The Tonadilla in Performance: Lyric Comedy in Enlightenment Spain

The Tonadilla in Performance: Lyric Comedy in Enlightenment Spain

by Elisabeth Le Guin


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The tonadilla, a type of satiric musical skit popular on the public stages of Madrid during the late Enlightenment, has played a significant role in the history of music in Spain. This book, the first major study of the tonadilla in English, examines the musical, theatrical, and social worlds that the tonadilla brought together and traces the lasting influence this genre has had on the historiography of Spanish music. The tonadillas' careful constructions of musical populism provide a window onto the tensions among Enlightenment modernity, folkloric nationalism, and the politics of representation; their diverse, engaging, and cosmopolitan music is an invitation to reexamine tired old ideas of musical "Spanishness." Perhaps most radically of all, their satirical stance urges us to embrace the labile, paratextual nature of comic performance as central to the construction of history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520276307
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 11/29/2013
Pages: 408
Product dimensions: 9.00(w) x 6.20(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Elisabeth Le Guin is Professor of Musicology at UCLA and author of Boccherini’s Body: An Essay in Carnal Musicology.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

A Note on Editions and Translations


Introduction: Indispensable Ornaments

The Matter at Hand—“A Horrible Storm”: Nationalist Historiography and the Tonadillas—The Nature and Purpose of This Book—Kom/oide

1. An Evening at the Theater: An Imaginary Re/creation

The First Act (Which Here They Call “Jornada”)—Sainete: El Simple Discreto—Tonadilla: El Pintor y la Vieja—La Niteti: Second Jornada—Sainete (Entremés): La Verdad Desnuda—Tonadilla: La Avellanera y Dos Franceses, by Pablo Esteve

2. Players

The Companies—Training in Acting—Women in the Theater—Blas de Laserna, La Compositora (1777–1778)—Rehearsals—Players and Literacy—Oral and Aural Learning and Acting—Actor-Players and Musician-Players—The First Violin for Dances and Tonadillas—The Music Master—The Copyist—The Apuntador (“Apunte”)—Singing Style—Improvisation—Pablo Esteve, La Desdicha de las Tonadillas (1782)

3. Rhythms

Three Italian Styles—The Mediterranean Roots of Galant Style—Coplas and Paired Phrasing—Luis Misón, La Chinesca (1761)—Blas de Laserna, La Cómica y la Operista (1783)—The Italian and “el Ytaliano”—The Galant as the Unmarked—Training in Composition—The Seguidilla(s)—Boleras in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung—Minguet e Yrol, Arte de Danzar a la Francesa (1758)—Dancing the Seguidillas—Seguidillas as Populist Symbol—Ramón de la Cruz, El Pueblo Quejoso (1765)—Paradox of the Seguidillas—Seguidillas in the Tonadillas—Blas de Laserna, La Fuga de la Pulpillo (1784)—Blas de Laserna, La Lección de Música y de Bolero (1803)

Intermedio: On the Stage of the Metropolis

Metropolitan Solipsism—Enter la Mandinga—The Manguindoy—Historical Sketch—Treacherous Mirrors: Symbols of an Unfinished Conquest—The Spanish Rejection of Musical Mimesis—Exit la Mandinga—Cadence but Not Closure

4. Bandits

Jácaras, Jaques, and Social History—Bandoleros and Early Andalucismo—Majismo and Bandolerismo—María Ladvenant—Chinita (Gabriel López)—Jovellanos Is Incensed—Anonymous, El Guapo (Bocanegra) (ca. 1767)—Resistance, Rebellion, Revolution—Anonymous, La Jácara (1767)—Improvised Playing and Written Composition—Thirty Years Later—Blas de Laserna, Los Contrabandistas (between 1794 and 1803)—Manuel García, “Yo Que Soy Contrabandista” (1805)

5. Late Tonadillas

“The Grand Tragedy: Historical Sketch, 1793–1813—Between the Acts: The Madrid Theaters, 1793–1813—History as Dramatic Material—General Features of Late Tonadillas—Tonadilla Canonicity— Blas de Laserna, El Ensayo (1805)—Another Afternoon at the Theater: Teatro del Príncipe, 25 August 1806—Isidoro Máiquez and Antonia Prado—Manuel Quintana, Pelayo (1805)—Ramón de la Cruz, El Triunfo del Interés (1777)—Pablo del Moral, El Page Tonto (1799–1809)

Fin de Fiesta: Las Músicas

La Raboso—Blas de Laserna, Las Músicas (1779)—The Limits of Re/creation

Appendix. Longer Music Examples




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