Presentation Title

D-4 Early Developments of Harmonic Theory in the New World: Reflections on Two 17th-Century Mexican Treatises

Presenter Information

Carlos A. Flores, Andrews University

Presenter Status

Department of Music

Location

Buller Room 208

Start Date

8-11-2012 5:36 PM

End Date

8-11-2012 5:48 PM

Presentation Abstract

The study of music theory in the New World began with the arrival of Spanish musicians and teachers on American soil. Perhaps the first historical reference with regard to a theoretical treatise written in Mexico is the one given by the chronicler Fray Francisco de Burgoa (1604-1681). The existence of another contemporary treatise written by the Mexican poetess Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651-1695) invites comparison and seems to provide enough information for one to understand what Mexican theorists really meant when they talked about harmony during the 17th century. Sor Juana titles her treatise Compendio de armonía musical: El Caracol. Matías reduced harmony to a “perfect circle” because he adopted equal-temperament; Sor Juana, in the other hand, reduced harmony to a “spiral line” because she used Pythagorean intonation.

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Nov 8th, 5:36 PM Nov 8th, 5:48 PM

D-4 Early Developments of Harmonic Theory in the New World: Reflections on Two 17th-Century Mexican Treatises

Buller Room 208

The study of music theory in the New World began with the arrival of Spanish musicians and teachers on American soil. Perhaps the first historical reference with regard to a theoretical treatise written in Mexico is the one given by the chronicler Fray Francisco de Burgoa (1604-1681). The existence of another contemporary treatise written by the Mexican poetess Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651-1695) invites comparison and seems to provide enough information for one to understand what Mexican theorists really meant when they talked about harmony during the 17th century. Sor Juana titles her treatise Compendio de armonía musical: El Caracol. Matías reduced harmony to a “perfect circle” because he adopted equal-temperament; Sor Juana, in the other hand, reduced harmony to a “spiral line” because she used Pythagorean intonation.