Between years 1600 to 1750 a new style of music known as Baroque was developed.

At the same time of the beginning of Monteverdi’s opera Orfeo and ending with the death of the great composer Johann Sebastian Bach, the Baroque music is just so named for chronological locate within that space of years because it has nothing to do with the architectural style overloaded and full of ornaments .

Esteban Salas

Esteban Salas

The need to follow the text through one voice with accompaniments that don’t overshadow the appearance of tonality and the use of continuous basses as harmonic base are some of its main features.

These well-defined groups combined notes including structures led to the creation of new musical forms like rondo, sonata, the suite, the concerto grosso, variations, prelude, fugue and concerto.

Baroque music breaks the unity of musical style in Europe at that time. In addition it comes amid a period of transition from the Middle Ages where they were perpetrating the Lutheran Reformation and the Catholic Counter-time is used for this music to be used as a means of propaganda by the church and nobility.

In Cuba the greatest exponent was Esteban Salas. As it has been registered Salas has the good fortune to be named after its title the “baroque music” with text in Spanish.

Among them they tell their “villancicos” (carols), cantadas y pastorelas (pastorals). They have inventoried the 7 masses, salves and 17 motets, psalms, anthems and morality plays, and a score of carols.

Although being born in Havana, December 25, 1725, he settled most of his life in the city of Santiago de Cuba. He arrived there in 1764 when he was appointed by Bishop Francisco Agustin Morell de Santa Cruz interim master of the Music Chapel of the Cathedral and composed music for 39 years, mainly religious. Hence most of his compositions have a place of emergence to that city. He died in Santiago de Cuba on July 14th 1803.

His work was rediscovered by Alejo Carpentier and late twentieth century began to be studied by several Cuban musicologists, plus recordings collected in a form of preserved and studied this.

On the occasion of honoring his figure and legacy, the May 4, 1959, the Esteban Salas Conservatory in Santiago de Cuba was founded. In turn, as a way to continue their study, which is so lost by the lack of representatives.

To tell Teresa Paz, director of Ars Longa (Early Music Ensemble most prestigious in Cuba): “In Cuba there is no tradition of early music; in schools such works are taught, studied, but there are very few specialists dedicated to dissemination “. Calling, also, to his study.

Similarly Havana each year hosts the International Festival of Early Music Esteban Salas. Its main objectives are the need to rescue and disseminate this manifestation of early music, its history and its performers as well as to pay tribute to its most prestigious representatives in the world. There is also another event that honors Esteban Salas: The International Choral Music Festival to be held every two years in Santiago de Cuba.

From Havana Music School we also wanted to honor the memory of this composer awarding its name to one of our courses.

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