Patronage and Capitalism in the Musical Associations of Late Nineteenth-Century Colonial Manila
The rapid economic growth in the colony beginning in the mid-nineteenth century gave rise to a modernity that transformed the musical mode of production in Manila. A new market comprised of the culturally-supportive elite and middle-class population patronised musical productions. In addition, musicians and other artists formed unions to create an institutionalised representation of themselves corresponding to the larger socio-political and economic forces in the network of production, creating new relations necessary in the existing social formation. Exchanges between the various players of the musical mode of production required matching forces to avoid exploitation, particularly of labour. This article examines three of the more prominent musical associations in the late nineteenth century—Liceo Artístico-Literario, Sociedad de Conciertos Unión Artístico-Musical, and Sociedad Musical Filipina de Santa Cecilia—investigating how they advanced music and education and promoted the arts, regulated the practice of music making, responded to the market demand for commoditised music labour, and accelerated modernity in Philippine music during the last decades of Spanish colonial rule. Their patronage represented the continuing feudal and new capitalist systems of managing musical productions and remunerating musical labour, providing a possibility for indigena (island-born native) musicians to accumulate cultural capital and afford them social mobility in the colonial system. Membership in these associations became symbols of prestige, which helped establish social networks among Filipino musicians.
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