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North-American audiences, musicians, and musicologists remain unfamiliar with twentieth-century Spanish music. Most concertgoers identify Spanish music with the folkloristic tunes associated with such composers as Isaac Albéniz, thus construing a true "other" facing the Germanic musical tradition. The musicological canon is not only almost closed to non-European musics, but also excludes the music of some countries that since the Industrial Revolution have been deemed "peripheral," forgetting, to be sure, that five and six hundred years ago the actual periphery was all lands north of Paris. Most of us were not surprised to hear in a special session on Hispanic music at the fifty-ninth meeting of the American Musicological Society (Montreal, November 1993) that American music histories normally begin in the 1800s, focusing on the former English colonies and thus excluding more than two hundred years of Spanish music-making in Florida, the Southwest, and West of the United States. Spanish music, including that of our own time, curiously remains disregarded among Anglophone students of European music. If only for these reasons, Tomas Marco's Spanish Music in the Twentieth Century is a welcome contribution to the understanding of Spanish contemporary music outside its national borders.


This article was originally published in Notes, available at

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