Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. John C. Birdwell


Luis Serrano Alarcón is one of the most important and relevant composers of our time. He is sought after as a composer, lecturer, and conductor throughout the world. His works have been performed in over 30 countries worldwide by some of the leading musical ensembles in the United States, Europe, and Asia, as well as being highly decorated by winning many prestigious composition contests including the International Band Competition Contest of Corciano, Italy.

Born in Valencia, Spain, Alarcón is relatively self-taught in composition, which is a testament to his natural-born gift for composition. His compositional output ranges from the traditional Spanish pasodoble to chamber music, solo pieces, and sophisticated masterpieces for orchestra and wind ensemble.

His work Duende: Four Preludes for Symphonic Wind Ensemble was commissioned by the University of St. Thomas Wind Ensemble, Minnesota (USA) in 2010. From its premiere, it became an extremely popular piece among wind band conductors. Duende’s appeal can be attributed to its fusion of Spanish popular music, the symphonic energy of Manuel de Falla’s scores, Iberia by the Spanish composer Isaac Albeniz, and the presence of jazz and Latin music.

A detailed conductor’s guide will be provided in this document that includes but not limited to an analysis of form and structure for each movement, conducting considerations, and rehearsal suggestions and techniques. Last but not least, an in-depth exploration into the composer’s background, Spanish musical influences, and the Spanish Band movement and traditions has been conducted. Through this process, an uncovering of intriguing and relevant points of interest have come to the surface. Alarcón’s music sounds the way it does and appeals to the masses because of the juxtaposition of its infectious, Spanish musical elements, as well as its traditional symphonic music components. Moreover, the long and historical past, culture, and traditions of Spanish Bands creates an enormous influence and motivation to compose for the wind band genre. More than two-thirds of all municipalities in Valencia, Spain have musical societies that serve as sponsors for the bands and other ensembles, provide music education, and function as a social center to the townspeople. They are also supported by the Valencian Federation of Musical Societies, all branches of government, the business community, and the media. The musical ensembles participate in both non-competitive and competitive performance activities. Non-competitive performances include concerts, wind band festivals, honor bands, and massed bands. Wind band competitions are sponsored at the municipal, provincial, regional, and international levels. Many of these performance types are combined for special celebrations like patron saint holidays, including Las Fallas and Moros y Cristianos.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)