A rhythmic riddle: A guide to the performance of rhythms in the piano danzas of Juan Morel Campos

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)

First Committee Member

Ivan Davis, Committee Chair


After a historical account regarding the confusion that surrounds their performance, the seventy-nine danzas in the original edition of Olimpio Otero were rhythmically analyzed. In the course of this analysis three principal rhythmic ambiguities were discovered. Danzas that make use of the first one, the "elastic triplet," should be performed as written but with flexibility. Danzas that make use of "resolved hemiolia," although written in 2/4, should be performed as compositions in compound time. In danzas that make use of the "mixed" style the dotted figures should be resolved into trochaic triplets or performed as written. The terms "resolved hemiolia" and "mixed" style were borrowed from musicologist Michael Collins and were used throughout this research paper with a restricted meaning. Guidelines for the proper performance of Morel Campos' danzas were furnished allowing any pianist, not only regional ones, to arrive at a correct and musical performance of the danzas.



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