Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Document Type



Francisca (Chiquinha) Gonzaga (1847–1935) was an important composer in the development of Brazilian music. She was also a remarkable female personality and broke paradigms in a society dominated by men. In spite of that, her works are not widely performed and studied yet. The goal of this dissertation is to provide a pedagogical approach to her works. This research explores her waltzes and tangos for piano, analyzes their musical, reading and technical difficulties, and provides a graded level for half of them to stimulate their use as repertoire for piano students and performers.

Chiquinha composed 37 waltzes and 30 tangos for piano. In this research, the prominent musical, reading and technical issues are listed and half of the waltzes and tangos are analyzed more deeply. A level of difficulty is ascribed to each piece, and some practice and interpretative suggestions are given. A brief survey of the history of the waltz and the tango in Brazil is included to contextualize the importance of Gonzaga’s works.

This research is intended to publicize Chiquinha’s waltzes and tangos for piano and highlight how they can be valuable resources for the musical and technical development of piano students. They are also important resources for understanding the development of a Brazilian musical style and can prepare students for more advanced works of nationalistic composers. This paper may also serve as a guide for piano teachers in search of repertoire for their students, as it contains analysis of pianistic aspects in 19 of the waltzes and 15 of the tangos.



Committee Chair

Sioles, Gregory