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date: 18 January 2020


  • Gerard Béhague
  •  and John M. Schechter


Country in South America.

Gerard Béhague

There is substantial documentary evidence of relatively important musical activity in colonial Ecuador, but no polyphonic work by musicians active in Quito, Cuenca and Guayaquil has yet been found. In view of the splendid development of colonial architecture, painting and sculpture related to the church, it is likely that there were similar accomplishments in music.

The transplanting of European music to Ecuador began with the establishment in Quito in 1535 of a Flemish Franciscan order (by the monks Josse de Rycke of Mechelen and Pierre Gosseal of Leuven) in which the teaching of music was important. Amerindians were taught plainchant, mensural notation and performance on the main families of European instruments, particularly at their Colegio de S Andrés (founded 1555), where the standard was such that by 1570 even Francisco Guerrero’s difficult four- and five-part motets could be performed. The mestizo Diego Lobato (...

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