Music, School of


First Advisor

Mark Clinton

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A DOCTORAL DOCUMENT Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Musical Arts, Major: Music (Piano Performance), Under the Supervision of Professor Mark Clinton. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2022

Copyright © 2022 Oscar Vázquez Medrano


Manuel M. Ponce is one of the most recognized Mexican composers of the twentieth century. He is known for his contributions to the guitar and piano literature, but more importantly, for his efforts to introduce musical nationalism in a world where Romantic opera and salon music dominated Mexico’s music scene.

This document has an introduction, six chapters, a conclusion, a bibliography, and three appendixes. The introduction includes pertinent background on Ponce’s music and the types of research dedicated to him, as well as the stylistic division of his music by Ponce scholars.

Chapter one explains the historical context in Mexico during the Porfiriato and the Mexican Revolution; discusses the Mexican composers that followed European ideas; and describes how Ponce initiated Mexico’s musical nationalism movement. Chapter two contains Ponce’s biography with topics related to his life, influences, studies, compositions, and other significant information. Chapter three provides information about Ponce’s Romantic style and how he adopted European Romanticism using the character piece, virtuosity, Neo-Classicism, and nationalism.

Chapters four and five focus on Mexican Ballade and Romantic Concerto, considered two of the most important compositions from the peak of Ponce’s Romantic style. Each chapter includes background information of the piece, a structural and harmonic analysis, and description of the different Romantic and nationalistic elements found in each work. Chapter six briefly examines the Romantic and nationalistic elements of Ponce’s shorter pieces in his Romantic period.

After the conclusion and bibliography are three appendices. Appendix A is a chronological list of Ponce’s piano works in his Romantic style. Appendix B lists the piano works of this period whose date of composition is unknown. Finally, Appendix C contains a discography of Ponce’s Romantic piano works.

Advisor: Mark Clinton

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