Baroque: Gaspar Sanz

Gaspar Sanz

The compositions by Gaspar Sanz (1640 - 1710) in his Instruccion Sobre la Guitarra Espanola provide a pleasant impression of the musical forms of Spanish music that were popular in his time.

Gaspar Sanz was born around 1640 in Calanda in the Spanish district of Aragón. He studied music, theology and philosophy at the University of Salamanca. After an apprenticeship for various instruments in Italy, he obtained a position with the Spanish Viceroy in Naples and Don Juan, an illegitimate son of the Spanish king Philip V.

Sanz is mainly known from his three volumes of compositions for Baroque guitar. Instruccion Sobre la Guitarra Espanola was the first and served as text book for his patron Don Juan.

Sanz noted down his music with almost no embellishments. In his time, it was custom that every musician used it as source material only, developing embellishments and variations themselves.