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From Serra to SanchoMusic and Pageantry in the California Missions$
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Craig H. Russell

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195343274

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195343274.001.0001

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Musical Style and Performance in Mission Life

Musical Style and Performance in Mission Life

Chapter:
(p.23) Chapter 1 Musical Style and Performance in Mission Life
Source:
From Serra to Sancho
Author(s):

Craig H. Russell

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195343274.003.0002

This chapter delves into aspects of music style and performance practice in the California missions, including canto llano (plainchant), canto figurado (accompanied homophony in a steady meter), canto de órgano (vocal polyphony in a steady meter), and música moderna or estilo moderno (roughly equivalent in style to Baroque or Classical music). In discussing plainchant, a comparison is made between Gregorian chant and the Mozarabic tradition emanating from Toledo, paying particular attention to chant books in the friars' possession. The chapter explains how Narciso Durán attempted to reduce the chant repertoire to a handful of reusable tunes. The choice of instruments and type of accompaniments that the friars employed are discussed in detail. Ultimately, the chapter explores the characteristics of the mission style—not only as seen in California but also as it developed in the Jesuit and Franciscan missions throughout the Americas.

Keywords:   plainchant, Baroque music, Classical music, Gregorian chant, Narciso Durán, musical instruments, Jesuits, Franciscans

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