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Revista musical chilena

Print version ISSN 0716-2790


PALMIERO, Tiziana. Tupamaro de Caxamarca: Tunes about the Death of the Inca Atahualpa contained in the Codex Martínez Compañón (1782-85). Rev. music. chil. [online]. 2011, vol.65, n.216, pp.8-33. ISSN 0716-2790.

Throughout the colonial period a memory of the history of the Andean tribes was created. This memory considered the Inca empire as its main reference and the Inca as its natural symbol. From the narration of the facts of the Inca history, particularly those referring to the Spanish conquest, sprang up the myth of the Inca death to which contributed both conquerors and those who were conquered. During the eighthteenth century the death of the Inca was presented in numerous theatrical performances accompanied with music. The codex Martínez Compañón (1782-85) consists of nine volumes with about 1500 color plates depicting different aspects of both the social life and the natural phenomena of the Trujillo zone in Peru. Thirty eight plates, included in volume II, are related directly or indirectly with music of oral tradition of the period. The original folio numbers of these plates are all preceded by the letter E, standing for '"estampa" (plate). A total of twenty scores appear between E. 176 though E. 193. Judging from the title the text of the following two tunes -"E 188: Allegro tonada El tupamaro, Caxamarca" and "E. 191 (b): Adagio tonada el Tuppamaro de caxamarca"- could be related to the events of Cajamarca leading to the capture and death of Inca Atahualpa. The same volume II contains two other plates depicting the beheading of the Inca: "Danza de la degollación del Inga E 172; E173". Ifthis were the case these two tunes could be the only remaining musical fragments of the theatrical performances mentioned above. As a result of the analysis of these two scores we discovered that they could bear a relationship with other scores of the same codex on the basis of musical or text analogies which could be traced back to the tragic events of Cajamarca. These scores are the following: "E. 191, Magestuoso Cachua la Despedida de Guamachuco"; "E. 190 Allegro tonada la brugita para cantar de Guamachuco" and "E. 187. Andantino Tonada ElDiamante, para baylar de Chachapoyas". However our main interest was not to ascertain whether some "tonadas" of the codex could have been part of a theatrical performance of the capture and death of Atahualpa at the end of the colonial period. Indeed we are interested in interpreting these chants as bearing signs of a colonial discourse in two different aspects. On the one hand, the reinterpretation of such historical facts as the capture and death of Atahualpa, and on the other the lingering on of Andean codes in the remembrance of certain rituals such as the "ceremonial grieving". For the sake of musical analysis it was established the existence of a mode conceived initially as part of a system of modes of theInca era related to the system of European church modes. We have named this mode as "Inca grieving" and we will consider its relationships with the ceremonial grieving of the times of the incas as well as its role in the transmission of meanings related to the colonial Andean rituals.

Keywords : colonial music; mode; Inca Atahualpa; codex Martínez Compañón; Andean history ; death of the Inca; colonial history.

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