Manuel de Zumaya (1678-1755)

18th century composer born in Mexico to parents of native american and european descent.  He served as composer and organist in the Mexico City Cathedral  and his works were in the styles  of renaissance and baroque.  He studied the organ under José de Ydiáquez, and composition with Antonio de Salazar, the maestro de capilla at that time.  Zumaya later competed for the post against Francisco de Atienza who was assistant to Salazar and served as interim maestro de capilla while Salazar was ill. Zumaya’s work Sol-fa de Pedro won him the position and he was appointed to maestro de capilla of Mexico City’s cathedral in 1710, after Salazar retired.  Although, he was originally appointed amidst protests, he eventually earned great respect and admiration with his exceptional music. He immediately went to work composing a vast amount of choral collection and choirbooks and expanding the orchestra. He was commissioned in 1711 by Viceroy, Don Fernando de Alencastre Noroña y Silva, Duke of Linares, to translate Italian libretti and write new music for them.  Along with the music of this commission, he composed the first Mexican opera, “La Parténope” which still survives today in the Biblioteca Nacional de Mexico in Mexico City, although the music from that particular commission has been lost.  He eventually left Mexico City Cathedral against urges to stay by the Cathedral members and went to Oaxaca with Dean Tomás Montaño, who had recently been appointed archbishop there. He was eventually appointed maestro de capilla and like Mexico City Cathedral, he expanded the orchestra at Oaxaca.

Zumaya was one of the most remarkable New World composers of the 18th century, equally at home in pseudo-Renaissance vocal polyphony and in the concerted style of the Baroque. In his Latin motets or himnos he most often wrote free imitative counterpoint, but his Alma Redemptoris mater paraphrases the plainchant and his Lamentations for the Holy Saturday quote the Spanish Lamentation tone. His harmonic daring, especially with regard to augmented and diminished chords and secondary dominants, sets him apart from other Mexican polyphonists. His Baroque settings are characterized by vigorous motivic activity, instrumental figuration and brisk harmonic motion. In the villancico Celebren, publiquen seemingly insignificant motifs appear in the accompaniment, and are then combined in increasingly complex ways to create a sense of forward motion. Similar motivic bonds mould together his villancico Al prodigio mayor, the earliest known piece written specifically to honour the Virgin of Guadalupe. (Russel, n.d.)

La Partenope, version by Leonardo Vinci Manuel de Zumaya composed the first Mexican opera, “La Parténope” which still survives today in the Biblioteca Nacional de Mexico in Mexico City



Incidental music: Rodrigo (play, M. de Zumaya), Mexico City, 25 Aug 1707 (doubtful; music lost)

Il Partenope (op, 3, S. Stampiglia), viceregal palace, Mexico City, 1 May 1711 (in Sp.; music lost)

Sacred Latin


Two Mexico City Choirbooks of 1717: an Anthology of Sacred Polyphony from the Cathedral of Mexico, ed. S. Barwick (Carbondale and Edwardsville, IL, 1982) [B]

Misa, 5vv, obs, str; Misa de tercer tono, 8vv, insts; Misa Te Joseph, 6vv: all Oaxaca, Cathedral, ed. in Tesoro de la música polifónica en México, viii (Mexico City, 1996)

Bonitatem fecisti cum servo tuo Dominum, SATB, SATB, 2 vn, bc, collab. J.M. de Los Reyes

Clausulas de la Passion, 4vv, Oaxaca, Cathedral

De lamentatione Jeremiae, Sabbato Sancto, 4vv, MEX-Mc, ed. in B

Mag primi toni, 4vv; Mag secundi toni, 4vv; Mag tertii toni, 4vv: all Mexico City, Tepotzotlán Monastery, ed. in B

Motets etc., with insts: Laetatus sum (i), 11vv; Laetatus sum (ii), 11 vv; Lauda Jerusalem, 8vv; Lauda Jerusalem Dominum, 6vv; Lauda Sion Salvatore, 7vv; Victimae paschali laudes (inc.): all Oaxaca, Cathedral

Motets etc., unacc.: Adjuva nos Deus, 5vv, Mc, ed. in B; Aeterna Christi munera, 4vv, Mc; Alma Redemptoris mater, 4vv, MC; Ave regina caelorum (inc.), 4vv, Mc; Christe sanctorum decus, 4vv, Mc; Christum regem, 4vv, Mc, ed. in B; Christus factus est, 4vv, Mc, ed. in B; Confitebor tibi Domine, 4vv, Mexico City, Tepotzotlán Monastery, ed. in B; Credidi propter quod locutus sum, 4vv, Tepotzotlán, ed. in B; Dixit Dominus, 8vv, Oaxaca, Cathedral; Lauda Jerusalem, 8vv, Oaxaca, Cathedral; Lauda Sion Salvatore, 7vv, Oaxaca, Cathedral; Laudate Dominum, 8vv, Oaxaca, Cathedral; Laudemus Deum nostrum, 4vv, Mc; Maximus Redemptor, 4vv, Mc; Miserere mei, 4vv, Mc, 1717, ed. in B: Miserere mei, 4vv, Mc, ed. in B; Nobis summa Tiras, 4vv: 2p. of Miris modis repente liber by A. de Salazar, Mc; Sacris solemnis, 4vv, Mc, ed. in B; Sis Jesu nostrum gaudium, 4vv (doubtful): 2p. of Jesu dulcis memoria by Salazar, Mc; Sit Trinitati sempiterna gloria, a4: 2p. of Egregie Doctor Paule by Salazar, Mc; Victimae paschali laudes, 7vv, Oaxaca, Cathedral


all with instruments; MSS in Oaxaca Cathedral unless otherwise stated


Manuel de Sumaya: Cantadas y villancicos, ed. A. Tello, Tesoro de la música polifónica en México, vii (Mexico City, 1994) [T]

Acudíd, acudíd, for S Ildefonso, 1719, 6vv, MEX-Mc; A la asunción de Nuestra Señora, for the Assumption, Mc; Al alva, que brilla, con puros reflexos, for the Virgin of Guadalupe, 4vv; A la puríssima Concepción, for the Conception, Mc; A las dos serafines, Mc; Albricias mortales que viene la aurora, 7vv, ed. in T; Al desnudo infante que hoy nace, for Christmas, 2vv, GCA-Gc; Alégrense los astros, MEX-Mc (inc.); Alegres luces del dia, for Christmas, 1v, ed. in T; Al empeño, a la lucha, for St Peter, 4vv, ed. in T; Al prodigio mayor, for the Virgin of Guadalupe, 4vv, GCA-Gc; Al sol en mejor oriente, for Christmas, 2vv; Al solio que por eguido, 4vv, 1717, for the Assumtion, MEX-Mc; Al ver que las ondas, for St Peter, 6vv, ed. in T; Angélicas milicias, for the Assumption, 8vv, ed. in T; Aplauda la tierra, for St Peter, 12vv, 1718, Mc; Aprended Rossa, for the Conception, Mc; Aunque al sueño, for St Peter, 3vv, ed. in T; Ay como gime en el viento, for Christmas, 2vv, 1717, Mc

Celebren, publiquen, 7vv, ed. in Tesoro de la música polifónica en México, iii (Mexico City, 1983), ed. in T; Cielo animada en Guadalupe, for the Apparition of Guadalupe, 2vv, Mc; Como aunque culpa, for Christmas, 1v, ed. in T; Como glorias el fuego de Pedro canta, for St Peter, 1v, ed. in T; Corred, corred zagales, for Christmas, 4vv, ed. in T; Corrientes que el mar, 4vv, ed. in T; Dejó Pedro la primera, for St Peter, 1720, Mc; De la celeste esfera que portento, for Christmas, 1v; De las flores y las estrellas, for the Assumption, 11vv, 1729, Mc; Del vago eminente, for St Peter, 6vv, ed. in T; Diga que no ay dichas calladas, 3vv, Mc; Dios sembrando flores, for S María Rosa de Lima, 2vv, 1729, Mc; El arca de Dios vivi, 1v (inc.); Él de Pedro solamente, for St Peter, 1v, ed. in T; En María la gracia, for the Conception, 6vv, 1728, Mc; Fuego, fuego que se abrassa, for St Peter Nolasco, 8vv, 1719, Mc; Hoy ha nacido Dios, 1v (inc.); Hoy sube arrebatada, 1v, private collection, Mexico City; Jesús Dios humanado, 1v (inc.)

La bella incorrupta, for the Apparition of Guadalupe, 8vv, 1725, Mc; Los niños de aquesta iglesia, 7vv; Lucientes antorchas, for S Ildefonso, 8vv, 1726, Mc; Moradores del orbe, for the Conception, 8vv, 1719, Mc; Oíd moradores del orbe escuchad, 5vv, Mc; Ola, ha del mar pescadores, 3vv, Mc; O muro más que humano, for St Peter, 1v, ed. in T; O Pedro quien pudiera llegar a penetrar, for St Peter, 1v, GCA-Gc; O que amargos dolores, 3vv, Morelia, Conservatorio de la Rosas; O que milagro, for S Ildefonso, 6vv, 1718, Mc; Oy sube arrebatada, for the Assumption, 6vv, 1719, Mc; Pares sean echo, for Christmas, 1710, Mc; Pedro es el maestro que se sabe, for St Peter, 4vv, ed. in T; Pescador soberano, for St Peter, 1v, ed. in T; Pregón oíd moradores, for St Peter, 1710, Mc; Prevenga amor (doubtful), GCA-Gc; Primer villancico de Navidad, MEX-Mc; Pues que nace (inc.), for Our Lady, 7vv

Que brava idea, for Christmas, 8vv; Que dice así pajarillos sonoros, 4vv, GCA-Gc; Que os llama el sol potencias, for the Holy Sacrament, 1711, MEX-Mc; Que por tento escuchen, 2vv, Mc; Que se anega de Pedro la nave, for St Peter, 11vv, 1726, Mc; ¿Quién es aquella?, for the Apparition of Guadalupe, 6vv, 1725, Mc; ¿Quién es esta?, for the Assumption, 6vv, 1724; Resuenen los clarines, 8vv, 1738, GCA-Gc; Sabio y amante fue Pedro, for St Peter, 4vv, 1719, MEX-Mc, S Eligio (inc.), Mc; Sapientísmo le adore (inc.), 1v; Sedeientos que en este mundo, Mc; Si duerme el amor, for Christmas, 2vv, GCA-Gc; Silencio, silencio, MEX-Mc; Si son los elementos, for St Joseph, Mc; Si ya a aquella nave, for St Peter, 1v, ed. in T; Sol-fa de Pedro es el llanto, 4vv, GCA-Gc; Suspéndanse las vozes, for the Conception, 2vv, Gc; Toque, toque repique, for the Holy Eucharist, 8vv, Gc; Un ciego vx [?viexo], for St Peter, 6vv, 1716, MEX-Mc; Villancico a duo, for the Apparition of Guadalupe, 2vv, 1721, Mc; Ya la naturaleza redimida, for Christmas, 1v, ed. in T; Y pues que ya las perlas, 1v; Ya se herizael copete, for the Apparition of Guadalupe, 6vv, 1728, Mc

Biblioteca Nacional de Mexico


Russell, C.H., (n.d.) Manuel de Zumaya.  Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Retrieved October 22,  2010, from

Wikipedia. (2009). Manuel de Zumaya. Wilipedia. Retrieved October 22, 2010, from




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