History Of Mexico Guitar Essay

1577 words - 6 pages

Unit 10The Guitar in MexicoObjectivesAt the end of this unit, the student should be able to:A. Comprehend the history of the guitar and guitar composers/players in Mexico.B. Identify the major guitar composers in Mexico.C. Be familiar with the names of some of the more famous pieces of guitar music from Mexico.Key Termsbasso continuo-- the technique of improvising harmony to a written bass line.Haydn--Franz Josef Haydn (1732-1809), a very famous Classical composer from Austria.Impressionism--a style of music characterized by a rejection of traditional Western-based harmony and tonality. It also can have dissonance and irregular rhythms.counterpoint--a technique of opposing voices moving in contrary motion.passacaglia--an Italian or Spanish dance form with a repeated theme.This Gigue by Manuel Ponce is performed by Horst Klee.The first guitar probably was brought to Mexico by a monk in the 1700's and it has since become the "national instrument." Although the modern guitar with six single strings is the predominant form of the instrument in use, there are several other versions of strummed and plucked fretted stringed instruments in Mexico that are of the guitar family. Among them are jaranas, requintos, leonas, boconas, vihuelas and bajos sextos. They range in size from very small instruments made of armadillo shells to the very large guitarrón.The earliest guitars played in Mexico were baroque guitars. They typically had five courses (pairs of strings) and were much smaller that their contemporary cousins. They were most often used to accompany singers and melodic instrumentalists. However, there is evidence that one of the most important Spanish guitarists of the baroque era (1600-1750), Santiago de Murcia (born, Madrid, c.1682) settled in Mexico and lived there until his death c.1740. In the early 1700s, Murcia was appointed guitar teacher to Queen María Luisa Gabriela, the young wife of Felipe V, King of Spain.Santiago de Murcia arrived in Mexico as early as 1719 or as late as 1730. No one knows the exact dates of his arrival or of his death. What is known is that some of his most important work dates from his time in Mexico. The manuscripts for "Saldívar Codex no.4" and the "Passacalles y obras de guitarra por todos los tonos naturales y acidentales" (Passacaglias and Works for Guitar for all the Natural and Accidental Tones) date from 1732. His "Resumen" of the same period is considered by many the most extensive treatise on basso continuo, the technique of improvising harmony to a written bass line. He also produced many arrangements for solo guitar including some of the first written examples of early Spanish dances such as the jácara, mariona, gallarda, villano and españoleta. He also produced the earliest manuscripts of fandangos, jotas and seguidillas, among the most important dances in Spanish culture. Carrying on the European and Asian traditions of melding cultural styles, Murcia was the first to...

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