Hugh Ross, conductor of the Schola Cantorum, commissioned a composition to honor the first conductor of the Schola, Kurt Schindler, who had been responsible for bringing to light many unknown and forgotten folk songs. Copland chose a "dance-song" from Burgos in northern Spain. The song is written for two groups of singers — a solo group and an eight-part mixed chorus. Copland wrote, "I hoped to give the song a realistic native feeling."
-Vivian Perlis, 1998