Andrew Cashner, a member of the USC Thornton Musicology faculty, was recently presented with the Alfred Einstein Award at this year’s annual meeting of the American Musicological Society in Louisville. The award, which honors a musicological article of exceptional merit, recognizes Cashner’s Journal of Early Modern History article, entitled “Playing Cards at the Eucharistic Table: Music, Theology, and Society in a Corpus Christi Villancico from Colonial Mexico, 1628.”
At the award presentation, committee chair Benjamin Korstvedt of Clark University read the following citation:
This year, thirty-seven articles were nominated for the Einstein Award. From this broad and deep pool, the committee selected an article that sets out in a spirit of exploration. It persuasively incorporates perspectives drawn from game theory, theology, and philology as it uncovers a fascinating example of the dynamics of colonial cultural negotiation at work in an intersection of music, worship, and social life. The author reveals how a musical work composed by Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla, a Chapellmaster in Colonial Mexico, brought “together cards and the Eucharist” thus provocatively juxtaposing—in the author’s words— “two sites of illusion—one holy, the other potentially illegal.” This year’s Einstein Awards goes to Andrew A. Cashner’s “Playing Cards at the Eucharistic Table: Music, Theology, and Society in a Corpus Christi Villancico from Colonial Mexico, 1628” in the Journal of Early Modern History.
The American Musicological Society was founded in 1934 to advance “research in the various fields of music as a branch of learning and scholarship” and presently counts some 3,300 individual members.