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A history of Guitar Lessons in Madrid in 1821

From the daily "Nuevo diario de Madrid" March 23, 1821 page 4

by: Randy Osborne - Published 10/19/2023 10:34 AM

We know that private lessons had been available for at least two centuries or more, but now in 1821 at a Madrid bookstore named Gobeo or Goveo as well, group lessons in reading guitar music became available. Of course the sales of the sheet much would add to the economy of this location as well.

100 years later in Buenos Aires, the Testuri sisters, Victoria and Magdalena, who were both child prodigies with their photos and articles in magazines when they were very young, some 20 years later they offered guitar lessons and student recitals in a college environment, being some of the first professors of guitar in the higher education level of stature, as documented in my book: 


Lessons were available from 7:30-9:30PM

Translation: "With the reason of the season and greater comfort of the public hours have been varied at the previously announced guitar music school. It is open from half past seven at night until half past nine. It is subscribed at a rate of 40 reales, per month when the Gobeo bookstore in front of the national printing press building."


A little over 2 years later another advertisement can be found.

Diario de Madrid (Madrid. 1788) May 3, 1823 page 4.

"A guitar music academy has been opened, in which it will be said, instrument by the method of one of the best authors.

The knowledge of music theory dates back to the same time; and in order for the students to find the study of the guitar more pleasant, all the best pieces by the famous maestro Rossini that have been performed with greater acceptance in the theaters of this capital will be arranged on this instrument.

The teaching hours will be from 7 pm to 9 pm. Gentlemen and ladies who wish to attend said academy will pay 40 reales. a month in advance, going to subscribe to the Goveo bookstore located on calle de Carretas, and those who want to teach lessons at home will leave details in the same bookstore."

A year later we see this ad in the daily "Diario de Madrid" (Madrid. 1788) July 21, 1824 page 3

"In one of the best places in this neighborhood is a guitar music school that has been opened, in which this instrument and music theory will be thoroughly taught by the method of Zayas.

30 reales paid in advance, and those who like to give lessons in their houses do so as it is subscribed in the Gobeo bookstore in front of the  the national printing press building."

So things are advancing this is from the daily "Diario de Madrid" (Madrid. 1788) December 22, 1824 page 1

In one of the best places in this neighborhood, there is established a guitar music school run by one of the most accredited teachers, and who has directed with superior permission several academies in this capital: clarity and simplicity that has adept and the teaching method presents an advantage known to all that have been used to this day, with which the students will be able to play any song on the guitar in a short time: the academy boots will be from 10:00 p.m. onwards. , the price 30 reales. paid in advance, and 60 in the houses: gentlemen who wish to attend may subscribe at the Miyar bookstore, Calle del Principe, where the ladies and gentlemen who want to give lessons in these houses will leave the address where students must go.

Now guitar lessons were being offered before work hours in the morning.

From the daily "Diario de avisos de Madrid" June 14, 1825 page 2.

In the Miyar bookstore, Calle del Príncipe, there will be a school of guitar music, established in the vicinity of Puerta del Sol, directed by one of the best and most accredited teachers of this court, for a simple method, with which in a short time the disciples will be able to execute some pieces. The price will be 30 reales. early, and the hours from 6 to 8 in the morning j and for those who do not accommodate these hours it will be from dusk onwards.

From the daily "Diario de avisos de Madrid" June 26 , 1825 page 2.

A professor of guitar music, who has directed several academies in this capital with superior permission, presents to the amateur ladies and gentlemen that there is a collection of music, which brings together the best arias and cavatinas that have been sung in the operas of the Maestro Rossini, perform them in el teatro del Príncipe: in order to make the study of the guitar more pleasant for the disciples, the prices will be 60 reales. a month in advance in the house of the disciples, and 30 in that of the teacher.

The largest and most explicit advertisement yet, including guitar duets. From the daily "Diario de avisos de Madrid" July 27, 1825 page 3.

On calle del Príncipe, no. 1, on the corner de la Cruz, fourth mezzanine, there is established a guitar music school, directed by one of the best teachers of this court, in which singing and playing said instrument is taught with complete perfection. The advances made by the ladies and gentlemen who have attended the establishment are very public, drawing attention to some of the music academies that have presented themselves. In order for the love of music to spread and the disciples to advance, the director of said school has determined to give some concerts of vocal and instrumental music, to which only those who are disciples may attend. These particular concerts will be performed by the best teachers with a large orchestra, having chosen the best pieces from the operas of the famous maestro Rossint, which will be performed alternately with two guitars, and in the orchestra, some ladies who are students of the teacher will be willing to sing. The prices will be: for you will learn to play and sing at the music school 30 rs. a month in advance; for having, in addition to teaching, entry to the concerts 40 and the ladies and gentlemen who like to give the lesson in their boxes 60. The hours that have been allocated for the disciples who would like to attend the teacher's house are; from 6 to 8 in the morning, and from 8 to 10 at night.

From the daily "Diario de avisos de Madrid" September 23, 1825 page 3.

At the Fonda del Angel there will be a vocal and instrumental concert today, Friday, at half past six in the evening, for Madame Marcial and company. The professor who has the guitar music academy established in the fourth second of said inn, who led so many applauses for the direction of the concerts in the same cafe, and grateful for the favors given to him by the fans, has composed an allure about the theme from the duetto buffo of the Cenérentela, a secret of Rossini, which will be performed: on the fortepiano with a good symphony by the professor, who has earned so much applause in previous performances. The author of this composition will see his desires satisfied and will please a public as indulgent as it is enlightened. On this night all kinds of drinks and sorbets and sweetened milk made with the greatest care will be served.

In the guitar academy established with the corresponding permission in the second room of the Fonda del Ángel on the nights, one of the most accredited teachers of this court will attend to sing. with the piano several pieces that deserve more acceptance in the operas of the famous maestro Rossini, among them the aria of the Barber of Seville and the cavatina of the Tancredo, this would be recorded by D. Bartolomé Virues, and arranged for the guitar by Don Ventura María de Ripail.

From the daily "Diario de avisos de Madrid" August 6, 1826 page 3. Now the King of Spain has even given Royal approval for the quality of education being provided. This would be mentioned in all subsequent advertising.

His Majesty (may God preserve) having deigned to grant his royal approval for the continuation of the academy of guitar music that is located in the Fonda del Ángel, second room, directed by one of the most accredited professionals of this area. Gentlemen who wish to attend these lessons are advised to be given all the knowledge of music theory, and will be provided with the best concert pieces that are performed with greater acceptance in the Italian operas of the most famous masters of the day. The hours designated in said establishment are from eight to ten at night, without prejudice to varying them according to the season and comfort of those present: the price of the lessons is 30 reales. per month in advance.



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