Thoughts about – Epilogue Music and Canons by Philip V. Bohlman and Leonora Saavedra dissertation about Mexican politics and modern music – Canon

Thoughts about – Epilogue Music and Canons by Philip V. Bohlman and  Leonora Saavedra dissertation about Mexican politics and modern music




Canon always were a very important tool  for music from the very beginning with the ecclesiastic music  for church  that we can even  call  “memorization of laws”. A super perfect model  that matches with the human essence with difficulties, facilities, traditions, folklore, everything in music. With the years passing by  composers of all periods were able to find in  canon a safe place for their  compositions and ideas where  they could use it to develop their own thoughts with their own culture and traditions. The strong repetition of these models during the years helped to develop  and inspire our modern music in many ways. It is sometimes even possible to recognize  a very clear repetition  of that old times  in rhythms and  motives. This makes me think if composers still writing using canons for their base even if they try to be free with their technique they will still having something that is the  same  for all, the beginning of the process the same canon.

Reading an article by Philip Bohlman, where he talks about “musicologists feeling uncomfortable with the plural word of  the word canon”, we can understand better about canon and how they have being acting  in our music society throughout the years. Since Canon can mean different things, that means we can`t totally understand or define it very well. As Bohlm says “Canon was not determined by what it was, it was also determined by what it wasn’t”.

Bohlman also talks about discipline and how it is  important to maintain canons alive with the years musicologists are engaged to make choices, given the vast number of repertoire  they need to choose just some of them to create and define new canon for the humanity to follow he explain that “ Canon are directly related with the past and with the discipline.”

I also read the Leonora Saavedra doctors dissertation where she talks about Mexican music related with politic, history, ideology, modern music and also  canon. In her dissertation she explains that “The Mexican music and culture became very well known for the world with the Revolution in 1929 when new music’s were developed  and the Mexican music style was created” That means on that time canons for Mexican music were developed and now all the world  follow them, we can`t listen a mariachi orchestra or see a Mexican hat and relate them with other cultures, they are all Mexicans references.

So to conclude I would like to say that Canons have always helped to develop our music, but at the same time there are a problem. We can not be free with them that much many Mexicans don`t agree with the “La CuCaracha” being something related so strongly with Mexico. There are many other better compositions that should be reminded for the world but unfortunately, we can`t relate any new music even if was extremely well composed to Mexico so strongly as La Cucuracha. So Canon are a very good tool but can be bad in many ways.

Johanny Barbosa













Bohlman, Philip.Epilogue:Musics and Canons

Saavedra, Leonora “Of selves and others: HISTORIOGRAPHY, IDEOLOGY, and the  POLITICS of  MODERN MEXICAN MUSIC” Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh, 2001


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