MRI Seminar

Introduction of the Western Music in China and the Philippines
by Maria Alexandra Inigo-Chua, Ching-chih Liu, Aurelio Porfiri and César Guillén-Nuñez

Date & Time: Saturday, April 25, 2015, at 15:00PM till 17:30PM

Summary of the Presentation

The Macau Ricci Institute (MRI) is glad to invite you to its forthcoming Seminar. This seminar will be chaired by Mr. Albert Wong, Academic Assistant of the Institute. The seminar will be held in the afternoon one session and it will be followed by a small cocktail party during which participants will have the opportunity to meet the speakers. Due to limited space, interested persons should reserve their seat on a "first come, first served" basis. Your contact details, especially e-mail address, will allow us to keep you informed of forthcoming MRI Seminars and other MRI activities.

More on Seminar
Our seminar-conference brings together an international panel of musicologists and art historians to present and explore Western Music Culture in the Philippines, China and Macao which has contributed to the reshaping of local and indigenous cultures. The question of the social functions of music, and its importance for the re-constructed identity, will be examined through observations of cultural communication and its significance for the region.

Maria. Alexandra INIGO-CHUA:Music of the Galleons: Intercultural Exchange in Early Christian Philippines
The inclusion of the Philippines as part of the Spanish empire ushered in a new period in colonial history. Spain, finally after many attempts, got hold of the key that would eventually connect the world and gain control of the global trade route. This was done through the Manila-Acapulco galleons (1565-1815) that made possible not only the economic but more importantly the cultural exchange of this worldwide enterprise. At the center of this global transculturation was music. Music presented as a commodity was a key factor in this intercultural exchange that resulted not only in the widespread propagation of the Catholic faith but also the eventual transplantation of a predominantly Hispanic culture in most parts of the archipelago. Music, more than language, became the entry point of Spanish missionaries in reaching out to the natives. In fact, with the more than three hundred years of its colonizing presence, the Philippines never became a Spanish speaking nation. Mentioned instead, in numerous missionaries’ account, were the exceptional ability of the Tagalogs (natives) in singing and learning the craft of music.
The presentation will offer an overview of early colonial music brought to the islands by Spanish missionaries through the famed Manila Galleons. It will present aspects of early extant music sources that have since been rediscovered such as canto gregoriano, canto llano figurado, villancicos, misas, gozos, salve reginas, motetes, et. al. ...more

Ching-chih LIU劉靖之:Influence of European Music in China
The influence of Europeanised music in China started several hundred years ago through the import of church music from Europe. Church music was initially confined to church activities and therefore sacred music was mainly known to Christians for religious related services. During the period from the end of the nineteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth century, when the old type of schools were replaced by the new type of schools and when civil examinations came to an end in 1905, music was included for the first time in the history of education in China. As a result, newly composed school songs which became very popular among the children and students appeared. This was the beginning of a new type of Chinese music “the Europeanised Chinese music” to be composed for the first time in the history of China. Throughout the 20th century, this new type of Europeanised Chinese music, which is in short called “New Music” in China, followed the nomenclature of the “New Literature” of the “May Fourth Movement” in 1919. The history of New Music followed the political and military development in China, namely the School song period, the “May Fourth Movement” period, the Anti-Japanese War period and the Civil War period, the Founding of the People’s Republic of China period and the Cultural Revolution period, the period after 1978 as well as New Music in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao. The influence of European music in China during the whole of the 20th century and beyond has been strong but superficial, and mainly on vocal music and for a very small group of people on orchestral music. It has been strong, because the whole of China worships European music; it has been superficial, because the whole of China only copies and at most transplants European music, sacred as well as secular music, and the former the European church music and the latter from the European orchestral works. ...more

Aurelio PORFIRI:Making Music in the Dragon’s Land: An Italian Priest and Macau in the 1920s.
Ferdinando Maberini was an Italian Priest who resided in Macau between 1923 and 1928. He left us with some information about the life of this diocese in his time and some of his compositions are still performed not only in Macau, but also in his native Sarzana. He was a student of the great Portuguese liturgist Antonio Coelho, whose liturgical handbook he translated. After his studies in Rome in the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, he accepted an invitation from the Bishop of Macau to teach church music (chant and polyphony) at Saint Joseph Seminary. Those would be exciting years, but also difficult, because contact with local culture would not always be easy, including ecclesiastical culture. But he did take an interest in Chinese musical culture, presenting some observations that in a certain way anticipated the reform of Vatican II. Using some sources not previously available I intend to reconstruct not only the contribution of this priest to the local musical scene but also the atmosphere of Macau itself in the 1920s, its culture, art and social environment. ...more

César GUILLÉN-NUÑEZ: The Introduction of Western Classical and Religious Music to Macao and China: A Historical Coda
It was Jesuit missionaries who were mainly responsible for the introduction of both secular and religious music to China and Macao. Religious music is a very ancient part of Christian liturgy and in early 17th century Macao, the Church of St. Paul already used a choir and Western organs at mass. The introduction of modern Western secular music and instruments to China dates back to Matteo Ricci, and is recorded at the time of Ricci and his Spanish companion Diego Pantoja’s arrival at the court of Wan Li. Three keyboard instruments were introduced, the organ, as well as the percussion stringed instruments, the clavichord and harpsichord. Ricci and Pantoja were clever amateur musicians, but a more professional development of Western music only occurred in Qing China at the hands of the Portuguese Jesuit missionary Tomás Pereira (1645-1708), and flourished to an even greater extent with the Italian Vincentian Teodorico Pedrini (1671-1746). Little is known of developments in Macao, especially as the whole process came to an end with the expulsion of the Jesuits from the city in 1762. Apart from a few predecessors, Aurelio Porfiri has more recently worked for a serious rebirth of Western religious music in Macao and his contribution, especially his revival of improvisation, will be briefly discussed. ...more

More on the Speakers
Maria. Alexandra INIGO-CHUA has a Bachelor of Music in Piano, magna cum laude, from the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music (1991) and a Master in Music major in Musicology from the University of the Philippines College of Music (2000). She is currently taking her doctorate degree program in music at the University of the Philippines and is a recipient of a scholarship program of the Commission on Higher Education. She is an Associate Professor at the UST Conservatory of Music teaching History of Music, Forms and Analysis, and musicology subjects. She was the Chair of the Music Literature Department from 2002-2007 of the said institution. Her book Kirial de Baclayon, published by the Ateneo de Manila University Press in 2010, inaugurates an important phase in the field of Philippine music history scholarship. It is a pioneering study of early 19th century liturgical music repertory, which fully utilized combined historical and analytical musicological methods of paleography, textual criticism and music analysis.

Ching-chih LIU劉靖之 holds PhD, FCIL, Hon MCIL, Hon FHKTS, LRSM, A-Mus-TCL, served as Translator at the British Broadcasting Corporation, Administrator and Researcher at the University of Hong Kong, and Professor and Hon. Professor in the Department of Translation, Lingnan University, from 1966 to 2001. He is now Hon. Research Fellow of the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Hong Kong, Hon. Professor of the MA Programme in Translation at the Hong Kong Baptist University, Visiting Fellow of the Research Institute of Music of the Academy of Arts China and the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing, and Visiting Professor of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. He was President of the Hong Kong Translation Society during 1986-2004, and was President of the Hong Kong Ethnomusicology Society (1986-2004). He is now President Emeritus of the Hong Kong Ethnomusicology Society and the Hong Kong Translation Society; Fellow and Honorary Life Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (London); Founding Chief Editor of Translation Quarterly, Journal of the Hong Kong Translation Society. He is author and editor of 31 books on music, two on classical Chinese literature and 17 on translation; and author of numerous articles and reviews on music, books and culture.

Aurelio PORFIRI was born in Italy and graduated with the final degree in choral music at the Conservatorio di San Pietro a Majella, Naples. He is completing his music doctorate in Australia. He also studied Renaissance polyphony and polyphonic musical forms with Domenico Bartolucci and pursued further studies of organ and composition with Giuseppe Agostini (a leading organist and choir master in Italy). Later he also studied renaissance semiology with Francesco Luisi (editor for the third national edition of the works of Palestrina). Previously being the substitute organist of the Vatican City Vicariate in St. Peter’s Basilica as well as many notable churches in Italy, he arrived in Macau in 2008. He is scientific collaborator for IBIMUS (Institute for Musical Bibliography, Rome) and contributor for several journals and blogs in Italy, USA and Macau. His music is published in Macau, Italy, France, USA and Germany. He has also published 8 books and almost 300 articles. For his contribution to the Italian church music his name was included into the Cambridge Companion to Choral Music. He is Director of Choral Activities at the Santa Rosa de Lima English Secondary School in Macau and chief editor of the blog Il Naufrago/Castaway (

César GUILLÉN-NUÑEZ is currently a Research Fellow and Historian of Art at the Macao Ricci Institute. He has an M.Phil. (University College London), an M.A. (Uni. of Penn.) and a B.A. Honours (Courtauld Institute of Art), all in the History of Art, with a specialization in Baroque Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese art and architecture. He began his professional career as Assistant Curator of Historical Pictures and Contemporary Art at the Hong Kong Museum of Art, but later moved to Macao, where he was Deputy Curator and briefly Acting Curator at the Luis de Camões Museum. His specialization has led him to focus on the art and architecture of Macao from the 16th-19th centuries, as well as on the Society of Jesus as pioneers in the artistic China-West exchange. He has given lectures on the History of Art in Hong Kong, Macau, the U.S. and Poland, has taught the History of Art in Hong Kong and Macau, and has authored numerous books, articles and exhibition reviews.

Albert WONG 王曉晞has been an academic assistant at the Macau Ricci Institute since 2009. He graduated from the University of Macau, receiving a BA in English Studies (2004). He went to the United States in 2005 and received his MA in Sociology in 2007 at SUNY Binghamton. His major research interests are the politics and society of Macau. He is a regular contributor to Sonpou (訊報), a local weekly. He has also contributed to META, a social science bimonthly published by the Hong Kong International Relations Research Association and Macau Observer (澳門觀察報). He also contributed to the editing of the Macau Ricci Institute’s quarterly神州交流 Chinese Cross Currents (2009–12), and to the book Casino Development and Its Impact on China’s Macau SAR (edited by Beatrice Leung and Sonny Lo), which was published by the City University of Hong Kong Press in 2010. He has recently edited, with Fr Artur K Wardega, SJ Humankind and Nature: An Endangered System of Interdependence in Today’s Globalising World, published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing (2014).

MISSA IN HONORE MATTHAEI RICCI is a new work composed by Maestro Aurelio Porfiri for female choir, brass and organ, which will be premiered on April 26, 2015. The Mass was created as homage to Matteo Ricci, the great missionary to China. This composition puts in music the Proprium Missae and the Ordinarium Missae. The composer consulted the famous Jesuit liturgist Father Cesare Giraudo, SJ, for suggestions on the selection of liturgical texts, since Matteo Ricci has not yet been yet beatified or canonized and for this reason doesn’t not have his own liturgy in the Roman liturgical calendar. The Mass will be in Latin with the participation of the congregation. It will be performed by Santa Rosa de Lima English Secondary Choir, Our Lady of Fatima Girls' School Secondary Choir and by Sanctus Thomas Choir. This Mass includes a performance of a series of motets composed by Aurelio Porfiri in Latin, English and in Chinese respectively, all to be performed by Santa Rosa de Lima English Primary Choir, Our Lady of Fatima Girls' School Primary Choir and Saint Pius X Music Academy Choir. At the end of the concert three solo motets (Soprano Dian Paramita) composed by Aurelio Porfiri based on selected Jesuit texts will be presented for the first time to the audience.

The world premiere of MISSA IN HONORE MATTHAEI RICCI for congregation, female choir, brass and organ will be performed in Saint Joseph Seminary Church on April 26, 2015 at 7:30 pm. Free Admission – all are welcome.