Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type

Chapman access only poster or presentation

Publication Date

Fall 12-5-2018

Faculty Advisor(s)

Jessica Sternfeld


In today’s music conservatories, Italian, French, German, and English are established as the definitive musical languages for conservatory students. This is the repertoire that we sing in—these are the languages that we must recognize and digest. Western Europe is in fact the birthplace of many musical developments and stylistic movements. It would only make sense that, from an academic standpoint, we would require students to familiarize themselves with the repertoire and history of these countries. There is, however, an argument to be made for amending this list. Throughout time, Spain has been swept aside as a European culture; instead of having been integrated into Europe, Spain remains an outlier as a result of movements to directly and indirectly exclude Iberia from participating in this rich European history of musical development. This difficult history comes with a flurry of unintended consequences that affect institutions of music to this day. When juxtaposing the discrimination that faced Spain centuries ago with the current air of prejudice against Latin culture and resentment of Latin immigration into the US, there is a compelling argument as to why Spanish is not considered a viable musical language. This thesis serves to connect past and present cultural discrimination against Hispanic peoples to modern language requirements for American music conservatories and argues for the inclusion of Spanish into modern American musical curriculum.


Presented at the Fall 2018 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.

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