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The Excellencies of the Harmonic Guitar

From the daily "El Correo" (Madrid) November 26, 1830 and November 29, 1830, n.ยบ 372 and 373

by: Randy Osborne - Published 12/16/2023 1:16 PM


Mr. Editor: Dear sir, the affability with which

you admit and give rise to how much they address, to communicate;

ideas that can be useful to the arts and public illustration, and the simplicity and clarity with which I impartially convey them to the

public, criticize each other with that modesty and integrity that is

characteristic, and giving to others the true value and dignity of which they are

worthy, so that they reach the state of perfection, is the reason that

invites me to address you, so that if you have it right, I can insert it in your newspaper

the following question and reflect consecutively on this our

Spanish harmonic guitar with six simple strings and 17 frets of extension, because as a fan of this instrument, charming,

I spent some fun moments examining their vast harmony, and each

day I find in it more particularities that deserve all praise and

attention, being very sensitive that his merit is so obscured

only because of bad Intelligence and vain concern: let's get to our question. The guitar is the only Spanish national instrument, very complete.

In its harmony, and so comfortable for its simplicity and low cost, so graceful

for the fair sex, which in our days has already become and not

received the attention of many Spanish medical professors, and the admiration

from foreigners, even from Maestro Rossini himself in the concerts

that the Spaniards themselves have doubted in Paris in the presence of this

brilliant professor, invited by them to witness what

progress of this instrument and how susceptible it is to being able to be perfected

even more. Concluded that it was the first part of one of the

These concerts could not help Rossini being touched and moved by

His heart embraced the Spanish Arabs, Mr. Sor and Mr. Aguado,

admired what had just happened on our Spanish guitar. Now, with this principle established, what is it that makes it so

little case of; its merit in Spain, with a specialty in schools,

both of this capital and in those of the provinces, which in none of them

they teach their music, having teachers of all the other institutions.

for the decoration and fun of the students of both classes,

without anyone remembering to promote our harmonic guitar, being thus superior to almost all other musical instruments, because it by itself constitutes the most perfect harmony, like the piano and harp, without the help of any other instrument, both in instrumental music and in vocal instruments, which is not the same with the violin, flute and others, which need company to form it, as we are seeing in orchestras and concerts?

I will say more: if, as his voice is medium, and only adaptable for a hall, his tone were fuller, the Spanish guitar would be the first to occupy the preferred place in orchestras. Some individuals from the schools, moved by their natural inclination, or stimulated by some progress of other friends in this matter, have several times wanted to learn this instrument, and requested the corresponding permission from their directors; but they have not allowed it, dissuading them from this hobby, telling them that the guitar is an ordinary instrument, and a barber's tool: what a beautiful stimulus for their progress, and what an expression, daughter of the grossest ignorance! Well, are we in that time when the vihuela served no purpose other than to spin around in the air, and scratch some bad lines at the door of a barbershop?

We could also express ourselves in the same terms and say the piano is something of sacristans because of how obscured this was.

instrument not many years ago, since we only had a bad manucord and a harpsichord of very little extension, similar to our primitive vihuela, whose angry voices damaged even the tympanum of our ears, and we see in the state of impulse and perfection that is found in our days because we find ourselves in the same case, Mr. Editor: this is not about our primitive and common vihuela, both

in its construction as well as in its short extension, which has only been and is adaptable to playing, singing and dancing our manchégás and some other national dances and yes we are talking about the harmonic guitar, as I have said, so that the directors of the schools and many other people, who do not stop expressing themselves in the same terms: distinguishing colors, not confusing one with this, and giving it

the merit, protection and appreciation of which it is worthy we already have famous guitar makers in Madrid, Cádiz, Seville, Málaga and other provincial capitals, who have succeeded in giving it a fairly good

body and duration to their good voices: we have equally good teachers, an abundant assortment of the best music, and excellent guitar methods by well-known authors, and some other individuals whose teaching experience has made some of them train under the same system. modern, with which they can guide us correctly, teaching us how to analyze and read modern music well, separating us from all routine, and even clearly showing us the different way of writing ancient guitar music from that of the day. In Paris, great figures of both sexes and many individuals have adopted our harmonic guitar with great enthusiasm, and in the schools of that capital they already have this instrument for the decoration and entertainment of their students, whose teachers are Spanish, and They glorify each other that they have found the most opportune opportunity to give it an accelerated impulse, the only object of their trip, more than the benefit or interest that could result from it. In London, since Sor appeared expressly to make known what was being done in the Spanish harmonic guitar, they have also made a corresponding appreciation of this instrument, and are continually making requests to Paris and Madrid for the best methods and works of the most famous authors, the same thing happens in Havana, where our guitar is becoming more widespread since Professor Huerta went to that capital with the same objective and it gives rise to our teachers going away to other countries, and that within a very long time In a few years they will come to give us a lesson and teach us foreigners, since we are the ones who have raised it from nothing, and the teachers who are currently teaching them are Spaniards, what a shame! and how they will brand our laziness and laugh at us! It will be inevitable that this same thing will happen, because they have taken up the harmonic guitar with enthusiasm and determination, while we are scratching strings with our primitive vihuela, and worried

with our old nonsense that the guitar is an ordinary and common instrument. It seems to me, Mr. Editor, that the question and reflections said are not without foundation, and are obvious enough to stop showing one's face for such a beautiful instrument, and to know that we Spaniards are doing an insult and contempt of esteem that he deserves.

You admit. Propitious, Mr. Editor, this article, which has been

encouraged to write the affection that as an amateur I have for our national instrument, and the poor intelligence with which it is received among us; and if he judges it fixed he will have vrad. the goodness of inserting it in his newspaper, and transmitting it to our readers so that they are distracted for a while, since their goodness of you It expands us and provides these moments of distraction. You excuse me, of this annoyance, and waiting for his orders with which my gratitude can pay him the respects of my obedience rendered, send to his brother. server Q. S. M. B. the amateur lyricist.

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