Composer Manuscripts Collection

Composer Manuscripts Collection

A collection of music manuscripts by Florentín Giménez Martínez (1925-2021).  Composer, conductor, performer, researcher, educator, recording artist, writer, and advocate for the promotion of Paraguayan culture in general, Mr. Giménez was the last representative of a 20th century generation of Paraguayan musicians searching for a “Paraguayan sound.”  This collection was curated by Dr. Alfredo Colman, who traveled extensively to Paraguay to continue his research on issues related to cultural identity and nationalism as illustrated in the traditional, folkloric, and concert musics of Paraguay.



Florentín Giménez Martínez Manuscripts

Florentín Giménez Martínez Manuscripts

Giménez Biography

Extracted from Alfredo Colman, “Florentín Giménez’s Misa folclórica paraguaya: A Liturgical Celebration through the Lens of Musical Nationalism.College Music Symposium. [Published online May 1, 2021]


Florentín Giménez Martínez was born on March 14, 1925 in Ybicuí, Paraguay. At the age of fifteen, he moved to Asunción and became a music apprentice with the Asunción Police Academy Music Band, an institution that offered musical instruction to underprivileged children and youth. Concurrently, he studied piano and harmony with other instructors and earned a piano teaching certificate in 1948. After collaborating with various local bands, in 1950 he founded his own orquesta típica (tango orchestra), a musical ensemble devoted to the performance of the popular music of the times, mainly Argentinian tangos, Brazilian sambas, US American fox-trots, Cuban rumbas, Mexican boleros, and Paraguayan polcas and guaranias.

In 1956, Florentín moved to Buenos Aires, where he collaborated with various musical ensembles and embarked on a course of study that included music theory at the Conservatorio Carlos López Buchardo, contemporary harmony at the Instituto Torcuato di Tella, and private composition and orchestration with the Italian-Argentinian maestro Cayetano [Gaetano] Marcolli. In collaboration with Ben Molar, owner of Ediciones Internacionales Fermata—a major music-publishing house and recording label in Buenos Aires, Giménez produced a series of “hit” songs that were widely disseminated and recorded by well-known local and international artists in the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s.

Upon his return to Paraguay in 1969 and for the next several decades, Giménez remained one of the most active musical figures in the country: first as assistant conductor of the Asunción Symphony, also known as OSCA (1974–77), then as main conductor of that ensemble and the Municipal Chamber Orchestra or OCM (1977–89). From 1990–96, the Paraguayan Senate designated him “Composer in residence of the city of Asunción.” During the 1990s, Giménez founded two major musical institutions—the Music Conservatory of the Catholic University (1992) and the National Conservatory (1996)—and developed a proposal to create the bi-annual National Music Award (1994), which became official shortly thereafter. In 2004, he founded the National Symphony Orchestra and conducted it until his retirement four years later.

Giménez is a prolific composer, with musical works that include:

  1. More than eight hundred folkloric songs
  2. A sonata and a collection of preludes and fugues for piano
  3. The Paraguayan folkloric mass
  4. An opera entitled Juana de Lara
  5. Thirteen Paraguayan zarzuelas
  6. Three instrumental suites
  7. Two pieces for symphonic band
  8. A concertante for piano and orchestra
  9. Three concertos for violin, viola or cello, and two guitars, respectively
  10. Three symphonic poems and nine symphonies.

Giménez has also published books dealing with Paraguayan music, culture, and folklore as well as fiction. In recognition of his musical achievements, Giménez has received numerous awards and accolades, including three honorary doctorates from Paraguayan universities, the Orden de Comendador (National Order of Merit as Knight Commander) in 1997—the highest recognition awarded by the Paraguayan government to any civilian, and on two occasions the National Music Award. Though most of his concert works remain unpublished, his collection of folk songs has been published in six cancioneros (songbooks), and several of his pieces have been released by various Argentinian, Brazilian, and Paraguayan recording labels.

At the time of his passing (March 11, 2021), Giménez was working on a recording project of newly-composed folk-style songs, orchestrating the first movement of a new symphony, and finishing the publication of his seventh Songbook.





Florentín Giménez was a walking encyclopaedia of music and culture in Paraguay, a true renaissance man. Composer, conductor, performer, researcher, educator, recording artist, writer, and advocate for the promotion of Paraguayan culture in general, Mr. Giménez was the last representative of a 20th century generation of Paraguayan musicians searching for a “Paraguayan sound.” Highly influenced by Latin American folk and concert music, as well as the various musical genres of his country and 19th century European nationalism, his eclectic style produced numerous symphonic, chamber, and folk-style compositions exemplifying a musical nationalism committed to illustrate aspects of Paraguayan history and cultural identity.



Alfredo Colman - Bio


Associate Professor in Musicology/Ethnomusicology at Baylor University, Alfredo Colman received his education at Belmont University (BM), Baylor University (MM), and the University of Texas (Ph.D.). In 2012 he was recipient of the Belmont Encore Award, and in 2014 he was named Baylor Centennial Professor. Before coming to Baylor, he served as music lecturer at Southwestern University, the University of Texas at Austin, and at the Universidad Evangélica del Paraguay.


Colman has authored The Paraguayan Harp: from Colonial Transplant to National Emblem (2015), co-authored Thomas Robinson's New Citharen Lessons, 1609 (1997), and published articles in The Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (MGG), the Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, Latin American Music Review, the Folk Harp Journal, and College Music Symposium. His latest monograph – (Re)Imaginations and Transformations: The Musical Nationalism of Florentín Giménez – is under review for the Royal Musical Association Monograph Series published by Taylor & Francis. As a collaborative harpsichordist and pianist, Colman has performed in Asunción, Austin, Dallas, Nashville, San Juan, and Waco. His areas of specialty include Latin American music nationalism and cultural identities, the traditional and concert music of Paraguay, and the works of Paraguayan composer Florentín Giménez. Dr. Colman has presented papers and discussed his research findings at musicological and ethnomusicological conferences in England, Germany, Spain, Argentina, Mexico, Paraguay, and the United States.

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This collection is considered an active collection. Items will be added periodically as they are acquired by Baylor University and processed through the Digitization and Digital Collection Preservation Services group.