Encyclopedia of Contemporary Spanish Culture

By Eamonn Rodgers; Valerie Rodgers | Go to book overview

Further reading

m
Muñiz-Romero, C. (1979) ‘Rafael Guillén, misterio y límites’ in ‘Moheda’, Litoral 85-7: 7-23 (contains an excellent in-depth introduction).

JOSÉ ORTEGA


guitar music

The two main varieties of Spanish guitar music are the classical guitar and the flamenco guitar. Nevertheless, the historical development of the guitar, the instrument most widely identified with Spain, brings together both eastern and western traditions, and its popular character has caused it to figure in virtually all periods of musical history. Despite its great antiquity, however, it is only during the last hundred years that the guitar has been established in its modern form and its technique has been developed.

The first music specifically composed in Spain for the guitar did not appear until Pasacalles y Obras por Todos los Tonos Naturales y Occidentales (Passacaglias and Pieces in all Natural and Western Keys) (1734) by Santiago de Muriza, a follower of Campion, Corbetta and De Visée. During his stay in Madrid, Boccherini used the guitar for his chamber music, thus stimulating the revival of the instrument during the eighteenth century. With Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829) and Fernando Sors (1778-1839), the author of a guitar tutor published in 1830, the instrument achieved full recognition, which was consolidated by Graciano Tarragó, María Luisa Anido and Francisco Tárrega (1852-1909).

It was Tárrega who initiated the development of modern classical guitar technique. His earlier transcriptions of works by Bach, Mozart and other composers formed the basis of the concert repertoire for guitar. Tárrega’s work in developing guitar technique and writing arrangements of music composed for other instruments paved the way for two performers who are considered to be the architects of the instrument’s twentieth-century renaissance Miguel Llobet and, especially, Andrés Segovia, who collected and expanded Tárrega’s discoveries. Segovia, (1893-1987), the most remarkable guitar maestro of all times worldwide, is popularly acclaimed to be the best exponent of Spanish music. Segovia’s art is gifted with a very personalized and pleasant sound, his technique is complete and rich in resources of all kinds. Always looking to expand his repertory, he investigated the music of the seventeenth- and eighteenth-centuries. Segovia gave the guitar further prominence as a concert instrument, and his artistry has been a source of inspiration for both players and composers.

Music is pervaded by folk tradition, and this is particularly true of guitar music. A Spanish composer who is especially in touch with the traditions of his own land is Joaquín Rodrigo, who, though primarily a virtuoso pianist rather than a guitar-player, writes for the instrument with great understanding and sympathy. The Concierto de Aranguez (Aranjuez Concerto), the most famous of his compositions, is one of the first guitar concertos to be written in the twentieth century and one of the most popular for any instrument. Other composers drew heavily on popular and regional music for their inspiration, such as Joaquín Turina (1882-1949) and Manuel de Falla (1876-1946), who always wrote a guitar part into their large-scale instrumental works.

As well as accomplished guitarists such as Emili Pujol and José Tomás, one of the most outstanding guitar soloists of the twentieth century was Narciso Yepes (1927-97), who modified the basic form of the instrument by developing a ten-stringed version. The twentieth-century repertoire exhibits a wide variety of styles, from the romantic works inspired by Segovia to avant-garde compositions. Influences from folk music, flamenco and jazz have introduced unexpected tone-colourings, extending the instrument’s expressive resources. The importance of modern guitar music has grown outside Spain, and leading performers such as Julian Bream and John Williams have made a significant contribution to the repertoire.

Flamenco guitar music, mainly based on improvisations, started as an accompaniment for cante (flamenco song), or as part of a cuadro flamenco (a group of flamenco singers, dancers and guitarists performing together). Flamenco dance, indeed, began in the same way, as it initially used movement to embellish the singer’s performance. Even virtuosos like Paco de Lucía and Sabicas, who are famous for their solo work, would probably

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Encyclopedia of Contemporary Spanish Culture
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction x
  • Acknowledgments xii
  • Structure xiii
  • Architecture xiv
  • A 1
  • Further Reading 7
  • Further Reading 11
  • Further Reading 29
  • Further Reading 37
  • Further Reading 41
  • B 44
  • Further Reading 47
  • Further Reading 65
  • C 70
  • Further Reading 81
  • Further Reading 93
  • Further Reading 100
  • Further Reading 113
  • Further Reading 128
  • D 135
  • Further Reading 136
  • Further Reading 140
  • E 152
  • Further Reading 155
  • Further Reading 166
  • Further Reading 171
  • F 173
  • Further Reading 185
  • Further Reading 206
  • G 213
  • Further Reading 227
  • Further Reading 229
  • Further Reading 231
  • Further Reading 242
  • H 245
  • I 261
  • Further Reading 266
  • J 276
  • Further Reading 280
  • K 283
  • L 285
  • Further Reading 292
  • M 313
  • Further Reading 332
  • Further Reading 335
  • N 359
  • Further Reading 362
  • Further Reading 365
  • O 376
  • P 384
  • Further Reading 429
  • Q 430
  • R 433
  • Further Reading 435
  • Further Reading 436
  • Further Reading 439
  • Further Reading 443
  • References 452
  • S 464
  • Further Reading 471
  • Further Reading 475
  • T 502
  • Further Reading 508
  • Further Reading 509
  • U 526
  • Further Reading 536
  • V 537
  • Further Reading 538
  • Further Reading 539
  • Further Reading 544
  • W 545
  • X 550
  • Y 552
  • Further Reading 553
  • Z 554
  • Index 557
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