Abstract and Keywords
The Society of Jesus has long been recognized for its global contribution to the study, practice, and dissemination of European music in the early modern period, and especially for its interactions with non-European music cultures. In Europe, Jesuit colleges played a seminal role in music education and the development of music in drama, major sacred works were composed by or for Jesuits, and treatises on music were written by Jesuit theorists. In the Americas and on islands in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, music served as a device for evangelization and conversion of indigenous peoples; in some of the missions, European music was cultivated to a level reported as comparable with standards of cities in Europe. Meanwhile, elite Jesuit scholars who gained access to high courts in Asia engaged in dialogue with local scholars, impressing powerful potentates and distinguishing themselves through their talent in music and their skills in astronomy, mathematics, cartography, languages, and diplomacy. This chapter surveys and critiques the diverse role of music within the global missions of the early modern Society of Jesus, with case studies drawn from Europe, the Americas, and Asia.
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