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Author Topic: More thoughts on Spanish Tuning origins  (Read 498 times)

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Offline Stumblin

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More thoughts on Spanish Tuning origins
« on: December 18, 2013, 07:43:40 AM »
So, I'll assume that we all know by now about Henry Worrall's Spanish Fandango, and how this tune is widely credited with giving Spanish tuning its name.
I can't help wondering, though, what made Worrall give his tune that title, given the rarity of Open-G type tunings in the Spanish guitar repertoire.
After acquiring a Portuguese cavaquinho and learning of the relative abundance of open chord tunings in Portuguese chordophone music, I began to suspect that some C19th Portuguese immigrants to North America may have been mistakenly identified as Spaniards and that this might provide a potential avenue of explanation.
It turns out that there are other possibilities. I just read a very interesting article from Early Music , Vol. xxxv, No. 1, 2007, Black guitar-players and early African-Iberian music in Portugal and Brazil, by Rog?rio Budasz. Budasz proposes that African musicians from the Portuguese colonies had imprinted their musical influences onto Pan-Iberian chordophone musical styles strongly by as early as the late 16th century, with these influences rapidly affecting the musics of other regions. So, although not common in modern Spanish music, it is possible that open tunings were known and used in Spain (having spread there via the Portuguese colonies and trade routes) at a very early date.
If you have JSTOR access, you can find the article easily, using the author, title and journal information given above. If you don't have JSTOR access and would like to read it, pm me your email address and I'll send you a pdf.
All this is probably old news to many of you, but it's been a fascinating trail for me so far.

Offline bnemerov

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Re: More thoughts on Spanish Tuning origins
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2013, 11:41:01 AM »
Thanks for this citation, Stumblin.

The Portugese/Spanish conflation has seemed the source of much confusion re: scordatura.

My friend Gerhard Kubik, who is well-known as an Africanist, has also done much work in Brazil among the African descendants there. We have discussed this notion---Portugal rather than Spain as the transmission point to the New World for several musical practices---but not Portugese colonial Africa as an early origination point.

It is also interesting that the earliest workers imported to tend the Hawaiian pineapple plantations were said to be Portugese.

Thanks again for the citation. I look forward to reading the article. (I have JSTOR access.)
best,
Bruce

edited to add: Forgot to mention that the time cited in the article, late 16th C., was when Spain and Portugal were united (more or less) under a common monarchy
« Last Edit: December 18, 2013, 03:07:02 PM by bnemerov »

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: More thoughts on Spanish Tuning origins
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2013, 03:34:14 AM »
It is also interesting that the earliest workers imported to tend the Hawaiian pineapple plantations were said to be Portugese.

And the Portuguese are supposed to be responsible for the arrival of the ukulele in Hawaii when their sailors introduced a small stringed instrument called a 'braginha' which was then slightly adapted and adopted by the locals.
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

 


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