Yamilla Tate



Download Full Text (984 KB)


Yamilla Tate, MUS 303: Music History 2
Faculty Mentor: Professor Carolyn Guzski, Music

The world of symphonic performance is arguably Eurocentric: dominated by European composers and genres, and leaving very little room for the appreciation of North American and Latin American orchestral works. Latin America is rich in its musical culture, due to its variety of national and regional cultures that offer a wide array of artistic perspectives and unique expressive capabilities from a multitude of ethnic groups. My presentation will look at Mexican composer Arturo Marquez’s Danzón No. 2, a highly evocative piece which I feel epitomizes the sound of Latin America and showcases the particular contributions of Afro-Latinos in Latin culture. The composition is rich in Latin rhythms, forceful brass writing, and inspiring string melodies, all common traits of the traditional Cuban danzón. I analyze the course of Marquez’s Danzón throughout Latin American history and the roles it has occupied within the burgeoning Afro-Cuban culture of the nineteenth century. Alongside these aspects, I consider the composer’s own views of the genre, using contemporary commentary that gives a sense of how it reached Mexico. My goal is to engage listeners in Latin America’s diverse musical culture, perhaps becoming more open-minded to orchestral works that break with European tradition. I hope that people may also come to appreciate the vital role Afro-Latino culture has played in the artistic development of Latin America as a global force.

Publication Date



Arts and Humanities

Danzón: Afro-Cubanism Meets Mexico
Off-campus Download