IHMSG News: Posted 14 August 2001

Posted by: Deborah Schwartz-Kates <dschwart@lonestar.jpl.utsa.edu>

Evening Study Session Proposal
International Hispanic Music Study Group
Atlanta 2001 Meeting
"Music, Beliefs, Politics, and Patronage in the Hispanic Orbit"

Robert Stevenson, (UCLA), Honored Guest Speaker
Grayson Wagstaff (Catholic University of America), Co-Chair
Deborah Schwartz-Kates (University of Texas at San Antonio), Co-Chair
Walter Aaron Clark (University of Kansas)
Leonora Saavedra (University of Pittsburgh)

Are there specific techniques and aesthetic stances that connect Iberian and Latin American composers over time and throughout the large geographic regions they inhabit? And what roles have religious patronage and political ideology played in shaping common manifestations of Hispanic musical culture?

Each participant in the session will address these issues by examining a specific aesthetic tendency in relation to a particular historical era and determined geographical region. The session will include discussion of whether or not this approach has been viable throughout long periods of history or during specific times of need and will endeavor to draw cross-cultural comparisons. Of particular concern is the dependence of Hispanic musicians on fragile economic infrastructures. The economic insecurity of being a composer in Iberia or Latin America is one basic factor shared by many composers of different times and places.

In an overview of the session, Grayson Wagstaff will explore themes of religious patronage in the Spanish Catholic Church and their specific effect on the chant style of Renaissance music. During the years of Ferdinand and Isabella and their Habsburg successors, both the Crown and the Church shaped Hispanic musical manifestations. Walter Clark's presentation will contribute to our knowledge of Hispanic musical culture of the twentieth century, as political and commercial enterprises appropriated the patronage functions previously assumed by religious institutions. Leonora Saavedra will focus on Mexico of the early twentieth century, as she examines the role that Education Minister José Vasconcelos played in shaping national identity. Through the preferred sponsorship of visual media and the promotion of hybridized genres such as the canción, Vasconcelos paradoxically encouraged art music composers to move against institutionalized national policies and to favor musical modernism over Mexicanism. Deborah Schwartz-Kates will offer further provocative examples of how the maintenance and manipulation of populist ideology during the first Perón regime (1946-55) conditioned the creative efforts of Argentine composers, a model that invites transnational comparison with contemporary governments such as Vargas's Brazil and Franco's Spain.

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