Music Colloquium Series: Lorenzo Candelaria (Vanderbilt University)

Lorenzo (Frank) Candelaria
Friday, February 2, 2024

4:00 PM 
Harkness Chapel, Classroom

Music colloquia provide a weekly forum for presentation and discussion of recent research by distinguished visitors and CWRU faculty and graduate students in musicology, historical performance practice, and music education. 

All talks happen on Fridays at 4:00 PM (Eastern) and are open to the public unless noted otherwise. 

About the Talk

“Bernardino de Sahagún’s Psalmodia Christiana and Catholic Formation Among the Mexica in Sixteenth-Century New Spain”  

In 1583, Pedro Ocharte published the first book of vernacular sacred song in the Americas--the Psalmodia Christiana by Bernardino de Sahagún, a Spanish missionary of the Franciscan Order. Sahagún composed his book of 333 songs in the Nahuatl language during the second half of the sixteenth century to promote the formation of Catholic communities among the Mexica (more commonly known as the “Aztecs”). This presentation shows how a close reading of its song texts reveals an important facet of the understudied legacy of Western plainchant traditions in the Christian evangelization of the New World. It focuses in particular on a body of Latin hymns that were translated into Nahuatl and woven into the fabric of this vernacular songbook. More broadly, it shows how Mexica sacred music traditions, far from being banished, were folded into the European thrust of the Christian mission in sixteenth-century New Spain.

About the Speaker

Lorenzo Candelaria is a Professor of Musicology at Vanderbilt University. His research focuses on expressions of Roman Catholicism in the music, art, and devotional practices of sixteenth-century Spain and their subsequent impact on devotional cultures in Mexico and in the Hispanic southwestern United States.

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