The Spanish guitar influence on the piano music of Isaac Albéniz and Enrique Granados : a detailed study of Granada and Asturias of Suite española by Albéniz and Andaluza and Danza triste of Doce danzas españolas by Granados
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This treatise explores the rise of Spanish musical nationalism in the late nineteenth-century piano works of Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909) and Enrique Granados (1867-1916). Especially characteristic of Spanish nationalism is the use of the Spanish guitar idiom in works for piano. Guitar techniques are most apparent in Albéniz’s Suite Española (1886-1896) and Granados’s Doce Danzas Españolas (1888-1890). Chapter I discusses a brief history of Spanish piano music, the history of flamenco and flamenco guitar, and Spanish musical nationalism for a better understanding of Spanish music reflecting the country Spain, which was built on African-Moorish-Hebrew cultures and which survived these diverse cultures’ coexistence and conflict. Chapter II includes Albéniz’s biographical background in relation to his musical path and the compositional background of his Suite Española. Among the eight pieces of Suite Española, “Granada (Serenata)” and “Asturias (Leyenda)” are discussed in detail. The analysis of formal structure (simple three-part form of ABA, which reflects instrumental-vocal-instrumental sections) is provided with diagrams and musical examples. An analysis of harmonic and textural devices (Phrygian mode and guitar writing) is also provided. The technical devices of the guitar used in those pieces are wide spacing between the two hands, singing-like melodic lines in narrow range, short melodic motives and phrases, repetition of one note, especially on the open strings of the guitar (E-A-D-G-B-E), repeated bass figures, and broken or arpeggiated chords, which reproduces the guitar sound of rasgueado or just simple arpeggiation according to its context. Chapter III discusses Granados’s biographical background in relation to his musical path and the compositional background of his Doce Danzas Españolas. Among the twelve pieces of Doce Danzas Españolas, “Andaluza” and “Danza Triste” are discussed in detail. As in Chapter II, items for analysis include formal structure and harmonic and textural devices. Since Granados’s music is based on the development of melody and its modulation, an analysis of the changes of the constantly-recurring melodies within the whole context is offered. A summary conclusion follows the chapter on Granados.
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