Date of Award

Summer 8-2016

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)



Committee Chair

Douglas Rust

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Daniel Beard

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Joseph Brumbeloe

Committee Member 3 Department



Heitor Villa-Lobos (b. March 5, 1887 - d. November 17, 1959) can be considered the most important composer in Brazilian music history. Although the composer is listed as one of the most influential composers in the history of the guitar, he reached his peak in his works for piano and symphonic groups. Works such as A Prole do Bebê (1 and 2), and the series of Chôros, came out during an extremely convoluted time, where Brazilian artists engaged in seeking an artistic representation of a unique Brazilian identity. Those works not only satisfied the hunger, but pushed the movement to a new level, which, some would argue, has never been surpassed by any other composer. Unlike his work for the guitar, on which hundreds of analyses and articles can easily be found, Chôros No 10 has had little to no attention from a theoretical viewpoint. Being considered perhaps Villa-Lobos’ masterpiece, this piece brought what is most Brazilian into classical music, with a calculated European influence among genuine Brazilian characteristics made into music. To date, there have been many writings about Chôros No 10 from a historical perspective. The theoretical writings about this piece are few, and in my research I was not able to find any such writings that were exhaustive or very in depth. This thesis analyzes the elements in Chôros No 10, such as themes and harmonic implications, linked to the historical background of the Brazilian Modernism in music.