Family, Home, and Social Sciences
First Faculty Advisor
First Faculty Reader
Conquest, History, Colonial, Mexico, Music, Early Modern
Historians have grown more interested in Spanish Conquest and colonialism in the last century. While earlier historians saw the conquest through a more euro-centric lens, recent historians have tried to take a more nuanced approach to understanding the conquest. Within this research, historians are questioning traditional narratives of the "spiritual conquest," or the conversion of native peoples to Christianity. Scholars have shown that "conquest" is not the best term for this process, as there was much more give and take at play.
My research seeks to strengthen this narrative of religious accommodation through the lens of music. The transmission of European sacred music to the Mexican natives was complicated. I demonstrate these complexities of accommodation by first comparing and contrasting the two musical traditions that existed before first contact. I then describe musical impressions given and felt by both parties on first contact. The thesis then moves to a description of the Spanish methods in teaching European music to the native people and how the music spread over the country. It then describes the ways in which the music was accepted, rejected and accommodated. These observations in the musical development of Christian Mexico adds greater depth to the research of conversion in the New World.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Richardson, John, "Musical “Conquest”: The Spanish Use of Music in the Spiritual Conquest of the Nahua Peoples of Sixteenth-Century Mexico" (2021). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 191.