Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail Guide
  Music - Florencio Ibañez (1740-1818)

Fray Florencio Ibañez was born at Tarazona, Aragon, Spain, October 26, 1740, and entered the Franciscan order at the Convento de Nuestra Senora de Jesus, Zaragosa, February 8, 1757. At the convento grande in his province as well as at that of Calatayud he was choirmaster...He came to San Fernando College, Mexico City, May 1, 1770, together with thirty-nine other Franciscans. Besides holding the office of preacher, he was attached to the choir of San Fernando until August 16, 1774. A fine artist as well as a musician of no little ability, he spent considerable time at the college in painting large choir books, samples of which were brought to the Mission Santa Barbara in 1882 by Fray Jose Maria de Jesus Romo...In failing health in 1774, he obtained a transfer from the college to the province of Michoacan where he was again employed as choirmaster and professor of Latin at San Miguel de Allende until 1781, when he joined the college of Santa Cruz de Queretaro. There he became an Indian missionary serving in Sonora...After seventeen years as a missionary, he returned to Queretaro and once again to San Fernando in 1800...The next year he was on his way to California. He embarked on the frigate Concepción and arrived at Monterey, August 9, 1801. At Carmel Mission he administered baptism on August 16 and 18. He was stationed first at Mission San Antonio from September 20, 1801, to August 17, 1803. In that same month he was transferred to Mission Soledad, where he made his first baptismal entry on October 20. He remained at that mission until November 26, 1818. Ibañez had spent a short time at Mission San Juan Bautista, August 17 to September 14, 1806, and baptized there again, August 22 and 26, 1808...He died at Soledad, November 26, 1818...In 1817, V. F. de Sarria wrote that he considered Ibañez as a man of only ordinary ability...In matters connected with temporal management, Ibañez is credited with great capability and intelligence. In person he had great strength, was tall with broad shoulders. He was described in records as possessing a good build, of having a light complexion, a somewhat reddish beard, and a face large and thin. He was very kind to the poor and lowly and loved to instruct the neophytes in their work and in music and to teach the common soldiers to read and write. On Josť Joaquin Arrillaga's second coming to California, Ibañez welcomed him with music and songs, the words of which he himself had composed. He is also remembered as a dramatist of ability: his "Pastorela," a nativity play, was, it is said, a prime favorite in California.

Source: Maynard Geiger, O.F.M., Franciscan Missionaries in Hispanic California, 1769-1848, A Biographical Dictionary, The Huntington Library, San Marino, 1969, pg. 124.

More on Florencio Ibañez

The Mass of St. Dominic. The Choral book [See Note 1] is not the only piece of mission music manuscript left at Santa Clara. The Mass of St. Dominic [See Note 2], a handwritten Gregorian manuscript in black and white, is made up of 85 pages of music using square notes. Bound by Father Viader in brown cowhide with leather thong stitching, this rare item bears the following handwritten inscription on page 83 [See Note 3], "8 de Junio de 1812 se acabaxan estos 15 pliegos en Lunes Y Luna 29, visperad de conjunction. Ibañez." This is very clearly a note by Father Florencia Ibañez, reporting that they had completed 15 fascicles on that date. Father Da Silva places Ibañez among the foremost musicians of the day [he writes]:

Padres Ibañez entered the Franciscan order in 1757, and was choirmaster there for a number of years. At the age of twenty-seven years, he set sail for Mexico, where he was appointed choirmaster at the College of San Fernando in Mexico City...He volunteered for the Missions of Alta California. He entered upon his new work in 1801, serving at Mission San Antonio. Two years later he was transferred to Mission Soledad, where he remained until his death in 1818 [23].

How this fine example of mission music came to be housed at Santa Clara will probably never be known. Since there were others than Ibañez working on its pages, one of the other Fathers may have carried it with him to Santa Clara from the College of San Fernando, or from the Mission Soledad.

Source: Beryl Hoskin, A History of the Santa Clara Mission Library, Biobooks, Oakland, California, 1961, pg. 44.

[1] The Choral book is another choir book at Mission Santa Clara besides the Mass of St. Dominic book.
[2] The Mass of St. Dominic is the first entry in the book that is claimed to bear the writing of Father Florencio Ibañez.
[3] Te Deum is on fol. 83 to 84v. Although a note can be seen on fol. 83 (top) and 84v, it may not correspond with what Hoskin writes. Salve Regina is on fol. 56v and 57.
[23] Owen da Silva, O. F. M. Mission Music of California, Warren F. Lewis, Publisher, Los Angeles, CA, 1954, p. 22.

Description of the Santa Clara Mission Music Book: Leather Bound, 85 pages, Gregorian manuscript, B&W, square notes. Manuscript found at Mission Santa Clara and is possibly attributable to Florencio Ibañez and his contemporaries. Music is described in Beryl Hoskin's book (pgs. 45-46). The manuscript is also on microfilm (manuscript 1-4, Mass of St. Dominic and other songs) at Santa Clara University. Te Deum is on fol. 83 to 84v. Salve Regina is on fol. 56v and 57.

  close window

  Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail Guide - About the CD and Music