A study and transcription of a group of selected Christmas villancicos from the period 1740 to 1780 from the cathedrals of Guatemala City and Mexico City
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The cathedrals of Mexico City and Guatemala City possess an impressive inventory of sacred music from masters of Spain, from other European countries as well as chapel masters from the New World and composers related to those and other cathedrals. The sacred villancico occupies an exceptional place in the music history of Spain and the New World due to its vitality that can be explained through its origin as secular genre, its unique opportunity to reflect popular elements in music and text as well as its ability to implement new developments in Western art music. The Christmas villancico also brings to this genre the old tradition of religious theater, in particular, that of the Officium Pastorum.. In the field of study of the villancico, a considerable effort from musicologists and researchers from other fields is required in order to provide more and more accurate scores, texts, analyses, inventories and biographical data. This muchneeded effort may be able to bring the genre of the villancico to a level of understanding similar to that of other musical genres in Western art music. The present dissertation is only a little step into that direction and consists of a modern critical edition of a selected group of Christmas villancicos from the cathedrals of Mexico City and Guatemala City from the period 1740 to 1780. It also provides translation of texts, includes a chapter which traces the villancico as poetical genre and discusses important aspects of the history of the villancico as musicalpoetic genre. The dissertation also includes poetical considerations of the villancicos presented and a detailed study of their musical aspects as well as their music-historical context.
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