Gitaar Hoek




Gaspar Sanz

1640 | 1710


Spanish guitarist, composer and priest. Early in his life he received a Bachelor of Theology degree from the University of Salamanca and later travelled to Italy, where he studied music under Cristoforo Caresana and Lelio Colista, and possibly also under Orazio Benevoli and Pietro Andrea Ziani. On returning to Spain he published not only his Instrucción de música sobre la guitarra española but also two literary works: a Spanish translation of Daniello Bartoli's L'uomo de lettere (Madrid, 1678) and a eulogy in praise of Pope Innocent XI entitled Ecos sagrados (Madrid, 1681). Sanz's Instrucción de música is the most comprehensive guitar treatise of its time. Comprising three books, it contains 90 pieces written for a fivecourse instrument tuned a/a–d'/d'–g/g–b/b–e', the majority of which are based on dance forms, such as the folía, canario and españoleta, typical of the late 17th-century Spanish Baroque style. The first book includes a detailed introductory tutor with instructions for stringing, fretting and tuning and an explanation of both the rasgueado (strummed) and punteado (plucked) styles; it also contains a long essay on figured bass accompaniment for the guitar. While many of its pieces are intended for beginners, those in the second and third books are longer, broader in scope and more technically demanding. Sanz's work was very popular in Spain and initiated a series of similar works, such as those of Ruiz de Ribayaz, Guerau and Santiago de Murcia. Various pieces from it and parts of the text appear in six publications and manuscripts, French as well as Spanish, up to 1763.

Gaspar Sanz


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