a colourful history of different cultures which have influenced its musical
traditions. Under Roman domination until 500 AD, the trumpet was introduced. In
in 711 AD, during the Middle Ages, it was invaded by the Muslim Moors from North
Africa , and they ruled Spain for nearly 800 years until the capture of Granada
in 1492. Ferdinand V of Aragon and Isabella of Castile then jointly ruled over a
united Spain, and established a court which encouraged music in all its forms.
During the renaissance Spain
became a powerful colonial power, with territories covering most of Central and
South America, and several very significant territories in Europe, such as Naples,
Sicily, and the Netherlands.
The vihuela was an early Spanish instrument
resembling a guitar, and this was replaced by the modern guitar in the
period. The guitar
has been central to Spanish musical idiom ever since. In the classical and early
romantic periods, the Zarzuela, Spanish opera, dominated the musical scene. Then
the romantic style was blended with
Spanish national flavours in the works of Albeniz,
De Falla and Granados.
composers from other parts of the world were fascinated by the evocative sounds
of Spanish music, and wrote their own music using Spanish idioms and
flavours. Chabrier from
wrote Espana, and Rimsky-Korsakov
from Russia wrote Capriccio Espagnole.
In the 20th century Rodrigo wrote his world-famous guitar concerto Concierto de
Aranjuez, employing those same Spanish nationalist characteristics.