Folklore •  Music and Southwest

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Hispanic Folk Music of New Mexico and the Southwest: A Self-Portrait of a People

John Donald Robb

First published in 1980 and now available only from the University of New Mexico Press, this classic compilation of New Mexico folk music is based on thirty-five years of field research by a giant of modern music. Composer John Donald Robb, a passionate aficionado of the traditions of his adopted state, traveled New Mexico recording and transcribing music from the time he arrived in the Southwest in 1941.


John Donald Robb (1892–1989), professor and dean emeritus of the College of Fine Arts at the University of New Mexico (1942–1957), was responsible for the growth of fine arts at the University of New Mexico in the 1940s and 1950s. A composer of stage, classical, and electronic music, Robb was also the author of Hispanic Folk Songs of New Mexico (UNM Press).

Jack Loeffler is an aural historian, radio producer, writer, and musician. He lives in Santa Fe.


“One of the best and most thorough compilations of folk songs in New Mexico and one of the best tributes to the people of New Mexico. . . . (Robb) provides a colossal contribution to the body of scholarship and to our understanding of the main musical genres at the core of the cultural archive of nuevomexicano’s key historical moments.”


New Mexico Historical Review

“Highly recommended to anyone interested in the Hispanic folk music of New Mexico. It is not only a great sourcebook, but also a coveted treasure trove.”


Colonial Latin American Historical Review

“A feast of Spanish-American folk poetry and traditional music that stands as a touchstone for all comparative research on the vernacular poetry and music of the Spanish-speaking world.”


Journal of Folklore Research

“This superior title is based on the author’s recordings and transcriptions of New Mexican folk music, a labor of love thirty-five years in the making. . . . Priceless.”


American Reference Books Annual

7 x 10 in. 920 pages 49 halftones