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Spanish guitars

Guitar history

The Spanish guitar, baroque guitar or criolla guitar is a musical instrument of Mediterranean origin..

The birth of the Spanish guitar (XVI and XVIII century)

The Spanish guitar, more than a musical instrument European roots or Arab, should be considered an instrument that comes as a result of contact of the Spanish-Christian and Hispanic-Muslim cultures in the Middle Ages.
In the Christian kingdoms of Spain and rest of Europe, it was an instrument known as a guitar with four pairs of strings, rounded shape and curved case, like the vihuela. And in the Muslim kingdoms of Spain Moorish guitar or guitar, three pairs of strings, which can be considered direct precedents of the Spanish guitar.
The prototype of what today is the Spanish guitar, as we know now, appeared in the fourteenth century. The instrument was used in Spain by the people to accompany folk songs and dances. While the vihuela became the stringed instrument favored by court musicians, unlike the European courts where he imposed the lute.
The vihuela, which had six pairs of strings, and did not differ too much guitar, later contributed to its development in Spain, enriching their technical and raising the status of his compositions.
The fundamental fact that the guitar was progressed musically the addition of a fifth string in the sixteenth century. For a long time it has been attributed to its implementation Andalusian poet Vicente Espinel, a friend of Miguel de Cervantes and great fan and student of the instrument.
Guitars four five orders coexisted for much of the sixteenth century. And vihuelistas as Mudarra and Fuenllana composed works for two guitars.
Even today survive small four-string guitars as the Aragonese requinto or guitarro of Castilla-la Mancha.
Finally guitar 5 orders imposed as a model throughout Europe thanks to the work "Spanish guitar five orders, which teaches tempering and torn tolling" published in 1596 by the Catalan Joan Carles Amat (1572/1642) which won a extraordinary success throughout Europe and generalized his name.
The height of the vihuela in Spanish instrumental music was as intense as fleeting. From the late sixteenth century, when the Renaissance culture Baroque gives way to the select vihuela was replaced in classrooms by popular guitar in just two decades.
During the seventeenth century the new Spanish guitar becomes a common instrument in musical circles throughout Europe. And it will be from then when it starts to really progress.
At first compositions they were linked to the dances and the rhythmic use of the instrument but inherited vihuela techniques, particularly the use of dotted favors the emergence of more complex works and produces its artistic explosion.
The most brilliant work of spanish baroque was Gaspar Sanz (1640/1710), entitled Instruction music on the Spanish guitar that meant the introduction guitar in worship environments.
But even in Spain great artists of the instrument as Luis de Briceno, Lucas Ruiz de Ribayaz and Francisco Guerau were most guitarrística activity in the seventeenth century took place in countries like France where he was the favorite instrument of Louis XIV with composers such as Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632/1687) and especially in Italy with figures like Francesco Corbetta (1615/1685) considered the best guitarist of the time.
However, the guitar will not be accepted in chamber music, where the key and violins imposed their domain, even in religious.
In the eighteenth century, after the brilliance of the Baroque period, although not musically give any musical progress, itself a series of physical transformations in the instrument improving their techniques and sound conditions, acquiring many of the basic features of the guitar current.
The sixth string is added, doubles are replaced by simple commands, increases the size of the instrument while decreasing the recesses of the box. The metal headstock is implanted and frets extend to the mouth of the guitar.
These innovations did not occur at the same time but were spreading as the eighteenth century progressed. Even until the early nineteenth century.
Growing musical possibilities and greater consideration of the Spanish guitar, made at the end of the century, began to be used in chamber music which highlighted two interpreters Charles Doisy French and Spanish Fernando Ferandiere.
Alongside these virtuosos, are two Italian composers based in Spain: Luigi Boccherini and Federico Moretti. Just as the Spanish Fray Miguel Garcia, known as the Father Basilio whose musical teaching influenced many of the great Spanish guitarists early next century.

The consecration of the classical guitar (XIX century and early XX centuries)

During the first half of the nineteenth century, in the Pre-Romantic period, guitar finally get acceptance as a concert instrument throughout Europe.
One of the myths of his time, violinist Niccolo Paganini the famous composed a considerable number of works for guitar including Franz Schubert was a big fan of the instrument.
Is the time (1833) in which the instrument is implanted in the United States in the hands of an Austrian immigrant Christian Frederick Martin, although there will suffer another kind of evolution incorporating steel cords to integrate into the particularities of the popular music of that country.
In Spain stood at the beginning of the century, two key guitarists in the history of the instrument Fernando Sor and Dionisio Aguado.

Fernando Sor (1778/1839) is regarded as the greatest composer of guitar nineteenth century and its interpretative work, composer and even didactic (Méthode pour la guitare) (1830) he contributed prominently to the prestige of the guitar in much of Europe.
Born in Barcelona, Spain leaves after accepting an administrative position during the French occupation and being labeled "Frenchified" residing since then in Paris and in England, and temporarily settled in Russia.
Dionisio Aguado (1784/1849) born in Madrid, where he met Sor., was formed with the Father Basilio but settled in Paris. Both artists engaged in a profound relationship that resulted in a book entitled "The Two Friends" composed by Sor.
However each had opposing positions on what constituted
guitarrística great controversy at the time: attack the strings of the guitar with nails (Aguado) or with the fingertips (Sor).
Anyway both they were great guitarists, although Aguado highlighted especially in the training plan with the publication of "Collection of Studies for Guitar" (1820), "School of Guitar" (1825) and "New Method for Guitar" (1843) which constitute the most important treatise on the instrument of the nineteenth century.
Alongside these names you can not forget Antonio de Torres (1817/1892). Born your contribution as a luthier in Almeria was such that the luthiers of Spain and Europe adopted rules making model thereafter in the canon of contemporary classical guitar.
His greatest achievement was the reinforcement system with wooden sticks fan inside getting increase the tone and volume of sound for concerts in large auditoriums while increasing the size of the guitar and reduced the thickness of the cover.
Jurado Torres not only designed the main lines of the Spanish classical guitar, but also that of flamenco.
The nineteenth century ends with a key figure in the Spanish guitar Francisco Tarrega (1852/1909) Born in Villarreal is considered the father of modern classical guitar. Not only composed works of extraordinary beauty as "Capricho Arabe" or "Recuerdos de la Alhambra" but adapted works by composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, Bach or Handel.
But also his dedication to the guitar led him to develop a daunting task considering the smallest details: honed academic rules of classical guitar, how to hold the instrument, how to pluck the strings, the ideal posture interpreter, etc. . Introducing the use of a small stool to support the leg on which rests the guitar, reaching the ideal height for execution. Creating a guitar school that followed all great performers of the twentieth century.

The XX century, the golden age of the guitar.

The twentieth century is the golden age of Spanish classical guitar. In this century gets its final maturation as an instrument and rules of interpretation of this are set. Large generations of composers and performers have brought the guitar to the top.
It has been almost six centuries of evolution that have led taverns guitar on stage without otherwise lose its popular character as there is now a more universal and versatile instrument guitar.
The first great Spanish composers of the twentieth century Isaac Albéniz (1860/1909) and Enrique Granados (1867/1916) were immersed without prejudice national roots and especially in the popular Andalusian music which enjoyed a boom in the época. Posteriormente , composers such as Manuel de Falla (1876/1946), Joaquin Turina (1882/1949), Federico Moreno Torroba (1891/1982), Joaquin Rodrigo (1901/1999) along with Leo Brower composed numerous symphonies or works for solo guitar.
Joining them performers like Miguel Llobet (1878/1937), guitarist and Catalan composer, a pupil of Francisco Tarrega, one of the creators of the modern school of guitar. As well as the maturity of the great Andrés Segovia (1893/1987). The prodigious natural, pure, elegant and refined Regino Sainz de la Maza (1897/1981) style. The exceptional interpretative technique Narciso Yepes (1927/1997) that interested in finding new possibilities added four more strings to his guitar.
Each with its own style managed to overcome the indifference of the public who only wanted to hear Spanish music, musicians who rejected the transcripts, conservatories for which a guitarist was not a musician and guitar was a subinstrumento.
It is difficult to stand out from all of them a name but two particularly brilliant figures in the composition and interpretation: Joaquín Rodrigo and Andres Segovia.
Valencian composer Joaquin Rodrigo. Author of several concertos for various instruments and many delicious Catalan and Castilian songs in the purest nineteenth-century style. It is one of the most qualified representatives of the neo-classical Spanish music.
Andrés Segovia Guitar
But his fame is closely linked to the guitar for his "Concierto de Aranjuez". Premiered in Barcelona on November 9, 1940 with Regino Sainz de la Maza as soloist. One of the world's most successful works of the entire Spanish music.
Andrés Segovia, is undoubtedly the best known of the twentieth century guitarist. His prodigious technique was admired in large theaters and stages around the world thanks to the endless tours conducted for more than seventy years with an average of one hundred concerts a year. His international career as a performer has been decisive. His enormous effort has revealed the beauty of the guitar in the audience, attracting the interest of composers to the guitar, giving it a quality repertoire, stimulating the creation of chairs in the conservatories and music academies until a few nonexistent years ago and leaving a trail of new guitarists in countries as diverse as the US, Australia or Japan.
"The guitar is an orchestra in miniature "said Beryl.
""His guitar does not sound strong, but far," said Stravinsky to Segovia.
And it is that a single guitar is able to keep under his spell, for hours, the most numerous and diverse audiences.

Guitar in America

The arrival of Spanish colonists to America, extended stringed instruments: guitars, you vihuelas among the population

indian and later Creole New Continent that adopted in its musical forms.
Springing a number of traditional instruments of the family of the guitar as Colombian tiple, Mexican revelry, mejoranea Panamanian, Peruvian charango - Bolivian - Argentine, Cuban tres, cuatro the ... Becoming over time a fundamental element of their own folklore.
Thus after independence, the classical music of those countries sheltered by the musical nationalism of the late nineteenth century, reached into his own folklore sources of inspiration, and found the guitar.
The importance and development of the Spanish classical guitar in Latin America during the twentieth century, is demonstrating the fact that Andrés Segovia considered the best composer for guitar of all time Mexican Manuel M. Ponce (1882/1948) Pianist, composer, music critic orchestra that played such an important role in the artistic history of his country. And, whose work, both the extent and the quality, now it is the cornerstone of the repertoire of guitarists around the world.
Beside him stands the Brazilian Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887/1959) also formed in Paris, his work of Brazilian inspiration, constitutes a considerable contribution to American values. Along with his great works, was creator of an important collection of studies and preludes for guitar, instrument that was a great connoisseur and noted for their development and originality of its theme.
Or, the Cuban Leo Brouwer (1939) Conductor, composer and guitarist. considered in the specific field of the most important contemporary writers guitar.
Not to mention such important performers as the Venezuelan Alirio Diaz (1923) disciple of Andrés Segovia and Regino Sainz de la Maza, founder of the Venezuelan guitar school; Argentine Ernesto Bitteti (1943) nor the Cuban Manuel Barrueco virtuosity.
And above all we must not forget the incomparable Paraguayan guitarist Agustín Barrios (1885/1944), considered by many the greatest composer of the mid-twentieth century. Controversial, extravagant for your time. Grown in languages, letters and philosophy, mystic and poet. He dared to change its name to indigenous one to act guanani dressed in typical costume. Virtuoso performer, composer, significant. His three hundred works are part of the repertoire of current guitarists such as David Russell, John Williams.
His style was personal and innovative. As a performer explores many areas of guitar technique. Arpeggios, scales, harmonics, tremolos. As a composer combines the baroque, classical, romantic ways with melodies and popular rhythms of the countries of the South, where many peasant songs have been sung on a simple guitar strumming America. 

Wikipedia (28/02/2016)

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