Gabriel Pareyon

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Gabriel Pareyon
Gabriel Pareyon, 2003.
Gabriel Pareyon, 2003.
Background information
GenresContemporary Music, Mexican composers, 21st century music
Occupation(s)Composer & musicologist
Years active1995 – present

Gabriel Pareyon (born October 23, 1974, Zapopan, Jalisco) is a polymathic[1] Mexican composer and musicologist, who has published literature on topics of philosophy and linguistics.[2]

He has a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Helsinki, where he studied with Eero Tarasti (2006–2011).[3] He received bachelor's and master's degrees in composition at the Royal Conservatoire, The Hague (2000–2004), where he studied with Clarence Barlow.[4] He also studied at the Composers’ Workshop of the National Conservatoire of Music, Mexico City (1995–1998), with Mario Lavista.[5]


Pareyon's output is specially known by Xochicuicatl cuecuechtli (2011), the first modern opera in the Americas that exclusively uses a Native American language (Nahuatl in this case) as well as music instruments native to Mexico.[6]

As young composer (from 2006 and earlier), several works written by Pareyon were selected for the Thailand International Saxophone Competition for Composers (Bangkok, 2006, I Prize), the 2nd International Jurgenson Competition for young composers (Moscow, 2003, II Prize) and the 3rd Andrzej Panufnik International Composition Competition (Kraków, 2001, III Prize). His earlier production includes works for common objects (such as bottles, stones, etc.) as well as for classical (European) instruments and ensembles. He also experimented with Mexican traditional instruments (such as huehuetl, teponaztli and a wide variety of woodwinds), and metre and phonetics from Nahuatl and Hñähñu, also known as the Otomí language.[7]

His music also combines wider aspects of linguistics and human speech, mathematical models (series, patterns, algorithms, etc.), and models coming from bird vocalization and nonverbal communication.[8]


As musicologist, publications of Pareyon contributed to recognize aspects of the new music from Mexico in his own country and abroad, e.g. in the explanation and extension of Julio Estrada's work (see McHard 2006, 2008:264). Accordingly, his work is quoted, as early as from 2000, by international compilations about the music of Mexico (see e.g. Olsen & Sheehy 2000:108; Nattiez et al. 2006:125, 137, 1235) and specialised literature (see e.g. Brenner 2000:177; Madrid & Moore 2013:94, 126).

In the field of systematic musicology, Pareyon's book On Musical Self-Similarity (2011)[9] predicts the role of analogy as one of the capital issues for future musicology and cognitive science, foreseeing conclusions of Hofstadter & Sander's Surfaces and Essences (2013). According to Curtis Roads (2015:316), On Musical Self-Similarity "is an intriguing treatise in which repetition is generalized to several modes of self-similarity that are ubiquitous in musical discourse.". [10]


  • On Musical Self-Similarity, Acta Semiotica Fennica 39, Approaches to Musical Semiotics Series, Imatra, & University of Helsinki Press (Yliopistopaino), Helsinki, 2011. [1]
  • The Role of Abduction in Self-Similarity: On the Peircean Concept of the Map of the Map in (E. Tarasti, ed.) Abstracts of the International Summer School for Semiotic and Structural Studies : 25 Years Semiotics in Imatra, Imatra, Finland, 2010. [2]
  • The Ecologic Foundations of Stylistics in Music and in Language, Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference for PhD Music Students, Aristotle University (Thessaloniki) & University of Edinburgh, 2009. [3]
  • A Fractal Conjecture of Language. A Proposal for a Cognitive Frame of Semiotics, Proceedings of the 9th IASS-AIS International Congress of Semiotics, Helsinki and Imatra, 2007.
  • Diccionario Enciclopedico de Musica en Mexico, UP, Guadalajara, 2006. Vol. 1: [4]. Vol. 2: [5]
  • Aspects of Order in Language and in Music, Royal Conservatoire, The Hague, 2004. [6]


  • BRENNER, Helmut (2000) Juventino Rosas. His Life, His Work, His Time, Harmonie Park Press, Michigan.
  • MADRID, Alejandro L. & Robin D. MOORE (2013) Danzón: Circum-Caribbean Dialogues in Music and Dance, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • McHARD, James L. (2008). The Future of Modern Music, Iconic Press, 3rd edition (on page 272 Pareyon is quoted as a source for the interpretation of Julio Estrada's musical thought).
  • NATTIEZ, Jean-Jacques, Margaret BENT, Rossana DALMONTE, Enciclopedia della Musica, Einaudi, Turin.
  • OLSEN, Dale A. & Daniel E. SHEEHY, The Garland Handbook of Latin American Music (2nd ed.), Routledge, New York.
  • ROADS, Curtis (2015). Composing Electronic Music: A New Aesthetic, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • ROVNER, Anton (2005). "Dresdener Tage des Zeitgenossisches Musik" in New Music Connoisseur, no. 13, fall/winter.
  • SOLOMOS, Makis (2004). "Clash and Proportion" in 3rd International Forum of Young Composers, Paris.


  1. ^ "Activities of Gabriel Pareyon".
  2. ^ "Helsinki University: Publications".
  3. ^ "Helsinki University: Gabriel Pareyon".
  4. ^ "Mediamatic, Amsterdam".
  5. ^ "Mediamatic, Amsterdam".
  6. ^ "Opera explores sexuality of Mexico's Nahuatl culture".
  7. ^ "Opera explores sexuality of Mexico's Nahuatl culture".
  8. ^ "Wild thing: The Animal Orchestra Symphony".
  9. ^ "On Musical Self-Similarity" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
  10. ^ "Composing Electronic Music: A New Aesthetic".

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