Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MMu)



First Advisor

Marie Sumner-Lott

Second Advisor

Steven Harper

Third Advisor

Sergio Gallo


Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) is one of the most famous Brazilian composers of all time. He is known for composing in a unique and exotic style, especially given his frequent use of Brazilian elements in his music. He is also associated with Brazilian Modernism, most notably for the nationalistic influences in his compositions. Scholars agree that one of his greatest works is his set of Choros, composed during the 1920s. His Choros no. 5 (composed for solo piano) exemplifies characteristics of Modernism, nationalism and Brazilian popular music. The purpose of this thesis is to try to identify these elements in his Choros no. 5 and to try to understand the influence they may have for the work’s performance. This thesis discusses Villa-Lobos’ life and influences during his early years; Brazilian Modernism (associated with nationalism); the choros genre as a popular music manifestation; and finally, Villa-Lobos’ set of Choros, focusing on Choros no.5.