The Iberian Peninsula

  • Louise K. Stein
Part of the Man & Music book series (MAMU)


The Iberian peninsula found itself in new circumstances by the middle of the eighteenth century. The constituent parts of the Spanish kingdom, and the roles of Spain and Portugal in European politics, as well as their relationships to each other, had changed entirely since the seventeenth century. The kingdoms of Castile, Aragon, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, Milan, the Americas and the Netherlands had formerly all belonged, with varying degrees of independence, to Spain; but as a result of manipulation by the other European powers, Spain’s empire and central place in European affairs had been gradually eroded. When Charles II, the last of the Spanish Habsburgs, died in 1700, Philippe of Anjou (Louis XIV’s grandson) became King Philip V of Spain, but that solution was contested by the Grand Alliance, which led to the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14). Coinciding with and contributing to Spain’s decline, Portugal had arisen as an independent contender in European politics, confident in its newly claimed wealth from Brazil. Portuguese sovereignty was officially granted in 1668, and thereafter her kings astutely forged anti-Spanish political and commercial alliances and steered Portugal’s culture away from its ingrained Castilian traditions. For Portugal the late Baroque era was a new beginning, but for most Spaniards it was a time of destabilization of the social order and devaluation of the national cultural currency.


Iberian Peninsula Eighteenth Century Seventeenth Century Musical Style Musical Language 
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Bibliographical Note


  1. An enormous amount of research and analysis has yet to be completed before our knowledge of Iberian music and culture matches that for the rest of Europe. Much of this chapter is based on unpublished primary sources. In recent years several invaluable studies have appeared, chief among them M. G. de Brito, Opera in Portugal in the Eighteenth Century (Cambridge, 1989), a richly detailed documentary study with a chronology of public and private performances. The same author’s ‘Le rôle de l’opéra dans la lutte entre l’obscurantisme et les Lumiéres au Portugal (1731–1742)’, La musique et le rite, sacré et profane, IMSCR, xiii Strasbourg 1982, ii, 543–4 is also important. L. K. Stein’s Songs of Mortals, Dialogues of the Gods: Music and Theatre in Seventeenth-Century Spain (Oxford, 1993) focusses on the genres, conventions and legacy of the Hidalgo era. A. Martin Moreno’s survey of Spanish music in the eighteenth century in volume iv of the Historia de la mûsica espanola (Madrid, 1985) is extremely useful, unprecedented for its breadth and detail, and includes an exhaustive bibliography and list of editions. J. A. Rinnander’s One God, One Farinelli: Enlightenment Elites and the Containment of the Theatrical Impulse (diss., U. of California, San Diego, 1985) is a major contribution to the study of Farinelli and his patrons, supplementing C. Morales Borrero’s edition of Carlo Broschi Farinelli, Fiestas reales en el reinado de Fernando VI (Madrid, 1972). J. J. Carreras Lopez’s La mûsica en las catedrales en el siglo XVIII: Francisco J. García ‘El Espanoleto’ (1730–1809) (Saragossa, 1983) is a significant contribution to the study of cathedral music and reform in the eighteenth century. W. M. Bussey’s French and Italian Influence on the Zarzuela 1700–1770 (Ann Arbor, 1982) brings together a wealth of information from primary sources and concise analyses of several important zarzuelas, although the introductory section on the late seventeenth century contains a number of errors. R. Vieira Nery’s Para a historia do barroco musical Português (Lisbon, 1980) is an extremely useful overview.Google Scholar
  2. The treatment of the eighteenth century in E. Cotarelo y Mori’s Historia de la Zarzuela ó sea el drama lirico en españa desde su orígen a fines del siglo XIX (Madrid, 1934) and Origeney establecimiento de la opera en España hasta 1800 (Madrid, 1917) is still useful for factual references, as is the essay on music at court, 1700–1759, in J. Subirá, El teatro del real palacio (Madrid, 1950), 17–52. Subira’s La mûsica en la Casa de Alba (Madrid, 1927) is essential for its coverage of primary sources that have since been lost.Google Scholar
  3. Among the many shorter studies and editions of eighteenth-century Iberian music and musical theory, the following selections relate to specific points in the foregoing chapter. Salir el amor del mundo (1696), a zarzuela by Sebastián Durón, is available in an edition by A. Martûn Moreno (Malaga, 1979), and another of Durón’s works is the subject of L. Stein’s ‘Un manuscrito de música teatral reaparecido: Veneno es de amor la envidia’, Revista de musicología, v (1982), 225–33. Selected songs and cantatas from early eighteenth-century sources are available in Spanish Art Song in the Seventeenth Century, ed. J. H. Baron (Madison, 1985), and in Cantatas y canciones, ed. M. Querol Gavaldá (Barcelona, 1973). M. Querol Gavaldá’s edition ofTeatro musical de Calderón (Barcelona, 1981) makes available selections from an important early eighteenth-century anthology; the many errors in its seriously flawed introduction are corrected in L. K. Stein’s ‘El “manuscrito novena”: sus textos, su contexto histórico-musical y el músico Joseph Peyró’, Revista de musicología, iii (1980), 197–234. J. López-Calo’s edition of Francisco Valls’s Missa Scala Aretina (London, 1978) includes a useful concise introduction to the work and the controversy and is supplemented by López-Calo’s ‘Musicos espanoles del pasado: la controversia de Vails’, Tesoro sacro musical (1968, 1969, 1971). A. Martin Moreno’s El Padre Feijoo y las ideologías musicales del siglo XVIII en España (Orense, 1976) is an important contribution to the study of Feijoo and the eighteenth-century musical polemics. B. Lolo’s La müsica en 1a Real Capilla de Madrid: José de Torres y Martínez Bravo (Madrid, 1990) provides an overview of the royal chapel and Bourbon reforms, and a detailed consideration of Torres’s career and achievements. The two editions of Torres’s Réglas generales de acompañar, en órgano, clavicordio, y harpa (Madrid, 1702 and 1736) have been issued together in facsimile (Madrid, 1983), and Pablo Nassarre’s Escuela música segun 1a prúctica moderna (Saragossa, 1723–4) is published in facsimile with an excellent introduction by L. Siemens (Saragossa, 1980). Francisco Antnio de Almeida’s comic opera La spinalba, ovvero il vecchio matto has been published in a transcription by P. Salzmann, Portugaliae Musica, xii (Lisbon, 1969).Google Scholar
  4. Indispensable works on the Spanish theatre in the early eighteenth century include R. Andioc, Teatroy sociedad en el Madrid del siglo XVIII (Madrid, 1976, 2/1987),Google Scholar
  5. N. D. Shergold and J. E. Varey, Teatrosy comedias en Madrid: 1699–1719, estudioy documentos (London, 1986). The standard work on the Portuguese eighteenth-century theatre is still T. Braga, Historia do theatro portuguez, iii: A baixa comedia e a opera no seculo XVIII (Oporto, 1871). The works of António José da Silva are available in his Obras complétas, with preface and notes by J. Pereira Tavares (Lisbon, 1957–8).Google Scholar

History, thought and culture

  1. Essential reading for an understanding of the baroque in Spain and Portugal are J. A. Maravall, Culture of the Baroque: Analysis of a Historical Structure, trans. T. Cochran, foreword by W. Godzich and N. Spadaccini (Minneapolis, 1986; 1st Sp. edn Madrid, 1975),Google Scholar
  2. A. Dominguez Ortiz, La sociedad española en el siglo XVII (Madrid, 1963–70).Google Scholar
  3. J. L. Abellán’s Historia critica del pensamiento español, iii: Del barroco a la ilustración (Madrid, 1981) is a useful overview with excerpts from Spanish writers. A. Pagden’s Spanish Imperialism and the Political Imagination (New Haven and London, 1990) considers the Spanish empire as reality and concept with penetrating insight. Standard histories in English are J. Lynch, Spain under the Habsburgs, ii: Spain and America 1598–1700 (Oxford, 2/1981; New York, 1984);Google Scholar
  4. J. Lynch, Bourbon Spain 1700–1808 (Oxford, 1989), 1–195;Google Scholar
  5. S. G. Payne, A History of Spain and Portugal (Madison, 1973), ii, 351–415;Google Scholar
  6. W. N. Hargreaves-Mawdsley, Eighteenth-Century Spain 1700–1788: a Political, Diplomatic and Institutional History (London, 1979), 1–83. H. Kamen’s Spain in the Later Seventeenth Century, 1665–1700 (London, 1980) offers a solid and detailed history with a refreshing point of view, and the same author’s The War of Succession in Spain 1700–1715 (London and Bloomington, 1969) is indispensable. Y. Bottineau’s L’art de cour dans l’Espagne de Philippe V, 1700–1746 (Bordeaux, 1962; Sp. trans., 1986) is the most comprehensive treatment to date of the fine arts at the court of Philip V, although it must be used carefully.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Historical studies in English of this era in Portugal include A. H. de Oliveira Marques, History of Portugal (New York, 2/1976), i, 322–33, 379–425; V. MagalhäesGoogle Scholar
  8. Godinho, ‘Portugal and her Empire’, The New Cambridge Modern History, v: The Ascendancy of France, 1648–88 (Cambridge, 1961), 384–97;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. V. Magalhäes Godinho, ‘Portugal and her Empire 1680–1720’, The New Cambridge Modern History, vi: The Rise of Great Britain and Russia, 1688–1725 (Cambridge, 1970), 509–40. Excellent introductions to the Portuguese Enlightenment are provided by the articles ‘Estrangeirados’ and ‘Luzes’ by A. Coimbra Martins in the Dicionârio de História de Portugal, ed. J. Serräo, ii (Lisbon, 1965), 122–9, 836–56; this four-volume dictionary is to be recommended for the high quality of its biographical and historical articles and for their excellent bibliographies.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Granada Group and Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1993

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  • Louise K. Stein

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