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Revista musical chilena

Print version ISSN 0716-2790


VERA AGUILERA, Alejandro. On cadences and modulations. On an apparent “defect” in the work of José de Campderrós (ca. 1742-1811). Rev. music. chil. [online]. 2020, vol.74, n.233, pp.88-119. ISSN 0716-2790.

The present article studies what appears to be a “defect” that arises from the comparison between the music of José de Campderrós - a Catalan composer active in Chile around 1800- and the “great classics” of his time. As explained in the Introduction, such “defect” is his frequent tendency to include sections with very few modulations or even without any modulation or tonizication, a formal trait that the composer and theorist Jorge Urrutia Blondel criticized in 1941. The first section demonstrates that this assertion is valid for many of Campderrós’ works, which contrasts sharply with the widespread practice in composers traditionally known as “galants” and “classicals”, for whom modulation constitutes an essential resource that is only exceptionally dispensed with. The second section analyzes in more depth some of Campderrós's pieces, drawing particular attention to modulations, tonicizations, and their function. The third, compares these pieces with the Spanish theory of the 18th century, with the hypothesis that its reluctance to fully incorporate the modulatory procedures and its -frequently indirect— indications regarding them should have a powerful influence on Campderrós’ compositional practice and can contribute to an understanding of its manner of modulating. To conclude, this article proposes that his apparent “defect” actually responds to the application of conventions different from those of the galant and classical repertoire, reflecting, at the same time, the confluence between a traditional Spanish theory, still attached to modal language, and modern practice of a tonal nature. Besides, it suggests that this type of approach to the music of the time may contribute, in future studies, to illuminate the work of other composers of colonial Latin America.

Keywords : Music in Colonial Latin America; Santiago de Chile Cathedral; José de Campderrós; Spanish Theory in the 18th Century; Modulation; Cadences; Modality; Tonality.

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