Deep in the rainforest, on the banks of the Napo River, a mission took root and grew
into an effort to preserve indigenous music. Dr. Phillip Wilhelm first visited Ecuador
in May 2004 on a mission trip through the O’Fallon (Ill.) United Church of Christ.
His mission led to research seeking to preserve the traditional music of the Quichua
culture, and that research has grown into an international quest to enhance music
education in Ecuador.
This website is a work-in-progress which will highlight the work being done along with examples of traditional music.
For more information or to become involved with the project, please contact Dr. Phillip Wilhelm at 618-537-6428 or email@example.com.
The ultimate goal of the ongoing project is to take the traditional songs, which only exist through oral tradition, and put them into musical notation so that they can be preserved. The next step will be to create a publication which can be used by music teachers so that they can incorporate the music back into the classroom, something that is not currently being done.
2004 – Initial trip to Ecuador with mission partners in education
2005 – trip to work to begin working with Yachana Technical High School (http://www.yachana.com/)
2006 – trip to continue educational work
2007 – data collection trip done alone
2008 – first trip to include McKendree students
2009 – 4 students accompany Dr. Wilhelm in recording more music
Music Education Among the Quichua People from the
Napo Province in the Ecuadorian Rainforest: An Ethnography of the State of Music
This dissertation was designed to investigate the music of the Quichua people living within the Napo Province of the Ecuadorian rainforest. The music, people of the region, and musical educational process was examined. Furthermore, the survival rate of the music was in question. Data collection was derived from formal interviews, direct conversation, participant observation, field notes, and sound recordings. Results were triangulated in terms of pre-determined variables, along with those which emerged during data collection. Analysis of the data revealed that indigenous Quichua music is at an all time low. Transmission method from one generation to the next is rather informal and newer music seems to be more popular.
Videos from our recordings of Indigenous Quichua groups on YouTube:
Articles about the research:
Read the blog from our May 2009 trip: