California Musical Instruments

Decent Essays

Despite their failure to convert them religiously through music, the natives were left with a Spanish influence because even after secularization they continued to use European instruments such as: “Violins, violas,” and "guitars” (Ray and Engbeck 1974:16) and most stopped using native instruments. Because of this neglect, there only remains fragmentary evidence--outside of a few early ethnographies and written descriptions of events in the California missions--on native music, while “several hundred European-style musical instruments were being played in California.” (Ray and Engbeck 1974:15)
After secularization “...few California Indians were ready, willing, or able to compete for a living in agriculture” (Ray and Engbeck 1974:22). Many natives were not given the …show more content…

But the musicians and singers were in the worst position because their abilities proved to be nearly useless outside of the missions--their only realistic option was to stay in the parish churches. They did not have the resources or supplies to survive in an agricultural environment, and their jobs were completely unlike those that translated well into this new society--physical labor jobs such as being a vaquero or simply knowing how to work with animals and agriculture. This lack of easy transition to the Mexican Californio society may have actually helped solidify Spanish influence over those involved in mission music. This inability to survive outside of the missions forced them to continue practicing their abilities in the parish churches, while some of them embraced their situations. This was most true for the choristers who “persevered in practicing their new religion and remained loyal to the missions even after freed from the secularization” (Sandos 2004:150). This dedication to the missions was present over forty years after secularization in San Carlos Borromeo when

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