Publication Date

Spring 4-22-2015


School of Music; College of Arts and Sciences


Spanish; Music: World Cultures


Latin America, church, worship, music, Spanish, indigenous agency, reduccion, comunidad evangelica de base, grassroots worship movement, corito, colonization, music education, ethnomusicology


Christian Denominations and Sects | Christianity | Composition | Ethnomusicology | Latin American Languages and Societies | Liturgy and Worship | Missions and World Christianity | Music Education


Music education and institutionalized Christianity have been criticized by historians and ethnomusicologists for their role in the domination and transformation of indigenous Latin American cultures since the late 15th century. However, indigenous peoples, including Amerindians as well as more recent mestizo and Ladino people groups, have also taken an active role in transforming European musics to reflect an emic understanding of their own cultural identity. Music education within the Latin American church has provided an interface for these complex interactions between foreign and native cultural influences. This paper will explore the connections between colonial and contemporary-era music education movements in the Latin American church by tracing the themes of agency, leadership, composition, and community, in order to demonstrate the crucial role that indigenous people groups have played at the intersection of faith and education in the continuous creation of their own music culture.