Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-2pzkn Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-19T14:58:20.280Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

22 - Spain, ii : 1600–1640

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 March 2023

Get access

Summary

ALTHOUGH the death of Philip ii in 1598 marked the end of an immensely important era in political history, it is difficult to draw a firm line of demarcation around the year 1600 in the history of Spanish music, because so many of the genres and musical techniques of the late sixteenth century were essential to Spanish music through the early seventeenth century, and the social place of music stayed much the same as well. For example, the association between reserved imitative contrapuntal polyphony and sacred Latin texts continued to shape the work of composers within the Church, especially when they set the invariable texts of the Mass. New textures and techniques were developed within vernacular religious genres, whose overtly expressive style included sections of homophony and solo song along with imitative counterpoint. As the seventeenth century progressed, Spanish society was especially desirous of the novelty, invention, enigma, artifice, and magnificent spectacle that scholars tend to associate with the culture of the Baroque. Great formal flexibility, bold contrasts, clear harmonic organization, sensitive text expression, and careful attention to text declamation are notable characteristics of Spanish music from the mid seventeenth century, whether in large-scale sacred pieces for one or more choirs, romances for two or three voices, solo settings of romances, or clever theatrical songs with improvised accompaniment.

While the seventeenth century is accepted as a Golden Age for Spanish culture, music, however, held a subsidiary place next to theater and the visual arts. The century did not produce a long list of extraordinarily innovative Spanish composers, pages of heated musical debate, tomes of erudite speculative writings on musical theory, or libraries full of beautifully prepared and bound scores—the sort of written legacy that modern scholars accept as evidence of historical investment in other musical cultures. The musical repertories from seventeenth-century Spain survive largely in manuscript copies on cheap paper and as humble performing parts. Of course, two of the largest collections of music by court composers were lost through natural disasters : in the fire that destroyed the royal library and music archive of the Royal Palace in Madrid known as the Alcázar in 1734, and in the earthquake of 1755 that took with it the great library of King John iv of Portugal.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2006

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×