Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

John Gilchrist Elliott

First Committee Member

Allan Bacon

Second Committee Member

G. A. Werner


Perhaps no country at the present time has a richer unexplored fount of folk music than has Mexico. In fact. her rich store of musical culture, like a vast mine scarcely worked entitles her to a position among those peoples whose folk music has long been firmly established.

Finding the source material on the music of Mexico for the most part, fragmentary and scattered, the writer decided to do serious research in translating from the early Spanish writers, and in reading the chronicles of the travelers of that early period, as well as the historical writings and the legendary lore of the Indian inhabitants. The summer of 1934 was spent in delightful study in Mexico in The Seminar of The Committee on Cultural Relations with Latin America, of which Dr. Hubert Herring is the leader. The result of this activity is this compilation of facts on The Development of Mexican Music, which is by no means an exhaustive history, but represents, however, a careful investigation and selection of that material which is most valuable for the student of music in particular, as well as for the general reader interested in factual material.

In this volume on The Development of Mexican Music it has been the endeavor of the author to assemble the chronological references to the music of Mexico from the earliest available records of the indigenous music of the semi-savage tribes to the information that is furnished us by the contemporary writers on the music existent at the present moment. Beginning with the culture of the earliest peoples, who were noted for their unusual rhythmic sense in music, the process has been one of tracing the gradual development of a rounded musical art - of presenting the indigenous background, the profound influence of the Spanish Conquest and subsequent changes wrought upon that artistic amalgamation by social, economic and political developments. In short, our path has led us from the musical achievements of the Aztecs to the present worthy achievements of Mexico's great artists and composers.

It is the earnest hope of the author that this research on The Development of Mexican Music will be useful reference material and may stimulate the readers to further interest and research, thus leading to a better understanding and more friendly appreciation of this phase of Mexican culture. Our efforts are dedicated to those friends of Mexico everywhere who are appreciative of the fine rhythmical culture that is Mexican.





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