AAS Annual Meeting

Southeast Asia Session 693

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Session 693: Music in the mid-19th century print culture of the Philippines

Organizer: Flora Elena R. Mirano, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Philippines

Cities in the Philippines saw a dramatic cultural transformation to modernity during the mid-19th century with print culture that went beyond the confines of religious-infused Spanish Philippine colonial culture. This shift owed to the proliferation of local printing presses and the availability of travel and exchange of printed materials between Europe and the Philippine islands. In this panel, we investigate some of the forces and processes pertinent to this print culture that paved the way for the emergence of what can be termed “incipient public sphere” or “civil society” in Philippine cities. This crucial institution manifested in the changing ideologies of music and composition, the diversity of printed materials that catered to new social classes (principalia, ilustrado, and creole) and in a type of writing for the concert-going public: music criticism.

Adapting the Western ideology of music composition in the last half of 19th century Manila
Jose S Buenconsejo, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Philippines

The importation of printed secular music books during the second half of the 19th century was a necessary but not sufficient condition for music literacy to spread throughout the Philippine Islands. In addition to this importation of print culture from Europe, complex factors such as (1) the institution of music conservatory-style training as in the Colegio de Niños Tiples attached to the Manila Cathedral in late 18th century as well as (2) the organization of Spanish military bands (that spawned the idea of the maestro or music leader) and (3) the rise of domestic music-making that was part of the accumulation of cultural capital in the homes of ilustrados (enlightened or educated) contributed to a music-reading culture that provided the context that was conducive for the idea of music composition as this is understood in the modern West. In the first half of 19th century CE, extant local sacred compositions in manuscripts were produced but with no individual signatures. By the time of Tagalog composer Marcelo Adonay (last decade of 19th century CE), extant manuscripts were already affixed with names. Thus, the paper explores the complex effects of the economy of print culture into the cultural practice of composing music as an individual creative act and how this creativity is imbricated within capitalist notions of music commodification and private ownership.

THE UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS PRINTING PRESS IN THE 19TH CENTURY With a Focus on the UST Archives and Rare Book Section of the Central Library (Manila, Philippines)
Jose T. Regalado, Independent Scholar, Philippines

The University of Santo Tomas in Manila was founded in 1611 by the Order of Preachers, also known as the Dominicans. Not long after this Order introduced printing (xylography or block-printing) in the same city in 1593, the University started its own press, the earliest known imprint dating from 1625. The UST Press was especially busy throughout the 19th century, with titles ranging from prayer books to textbooks to doctoral dissertations, from prints to diplomas to newspapers. This paper will present highlights in the Press’ publishing activities in the context of Philippine history. Examples will be drawn from the rich but relatively unknown wealth of rare and early books of the University (which is celebrating its quadricentennial in 2011).

Alexandra I. Chua, Independent Scholar, Philippines

The destruction of Intramuros, the center of religious and cultural development of the Philippines, during the Second World War (1942-1945) resulted in the loss of much of the city’s material culture. The rediscovery by this author of the various volumes of the Manual-Cantoral para el uso de las Religiosas de Santa Clara de la Ciudad Manila from various repositories around the country initiated a discussion of the print music culture that flourished in this part of the globe. This five-volume anthology of Hispanic sacred music published in Manila by the Litographia de Oppel from1871-1874 is at present considered the earliest extant book of printed music found in the region. The collection contains a wide array of compositions covering a variety of musical genres such as masses, gozos, villancicos, motets, Salve Reginas, Misereres, et. al. It was published for the utilization of the Clarisas or Poor Clares, the first religious women congregation to officially establish a mission in the Philippines (circa 1621). The paper proposes to provide queries and open discussions on the transmission of print music as a tool for moral, social and cultural pedagogy amongst the colonized peoples who subsequently adapted and appropriated these traditions as their own. In addition, studies of musical genres, forms and practices that flourished in the region as a result of the transatlantic exchanges during the colonial period will be presented. The author hopes to present the phenomenon of Filipino Hispanic music, thus contributing to the global discussion of the music of the Hispanic world.

Los Periódicos de Manila : Music Reportage in the Nineteenth Century
Patricia B. Silvestre, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Philippines

Newspaper reports as historiographic source material are important in recreating, and subsequently, scrutinizing the past. Although these are not, in the main, archival materials which are generated mechanically in the process of administration, their unflinching regularity and diurnal nature imbue these with a certain special sense of archival-ness. In the writing of Philippine music history, these newspaper reports provide an alternative way of looking at the past, i.e., a direct and literally ‘live’ connection from the present to the dead weight of the past. Touted as ‘the first draft of history,’ newspapers are the historian’s way to apprehend an age, i.e., through chronicles of and responses to, events. Furthermore, their worth as extremely potent disseminators of information about music and musical life in the public sphere cannot be underscored enough. Manila in the 19th-century enjoyed an impressive level of technological progress which engendered the founding of many newspapers. To name a few, there were Diario de Manila (est.1848), El Comercio (1858), La Ilustracion Filipina (1859), El Católico Filipino (1862), El Oriente (1875), La Ilustración del Oriente (1876), La Oceanía Española (1877), Diario de Filipinas (1880), Diariong Tagalog (1882), El Porvenir Filipino, (1885), La Opinion (1887), Revista Popular de Filipinas (1888), El Resumen (1890), La Ilustración Filipina (1891), El Eco de Filipinas (1891) and La República Filipina (1898). Some were founded by Spaniards (printing press owners, journalists, priests and military officers); others by Filipino-Spaniards and natives. These reported a variety of music-related activities ---from concerts of opera and zarzuela companies, regimentary bands and orchestral groups; music at church feasts and at private homes, to myriad announcements of shops selling/repairing instruments, musicians offering lessons, etc. The rise of music criticism in Manila’s newspapers is seen, too, in the emergence of columns pondering music and the arts. Though written by Spaniards at first, these served as initial models for our own criticism in music. This paper seeks to address the different ways and tendencies by which music was written about in periodicals and magazines in the Spanish colonial period. A brief general survey of the newspaper industry or el periodismo in Manila will serve as preliminary background for these and other issues such as the influence of particular ways of music reportage on popular tastes and values of 19th-century Manileños, the consequences and implications of this burgeoning print culture on society, and the role it played in shaping a ‘musical public’ and our nascent musings on nationhood, thus fostering the development of the cultural and intellectual enlightenment of the late 19th-century Filipino.

Travel, Music, Books: The Musical Score in 19th Century Travel Accounts of the Philippines
Flora Elena R. Mirano, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Philippines

In the second half of the 19th century, the genre of travel writing provided European readers with glimpses of the culture and art of exotic people from colonial outposts in far-away lands. Printed books available to the general public in this genre included accounts from clerics, reports from government officials, musings from members of the diplomatic corps, descriptions from members of scientific expeditions and wild tales from assorted adventurers. At the same time, enthusiasts in Philippine studies were annotating historical accounts that described Philippine cultural forms from earlier times. These books often included lithographs of plants and animals, prints and photographs of native inhabitants, costumes, and occasionally musical scores representing traditional folk music. In the Philippines, scores from these books provide us with the earliest examples of traditional musical forms that were already considered in decline by the end of the 19th century. A few of these forms have persisted, albeit outside the scholarly gaze, until the early 21st century. This paper will explore a number of these 19th century scores, particularly those of the popular kumintang and kundiman forms, comparing them to examples collected, documented and rendered in late 20th century notation. The paper will also explore issues and problems arising from the study of these printed artefacts including those involving colonial representation, orientalism, and the rise of Philippine nationalism.