Treasures of The Library of Orfeó Català



A key moment in the history of Catalan music can be found in the collection of autograph manuscripts of Pep Ventura, rich in sardana scores. Thanks to campaigns to gather living testimony of popular Catalan music, song books are published and musical publications are created for youths.


Catalan tiles of musicians

Collection of tiles of the sayings of arts and trades, given to the Orfeó Català on an unknown date and which are framed in three panels made up of nine pieces each. The origin of this type of tile can be found in the old strip cartoons with rhyming couplets representing characters carrying out work in the fields and that of artisans, although sometimes animals are seen, real or mythological, or themes taken from popular celebrations. The oldest tiles, those from the 17th century, presented strokes in blue or green, but since they became popular, starting in the 18th century, they are polychrome pieces framed by a small yellow border. We can establish the chronology from the plant element used on both sides of the central figure. The organisation of each of the tiles within the collection is fortuitous; the oldest could be the last on the third panel, the man playing the guitar, of the daisy series, so named due to the flower in the form of a bulb dating to the 17th century. The most numerous might form part of the cane series – the 18th century – , due to a string of sharp-pointed leaves arranged on each side and representing musicians playing the guitar, the bassoon – an early version –, bagpipes, drums, the French horn, flutes and trumpets, the violin and the viola or a special viola da gamba. And finally, the central panel shows the more stylised pieces of the agave series, characterized by a thicket of three simple leaves, which might already correspond to the 19th century.

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