A conference organized by Ireri E. Chávez-Bárcenas (Department of Music) and Sophia Blea Nuñez (Department of Spanish and Portuguese) with the generous support of the Princeton Program in Latin American Studies.

This conference brings together musical, literary and cultural historians from the US, Latin America, and Europe that are interested in exploring various aspects of the early song tradition in the Hispanic World. It seeks to investigate the varied intersections of literary and musical sources of the Iberian song in the vast Spanish empire—from early poetic anthologies and songbooks, to villancicos’ manuscripts, chapbooks, printed vihuela and guitar tutor books, Iberian songs in manuscripts and printed collections of neighboring countries, early anthologies, catalogues and library collections, music and poetic treatises, and songs in dramas, novels and other literary genres by authors such as Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Góngora or Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. This conference also hopes to bring attention to early manifestations of musical globalization with discussions that reveal the circulation and transmission of Iberian musicoliterary genres in the Spanish empire, including Portugal, Europe, the New World, and Asia, as well as other cultural exchanges facilitated by diplomats in the service of the Spanish and Austrian branches of the Habsburgs. Other topics of interest relate to issues of race, religion, gender, and identity.

In celebration of the eight first editions of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz recently donated to Firestone Library by Edgar Legaspi, the conference will include a discussion panel on Villancicos and Sor Juana, and the participation of Early Music Princeton.

Keynote Address:

Tess Knighton (ICREA / Institució Milà i Fontanals–CSIC, Spain): ‘For whom are sweet songs set to music?’ Women as performers of and listeners to the cancionero repertory

Special Guests: Martha Lilia Tenorio (El Colegio de México, Mexico), Álvaro Torrente (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain), and Nicole D. Legnani (Princeton University).

Concert by: Eduardo Egüez (Zurich University of the Arts—ZHdK, Switzerland) and Nell Snaidas (GEMAS: Early Music of the Americas), with the participation of Early Music Princeton

Call for papers

Please send your proposal with an abstract not exceeding 300 words to the program committee at cancionesycancioneros@gmail.com by November 30, 2017. The email should include a Word or PDF document with only the title and abstract. Please paste your abstract into the body of the email and include your name, institutional affiliation or city, contact information and audio-visual needs. Notifications of accepted proposals will be sent by December 15.

Possible topics related to the Luso-Hispanic song tradition may include, but are by no means limited to, the following:

  • Methodological and historiographical issues
  • Sources for the study of the song tradition in the Spanish empire
  • Function and ceremonial context in religious festivities
  • Politics, propaganda, patronage, and representation
  • Imperial and Court Culture
  • Poetical forms, literary styles, authorship, print, chapbooks, and books
  • Musical forms, formal issues, musical styles, composers, text-music relation
  • Circulation and transmission
  • Oral, manuscript, and print sources
  • Early modern anthologies, catalogues, and library collections
  • Archives and libraries
  • Private and public practices
  • Intersections between the sacred and the secular
  • Social and cultural contexts and issues of race, class, gender, language, and identity
  • Affect and Theatricality
  • Performance and listening practices

This conference is also possible by the generous support of our co-sponsors: the Departments of Music, Spanish and Portuguese, and Comparative Literature, and the University Center for Human Values, the Center for the Study of Religion, the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities, and the Committee for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies.

Image: Alfonso de la Torre, “Allegory of Music” in Visión deleitable, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris (Esp 39, f. 14v)