David Murgadas

“The most popular instrument of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries””


The guitar – called the Castilian and Catalan guitar and now known as the Baroque guitar – was the most popular instrument in the 17th and 18th centuries. Almost everyone had one and performed any of the dances that were in vogue at the time. Since then the guitar culture has been unstoppable. In the late 16th century, Renaissance guitars and violas were transformed into a simpler and more versatile instrument. In 1596, in Barcelona, ​​the famous doctor and guitarist Joan Carles i Amat published the first treatise in Catalan on guitar and vandola. Describe the five-order guitar (4 bent strings and one single), and how to play it. The instrument became widespread in the 18th century; it became suitable for the most sophisticated music and also for making people dance and accompany songs.

El tractat de Carles i Amat és el primer que parla de guitarra catalana, castellana i espanyola, nom amb què a aquest instrument es coneixerà a Europa des dels inicis del segle XVII. At the technical level, Amat’s treatise refers, for the first time, to the technique of chord or strumming as opposed to the traditional punctuation of the hand viola and lute. This program shows the works of the most important composers of the Crown of Aragon and the Crown of Castile and who have left us a very important musical literature: Gaspar Sanz, Francesc de Guerau, Santiago de Murzia and Antonio de Santa Cruz . Of the latter composer, David Murgadas has transcribed and revised the pasacalles from the original manuscript and performed them in a concert version. David Murgadas becomes one of the most prolific Catalan guitarists in the Catalan guitar world. Classically trained with Guillem Bernabé in Rubí, at the Luthier School of Musical Arts in Barcelona and with the master José Tomás, a disciple of Andres Segovia at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Alicante, he also specializes in the Renaissance repertoire. and Baroque and with the old stringed instruments – hand viola, lute, theorbo and baroque guitar at the Esmuc and the Toulouse Conservatory.

He is a senior professor of classical guitar and holds a master’s degree in the practice of performing ancient music. Since 2008 he has been a teacher and artistic director of Sona a Guitarra: Guitar Orchestra Course and International Competition for Young Guitarists. He has been a professor at the Igualada Professional Conservatory of Music since 1995. Internationally recognized David Murgadas performs concerts, courses and conferences everywhere. He is the creator of several chamber groups and has made several CD recordings. The CODEX CD with works by Santiago de Murzia, composer and guitarist of the 18th century, where he has versioned the original pieces with the incorporation of instruments of Catalan culture: sack of groans, wheel viola, flute, flabiol and percussion. Introduces the 17th and 18th century guitar repertoire in concert and conference format. Since December 2017, he has been writing guitar-themed musical articles in the CATALONIA Journal of the American Institute of Catalan Studies (AICS) in Houston, Texas.

For this concert David Murgadas uses a historical instrument – the baroque guitar – built in 2007 by the Australian luthier Peter Bifin.