Analysis of Pieza Para Violín Solo and Trio Conversations by Colombian Composer Juan Antonio Cuéllar

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This article analyses two pieces by Colombian composer Juan Antonio Cuéllar. The first piece, Pieza para Violín Solo (Piece for Violin Solo), is a short piece using centered pitch harmonic motions. Pieza para Violín Solo is based on porro, a folk dance from the Caribbean region of Colombia. The second piece is trio Conversations for violin, cello, and piano, written as a theme and variations. Cuéllar transformed a motet he wrote in 1987 into the original theme for this trio. Each variation is inspired by the different composers that significantly influenced Cuéllar’s musical interests. For the last variations, Cuéllar uses folk material from currulao caucano, a dance from the Pacific region of Colombia. These dances (porro and currulao) are characterized by a strong rhythmic presence, which is an essential element in the folk music of these coastal regions where a significant number of afro descendants are located. In these works, Cuéllar exposes folk Colombian music combined with modal, tonal, and atonal harmonies and develops finely-crafted motivic material to create unique sonorities.

Donald Henriques is an Assistant Professor of Music at California State University, Fresno. He earned degrees in ethnomusicology from The University of Texas at Austin (Ph.D. 2006; MM, 2003), in music composition from Indiana University, Bloomington (MM, 1985) and in music performance from California State University, East Bay (BA with honors, 1979). Dr. Henriques teaches courses in ethnomusicology along with directing the Fresno State Mariachi. In addition, he guides undergraduate research projects as part of the Music as a Liberal Art option.

During the course of his graduate studies, Dr. Henriques had the opportunity to work with some of the leading specialists in the field of Latin American music including Brazilian scholar Gerard B hague and Chilean composer Juan Orrego-Salas. His research focuses on mariachi and relationships with the transnational media industries (radio, sound recordings and film) from the late 1920s through 1950s. Dr. Henriques is a contributor to the second edition of the New Grove Dictionary of American Music to be published by Oxford University Press, as well as the forthcoming book Transnational Encounters: Music and Performance at the US/Mexico Border, also to be published by Oxford.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 04/09/2019

Catalina Barraza-Gerardino

Catalina Barraza-Gerardino, DMA, is the conductor of Mason Philharmonic Orchestra. She is a violin teacher in Sphinx Overture, Jackson Community Music School and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. She received her doctorate degree at Michigan State University, MM at University of Arkansas and BM at Pontifical Xavierian University.

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