter

Biblical music reconsidered
Jeremy Montagu

Motets and prosulas from the Notre Dame school
Eleanor Rutherford

Copious concertos by C. P. E. Bach
Francis Knights

Italian (and related) instrumental music of the 17th century
David R. M. Irving

Venus, Adonis and Orpheus in England: sacred and secular music from the fairest isle
Andrew H. King

A trove of Telemann
Steven Zohn

Mattheson oratorios and suites
Eric Cross

Existing threads and new leads in the Romantic repertory
Rohan Stewart-MacDonald

The Deller centenary
Francis Knights

Old meets new: ‘an encounter that creates eagerness’
Kim Ashton

Music and death before 1650
Thomas J. D. Neal

Dancing in Oxford
Jasmine Chiu

Montserrat Figueras, by Tess Knighton