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Title page for ETD etd-07102017-200757


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Foster, Timothy Michael
URN etd-07102017-200757
Title Dissonant Conquests: Literature, Music, and Empire in Early Modern Spain
Degree PhD
Department Spanish and Portuguese
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dr. Edward H. Friedman Committee Chair
Dr. Colleen Baade Committee Member
Dr. Jane Landers Committee Member
Dr. José A. Cárdenas-Bunsen Committee Member
Dr. Ruth Hill Committee Member
Keywords
  • New Historicism
  • Cultural History
  • Musicology
  • Interdisciplinary Literary Study
  • Early Modern Spain
  • Golden Age Literature
  • Spanish Literature
  • Latin American Studies
Date of Defense 2017-04-25
Availability restricted
Abstract
This dissertation investigates the representation of music in early modern Spanish and colonial Latin American literature. It takes a historicist approach, exploring the cultural connectedness of two central concepts: musical humanism (the Renaissance rebirth of Neoplatonic theory, including the Harmony of the Spheres and the power of music to influence human emotions) and imperial providentialism (the belief that God favored the Spanish Empire with divine providence). Using these two ideologies as a basis for interpreting the literary depiction of music, the dissertation argues that the humanistic concept of the power of music becomes intertwined with the power of empire. The interaction of these ideas can be observed in 1) the sixteenth-century music books for the vihuela, 2) the early seventeenth-century chronicles of colonial history by Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala and the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, and 3) the mid-seventeenth-century musical theater of the playwright Pedro Calderón de la Barca. In these examples, the “true” music of Catholic Spain is imbued with the power to revive the glories of Rome in a Christian empire by erasing the presence of Jewish and Moorish music, to subjugate (or defend) indigenous peoples and their traditions in the New World conquest, and to promote harmony of the four continents under the guiding gaze of a powerful Baroque monarch. In each case, both Renaissance music and the Spanish Empire are portrayed as the heirs of the classical tradition, displaying an ideological view of the power of music.
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