Having begun by following Viceroy Toledo on his route from the Andean
countryside into the heart of the colonial city, this study has made a some-
what slower return journey to the rural doctrinas de indios via the central
Hispanic institutions and the parroquias de indios that surrounded them. At a
number of points along the way, questions have been raised about centers
and peripheries, and above all about the relationship between geographical
and cultural marginality. The doctrinas showed intriguing signs that cultural
freedom and vitality may have been greater in rural than urban areas, espe-
cially in the conservative climate of the late colonial period; there is little
doubt that the sonic heterodoxy and hybridity that so disturbed Pablo José
Oricaín were less audible in the city in the 1790s, the time when he was
writing, than in the countryside. More broadly, as the preceding pages have
revealed, the musical experiences of the majority of Cuzco’s inhabitants,
and the professional lives of its indigenous musicians, revolved around
parish churches, monasteries, and confraternities, or convents and beaterios
in the case of women, rather than around the cathedral, the institution that
lies at the heart of most musicological accounts of colonial Latin America.
The decentralized panorama that has emerged calls into question the use-
fulness of the geographical and political hierarchy conceived by the Spanish
colonists—a dominant cathedral surrounded by peripheral urban parishes
and even more marginal rural doctrinas—as a model for Latin American
historical musicology. Many scholars of colonial Latin American music, in
their implicit acceptance of this hierarchy, have arguably perpetuated the
Hispano-centric ideology of the colonial elite: by focusing on elite institu-
tions and generally failing to take account of the musicians—in many cases
indigenous and African—who made up the majority of the musical work-
force, they have reinforced the historical marginalization of these social
actors and have thereby produced a somewhat unbalanced picture of urban
musical life. A decentered view is, however, vital if we are to take account of
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