Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Creative Arts


School of Music

Committee Chair

Hope Koehler

Committee Member

Matthew Heap

Committee Member

William Koehler

Committee Member

Lee Blair


This paper examines the historical and cultural atmosphere in Puerto Rico and how it affected one of Puerto Rico’s most celebrated composers, Héctor Campos Parsi, and two selected works in two different times of his life. The discussion includes events that affected the island with respect to art music from 1898, the birth of Héctor Campos Parsi in 1922, and up to 1986, which marks the date of the second selected work. This document considers three questions about cultural and structural influences about the life and experiences of Héctor Campos Parsi: Does a composer’s life experience and environment and culture shape their musical output? What are the influences of environmental factors, such as politics, economy, social, and musical culture in Puerto Rico from 1898 to 1986, the latter year marking the second composition under analysis in this paper? Who were the primary and foremost cultural and musical influences on Héctor Campos Parsi? This document offers an analysis of two song cycles, Canciones de Cielo y Agua for soprano or tenor and piano and Sonetos Sagrados for soprano and wind ensemble, that best capture his personal style or sound before and after his studies with Nadia Boulanger. It also examines the musical climate as well as the nationalist and populist political issues affecting Puerto Rican composers as a result of political and social issues, which may have influenced the decisions made by Héctor Campos Parsi as a composer.