I intend to speak about music as it was used in various social contexts to demonstrate the fact that public life in Manila was a rich tapestry where all segments of the population came together. Three specific areas will be explored: 1) the establishment and development of formal, professional musical ensembles in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception [1581-1800], the Jesuit Colegio de San José (1595-1768) and the Cappila Real (1640-1821); 2) the importance of public rite, ritual and spectacle as the primary locus for direct cultural exchange among the peoples of Manila, seen especially through the omni-present dramatic productions, extravagant processions and the composition of new music [1597-1704]; and 3) the importance of the confraternal movement in the promotion of corporate devotion and the cultivation of newly-created poetry and music in both Latinate and indigenous languages, especially in the Cofradia de los esclavos de Santo Cristo [1650-1690].
I will also describe the relationships that existed between music and
the other performing arts, dance, drama and oratory, as they were cultivated
by the Chapter of the Cathedral, the City Government and the administrators
of the Jesuit College of San José. Special dramatic productions
were commissioned by the Bishop and Chapter for the re-founding of the
neighborhood Church of Our Lady of Good Journey in 1665, with special music
composed for a newly-written play in Tagalog. The Jesuits presented
a week of dramatic festivities in 1674 celebrating the canonization of
Francis Borgia, and the City Government underwrote the festivities in 1710,
marking the birth of El Principe y Señor Don Luis Fernand,
where Loas with music for orchestra, soloists and up to four choirs were
performed. In each of these cases the performing arts were utilized
in a comprehensive way to celebrate, elevate and ratify these events of
singular moment. Each presents a unique view of the role music played
in rite, ritual and spectacle in this Asian capitol.