Early Guitars and Vihuela

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I have just digitized my copy of the manuscript Barcelona Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya Ms 691-2 with pieces for the baroque guitar. Over 15 years ago it wasn't possible to obtain a microfilm, so I had to copy the manuscript by hand. I guess the repertoire is from the early 18th century. Enjoy it.

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Hallo Thomas,

vielen Dank für das Manuskript. Ich finde die Stücke sehr schön. Drei der Titel kenne ich aus der Ausgabe der Lute Society Music Edition von Monica Hall.

Herzliche Grüsse Michael

Danke für das Interesse an den Stücken. Übrigens, das Preludio kannst du hier hören.



Dear Thomas, my belated thanks for sharing this little but tasty repertoire. Just a precision: if I'm not mistaken,  the original manuscript is not preserved in the Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya, but in the Arxiu Històric de la Diputació de Barcelona. It is briefly described (not without some errors) by Felip Pedrell in his Catàleg de la Biblioteca musical de la Diputació de Barcelona, published in 1908 (p. 98, n. 73). 

Feliz año nuevo,


Thank you, Giovanni, specially for sharing the original (I didn't realise before that the pdfs were sent by you). I thought that the manuscript was in the Diputació Archive because I saw the seal of that institution stamped on it, and I've not been able to find it with signature 691-2 in the BCN catalogue. I was just looking for the manuscript record in order to see if there is some reference to its provenance, but don't worry, I'll contact with Ms Casals. 

Best wishes

The Arxiu Històric de la Diputació de Barcelona  and the Biblioteca de Catalunya are the same library - it has changed its name a few times since Pedrell compiled his catalogue 100 years ago.  There are (not surprisngly) quite a few other errors in Pedrell's catalogue but it is still a useful source of information..The manuscript actually consists of several unrelated documents bound together.   As matter of interest the first piece in mensural notation has Castilian cifras added to the voice part which suggests it might be of Castilian rather than Catalan provenance.

Now I begin to understand. The pieces in mensural notation are n.798 of Pedrell's catalogue (vol. II, p. 53). The songs "Surcaba en brazos de Paris" and "Mares montes vientos" do appear in another musical manuscript of the Biblioteca de Catalunya (M. 738/16), and are both attributed to the composer and guitarist Juan de Serqueira (d. 1726), who spent most of his life in Madrid, a further argument for the Castilian provenance of M. 691/2. The text "Surcaba..." is a letrilla of Eugenio Coloma (Obras póstumas de poesía, Madrid, 1702, p. 134).

Thank you, Monica.

Thank you Daniel!  I didn't know that the songs were attributed to Serqueira.  When I first knew the library it was called the Biblioteca Central de Barcelona.   They actually supplied me with a microfilm back in the 1970s but it is almost illegible and impossible to print out.  The march of technology is indeed amazing.   Have a great New Year.

In fact, many people in Barcelona still call it "Central". Happy New Year.


I'm playing this wonderful little suite (which only consists in a Prelude, saraband and minuet) from a very nice collection edited by Miss Hall (thanks to her for her great work and knowledge). My trouble is : I'm positive I stumbled a long time ago on a video of this music on YT but I just can't find it again. I've tried about each and every possible keyword in the search, but to no avail. If someone would be kind enough to point me a link to this vid, I would be very happy. Thanks in advance.


The prelude and sarabande have been recorded by Alfred Fernandez but not the minuet. I have the CD - not sure if it is on YT but you might trace it under Alfred Fernandez. 

Dear Ms Hall,

Thank you so much ! I have been able to find this vid, and here's the link just in case other members may be interested : 


Actually I have been confusing this suite (por la E) with the other suite "por la D" I'm playing from your edition for the Lute Society Music. Nevertheless, this is really beautiful music and Alfred Fernandez plays it with great accuracy and taste. I just ordered the CD which seems very good.

Thank you very much for your kindness, best regards,



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