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Music: Latin America and the Caribbean

Resources for researching music in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Latin American Library

Rare Materials for the Study and Performance of Latin American Music at The Latin American Library


Listed below is a selection of rare manuscript and printed sources for the study and performance of Latin American music held at The Latin American Library. Contact for more information and to consult materials.

Manuel de Adalid y Gamero Papers Collection 77
1889-1947. Autographed music scores, draft and printed scores, negative and positive photostats by this prominent Honduran composer. Also includes a biographical sketch of the composer, photographs, and letters. 81 pieces.
Collection Overview 
Manuel de Adalid y Gamero (1872-1947), born in Danlí, Honduras, was one of the most outstanding composers his country has produced.  A man of many talents, he was also an organist, a conductor, a writer, an educator, and an engineer. Although he became a citizen of the United States, his music reflects clearly the inspiration of his native land.  He composed waltzes, marches, polkas, and mazurkas, and several of his best known works, "Una Noche en Honduras," "Suite Tropical," "The Funeral of a Little Rabbit" and Rembranzas Hondureñas" are found in this collection.
This collection of music scores and other items relating to Adalid y Gamero at The Latin American Library is without doubt the most comprehensive in existence. The whereabouts of other scores is quite uncertain.  The major part of the materials consists of Adalid y Gamero's autograph music scores. There are also negative photostats of scores and printed scores. In addition, a short sketch of the life of the composer, letters, and photographs provide biographical insight. For additional biographical information see Nicolas Slonimsky, Music of Latin America, 1972, p. 212.


Natalio Galán Papers Collection 76
1931-1985.  Biographical information on Natalio Galan (1917-1985), Cuban composer and musicologist, together with manuscript and printed music scores and articles, tapes, and research material related to the history and development of Cuban popoular music and dance. 1,664 pieces.
Collection Overview
Natalio Galán, musician, composer, teacher and writer, gained limited but international recognition during his lifetime. He was born in Cuba, where he received his early training. Continuing his studies in music in New York in 1947, he became attracted to the theories of Arnold Schoenberg. In connection with work as translator for the United Nations, he was able to travel widely in Europe. With the advent of the Cuban Revolution he returned to his native land, where for several years he flourished as composer and teacher and began a writing career as music critic for the Diario Revolución.  Ultimately disillusioned, he left Cuba in 1964, first for Paris, then the United States. The years from 1968 until 1973 he spent as teacher, writer and composer in San Juan, Puerto Rico, before finally making his home in New Orleans, Louisiana. There, despite poor health, he immersed himself in writing and composing. His dedicated research made him a familiar figure in the Latin American Library of Tulane University and resulted in the publication of two books on Cuban music -- Una historia inusitada (1974) and Cuba y sus sones (1983) -- as well as numerous articles. At the same time he continued to add to his number of musical compositions. The papers contained in this collection are divided into three main categories: biographical material, works, and research material. It should be pointed out that a considerable amount of his production as composer and writer remained in Cuba and is considered lost. Additional items such as newspaper clippings, concert programs, printed works and photographs are added to the Galán collection as they are acquired.



Roland Baumann Collection of Cakchiquel Folk Dances  Collection 49(12)
Photocopies of manuscripts describing nine folk dances of Guatemala. The dances include Animales, Conquista de Almalonga, Diablos, Masat, Moros y Cristianos, Napoleón, Norteños, Siete Virtudes and Torito. 9 pieces.

Calero Martín, José and Valdés Quesada, Leopoldo 
Cuba musical: album-resumen ilustrado de la historia y de la actual situación del arte musical en Cuba  2. ed. corr. y aum.  La Habana : Imprenta de Molina, 1929
1080 p. : ill., ports. ; 31 cm.
ML 21 .C83 1929 Rare Book Collection

Central American Printed Ephemera Collection 1875-1959  Collection 74
Pamphlet 479
Baratta, Maria M. de.  El Fuego Nuevo, c. 1950  1 piece
Music score published in San Salvador for piano depicting the pre-Columbian sacred ceremony of the Fuego Nuevo, which is described.  6 leaves
Pamphlet 95
Menu in French for an unidentified banquet, with program of music to be played by a military band, an instrumental group, and an orchestra.  Guatemala, Dec 15, 1900  
Pamphlet 403
Guatemala. Municipalidad de Sololá  Las “Fiestas de Minerva,” October 1907  1 piece
Invitation to the celebration of the “Fiestas de Minerva” in Sololá, Guatemala, founded by Estrada Cabrera and dedicated to students, together with the program of events which includes much music.  2 leaves

Chiapas Collection, 1723-1927  Collection 33
Box 2, Folder 4.  [18th-19th century]. Tarascan religious song.  Translation of the Te Deum into Tarascan set to Gregorian chant.  D. 1 leaf 8°.

Choral book;  In nocte natalis Domini admiss mayorem officium [circa 1698]
Manuscript choral book, red and black. Latin script, Zapotec inscription at end.  110 p. 33 cm.
Dated "1 de Mayo años 1698  Ex-William Gates Collection.  Rare Book Collection 972.016 C551


Contemporary Central American Printed Ephemera Collection: 1960-present Collection 74Pamphlet 116
Martínez Sobral, Manuel, 1879-1946  Programs, 1990 July 31; 1991 May 21  2 pieces
Programs for concerts sponsored by Los Grandes de Guatemala in which the music of this Guatemalan composer is featured.  His biography, a catalog of his works, and a reproduction of a score are included.
Pamphlet 143
El Sereno  Papers, 1990  3 pieces
Posters and issue no. 217 of the Revista Música which celebrate the 10th anniversary of the organization El Sereno in Antigua, Guatemala, dedicated to the promotion of music and art.

José Díaz Bolio Papers  Collection 95
1946-1997. Papers of this Mexican pharmacist, poet, musician, writer and journalist, amateur archaeologist and anthropologist. Included: correspondence, taped interview, articles for newspapers of Merida, parts of all of his books. Focus on Yucatán and "culto crotalico." See collection guide. 4.33 cubic feet.
Hernández Gonzalo, Gisela, 1912-1971  Villancicos cubanos: Dos villancicos cubanos
La Habana : Ediciones de Blanck, 1957
1 score (8 p.) ; 22 cm.
Palmas reales -- Son de Navidad  1st work for women's voices (SSA, unacompanied).
2nd work for mixed voices (SATB, unacompanied).
"Obras de Gisela Hernández" (p. [3] of cover).
M1578.H47 V5 1957 Rare Book Collection

Fernando Horcasitas Papers Collection 68
1940-1980. Personal and business papers, published works, drafts, research and field notes, and texts of Nahuatl plays and stories focusing on modern Nahuatl language and people, with a 19th century Atlixco manuscript and material on the dance of Moros and Cristianos. 6,200 pieces and 2,300 cards. 
Box 12 Folder 1, Box 15 Folder 7. There is much information about the dance of Moros y Cristianos in Mexico, and in other countries too.

Inter-American Institute for Musical Research, Yearbook Manuscripts Collection 75
1963; 1965. Manuscripts and photographic proofs of three articles on Latin American music by Francisco Curt Lange, Lauro Ayustarán and Carlos Vega in Vol. I of Yearbook of Inter-American Institute for Musical Research of Tulane University, Gilbert Chase, ed. Also printed volume and report of 1963 conference. 92 pieces.
 The Inter-American Institute for Musical Research of Tulane University was founded in June 14, 1961, with Gilbert Chase, director. Under Chase's guidance, the Institute conducted the First Inter-American Conference on Musicology in Washington D.C. April 29 - may 2, 1963. 
Included in this collection are the printed Summary Report of the First Inter-American Conference on Musicology and Volume I of the Yearbook. The purpose and philosophy of the Institute are set forth in these publications. Comprising the bulk of the collection are the original typed manuscripts of three of the papers: Francisco Curt Lange, "Sobre las difíciles huellas de la música antigua del Brasil;" Lauro Ayustarán, "El barroco musical hispanoamericano;" and Carlos Vega, "Una cadencia medieval en America." Original illustrations of the musical scores and photographic proofs are also included. Of special interest is the printer’s composite for Vega's article, Folder 9, which has scores for an Italian Laude, c. 1270, and a corresponding Brazilian Lullaby which were not published in the Yearbook.

Latin American Printed Ephemera Collection  51
Folder 54
Hesperus:  Spain in the New World: the musical frontier, 1991, July 10  2 pieces
Program with Spanish texts and English translations of a concert of early Spanish American music presented by the baroque chamber music group Hesperus in New Orleans, Louisiana. Program notes trace the development of music in the New World.
Folder 75  
Bolivia Andina  Brochure 1970  1 piece
Information on this government-sponsored group of folkloric dances and musicians composed of Quechua and Aymara Indians.  Their costumes, musical instruments, and dances are described, as well as their engagements in foreign countries. 28 pages.

Latin American Reprints Series  Collection 88
Calcaño, José Antonio  Lo que canta el pueblo en la navidad, 1961, Nov.-Dec.  1 piece
Reprint from El farol No. 197/Noviembre-Diciembre 1961.  Includes 3 popular Venezuelan Christmas carols.

Latin American Visual Arts Series  Collection 48 
Folder 6
López López, Manuel (fl. 1814)  Engraved copper plate, 1814  3 pieces
Engraved copper plate with words ‘“La milagrosa Ymagen de Na. Sa. Del Carmen que se venera en las minas de Tlalpujahua.’ Manuel López López grabó.  Ymprenta Calle de las Escalerillas en Mexico año 1814.”  On back are crude scratches of words and a brief music score.

Mexican Printed Ephemera  Collection 46
Folder 14
Clement, Julio (fl. 1868)  Letter, 1868  1 piece
Letter from Dr. Julio Clement addressed to the Sociedad Filarmónica Mexicana, in which he praises the achievements of the society with mention of specific members and makes recommendations for the advancement of music in Mexico City.  36 pages.

Miscelanea Yucateca. Folklore Maya (Folklore Yucateco)
Cuevas, J. Jacinto  15 p. ; 32 cm.
Música de los aborigines Mayas.---Música de la epoca de la conquista.---Música mestiza, hasta la fecha de la recopilacion. Recopilado 1870.  Music for piano. Manuscript.
972.015 (780) C965m Rare Book Collection


Miscellaneous Latin American Sheet Music  Collection 167
Folder 1:  Mrs. J. Luis Baños Collection of Latin American Sheet Music 
1908-1921; 1931. Consists of sheet music from various Latin American countries, such as Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. Contains Sheet music and scores by composers Gonzalo Roig, Rafael Alvarez, Germán Alcántara, Margaret Purdom, Carlos Härtling, Ricardo Castro Guillermo Gómez, Eduardo Vigil y Robles, Ernesto Belloc and Juan D. Del Moral. 14 pieces.
Folder 3:  Manuscripts, 1892, Apr. 26; early 20th century 
Unrelated music scores, one of which is signed by Luis C. Guerrero and is written for baritone and cornet.  Another separate leaf has the melody line for two songs.  Also a set of pieces scored for piano with titles in Spanish and Purépecha on leaves numbered 1-7. 9 pieces.
Folder 4:  Manuscript, n.d.  
Original Score and negative Photostat of music manuscript titled “La Gotera.” Also original score for “Sonesitos” with words in Spanish and Purépecha. 3 pieces.
Folder 5:  Manuscripts, n.d.  
Negative photostats of music manuscripts entitled “La desbelada danza” and “Canto tarasco (religioso)” in Purépecha. 4 pieces.
Folder 6:  Manuscripts, n.d.  
Photostatic negatives of music scores titled “Mexican Music Manuscripts.”  They consist of the treble and base clef staff for twelve pieces.  13 leaves, 1 piece.
Folder 7: Musical scores composed by Rafael Medina Avilés
Autograph music scores composed in Danlí, Honduras. Titles include: "Ave Maris Stella (1899), and "Hoy se mira" (1918), both for clarinets and bass; and "Magestad" (1923) with only the parts composed by co-composer Juan B. Gutiérrez. 8 sheets, 1 piece.

Rudolf Schuller Papers Collection 21
The Schuller Papers, 1917-(1920s)-1930, contain personal correspondence, notes, manuscripts, photographs, newspaper clippings, and printed ephemera. The major portion of the material consists of field notes, vocabulary lists, and manuscripts from Schuller's (1873-1932) studies of a variety of Mexican and Central American Indian languages and dialects, with particular emphasis on the culture and language of the Huastecan Indians.  Also contains articles and newspaper clippings by Schuller and others on the Mexican Revolution and popular Mexican song and poetry of the 1920s.

Sociedad Filarmonica Mexicana  Primer Gran Festival Mexicano en Celebracion del Centenario de Luis van Beethoven que tendra lugar en el gran Teatro Nacional de la ciudad de Mexico las noches del jueves 29 y viernes 30 de diciembre de 1870
Mexico : La Sociedad, 1870.  32 p.; 22 cm.
ML37.M49 S627 1870 Rare Book Collection

Sociedad Filarmonica Mexicana   Reglamento de la sociedad Filarmonica, establecida con aprobacion y bajo los auspicios del supremo gobierno, en la capital de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, el año de 1824 Mexico, Imprenta de la Aguila, 1825  20 p. 21 cm.
ML28.M4 S6 Rare Book Collection 

General Rafael E. Melgar Collection, 1913-1959 Collection 151
28 bound green volumes on the Campaña Nacionalista that contain copies of correspondence, photographs, reports, posters, musical scores, invitations, transcripts of radio programs, and other internal and public documentation on the Nationalist Campaign. (19,000 pieces)
Box 3, Folder 7
Sheet music written for General Rafael E. Melgar and the Campaña Nacionalista in Mexico

  • “Gral. Rafael E. Melgar, Marcha para Piano” by Antonio de P. Mendoza. published in the La Semana Nacionalista, number 5:25- 27 (1932). (2 copies)
  • “Gral. Rafael E. Melgar Marcha Militar” by Antonio de P. Mendoza. (3 copies)
  • “El Himno Nacionalista” by Antonio de P. Mendoza sheet music. (10 copies)
  • “Canto a Juárez” by Professor Teresa Luna Vargas. (2 copies)
  • “Las Mañanitas” by Ricardo García de Arellano.

Rojas, José Luis. Pieza historica y military para forte-piano. Año de 1822. Dedicado al exto imperial mexicano de las tres garantías, 1822. Bound manuscript, 25 folios.
972.03 (786.4) R628  Rare Oversize Book Collection

Alan Boss Collection of Cuban Print Ephemera and Photographs. Collection 118.
c.1880 - 1975. 30 Linear Feet.
The Alan Boss Collection of Cuban Ephemera consists of 9 linear feet of images and printed materials relating to tourism, travel, entertainment and popular culture in Cuba.  The collection contains documents from the late eighteenth century to the 1990s, but the bulk of the material spans the first half of the twentieth century up to the 1950s. 
The collection contains 18 souvenir and personal albums with thousands of photographs and postcards, as well as dozens of loose images. Loose photographs document major Cuban musical performers such as Celia Cruz, Celeste Mendoza, Machito, Sonora Matancera, and others; street scenes in Havana, and over 100 cartes de visite from Paris, Madrid, London and Havana.   In addition to the photographs, the collection contains dozens of tourist brochures, promotional booklets for hotels, restaurants and other commercial establishments, cruise programs and menus documenting travel between Cuba and the United States; published books, sheet music, and hundreds of other items. 

Louis J. Boeri and Minín Bujones Boeri Collection of Cuban-American Radionovelas. Collection 171.
From his office and studios on the fifth floor of “The Freedom Tower” in Miami, Italian-American Louis J. Boeri and his company, America's Productions, Inc. (API), formed a radio programming empire, selling their products to the United States government, to 200 radio stations in Latin America and Spain, and to Spanish-language radio stations in the United States during the latter half of the 1960s. With scripts penned by acclaimed Cuban scriptwriters in exile and Mexican writers as well, America’s Productions, Inc. produced two types of entertainment radio programming: one kind featuring political content, and a second kind, generally characterized as ‘pure entertainment.’ The entertainment programming was designed for both U.S. Latino and Latin American audiences and the content included radionovelas/dramas, comedies, advice programs, biblical dramas, mysteries, spy stories, and variety shows. The Louis J. Boeri and Minín Bujones Boeri Collection of Cuban-American Radionovelas, 1963-1970 provides a selection of titles from API’s unique entertainment catalog contained in the collection of the same name held by the Latin American Library, the vast majority of which falls within the radionovela genre. Click here to explore the digital collection.

Hogan Archive of New Orleans Music and New Orleans Jazz

The Hogan Archive of New Orleans Music and New Orleans Jazz, part of Tulane University Special Collections, supports the research and study of New Orleans music and culture of the late 19th and 20th centuries forward. The collection includes materials that bear witness to ties between New Orleans, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

Other Archives

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