The Legacy of Sepharad

The year was 1492 when the Christian kings Isabel la Catolica and Fernando de Aragón, decreed the expulsion or conversion to Christianity of all Jews who inhabited Spain. The expelled Sephardim settled in their new diasporas, preserving the memory of medieval Spain, creating two culturally different streams, the Western Mediterranean (influenced by Spain and Morocco ) and eastern Mediterranean (influenced by Turkey, Greece and the Balkans).

For five centuries they kept alive the language they spoke in different regions of the Iberian Peninsula inhabited before his "exodus" as well as his musical repertoire, transmitted orally from generation to generation until today and enriching it with new creations. The three main poetic-musical genres that make up the repertoire are Sephardic romances, cantigas and coplas, of wich the Sephardic romances show more evidently their Hispanic roots.

Legado Sefarad

The Jews interpreted the romances in the same way as did the Christians, using the same instruments and melodic twists. In the Cantigas of Alfonso X, Jewish musicians appear playing medieval instruments with Christians, some of which are Sephardic themed, such as CSM 25, CSM 108 and CSM 286. There is also evidence of coexistence between Arab and Jewish musicians like Mansur al Yehudi, Jewish musician that served in the court of Aljakem I.

In our proposal we want to show a vision more akin to the Western Mediterranean’s cultural stream (Spain and Morocco), for being closest to the original music (keeping the romance’s strophic structure intact and its melodic line with nothing added) than the eastern stream (despite having the same origin, it is located further away due their melodics twists and oriental rhythms).

Musicantes want to contribute to the recovery of this musical treasure, recreating the atmosphere of Medieval Spain of three cultures, using medieval instruments of that time (faithful reproductions of Spain´s iconography).


...'The Legacy of Sefarad'..., the new Sephardic Music programme that recreates medieval Spain of the Three Cultures (Christians, Jews and Muslims)

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