May 5, 2010



Music on the Camino de Santiago

D. Carlos Villanueva Abelairas.
University of Santiago de Compostela

Thirty years of direction of a group specialized in early music -the group In itinere, of the University of Santiago- are the credentials of the one who has been dedicated for the same years to the task of study, transcription and knowledge dissemination of medieval music in general and of the music of the Camino de Santiago in particular, with the addition of the construction of ancient instruments.

The lecture tries to present the various "ways of penance" that, like a pilgrimage, a researcher can undertake to reach the goal: from the epidermal aspects (the music itself, the liturgical repertoire of reference letter pilgrim, or the instrumental representation in stone in the porticoes of the Camino) or with an analogical or even theological sense: the use of instruments (small microcosms) that was made to present truths of higher rank: the Trinity, penitence, prayer, etc., using musical images. All this, from the Scriptures or the texts of the Holy Fathers, is intimately linked to aspects of the pilgrimage: such as the representation of the Temple of Jerusalem, which the cathedral of Santiago symbolizes (and all the intermediate churches along the way represent), the tuning for the preparation of the New Canticle, or the symbolism of the representation of King David interpreting the penitential psalms on the steps of the temple of Jerusalem..... And, of course, the whole topic related to the 24 elders surrounding the Pantocrator, an eminently theological matter: a before and an after for the pilgrim who, after penance, crosses the Portico to enter the Heavenly Jerusalem.