La Copla Española: From start to finish

The Tonadilla is a traditional Spanish song style that has its roots in the jácaras, songs of arabic origin, that were sung between the acts in Golden Age Spanish theatre, alternating with dance numbers. The jácarandas were picaresque vignettes, stories recounting adventures, and the lyrics were often saucy and very much in the vernacular. Tonadillas were performed throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in the intervals of theatrical performances. This was a purely Spanish art form. The music was important but the songs were interspersed with recitations, with the emphasis on story telling rooted firmly in Spanish and especially Andalusian folklore.

The Tonadilla was created by the flautist and oboist Luis de Misón, born in Mataró in the Province of Barcelona in 1727. The first was performed in 1757 and over 100 of his works are conserved in the Spanish National Library. Another early composer was Manuel García, who also performed his compositions.

In all some 2,000 tonadillas have been catalogued; many with lyrics by respected writers such as Ramón de la Cruz and Tomás de Iriarte.

The singers were known as tonadilleros and tonadilleras, a name later inherited by the cupletistas of the twentieth century.
Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: