Early Guitars and Vihuela

A network for historic guitars and vihuelas

Several people have asked me for copies of Murcia's books.  the recently discovered one in Chile can still be downloaded from the University site.  I was able to do this although it was  very slow. Here  are the instructions.


Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile – Biblioteca de Humanidades P787.87 M973m1722

 You can download a digital image of the whole manuscript at...


 It is all in Spanish – but this is what you have to do…

 Where it says "Escriba una palabra" type in "Cifras selectas".

 Campo de buscado = "field  to search"  Chose that.

 Palabro clave titulo  = title field.  Chose that.

 Palabras adyacentes = adjacent words - Click on "Si" for yes.

 Then "Buscar" = search.  This brings up  a list.   No. 1 is Alejandro Vera's edition of the manuscript.   No. 2 is the manuscript itself.

 Click on the No. 2 right at the beginning.

 This brings up the full entry.

 At the bottom just above "Biblioteca Campus Oriente" you will find  "Enlace externo" with an icon beside it and instructions "Enlace a texto original digitalizado".

 "Enlace externo" means external link."Enlace a texto original digitalizado" means "link to digital version ofthe original text". Click on the icon    That brings up another screen with a lot of Spanish on it about agreeing to their condition.   Ignore all that.

 At the bottom in the blue strip you will see the same icon again and the

instructions "Presione aqui para ver" which means "press here to have a look". If you do that the first page of the manuscript should appear!

 It is a very interesting ms but also includes a copy of “Resumen de acompsñar”!

Passacalles y obras and Saldivar ms. are not on line as far as I know.




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Thank you

Thank you.

Talking about the Saldivar Codex... I've heard that the Saldivar Códex 2 has guitar pieces.  Has it ever been published? How about on line?

It hasn't been published and is not likely to be I think as it belongs to the Saldivar family.

Yes it does have several pieces for 5-course guitar although most of the pieces are for cittern.   I will risk uploading some of them and hope that no one objects..   One is by Sanz 


Thank you Monica. Always feel free to do this :-)

Why won't they publish it? I'm new to the world of baroque guitars and manuscripts, but it looks like some people are very secretive about manuscripts. Does it come down to value and publishing? Also, why are books like Craig Russells' and Alejandro Vera's Santiago de Murcia explorations out of print? Has anyone like Chanterelle ever collected all the de Murcia work and put them together in a nice tome with modern printing capabilities (not facsimiles). Sorry, i'm new and very green.

It just isn't profitable to publish these things. The Saldivar 2 ms. is of very limited interest.The reason why Russell's and Vera's books are out of print is because all the copies printed have been sold and the publishers don't think it is worthwhile to reissue it.  The Chanterelle facsimiles are out of print for the same reason.  What you are suggesting would be a major publishing venture - costly to set up and possibly not profitable in the end.  Most people who play the baroque guitar prefer to play from facsimiles of the original anyway.  Modern editions are not suitable because of the unusual stringing arrangement of the instrument.

In my experience people who do own these manuscripts are quite helpful about supplying copies to individuals.  The reason why I have most of them is because I have been collecting them since the 1960s.

This is really enlightening for me, thank you for taking the time to explain. Yes, i have found on here people who have been incredibly generous with collections.

That's interesting to know that players prefer the facsimiles. I had no idea. Says a lot about where i am starting from...

Santiago de Murcia's "Códice Saldívar No. 4": A Treasury of Secular Guitar Music from Baroque Mexico. Vol. 2: Facsimile and transcription

Is $649 on Amazon USA

Presumably this is second hand.  But the best edition is Michael Lorimer's.

It would be nice if the publishers could make them available via a print-on-demand service (such as lulu or lightningsource).  The price on EBay suggests that there is a demand for these books, and that might be a profitable compromise for all.  I'd certainly buy a copy at a sensible price...

Thanks again for the instructions above and for posting extracts!

¡Grande Mónica! Thank you so much.


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