Castillo, Jesús (1877–1946)

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Castillo, Jesús (1877–1946)

Jesús Castillo (b. 9 September 1877; d. 23 April 1946), Guatemalan composer and student of native Indian music. Castillo was born in San Juan Ostuncalco, near Quezaltenango in the western highlands of Guatemala. As a young man he became interested in traditional Indian music. He composed his "First Indian Overture" based on the Dance of the Little Bulls, a traditional dance at fiestas. Traveling from village to village in the highlands, he collected data about the music of the different Indian groups. Castillo used themes and melodiesin a classical tradition to compose his symphonic poems, suites, operas, and ballets. He became a leading authority on Indian music and instruments. His writings include La música Maya-Quiché (1941) and Legado folklórico a la juventud guatemalteca (1944). He died in Quezaltenango.

See alsoMusic: Popular Music and Dance .


Donald Thompson, "Castillo, Jesús," in New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 3 (1980).

Additional Bibliography

Tánchez, J. Eduardo. La música en Guatemala: Algunos músicos y compositores. Guatemala: Editorial Impresos Industriales, 1987.

                                      David L. Jickling

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Castillo, Jesús (1877–1946)

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