Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Keyboard Performance (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Naoko Takao

Second Committee Member

Santiago Rodriguez

Third Committee Member

Kevin Kenner

Fourth Committee Member

Dorothy Hindman


The danza puertorriqueña is considered a national emblem for Puerto Rico and it has a long-standing history as the music that has accompanied the people of the Island through multiple political, social, and cultural changes. In essence, it stemmed from the choreographed European contradanza and its inherited influences. However, the danza, particularly that for piano, took on a life of its own with idiosyncratic elements of the Caribbean culture in the mid-nineteenth century. This study traces the history and style of the danza since its adoption in Puerto Rico and provides more information about the genre with the hope of it being incorporated more actively in the teaching and performing repertoire for the late intermediate and advanced students. The danzas are perfect examples of shorter compositions which can be used in preparation for larger-scale works that stem from the same Romantic tradition. The first three chapters offer an overview of the historical background, and a review of the available literature on the danza puertorriqueña, and a description of the method and the components of the study. The fourth and fifth chapters provide biographical and stylistic sketches of five composers, as well as pedagogical and analytical discussion of five compositions by Manuel Gregorio Tavárez, Juan Morel Campos, José Ignacio Quintón, José Enrique Pedreira, and Héctor Campos-Parsi.


danza puertorriqueña, piano, strategies, performance, teaching, practice