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The guitar in the Cervantes’ work

Music has always been part of the Miguel de Cervantes’ work, and from Guitarras Alhambra, we recall the 400th anniversary of his demise.

The musical component has always been recurrent in the literature of the XVI and XVII centuries as social element, and it is also in the Cervantes’ works. In the fourth centenary of his death, there are many studies and comments about his work; and music and the use of the guitar in the Cervantes' work are also present in the circles of lovers of this instrument.

The Cervantes’ period was characterised by years of splendour and the flowering of art and literature in our country; henceforth, these years were known as the Spanish Golden Age, immersed in the culture and knowledge in which the authors were great connoisseurs of all disciplines. Cervantes was a great writer, but he was also a great expert of music and, especially, of its popular versions; although, to a lesser extent, the courtly and palatial music as it’s reflected in his writings.

He knew perfectly the musical component which was used in his plays on three fundamental blocks: romances, dances, and instruments. In many of his passages, he describes in detail the use of musical instruments to complement the funniest stories in which he used to describe celebrations and dances, which were the basis of fun of the characters who are well-described in his stories. And the most popular and used instrument by Cervantes was always the guitar or any of its forms or variants of the century, appearing in several works such as The House of Jealousy, Pedro de Urdemalas, The Diversion, The Cave of Salamanca, among others. And, he also makes reference to the guitar in the most widely-read work of Cervantes in the Spanish literature, Don Quixote. In this novel, the guitar is mentioned in several passages; in one of them, the author extols it describing the use of this instrument as "an ability of a gentleman court” instead of an instrument for the commoner people as happened at that time.

The guitar in the Cervantes’ work is just one of the many winks at the culture and the Spanish popular folklore that appears in his works, and shows to be a tribute and recognition to a very special element in our country; so that, in Alhambra Guitarswe want to bring this instrument closer to the general public, recognizing the figure of Miguel de Cervantes at the same time.

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