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date: 10 July 2020

Morel Campos, Juan locked

1857–1896 Afro–Puerto Rican composer and musician, critical figure in the development of the danza, a musical style that incorporates Afro-Caribbean and European elements.
  • Carlos Dalmau

Extract

Juan Morel Campos was born in the city of Ponce, the main cultural center of Puerto Rico during the nineteenth century. He studied music and composition with Manuel G. Tavárez, the most acclaimed Puerto Rican composer of his time. His musical production was varied and rich, including zarzuelas (Spanish light opera), masses, symphonies, waltzes, marches, and danzas. In the latter, Morel Campos made his most important and lasting contribution to classical music in Latin America. Of the 550 works attributed to him, approximately half of them are danzas for piano, including No me toques, El torbellino, Felices dias, and Vano empeño.

Morel Campos created a distinct national style by modifying the classic European molds. For his creative compositions he is considered the father of the danza puertorriqueña. Like other composers in Cuba, Mexico, and Brazil he transformed classical styles by incorporating ...

A version of this article originally appeared in Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience.

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