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Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department/Program



Hugh MacDonald, Michael Beckerman, Michael Friedlander, Jeffrey Kurtzman, Charles Oriel, John Perkins


English (en)

Date of Award


Degree Type

Restricted Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


This dissertation is the first comprehensive research into the life and work of Federico Moreno Torroba (1891-1982). This study provides not only an insight into the composer's work but also a greater understanding of the times in which he lived. He came of age in early twentieth-century Spain, in the midst of a cultural renaissance heralded by the literary "Generation of 98." These writers, along with their musical counterparts, sought to reassert Spain's position as a unique cultural entity rather than an imitator of European trends. Much of Torroba's work can be understood as a personal, musical response to the aspirations of the Generation of 98 and their pursuit of casticismo, or fidelity to authentic Spanish culture.

The first chapter of this dissertation will examine the environment which shaped Torroba's career and include a record of contributions made by other Spanish composers whose response to Spain's cultural renewal affected or in some cases paralleled that of Torroba. The second chapter is Torroba's biography. With both a temperament and education which were conservative, Torroba predictably devoted most of his energy to the traditionally Spanish genres of zarzuela and guitar music, incorporating the innovations of other composers only sparingly. Chapters Three and Four trace the development of his music. This study will reveal the lyricism and national orientation of the zarzuela and the more sophisticated harmonic language and subtle integration of folkloric elements in the guitar music. The final chapter revisits the notion of casticismo through the evaluation Torroba's life and work, and his address to Spain's Academy of Fine Arts in 1935. Included with this dissertation is a catalogue of Torroba's works that contains two hundred and sixty-eight entries.



Permanent URL: Print version available in library catalog at Call #: LD5791.8 PhD93 K73.