FolkWorld Issue 36 07/2008; Article from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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UEFA Euro '08, 8-29 June 2008
The European Football Championship in Austria and Switzerland captivated the masses in June 2008. Culture and the arts were at a low. (Though some journalists credited the 2006 World Championship in Germany for an unexpected upsurge of German folk song CDs.) Be a sports enthusiast, be rather indifferent or just hate it, take the opportunity and follow us to FolkWorld's European Music Championship... and the Music of Spain. We share the same slogan: Expect Emotions! As UEFA president Michel Platini stated, "it describes in a nutshell what we have to offer: all kinds of emotions - joy, disappointment, relief or high tension."
In Spain, several very different cultural streams came together in the first centuries of the Christian era: the Roman culture, which was dominant for several hundred years, and which brought with it the music and ideas of Ancient Greece; early Christians, who had their own version of the Roman Rite; the Visigoths, an East Germanic tribe who overran the Iberian peninsula in the fifth century;
The 2008 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as Euro 2008, was the 13th UEFA European Football Championship, a quad-rennial football tournament for European nations. The tournament, which was hosted by Austria and Switzerland, began on 7 June 2008 and concluded with the final at Ernst Happel Stadion in Vienna on 29 June 2008. It was the second successful joint bid in the competition's history. Greece were the defending champions going into the tournament, having won the previous tournament. Spain won the tournament by defeating Germany 1–0 in the final. This was only the second time in the history of the tournament that the winning team won all their matches in the group stage; the other team to do so was France in 1984. [en.wikipedia.org]
Isidore of Seville wrote about music in the sixth century. His influences were predominantly Greek, and yet he was an original thinker, and recorded some of the first information about the early music of the Christian church. He perhaps is most famous in music history for declaring that it was not possible to notate sounds—an assertion which reveals his ignorance of the notational system of ancient Greece, so that knowledge had to have been lost by the time he was writing.
Under the Moors, who were usually tolerant of other religions during the seven hundred years of their influence, both Christianity and Judaism, with their associated music and ritual, flourished. Music notation developed in Spain as early as the eighth century (the so-called Visigothic neumes) to notate the chant and other sacred music of the Christian church, but this obscure notation has not yet been deciphered by scholars, and exists only in small fragments. The music of the Christian church in Spain is known as Mozarabic Chant, and developed in isolation, not subject to the enforced codification of Gregorian chant under the guidance of Rome around the time of Charlemagne. At the time of the reconquista, this music was almost entirely extirpated: once Rome had control over the Christians of the Iberian peninsula, the regular Roman rite was imposed, and locally developed sacred music was banned, burned, or otherwise eliminated. The style of Spanish popular songs of the time is presumed to be closely related to the style of Moorish music. Music of the King Alfonso X Cantigas de Santa Maria is considered likely to show influence from Islamic sources. Other important medieval sources include the Codex Calixtinus collection from Santiago de Compostela and the Codex Las Huelgas. The so-called Llibre Vermell de Montserrat (red book) is an important devotional collection from the fourteenth century.
In the early Renaissance, Mateo Flecha el viejo and the Castillian dramatist Juan del Encina rank among the main composers in the post-Ars Nova period. Some renaissance songbooks are the Cancionero de Palacio, the Cancionero de Medinaceli, the Cancionero de Uppsala (it is kept in Carolina Rediviva library), the Cancionero de la Colombina, and the later Cancionero de la Sablonara. The organist Antonio de Cabezón stands out for his keyboard compositions and mastery.
Early 16th century polyphonic vocal style developed in Spain was closely related to the style of the Franco-Flemish composers. Melting of styles occurred during the period when the Holy Roman Empire and Burgundy were part of the dominions under Charles I (king of Spain from 1516 to 1556), since composers from the North both visited Spain, and native Spaniards travelled within the empire, which extended to the Netherlands, Germany and Italy. Music for vihuela by Luis de Milán, Alonso Mudarra and Luis de Narváez stands as one of the main achievements of the period. The Aragonese Gaspar Sanz was the author of the first learning method for guitar. The great Spanish composers of the Renaissance included Francisco Guerrero and Cristóbal de Morales, both of whom spent a significant portion of their careers in Rome. The great Spanish composer of the late Renaissance, who reached a level of polyphonic perfection and expressive intensity equal or even superior to Palestrina and Lassus, was Tomás Luis de Victoria, who also spent much of his life in Rome. Most Spanish composers returned home late in their careers to spread their musical knowledge in their native land or at the service of the Court of Philip II at the late 1500's.
By the end of the 17th century the "classical" musical culture of Spain was in decline, and was to remain that way until the 19th century. Classicism in Spain, when it arrived, was inspired on Italian models, as in the works of Antonio Soler. Some outstanding Italian composers as Domenico Scarlatti or Luigi Boccherini were appointed at the Madrid court. The short-lived Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga is credited as the main beginner of Romantic sinfonism in Spain.
Fernando Sor, Dionisio Aguado, Francisco Tárrega and Miguel Llobet are known as composers of guitar music. Fine literature for violin was created by Pablo Sarasate and Jesús de Monasterio.
Zarzuela, a native form of light opera, is a secular musical form which developed in the early 17th century. Some beloved zarzuela composers are Ruperto Chapí, Federico Chueca and Tomás Bretón.
Musical creativity mainly moved into areas of folk and popular music until the nationalist revival of the late Romantic era. Spanish composers of this period include Felipe Pedrell, Isaac Albéniz, Enrique Granados, Joaquín Turina, Manuel de Falla, Jesús Guridi, Ernesto Halffter, Federico Mompou, Salvador Bacarisse, and Joaquín Rodrigo.
Spanish pop radio flourished at the end of Francisco Franco's regime. By the late 1950s, a generation of performers were coming of age. At the same time American and British music, especially rock and roll, was having an impact on Spanish audiences. The Benidorm International Song Festival was founded in 1959 in Benidorm, a seaside town attempting to boost local tourism. Inspired by the Italian San Remo Music Festival, it was followed by a wave of similar music festivals in places like Barcelona, Majorca and the Canary Islands. Many of the major Spanish pop stars of the era rose to fame through these music festivals.
From the English pop-refrain words "yeah-yeah", ye-yé was a French-coined term which Spanish language appropriated to refer to uptempo pop music. It mainly consisted of a fusion of American rock from the early 60s (such as twist) and British beat music. Concha Velasco, a singer and movie star, launched the scene with her 1965 hit "La Chica Ye-Yé", though there had been hits earlier by female singers like Karina (1963). The earliest stars were an imitation of French pop, at the time itself an imitation of American and British pop and rock. Flamenco rhythms, however, sometimes made the sound distinctively Spanish. From this first generation of Spanish pop singers, Rosalia's 1965 hit "Flamenco" sounded most distinctively Spanish.
Some of Spain's most famous singers in alphabetical order are: Luis Eduardo Aute, Paloma Berganza, David Bisbal, Miguel Bosé, Concha Buika, Enrique Bunbury, Camarón de la Isla, Chenoa, Conchita, Sergio Dalma, Paco de Lucía, Pepe de Lucía, El Fary, Paco Ibáñez, Enrique Iglesias, Julio Iglesias, María Jiménez, José Antonio Labordeta, Lluís Llach, Loquillo, Rosa López, Antonio Molina, Enrique Morente, Mónica Naranjo, Isabel Pantoja, Ramoncín, Rocío Jurado, Rocío Durcal, Paloma San Basilio, Raphael, Miguel Ríos, Joaquín Sabina, Marta Sánchez, Alejandro Sanz, Joan Manuel Serrat, Ana Torroja, Álex Ubago, Víctor Manuel.
Also in alpahebetical order, some of the most famous Spanish pop groups include: Amaral, Aviador Dro, Los Bravos, Los Brincos, La Buena Vida, Burning, Café Quijano, El Canto Del Loco, Dover, Duncan Dhu, Dúo Dinámico, Edurne, Estopa, Fangoria, Fórmula V, Gabinete Caligari, Gipsy Kings, Héroes del Silencio, Hidrogenesse, Hombres G, Jarabe de Palo, Ketama, Loquillo y Los Trogloditas, Mecano, Mojinos Escozíos, Nacha Pop, Nena Daconte, Ojos de Brujo, La Oreja de Van Gogh, Orquesta Mondragón, Pereza, Pignoise, Los Planetas, Presuntos Implicados, La Quinta Estación, Radio Futura, Los Rodríguez, Los Secretos, Siniestro Total, El Sueño de Morfeo, Tequila, Los Toreros Muertos, Triana, El Último de la Fila.
Also from Spain was the famous trio of singing clowns Gaby, Fofó y Miliki.
Flamenco is an Andalusian traditional folk music. It consists of three forms: the song (cante), the dance (baile) and the guitar (guitarra). The first reference dates back to 1774, from Cadalso's "Cartas Marruecas". Flamenco probably originated in Cádiz, Jérez de la Frontera and Triana, and could be a descendant of musical forms left by Moorish during the 8th-17th century. Influences from the Byzantine church music, Egypt, Pakistan and India could also have been important in shaping the music. The word flamenco is most commonly considered derived from the Spanish word for Flemish. Some claim that Spanish Jews in Flanders were allowed to perform their music without oppression, and Gypsies that had fought there with distinction in war on behalf of Spain were rewarded by being allowed to settle in Andalusia. Main stream scholars recognize all these early influences but consider flamenco as an earlier 19th century performance stage music as tango or fado.
Spain's autonomous regions have their own distinctive folk traditions. There is also a movement of folk-based singer-songwriters with politically active lyrics, paralleling similar developments across Latin America and Portugal. While the bulk of today's Spanish traditional music can only be traced as far back as early 19th century, a handful of ritual religious music can be dated back to renaissance and middle age eras. So-called Iberian, Celtic, Roman, Greek or Phoenician music influence only exists in the minds of fanciful dilettanti. Singer and composer Eliseo Parra (b. 1949) has recorded folk music of the Basques and of Salamanca.
Though Andalusia is best known for flamenco music, folk music features a strong musical tradition for gaita rociera (tabor pipe) in Western Andalusia and a distinct violin and plucked-strings band known as panda de verdiales in Málaga.
The region has also produced singer-songwriters like Javier Ruibal and Carlos Cano, who revived a traditional music called copla. Catalan Kiko Veneno and Joaquín Sabina are popular performers in a distinctly Spanish-style rock music, while Sephardic musicians like Aurora Moreno, Luís Delgado and Rosa Zaragoza keep alive-and-well Andalusian Sephardic music.
Jota, popular across Spain, could have historical roots in the Southern part of Aragon. Jota instruments include the castanets, guitar, bandurria, tambourines and sometimes the flute. Aragonese music can be characterized by a dense percussive element, that some tried to attribute as an inheritance from North African Berbers. The guitarro, a unique kind of small guitar also seen in Murcia, seems Aragonese in origin. Besides its music for stick-dances and dulzaina (shawm), Aragon has its own gaita de boto (bagpipes) and chiflo (tabor pipe). As in the Basque country, Aragonese chiflo can be played along to a chicotén string-drum (psaltery) rhythm.
Northwest Spain (Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria) is home to a distinct tradition of bagpipe music that some tried to connect to the 1970s commercial label of Celtic-derived culture. All the languages in this area are of Latin origin but local festivals celebrating the area's Celtic influence are common, with Ortigueira's Festival del Mundo Celta being especially important. Drum and bagpipe groups are the most beloved kind of Galician folk music, and include popular bands like Milladoiro. Groups of pandereteiras are another traditional set of singing women that play tambourines. Bagpipe virtuoso Carlos Núñez is an especially popular performer; he has worked with Ireland's The Chieftains and Sinéad O'Connor, United States' Ry Cooder and Cuba's Vieja Trova Santiaguera.
Galician folk music includes characteristical alalas songs. Alalas, that may include instrumental interludes, are believed to be chant-based popular songs with a long history.
Asturias is also home to popular musicians such as José Ángel Hevia (a virtuoso bagpiper), and famous Celtic group Llan de Cubel. Circle folk dances using a 6/8 tambourine rhythm are also a hallmark of this area. Vocal asturianadas show melismatic ornamentations similar to those of other parts of the Iberian Peninsula. There are many festivals, such as "Folixa na Primavera" (April, in Mieres), "Intercelticu d'Avilés" (Interceltic festival of Avilés, in July), as well as many "Celtic nights" in Asturias.
As in the Basque Country, Cantabrian folk music features intrincate arch and stick dances but tabor pipes did not play such a predominant role. Aside with a rich tradition for rebec, a popular instrumental setting encompasses drum and alto clarinet (here known as pito or requinto) players.
In the Balearic Islands, Xeremiers or colla de xeremiers is a traditional ensemble that consists of flabiol (a five-hole tabor pipe) and xeremies (bagpipes). Majorca's Maria del Mar Bonet was one of the most influential artists of nova canço, known for her political and social lyrics. Tomeu Penya, Biel Majoral, Cerebros exprimidos and Joan Bibiloni are also popular.
The Basques have a unique language, unrelated to any other in the world except according to some uncertain theories. The most popular kind of Basque folk music is called after the dance trikitixa, which is based on the accordion and tambourine. Popular performers are Joseba Tapia and Kepa Junkera. Very appreciated folk instruments are txistu (similar to Occitanian galoubet recorder), alboka (a double clarinet played in circular-breathing technique, similar to other Mediterranean instruments like launeddas) and txalaparta (a huge xylophone, similar to the Romanian toacă and played by two performers in a fascinating game-performance). As in many parts of the Iberian peninsula, there are ritual dances with sticks, swords and vegetal arches. Other popular dances are fandango, jota and 5/8 zortziko.
In the Canary Islands, Isa, a local kind of Jota, is now popular, and Latin American musical (Cuban) influences are quite widespread, especially in the presence of the charango (a kind of guitar). Timple, the local name for ukulele / cavaquinho, is commonly seen in plucked string bands. A popular set in El Hierro island consists of drums and wooden fifes (pito herreño). Tabor pipe is customary in some ritual dances in Tenerife island.
A large inland region, Castile, Madrid and Leon had predominantly Celtiberian and Celtic cultural background before the Roman rule. The area has been a melting pot, however, and Gypsies, Portuguese, Jewish, Roman, Visigothic and sources could have left a mark on the region's music.
Jota is popular, but uniquely slow in Castile and Leon. Instrumentation also varies here much from the one in Aragon. Northern León, that shares a language background with the Portuguese town of Miranda do Douro and Asturias, also has Galician influences. There are also gaita (bagpipe) and tabor pipe traditions. The Maragatos people, of uncertain origin, have a unique musical style and live in Leon, around Astorga. All over Castile there is also a strong tradition of dance music for dulzaina (shawm) and rondalla groups. Popular rhythms include 5/8 charrada and circle dances, jota and habas verdes. As in many other parts of the Iberian peninsula, ritual dances include paloteos (stick dances). Salamanca is known as the home of tuna, a serenade played with guitars and tambourines, mostly by students dressed in medieval clothing. Madrid is known for its chotis music, a local variation to the European tradition of 19th century schottische dance. Flamenco is also popular among some urbanites.
Though Catalonia is best known for sardana music played by a cobla, there are other traditional styles of dance music like ball de bastons (stick-dances), galops, ball de gitanes. Music takes forefront personality in cercaviles and celebrations similar to Patum in Berga. Flabiol (a five-hole tabor pipe), gralla or dolçaina (a shawm) and sac de gemecs (a local bagpipe) are traditional folk instruments that make part of some coblas.
Rough Guide to the Music of Spain
Cantes del Pueblo: Música Tradicional Española
Having long been the poorest part of Spain, Extremadura is a largely rural region known for Portuguese influence on its music. As in Northern regions of Spain, there is a rich repertoire for tabor pipe music. The zambomba drum (similar to Portuguese sarronca or Brazilian cuica) is played by pulling on a rope which is inside the drum. It is found throughout Spain but is characteristic of Extremadura. The jota is common, here played with triangles, castanets, guitars, tambourines, accordions and zambombas.
Murcia is a dry region which has very strong Moorish influences, as well as Andalusian. Flamenco and guitar-accompanied cante jondo is especially associated with Murcia as well as rondallas (plucked-string bands).
Navarre and La Rioja are small regions with diverse cultural elements. Northern Navarre is Basque in language, while the Southern section shares more Aragonese features. The jota is also known in both Navarre and La Rioja. Both regions have rich dance and dulzaina (shawm) traditions. Txistu (tabor pipe) and dulzaina ensembles are very popular to public celebrations in Navarra.
Fairley, Jan "A Wild, Savage Feel-ing". 2000. In Broughton, Simon and Ellingham, Mark with McCon-nachie, James and Duane, Orla (Ed.), World Music, Vol. 1: Africa, Europe and the Middle East, pp 279-291. Rough Guides Ltd, Pen-guin Books. ISBN 1-85828-636-0
Traditional music from Valencia is characteristically mediterranean in origin. Valencia also has its local kind of Jota. Moreover, Valencia has a high reputation for musical innovation, and performing brass bands called bandes are common, with one appearing in almost every town. Dolçaina (shawm) is widely found. Valencia also shares some traditional dances with other Iberian areas, like for instance, the ball de bastons (stick-dances). The group Al Tall is also well-known, experimenting with the Berber band Muluk El Hwa, and revitalizing traditional Valencian music, following the Riproposta Italian musical movement.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Date: June 2008.
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