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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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Musical Transactions and Intercultural Exchange

Musical Transactions and Intercultural Exchange

(p.45) 2 Musical Transactions and Intercultural Exchange
Colonial Counterpoint

D. R. M. Irving

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the importation and reproduction of European music in Manila and the Philippines, examining evidence of the transmission of commodities such as music scores, music treatises, and musical instruments. It reveals that many travelers to the colony possessed practical and theoretical skills in music—including composition, performance, and instrument building—which contributed to the creation of a colonial musical culture. European music, once it had taken root in Manila, became a powerful tool in the Spanish colonialists' pursuits of trade, diplomacy, and proselytization in the Asia‐Pacific region, and evidence illustrating this phenomenon is evaluated. The chapter also explores the cultural ramifications of the British occupation of Manila (1762–1764), giving examples of English musical practices that were introduced to the capital and then disseminated relatively rapidly to distant parts of the Philippine Archipelago.

Keywords:   commodities, music scores, music treatises, musical instruments, instrument building, trade, diplomacy, proselytization, British occupation

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