Composers of Central America were not part of the Pan-american Association of Composers


Due to the unstable political situations of Latin-America, classical music has experienced a difficult time becoming popular.  It is very unusual to meet individuals interested in the subject.  As a matter of a fact, music is not included in education system of the majority of the countries of Central America, with exception of Costa Rica.  This panorama makes composer’s life challenging.  While it is unknown how these composers have been trained (at least for Central America), these composers needed to find a way to expose their music to the world.

The Pan American Association of Composers is a group designed to unite composers from the American continent by spreading their innovative music to as many audiences as possible. The idea sounds fabulous; however, how did the Pan American Association of Composers communicate with the rest of the American countries? According to Deane Root, three leaders were chosen at the time to represent North America, Central America, and South America. When analyzing the list of composers, it is interesting to realize that there are no composers from Central America. The question is: why? Here are my assumptions:

  1. There was no a way to get a hold of the composers of Central America. Without music schools around the countries, it is hard to determine where to go to ask. Certainly the countries are small, but not small enough that one can go and ask just anyone for information.
  2. Out of the few composers available in Central America, for example, the handful of Salvadorian composers, their music did not meet their standards of compositions. This leads to another question: Who determines what good music is? It is of my knowledge that the music composed in El Salvador during 1920-1970’s was keep and libraries for a few years and then burned due to the “quality” of the compositions.
  3. There was not enough effort to communicate with composers of Central America.

The music for The Pan American Association of Composers intended to spread music all over the world. The music choice had a hint of nationalism. Each composer wanted to really highlight their culture by creating a new style of composition. The problem is

There are a lot of questions unanswered.

  1. Can a Pan-american association be Pan-american without Central America?
  2. What are the guidelines to be part of the Pan-American association of composers.

By Sandra Rivera

De Koven, Reginald. “Nationalism in Music.” The North American Review 189, no. 640 (1909): 386-96.
GIDAL, MARC. “Contemporary “Latin American” Composers of Art Music in the United States: Cosmopolitans Navigating Multiculturalism and Universalism.” Latin American Music Review / Revista De Música Latinoamericana 31, no. 1 (2010): 40-78.
“Nationalism in Music.” The Oxford Dictionary of Music, 2nd ed. rev.. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, accessed March 28, 2017,

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