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date: 22 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Music and dance were key elements of culture in the Ibero-American borderlands that served to reflect, shape, and express cultural and political realities. From colonizers’ perspectives, proficiency in Western musical practices equaled acculturation to Catholic norms and civilized, sedentary society. At the same time, performances of music and dance articulated changing native identities. There was no single borderlands music or dance, and evidence in the form of music manuscripts, eyewitness accounts, and musical instruments remains fragmented and scattered among periods and locations. Practices such as liturgical chant, bell ringing, religious songs, communal dance, orchestral music, and other musical arts formed integral parts of mission and urban life in the borderlands throughout the colonial period. Whereas the interior church spaces such as Durango Cathedral, were dominated by performative music genres, music making in rural and urban exterior spaces included participatory activities that produced diverse ambient soundscapes.

Keywords: music, instruments and musicians, choirs, dance, missions, Durango Cathedral, Franciscans, Jesuits

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