CHAPTER ONEMANUEL MARIA PONCE
Manuel Marîa Ponce Cuéllar was born on December 8th, 1882 in Fresnillo,Zacatecas, México.
He was the twelfth child of Felipe de Jesus Ponce Leon and Mariade Jesus Cuéllar. His father, who had been involved with the Maximillian revolution,moved his family briefly to Fresnillo for fear of the political fallout. Six weeks after hisbirth, the Ponce family moved back to their original home in the town of Aguascalienteswhere they lived on Calle de Hebe, known today as Calle de Manuel Ponce.
Ponceremained there for his childhood. Although it was not his birthplace, he always referredto Aguascalienties as his home.
From a very early age, Ponce was fortunate to have a mother who encouraged herchildren to study music. He learned the notes of music before learning the alphabet.
Atage four, he began studying piano and solfege with his older sister Josefina. He advancedrather quickly, learning the popular
by Genaro Codina Fernandez onhis own at the age of six. His musical interests, however, began to shift towardscomposition. His first known composition,
La Marcha del Sarampion
(March of the
Music of Latin America
, ed. by Nicholas Slominsky (New York: Da Capo Press, 1972), and
by Hugo de Grial (Mexico City: Editorial Diana, 1977), list his birth year as 1886.
Juan Alvarez Coral,
(Mexico City: Edamex, 1993), 281.
Music from Mexico
(New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1952), 232.
, Manuel M. Ponce and the Guitar
(Westport: Bold Strummer Ltd., 1994), 7.