The “Guatemalan Music Manuscripts” preserved at the Lilly Library represent fifteen manuscript sources copied in the late sixteenth or early seventeenth century in the Western highlands of Guatemala. They mostly contain sacred polyphonic music and chant, intended to be sung during the Office in the churches of these localities. We observe these texts crossculturally, as witnesses of the encounter of cultures that characterized the first decades of the Spanish conquest. We propose that the two main scribes were likely indigenous musicians and will show how the manuscripts refl ect a mestizo character, through decorative style and in the music itself. Some pieces are in native languages and in the margins appear some traces of what could constitute a unique attempt at writing down native musical practices.
Philippe Canguilhem is Professor of Musicology at the University of Toulouse (France), and a senior member of the Institut Universitaire de France. He has been a fellow at Villa I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, and the Italian Academy of Columbia University. His work focuses on Italian music in the sixteenth century, with special emphasis on Florentine musical life. He is also interested in improvised counterpoint in the
Giovanni Zanovello is Associate Professor of Musicology at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He specializes in the history of fifteenth-century musical institutions and the composer Heinrich Isaac. He has received research grants and awards from various institutions, including the University of Padua, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, and the Swiss Society of Musicology.