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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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Contrapuntal Colonialism

(p.231) Conclusion
Colonial Counterpoint

D. R. M. Irving

Oxford University Press

This chapter emphasizes the importance of looking beyond the geocultural boundaries of Europe in the writing of music history. It calls for a neostructuralist approach to global music histories, one that seeks to transcend the incommensurabilities of distinct (and seemingly irreconcilable) musical cultures within colonial contexts by reading sources contrapuntally and analyzing them with reference to macro‐historical frameworks. The conclusion goes on to summarize the main arguments of the book, and reiterates the proposal that European musical counterpoint mirrored many of the objectives of early modern imperialism, in terms of attempting to rationalize sound and society. Yet it also acknowledges that the thesis, antithesis, and synthesis embodied in colonial counterpoint can be subjected to more nuanced interpretations, and that contrapuntal structures could be inverted and subverted by subaltern societies.

Keywords:   geocultural, music history, neostructuralist, global music histories, incommensurabilities, macro‐historical, imperialism, rationalizing

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