Talk: Spanish Music in California's Missions

Event Date: 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 5:30pm

Event Location: 

  • History of Art Conference Rm 1332
  • UCSB Campus

Event Contact: 

Lety Garcia, Programs and PR Manager


James and Tish Sandos have researched the lives of mission Indian instrumentalists with particular detailed work at Mission San Jose. They found that participation in musical performance had powerful social impacts upon Indian community development beyond the conventional consideration of historians and musicologists. New studies have established that Spanish mission music was on a par with the best European performances, conAirming travelers accounts of the beauty of the Indian musical performances they witnessed. For these Mission Indians, the emotional power of singing and playing together, whether in choir, orchestra or congregation, provided at the very least a sense of belonging, if not pride in belonging, to an institution (the Church) and a ritual (the Mass) that endured beyond hunger, disease, and death. Examples of the haunting liturgical music will be presented along with a rare instance of tribal song. James A. Sandos, is Farquhar Professor of the American Southwest, Emeritus, at the University of Redlands. His most recent book is Converting California: Indians and Franciscans in the Missions (Yale 2004). Patricia “Tish” Sandos, Independent Scholar, is collaborating with her husband to bring her expertise in spatial analysis to understanding the history of the California missions.

Co-sponsoredby the Departments of Religious Studies and History of Art & Architecture UC Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Mission