Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Musical Arts




Ansari, Emily.

2nd Supervisor

Wiebe, Thomas.



This monograph examines the musical modernist era in Mexico between 1945 and the 1970s. It aims to provide a new understanding of the eclecticism achieved by Mexican composers during this era, using three different focal points. First, I examine the cultural and musical context of this period of Mexican music history. I scrutinize the major events, personalities, and projects that precipitated Mexican composers’ move away from government-promoted musical nationalism during this period toward an embrace of international trends. I then provide a case study through which to better understand this era, examining the early life, education, and formative influences of Mexican composer Federico Ibarra (b.1946), focusing particularly on the 1960s and 1970s. Lastly, I analyze three of Ibarra’s works from the 1970s, observing the major compositional techniques used by Ibarra during this period with the purpose of situating this composer’s experimental phase in the context of the international modernist scene of the second half of the twentieth century.

To date, there is no published comprehensive study of the implications of the changing musical context of the fifties, sixties, and seventies on the musical thought of Mexican composers. Ibarra’s life and work has also been little examined by scholars. This project aims to start to bridge the gaps in our knowledge about these topics.