The Folk Influences on the Piano Works of Manuel M. Ponce

The Folk Influences on the Piano Works of Manuel M. Ponce

By: Alexandro Aguilar    Email:

Home Town: Payette, Idaho    High School: Payette High School 2021

Major: Music:Composition, Music: Performance-Instrmt Opt
Department: Music
College: College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Abstract – The compositions of musicians from underrepresented backgrounds have gone largely overlooked in the core literature for piano and in academic fields such as musicology and theoretical analysis. The music of Mexican composers such as Manuel Maria Ponce, deserves to be in the standard repertoire of classical piano as his artistic merit could be compared to that of other European composers such as Johannes Brahms or Claude Debussy. Inadvertently, the field of music has missed out on rich cultural inspiration. It is important to highlight music from people of color and help expand the scope of music as a studied form of art if the study of classical piano were to stay relevant in modern day.

For this project, I prepared four pieces for solo piano composed by Mexican composer, Manuel Maria Ponce, for performance. Research was done on the history of native folk music in Mexico and how it influenced Ponce’s works for the piano. The four works of focus throughout the project are Scherzino Mexicano, Romanza De Amor, Quatro Danzas Mexicanas, and Intermezzo No. 1. Latin folk genres of music and dance such as Huapangos, Sons, Cuban Contradanzas, Jarabes, and Corridos were discovered to have heavy influence in the rhythmic, melodic, sonic, and harmonic motifs found in the piano works of Ponce.

About Alexandro Aguilar

Alexandro Aguilar is a pianist studying composition, performance, and jazz at the University of Idaho studying under Dr. Roger McVey. Born in Payette, Idaho to two immigrants from Mexico, Alexandro's goal is to bring awareness to hispanic culture through music performance and composition


Products Produced:

Type: Title: Date Published/Presented: DOI:
Poster The Folk Influences on the Piano Works of Manuel M. Ponce July 19, 2023

Additional Project Information:

Year in College Project Started:  Sophomore

Faculty Advisor:   Roger  McVey

Faculty Advisor Email:

Faculty Advisor Website:  

Funding Source:  Office of Undergrad Research, Summer Undergrad Research Fellowship

External Link to Project Information:  

Project Location:   Moscow, ID