Cathedrals, Colonization, and Conversion: Mapping the Music of New Spain

About the scholars

Kristin Dutcher Mann, a historian and professor who specializes in the history of Colonial Latin America and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, gave us a whole new perspective on our project and ways we should go about it. She provided us with immensely informative resources, general information about basic topics surrounding our project topic, and helpful insights as to what our limitations are in researching things about our topic. We could tell from the very get-go that she is truly a professional in this field. It was fascinating to hear her perspective as a historian, as opposed to a musicologist or musician/performer. Though her work is mostly focused on cultural history, it is so clear that her work has so many useful parallels to apply to musicology. She emphasizes in her book The Power of Song how music has truly influenced the course of history and how music has been a key tool of colonization. 

Drew Edward Davies, a musicologist who specializes in 17th and 18th century music in Latin America, also offered immense amounts of information regarding our interest in diving into the specific topic of cathedral music. His scholarship focuses mainly on cathedrals, and what music and major chapel masters and performers have come out of those cathedrals. He gave us a valuable resource regarding primary sources specifically from the Mexico City Cathedral, an essential data point in our research. His passion was evident – he was enraptured with our project. He embraces and delights in the “niche-ness” of his work which is seen in his deep knowledge surrounding the topic of this music during this time period.