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Music 3228 Topics in Music History Manuel de Falla. Music of Spain Room 402, WF @ 12:30 p.m. Dr. Dena Kay Jones. Review. During the 19 th Century, not much musical activity other than ZARZUELA HOWEVER, other musicians (predominantly French) are capitalizing on the “Spanish Idiom:”

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Music 3228Topics in Music HistoryManuel de Falla

Music of Spain

Room 402, WF @ 12:30 p.m.

Dr. Dena Kay Jones

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  • During the 19th Century, not much musical activity other than ZARZUELA

  • HOWEVER, other musicians (predominantly French) are capitalizing on the “Spanish Idiom:”

    • Bizet’s Carmen (premiere March 3, 1875)

    • Chabrier’s España

    • Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnol

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  • Lyrical Opera, Los Pirineos

  • Most important:

    Philosophies on Spanish Nationalism

  • Collection of both Spanish Art Music AND folklore; Cancionero Popular Español, 1918-1922

Por Nuestra Musica, 1891

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Pedrell’s nationalist philosophies:

  • 1) Using both cultivated and popular folklore music in current composition

  • 2) By using these melodies, harmonies, and rhythms, composers were simply carrying on an unbroken tradition of representing Spanish music

  • 3) The musical traditions were notable for their local differences (not only Andalucian)

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Historical material would be included in current compositions

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What is the “Spanish Idiom”

  • PREDOMINANTLY, Musical language found in the Arab-influenced regions of Southern Spain

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Three important events in the history of Spanish music

  • Spanish church of Byzantine liturgical music (middle eastern influenced = mozarabic)

  • Muslim invasion in Spain

  • Immigration and establishment of gypsies (gitanos)

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Mozarabic Chant

  • Mozarabic chant: modes were favored (dorian and phrygian)

  • Passing notes incorporated into melodies

  • Absence of strict meter in the melodic line, which frequently modulated away from its tonal center.

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Arab Invasion of 711


  • Complex rhythms

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Gypsies in Spain

  • Cante jondo

    • Smaller intervals in the scale

    • Portamento

    • Repetition of the same note

    • Strong reactions

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Other Spanish Customs

  • Regional traditions

  • The guitar!!

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Early Years

  • Born in Cádiz on November 23, 1876

  • His father was from Valenica and his mother from Catalonia

  • La Morilla

  • Religious

  • Strong beginnings in music education

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Madrid Years

  • By 1899 he is successful as a music student in the Madrid Conservatory

  • Allegro de Concierto (ca.1900)

Premanuel Antefalla

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One of ths most important aspects of Madrid Years

  • Meets Pedrell

  • Worked three years together

  • …Spanish music and its history “involves a perception not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence.” (T. S. Eliott, 1932)

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La Vida Breve

  • Music by Falla

  • Libretto by Carlos Fernández Shaw

  • Hurried composition for competition deadline

  • Academia de Bellas Artes

  • Staged, produced and performed in FRANCE

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La Vida Breve

  • Two-act lyric opera drama

  • Synopsis:

    • Salud

    • Paco

    • Carmela

  • Verismo

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Paris Years (1907-1914)

  • Friends: Debussy, Ravel, Albéniz, and

Ricardo Vines

  • Two Major Works:

    • Siete canciones populares españolas (1907-1911)

    • Noches en las jardines de España (1911-1915)

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Siete canciones populares españolas

  • El Pano moruno

  • Seguidilla murciana

  • Austuriana

  • Jota

  • Nana

  • Canción

  • Polo

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Pedrell’s influence is evident

  • Actual folk melodies

  • Composed in the style of a particular region

  • Completely new

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Siete canciones populares españolas

  • El Pano moruno – actual folk melody

  • Seguidilla murciana – actual folk melody

  • Austuriana – based on model

  • Jota – completely new

  • Nana – based on model

  • Canción – based on model

  • Polo – completely new

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  • Repetition of harmony

  • Complex rhythms

  • Intermittent and intermediate pitches

  • E Major, Dorian, Phrygian, E Major with a lowered 2nd, 7th, and 8th

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Noches en las jardines de España

  • En el Generalife (summer palace of the Moorish kings in Granada)

  • Danza lejana

  • En los jardines de la Sierra de Córdoba

    • Dedicated to Viñes

    • 1911-1915

    • “Only true impressionistic work”

    • Each movement is monothematic

    • Full of complex rhythms, Andalucian harmonies, various guitar effects in the piano

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El Amor Brujo

  • Falla returns to Spain: to Madrid in 1914

  • El Amor Brujo – 1915 – Love the Sorcerer

  • Commissioned by the famous Russian choreographer and ballet commissioner, Sergei Diaghilev

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El Amor Brujo

  • The Gypsy Ballet

  • Synopsis

    • Candelas

    • Carmelo

    • Ghost

    • Lucía

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El Sombrero de Tres Picos (1919)

  • Another comission for the Ballet Russe

  • Symopsis:

    • Corregidor

    • Miller

    • Miller’s Wife

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Fantasia Baetica (1919)

  • Most difficult piano work

  • Commissioned by Artur Rubinstein

  • Represents Andalucía and all of its culture: flamenco, Arabic influence, Roman influence and even prehistoric Cádiz

  • Disjunct, difficult to play, harmonic and melodic material is complex…

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Homenaje a Debussy (1920)

  • Written in response to the call for works in memoriam to Debussy

  • Only guitar work

  • Based on the Soirée dans Grenade by Debussy

  • Habanera rhythm

  • Very slow harmonic changes with lyrical and soulful melody

  • Direct quote

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Concerto for harpsichord (or piano), flute, oboe, clarinet, violin and cello

  • Homage to Scarlatti

  • Written in a more modern musical language

  • 16th century villancico

  • Allegro, Lento and Vivace

  • 10 minutes

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Harpsichord Concerto

  • Magnificent effects of sonority

  • “The last movement, marked flessibile, scherzando, with its characteristic sparkle; it is very Scarlattian, yet only Falla could have written it.” --Gilbert Chase

  • Commissioned by Wanda Landowska

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El Retablo de Maese Pedro

  • Chamber opera for puppets

  • Synopsis:

    • Don Quixote

    • Maese Pedro

    • Boy

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Puppet Show!

  • Premiered at a private home in 1923

  • Large stage problems

  • Scored for a small orchestra = 25

  • Calls for audience’s knowledge of Spain’s historical background of music:

    • Ties to Cervantes,

    • Seventeeth-century Spanish music

    • Spain’s folkloric traditions

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HOMEWORK for Monday

  • Read from the Tomás Marco text: pp. 34-44 and 101-118