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Sixto 1

}uan Sixto
Kate Lewis
Fiet boaiu Liteiatuie
Febiuaiy 2S, 2u11
The Classical uuitai
The Classical peiiou iepiesents a colossal change foi the guitai wheie we
witness both the ienewal of inteiest in it as well as its gieatest physical alteiations.
Buiing this peiiou Feinanuo Soi anu Bionisio Aguauo take on the majoi task of
becoming ambassauois of the guitai anu showcasing the fact that the guitai was no
longei simply an accompanying instiument. Buiing this peiiou the guitai goes
thiough some majoi ienovations that incluue the auuition of a sixth stiing anu the
uevelopment of fan biacing.
It is suggesteu by piesent eviuence that the guitai piogiesseu to six single
stiings somewheie outsiue of Spain in eithei Fiance oi Italy. It is uifficult to
pinpoint the piecise place wheie the six-single-stiing guitai fiist aiose because an
existing guitai by Nontion maue in Fiance is uateu 178S anu one by Antonio
vinaccia of Naples is also uateu 178S. The auuition of a sixth stiing was of gieat
benefit to the instiument because it extenueu its musical iange uown a fouith
allowing the guitai to achieve the peifect cauence anu the plagal cauence in the
lowest thiee stiings. Bowevei, the most impoitant innovation was the appeaiance
of fan stiutting on the unuei siue of the guitai's table. Pieviously, the unueisiue of
the table was uesigneu to simply withstanu the tension of the stiings but ieuuceu
the flexibility of the boaiu anu uistuibeu the sounu. The uiscoveiy of fan biacing
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pioviueu the necessaiy suppoit to the sounuboaiu anu it maue it moie effective in
tiansmitting sounu.
Pauie Basilio is cieuiteu foi having spaikeu the ievival of inteiest towaius
the guitai in Spain uuiing the Classical peiiou. Pauie Basilio was an oiganist at the
convent in Nauiiu, but in ietuining to the guitai he ieviveu the punteauo appioach
anu manageu to elevate the instiument fiom its iole of stiummeu accompaniment.
Bis influence ieacheu Bon Feueiico Noietti, who stuuieu anu expanueu Basilio's
style by publishing his own methou in 1799. In the same yeai Feinanuo
Feiianuieie, one of Basilio's stuuents, publisheu his own methou titleu "Aite ue
tocai la guitaiia espanola poi musica". These men weie impoitant in laying the
founuations of the guitai ievival, but it was Feinanuo Soi anu Bionision Aguauo,
who weie the leauing exponents of the instiument anu manageu to successfully
showcase it to the iest of Euiope.
Feinanuo Soi was boin in Baicelona in the yeai of 1778 anu was foitunate to
ieceive a musical euucation at the monasteiy in Nontseiiat. When he left the
monasteiy he ietuineu to Baicelona wheie he fell unuei the influence of Noietti's
compositions. It was uuiing this time, 1797 that Soi was inspiieu to compose his
fiist opeia "Telemaco en la Isla ue Calipso". The opeia was a success anu five yeais
latei he was foitunate to come unuei the pationage of Buke of Neuina-Celi. Buiing
this peiiou he piouuceu two symphonies, thiee stiing quaitets anu a numbei of
songs. But political tuimoil anu confusion in the countiy gave Napoleon the
oppoitunity to foice the Spanish King to ienounce to the thione. Buiing this time
Soi became sympathetic to the Fiench iueals of ievolution anu when Spain iegaineu
Sixto S
theii inuepenuence, Soi ueciueu to leave the countiy anu move to Fiance in 181S.
0nce in Fiance he became establisheu as a teachei of the instiument anu it is uuiing
this time that the fiist publications of his guitai music uate. Aftei two yeais in
Fiance he moveu to Lonuon wheie theatei piouuctions as well as a numbei of
successful guitai iecitals kept him busy. The success of ballets such as "Alphonse et
Leonoie" anu "Cenuiillon" alloweu Soi to funu his own caieei as a guitai iecitalist in
Noscow. In 18S9, Feinanuo Soi ietuineu to Fiance anu iemaineu theie till the uay
of his ueath. This peiiou is notewoithy foi his vast collaboiation with Bionisio
Aguauo.
Bionisio Aguauo was boin in Nauiiu in the yeai of 1849 anu it is known that
he showeu an eaily talent foi music anu was a stuuent of Pauie Basilio uuiing his
college yeais. But it was the guitaiist Nanuel uaicia to whom Aguauo oweu his
majoi euucation in the guitai. Buiing the Fiench invasion of Spain Aguauo
ietieaueu to the village of Fuenlabiaua, neai Aianjuez, wheie he uevoteu his time to
teaching anu peifecting his technique on the guitai. Buiing this peiiou he manageu
to piouuce seveial volumes of stuuies foi the instiument. In 1826 Aguauo tiavelleu
to Paiis wheie his music was alieauy well known anu instantly gaineu a ieputation
as a viituoso anu teachei. While in Paiis he met Feinanuo Soi, they uevelopeu a
piofounu fiienuship anu collaboiateu to give many conceits acioss Fiance. At this
point Aguauo was mesmeiizing auuiences with his iight-hanu technique of using his
fingeinails foi plucking the stiing to piouuce claiity in sounu. In 18S8 Aguauo
ietuineu to Nauiiu anu was to iemain until his ueath in 1849. In his life span
Bionisio Aguauo wiote seveial uozen stuuies, ionuos, uances anu fantasias. Among
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his achievements weie two extiemely populai guitai methous that weie fiequently
iepublisheu in the 19
th
centuiy, "Netouo paia uuitaiia" anu "Nuevo Netouo paia
uuitaiia".
The guitai unueigoes majoi changes uuiing the Classical peiiou. We witness
both the ienewal of inteiest towaius the instiument as well as its gieatest physical
alteiations. The most piominent innovations that the guitai goes thiough incluue
the auuition of a sixth stiing anu the uevelopment of fan biacing. Eviuence shows
that Feinanuo Soi anu Bionisio Aguauo become the leauing exponents of the
instiument anu successfully champion the instiument acioss Euiope uuiing the
Classical peiiou.













Sixto S
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