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date: 11 December 2019

Santiago de Compostelalocked

  • José López-Calo


Cathedral city in north-west Spain. Santiago Cathedral was one of the most important shrines for pilgrimage during the Middle Ages. Built over the grave of St James, patron saint of Spain, the present structure was begun in 1078 and represents classic Spanish romanesque architecture. The pilgrimages left their mark on the music of the cathedral and, according to the 12th-century Calixtinus manuscript (E-SC; see Sources, MS, §IV),

it is a source of wonder and gladness to see the choirs of pilgrims in perpetual vigil by the venerable altar of Santiago: Teutons in one place, Franks in another, Italians in another. … Some play the cittern, others lyres, kettledrums, flutes, flageolets, trumpets, harps, violins, British or Welsh crwths, some singing with citterns, others accompanied of divers instruments.

It is the only surviving document of medieval music there; further documentation of musical life appears only in the 16th century.

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Seville, Institución Colombina