A CHRONOLOGICAL VIEW OF WESTERN MUSIC HISTORY IN THE CONTEXT OF WORLD EVENTS
January 28, 1875: Julián Antonio Carrillo Trujillo is born in Ahualulco, San Luis Potosí, Mexico, the last of 19 children born to Nabor Carrillo and Antonia Trujillo, Indian farmers. The child is born prematurely due to an earthquake in the region.
January 11, 1895: Julián Carrillo (19) arrives in Mexico City and enrolls in the National Conservatory of Music.
July 13, 1895: Julián Carrillo (20), a student at the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City, discovers what he calls the 13th tone. He finds 16 identifiable pitches on a violin string between G and A. By breaking each of the six whole tones of the octave into 16 equal parts, creating 96 different pitches. He proposes a complete change in the musical system.
June 4, 1899: Primera Suite bagatelas for orchestra by Julián Carrillo (24) is performed for the first time, at the National Conservatory, Mexico City.
June 8, 1899: Marcha “Mexico” for orchestra by Julián Carrillo (24) is performed for the first time, in a farewell concert before his trip to Europe.
January 5, 1915: Julián Carrillo (40) conducts the American Symphony Orchestra in Aeolian Hall, New York in a concert of European standards and the US premiere of his Symphony no.1. Reviews are generally positive.
May 24, 1924: Luis Delgadillo, a Nicaraguan composer living in Mexico City, publishes an article in El Demócrita challenging the Sonido 13 of Julián Carrillo (49) and demanding that he support the theory scientifically. See 29 May 1924.
May 29, 1924: El Demócrita of Mexico City publishes a response by Julián Carrillo (49) to Luis Delgadillo’s criticisms of 24 May. He responds to each one in turn and challenges the musical training of Delgadillo. Delgadillo will recruit eight Mexican composers to join him in a letter writing campaign in the press against Carrillo.
August 24, 1924: Carlos Chávez (25) publishes the first of a series of articles denouncing Julián Carrillo (49) and his microtonal system as simply derivative of techniques already explored in Europe. See 29 November 1924.
September 17, 1924: Julián Carrillo (49) publishes in El Universal his “Teoría del sonido 13” (Theory of the 13th sound). He proposes the division of the half step. It has already been published within the last two years.
November 29, 1924: Julián Carrillo (49) publishes an article in La Antorcha answering the criticisms of Carlos Chávez (25). “I do not believe we should deny the Mexican mestizos…the right to produce something new that Europeans have not found so far…I understand my musical knowledge as a continuation of the glorious German music tradition.” (Madrid, 18)
February 15, 1925: The first “Thirteenth Sound” concert, featuring the microtonal music of Julián Carrillo (50) takes place in the Teatro Pincipal, Mexico City. Works by Carrillo premiered are Preludio a Colón for soprano, flute, guitar, violin, octavina, and harp, Ave María for chorus, octavina, flute, guitar, arpa-citara, violin, and cello, Plenilunio en Tepepan for voices and harp, Prelude no.1 for cello, string quartet, bass, and arpa-citara, and Hoja de album for mezzo-soprano, english horn, and cello.
March 13, 1926: Sonata casi-fantasía for seven players by Julián Carrillo (51), a microtonal piece, is performed for the first time, in Town Hall, New York. Reviewers are interested in Carrillo’s theories, but not his music.
March 4, 1927: Concertino for orchestra, including microtonal instruments, by Julián Carrillo (52) is performed for the first time, in Philadelphia.
January 2, 1931: Sonido 13 for piccolo, horn, guitar, harp, violin, and cello by Julián Carrillo (55) is performed for the first time, in Mexico City.
November 30, 1951: Horizontes for violin, cello, a microtonal zither-harp, and orchestra by Julián Carrillo (76) is performed for the first time, in Pittsburgh.