Canarios – Gaspar Sanz Guitar Tablature

Canarios – Gaspar Sanz Guitar Tablature


The popularity and the fame it enjoys today Gaspar Sanz should be, in large part, to a single composition: the Canaries.

First published in 1674, he gained a tremendous popularity throughout the TWENTIETH century.

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The Fantasía para un gentilhombre (1954) del maestro Joaquín Rodrigo, a concerto for guitar and orchestra uses subjects of Sanz: not by chance that culminates this work with a version a bright, Canary islands . And if there are edits (more or less critical) parts of Sanz in the TWENTIETH century -it is sufficient to cite just the most well-known, such as those of Emilio Pujol, Regino Sainz de la Maza-, so I always find this the Canary islands .

For a future scientific work would be very interesting to ask for the causes of the history of reception of the Canaries , a dance, that, oddly enough, was not as well-known in the EIGHTEENTH and NINETEENTH centuries.

In any case, Sanz, obviously is not a synonym of the Canary islands : his work, the music Instruction on the Spanish guitar, collected in three books (1674, 1675 and 1697), it is much more rich, diverse and shows a composer who mastered all the genres and techniques typical for the guitar at the end of the SEVENTEENTH century.

And it would not be an exaggeration to say that with the only knowledge of their Music instruction one can have a complete overview of the instrumental music of those years (excluding, unfortunately, the vocal music).

A large part of the Instruction are popular dances such as the Folías, the Villain, the Marionas, to name just a few; and, according to the practice of yesteryear, Sanz offers both in a version of strumming (i.e. only with the harmonic structure and the blows that are given) as well as in version stippling, or, as we would say today, “broken down in notes.” This collection of dances in dotted form, therefore, a rich source, due to its precise annotation, to those who study the ancient melodies.

The part of the Statement less known, and even until recently unknown, is the last book (1697), which contains only parade. This musical genre, comparable in terms of their importance with the string quartet of the EIGHTEENTH century, shows the true mastery of the composer.

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If the dances are influenced and, in some way, limited by the steps of the dance and the melody, here, in the parades, there is far greater freedom to “compose”. These parades are works very extensive and harmonically daring: they represent a field of experimentation where Sanz shows your skill and ingenuity: they are, in a nutshell, “masterpieces”.

An evaluation and appreciation of the work of Gaspar Sanz would be incomplete if it did not mentioned the theoretical and didactic.

The Statement is meant to be a treaty for the realization of the basso continuo (Sanz calls it “on the party”), so that gives us a very detailed view of this common practice of improvising on a low or perform the accompaniment on the guitar. Even more, Sanz also informs us about the technical details of how they strung up the guitar, what is the best tuning or other more things: a wealth of valuable information about the guitar and its use/handling.

The Statement of Gaspar Sanz is, in a nutshell, a treatise on the theory of music, a collection of melodies, contains a repertoire and original adaptations, but also shows a composition ingenious in the parade.

It is everything that today would like any musician and musicologist, a composer of the past.