In the centuries since the colonization of the New World, the people of Cuba created a strong musical tradition. Initially, their music mirrored the European composition canons of structural, melodic and harmonic order; however, the gradual confluence of the island’s distinct cultural elements (European, African, and, to a lesser extent, Amerindian) led to the emergence of a new, distinctly Cuban musical aesthetic. This book examines the Cuban nationalist movement and its influence on the creation of art music by twentieth-century Cuban composers. Organized into three general sections, it defines nationalism and describes some relevant nationalist movements (with special attention to Cuba). It also provides a history of Cuban art music and a description of the characteristics of Cuban popular music. The work concludes with an in-depth examination of Cuban composer Mario Abril’s Fantasía for clarinet and piano, whose use of folklore elements qualifies it as an example of Cuban nationalist art music.