Old Delhi: Into castles of medieval Spain

Medieval spain

Thec have an agenda to explore Old Delhi, since the archaic music of qawwals has fascinated them

As members of a Spanish ensemble gathered to create music at the India International Centre, the audience was quickly transported to the hallowed cathedrals and domed castles of medieval Spain. Yet, instead of the lavishly gowned operatic singer, and men in medieval tights playing harps, the artistes kept to modern outfits. Capella de Ministrers, a unique Valencian ensemble responsible for reviving the medieval Spanish music (from the 12th to 19th century), gave its debut performance in the Capital.

Founded in 1987 by Carles Magraner, the ensemble is a part of an extensive project spearheaded by him, based around the musicology of Spanish patrimony from the medieval era to Renaissance, of which no recordings are available but only some manuscripts to refer to.

Interestingly, the project has not only revived the music, but also the instruments. "There are illustrated manuscripts from the 15th century, which show the earliest instruments. I used those musical iconographies to reproduce instruments," says Magraner, who started his project with baroque but soon moved to sonnets of the medieval past. Just two years ago, Magraner discovered frescoes inside the domes of Valencia Cathedral that showed angels holding all the 12 musical instruments. He reproduced all of them. "We not only have to know the story behind the music, but also the tools (the instruments)," he adds.

While the members of the ensemble don't stick to a uniform number ("It could be 40 or even four"), the Indian performance saw five musicians enthral a select audience. An aulos (an ancient Greek double flute) accompanied a campana (a bell), drums and oud (a Moroccan stringed instrument), complete with the voice of an opera singer.

For now, the artistes have an agenda to explore Old Delhi, since the archaic music of qawwals has fascinated them, and they intend to buy some musical instruments as well. "It'll be very interesting to have a jam session with the qawwals," says Magraner.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views, opinions and comments posted are your, and are not endorsed by this website. You shall be solely responsible for the comment posted here. The website reserves the right to delete, reject, or otherwise remove any views, opinions and comments posted or part thereof. You shall ensure that the comment is not inflammatory, abusive, derogatory, defamatory &/or obscene, or contain pornographic matter and/or does not constitute hate mail, or violate privacy of any person (s) or breach confidentiality or otherwise is illegal, immoral or contrary to public policy. Nor should it contain anything infringing copyright &/or intellectual property rights of any person(s).
comments powered by Disqus