(Fotografia d'Albert Mestre, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Corpus and the musical instruments

According to the Viquipèdia, we have news of the feast of Corpus Christi in Barcelona since 1360, this festival with a medieval origin that dates back to 1262, in which the doctrine of the body of Christ was exalted in front of those who denied it. This festival is associated with events such as bustle, processions or l’"ou om balla".

In any case, we focus on three brief notes on musical instruments of this festival in three places, Barcelona, ​​Madrid and Mallorca:

First note. No guitars during the Corpus! We transcribe a very interesting paragraph about the history of music -and guitars- in Barcelona: "El febrer de 1608, el bisbe Rafael de Rovirola feia pública una ordre en què declarava que en els actes del dia del Corpus i durant l'octava corresponent no es podien usar guitarres o altres instruments indecents. El 1610, s'anunciava en un edicte del bisbat barceloní que, durant el Corpus, <<en la Musica se fara davant del Sm Sagrament nos pugan tocar guitarras ni cantar ningun genero de cançons ni nades ni profanes>>." (García, 2009).

Second note. From a tweet from Milena Pi, we come to a writing, "El Corpus Christi, explosión de la fiesta eucarística en el Barroco”, in the blog Investigart, we highly recommend reading the entire article, which analyzes the processions of this celebration, as vehicles of the expression of the Baroque, almost always accompanied by music, either by the Royal Chapel or by the minstrels accompanied by other musicians and, still not knowing what music was played exactly, they know the instruments and, once again, something goes wrong with guitars: “flutes, chirimías, sacabuches, bajones, cornets, portable organs that were rented, trumpets, drums, harps (the latter since the beginning of the 17th century), and now, at the end of the 18th century, and not without some polemics, guitars”.

Third note. We transcribed a tweet from Amadeu Corbera that refers to the bells: “Avui que és el Corpus, és dels pocs dies que sona la campana major de la Seu de Palma, n'Eloi. L'actual data del 1593. Se necessiten nou homes per voltejar-la, i se sent per tota la ciutat”. And it refers us to an information about bells in Mallorca.