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Playing in the Cathedral – Music, Race, and Status in New Spain - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Playing in the Cathedral: Music, Race, and Status in New Spain

Jesús A. Ramos-Kittrell


This book explores how cathedral musicians in eighteenth-century Mexico City relied on music and on their institutional affiliation to define their social place. In the tensions that brewed within New Spain’s racial casta (or caste) system, people of mixed race increasingly competed for Spanish benefits and prerogatives. Amid these tensions, individuals in Spanish institutions claimed “decency” or “nobility” as qualities that, in the Spanish imagination, distinguished those with education, institutional memberships, and careers. For musicians, music—as an activity—was an important way for them ... More

Keywords: New Spain, church, music, race, Spanish culture

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780190236816
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190236816.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jesús A. Ramos-Kittrell, author
Assistant Professor of Music History, Southern Methodist University