Brian Jeffery – España de la guerra


I’m happy to say that my new book España de la guerra: the Spanish political and military songs of the war in Spain 1808 to 1814 is now available. For details, see below. For a video about the new book, see “Video presentation” below.


This new book is about the Spanish political and military songs of the war in Spain from 1808 to 1814, that is to say the war known in the UK as the Peninsular War and in Spain as the Guerra de la Independencia.  These songs have until now scarcely been studied, listed or even mentioned, no doubt because most of their surviving musical scores are outside Spain, in libraries in London, Lisbon, Den Haag and elsewhere.  This is the first time as far as I know that anyone has made a detailed list of the extant copies of these songs, both the literary (text-only) sources and the surviving music scores, combining and gathering information from them, from external sources, and from the political and military background.  The book has 417 pages, and the catalogue of songs with their sources includes about 160 songs.

I tell the story of the songs from the point of view of their own time, without reference to later versions of history or to later agendas.  And I see the songs as a part of the propaganda of the time, in fact as one of the most powerful aspects of that propaganda because in these songs, the recipients of the propaganda not merely heard the message but participated in it by actually themselves singing the message of the propaganda.

The principal composer of songs of the war was Fernando Sor, who has six known songs of this kind to his credit, all of them discussed in this book.  The book gives full and often previously unexplored details about the circumstances in which he and others wrote and composed these songs.

I think that you will find the book interesting and with new information if you are interested in the Peninsular War, or the Guerra de la Independencia, or Fernando Sor, or the nature of propaganda, or indeed the whole political and propagandistic state of Spain at that time.  The book has been awaited for quite a while.


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Clothbound plus eBook, eBook, Paperbound plus eBook, Paperbound, Clothbound

Sound Recordings

España de la guerra

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