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Mexican Sheet Music Collection

Identifier: MSS-730-BC

Scope and Content

The Mexican sheet music collection is compiled of a variety of musical scores of Mexican and Latin American music that was published in Mexico, other parts of Latin America, the United States and Europe. Musical genres represented in the collection include canción, canción mexicana, canción regional, fox-trot, march (marcha), bolero, waltz (vals), danza, tango, huapango, schottisch, corrido, son, polka, romanza and a few others. Most of the scores contain beautiful cover illustrations.

The musical scores have been divided into twenty-seven folders, based mainly upon the alphabetical titles of the songs. If songs begin with the article el or la, the items have been filed within the alphabetical folder of the following word (example: El Abranico is filed under A). In addition to the alphabetical divisions, the Mexican Sheet Music collection has three folders of published collections of Mexican music (containing at least two or more songs), as well as an entire folder of music published outside of Mexico. Within this collection of musical scores, there are a significant number of works by renowned composer Agustin Lara, as well as numerous scores written by Alonso Esparza Oteo, María Grever, and Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros. Additionally, an entire folder consists of the serial publication Cancionero del Bajio, which regularly published the lyrics and music for folk and popular songs. Lyrics to sheet music in this collection are in Spanish.


  • 1920-1936


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Background Information

Beginning in the late nineteenth-century with the works of Juventino Rosas, modern compositions in Mexico were almost exclusively written within the cultural "center" of Mexico City. While many of the famous works were often written by composers born in various regions outside the Federal District, for Mexican musicians to gain national as well as international notoriety, they needed to relocate to Mexico City. Due to the manner that "elite" culture functioned within Mexico, a significant number of the composers represented within this collection (and composers of this period in general) studied at the National Conservatory. During this period, modern European musical forms were merged with uniquely Mexican styles and instrumentation to create the syncretic styles of music represented within this collection.

Mexican composers often wrote both popular/folk music, as well as orchestral-style music. Miguel Lerdo de Tejada (1869-1941) is often considered the first musician to create a uniquely "Mexican" style of "elite" music. Composers and musicians such as Manuel Ponce and Ignacio Fernández Esperón continued in this vain. For a variety of reasons, including the fame of Diego Rivera and the Mexican Mural Movement, during the 1920s-1940s, Mexico was the global center of artistic production. As such, the musical development was recognized throughout the world for its advancements and creativity.


3 boxes (1.35 cu. ft.)


The collection contains 270 musical scores from the "Golden Age" of Mexican music. Represented within the collection are various pieces within the genres of canción, canción mexicana, canción regional, fox-trot, march (marcha)), bolero, waltz (vals), danza, tango, huapango, schottisch, corrido, son, polka, and romanza, among others. Fifteen of the scores were purchased in Mexico, but published in other parts of Latin America, the United States and Europe.
Finding Aid of the Mexican Sheet Music Collection, 1920-1936
Edited Full Draft
Processed by Dylan Miner
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//University of New Mexico::Center for Southwest Research//TEXT (US::NmU::MSS 730 BC::Mexican Sheet Music Collection)//EN" "nmu1mss730bc.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131