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Colonial CounterpointMusic in Early Modern Manila$
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D. R. M. Irving

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195378269

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195378269.001.0001

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Mapping Musical Cultures

Mapping Musical Cultures

Chapter:
(p.73) 3 Mapping Musical Cultures
Source:
Colonial Counterpoint
Author(s):

D. R. M. Irving

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195378269.003.0004

This chapter critiques the descriptions of prehispanic Filipino music that were made by early modern ethnographers, demonstrating the value of colonial historiography in the reconstruction of lost musical cultures. It shows how Filipinos were represented as analogues of antiquity, and how Spanish missionaries attempted to empathize with indigenous communities in learning their languages, documenting their ways of life, and engaging with their forms of literacy and complex traditions of poetry. The vocabularios and grammars of Filipino languages compiled by members of religious orders provide some of the most detailed sources of ethnographic information from the late sixteenth through the late eighteenth centuries. A great deal of organological information can also be gleaned from colonial historiography, as many types of instruments used by the mainstream Filipino population were documented thoroughly by European observers (before European instruments began to predominate).

Keywords:   prehispanic Filipino music, ethnographers, antiquity, literacy, poetry, vocabularios, grammars, organological

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