College Honors Program

Date of Creation


Document Type




First Advisor

Francisco Gago-Jover

Second Advisor

Isabel Álvarez-Borland

Third Advisor

Alan Karass


This thesis examines the governmental changes in Spain from the beginning of Francisco Franco’s dictatorship in 1936 until the end of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero’s first term as Prime Minister in 2008 in order to determine the degree to which politics affects cultural change in Spain, focusing on popular music. The first chapter deals with Franco’s regime and the laws that controlled the country and the adoption of the southern Spanish traditions as the official Spanish culture, repressing the individual characteristics of the other regions. Next, the second chapter compares the transition from dictatorship to democracy aided by King Juan Carlos I and Prime Ministers Adolfo Suárez and Felipe González to the evolution of the popular music, in particular that produced by the cultural movement la movida madrileña. Lastly, the final chapter concentrates on Spain’s modern democracy and its incorporation into the global community thanks to the efforts of Prime Ministers José María Aznar and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. The music during this period reflects both Spain’s internationalization and the nationalistic feelings that resurged for the first time since Franco. The conclusion of the analysis is that there is a direct correlation between politics and popular music, regardless of the efforts that a government makes to control the culture.