Leo Brouwer's "Estudios Sencillos" for guitar: Afro-Cuban elements and pedagogical devices

Carlos Isaac Castilla Penaranda


This document presents a detailed performance and pedagogical analysis of the Estudios Sencillos by the Cuban composer, Leo Brouwer. Such pertinent musical aspects as biographical data of the composer, Afro-Cuban traditions, Cuban composers, and philosophical and artistic trends that impacted Brouwer's aesthetic world are studied and discussed. Virtually any of Brouwer's works can serve to convey this information, but it is particularly this group of pieces that better suits the study of Afro-Cuban elements within a pedagogical focus since no other of Brouwer's compositions is set with this particular target in mind: etudes for the development and/or implementation of a particular technical skill. The author offers suggestions for each of the etudes regarding fingerings, strokes, dynamics, and interpretation based on his own findings and pedagogical experience. A chapter of the document is dedicated to describing the Afro-Cuban phenomena that served as an influence to Brouwer's oeuvre. A glossary of important terms is also included.