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Granata, Giovanni Battista

(b Turin, 1620/21; d 1687). Italian guitarist and composer. He


moved to Bologna some time before 1646 and remained there for
the rest of his life. From 1651 to 1653 he is listed as a liutista
sopranumerario in the Concerto Palatino at Bologna. By 1659 he
had become a licensed barber-surgeon, and records indicate that
he ran a bottega di barbitonsore from 1661 to 1668. He appears to
have maintained his career as a guitar teacher and composer
throughout his life; in his op.6 he even invited those interested in
his music to come to Bologna for personal instruction.
Granata was the most prolific guitarist of the 17th century, with
seven published books. Five were issued by Giacomo Monti, the
only printer of the period to use movable type instead of engraving
for the battute and pizzicate (strummed and plucked) styles, and
Granata's Capricci armonici was the first large-scale work to use
this process. The complexity of the notation led to numerous
typographical errors, but, after a reversion to engraving for the
Nuove suonate and the Nuova scielta di capricci, Granata's final
four tablatures were all printed with movable type, often with
handwritten corrections made at the print shop. Granata's style
changed and evolved a great deal between 1646 and 1684; his
earliest works are closely related to those of Foscarini and are
noticeably French in their organization of dance suites (allemande,
courante and saraband), while his last four books are his most
ambitious and complex, with pieces for one or two violins, guitar
and continuo, as well as some of the most virtuoso guitar music
published up to that time. Op.4, with 168 pages, is one of the
longest guitar tablatures of the period and also one of the most
varied: it includes pieces for five different scordaturas, a sonata for
violin, guitar and continuo, pieces for chitarra attiorbata (a guitar
with extended bass strings) and a continuo treatise. Granata's later
style, from op.5 onwards, includes extensive use of campanelas,
the upper registers of the instrument, violinistic figuration and
complex rhythms. He composed in the standard dance genres of
the day, but also showed an unusually keen interest in toccatas,
preludes, chaconnes and other genres.
WORKS
opp.15 and surviving parts of opp.67 transcribed in Boye (1995)

Capricci armonici sopra la chittarriglia spagnuola, [op.1] (Bologna, 1646/R), 6 ed. in


MSD, xxxv
Nuove suonate di chitarriglia spagnuola, [op.2] (n.p., n.d.)
Nuova scielta di capricci armonici e suonate musicali in vari tuoni, gui, bc, op.3
(Bologna, 1651), 7 ed. in MSD, xxxv
Soavi concenti di sonate musicali, gui, vn, bc, op.4 (Bologna, 1659/R) [with cont
treatise], 8 ed. in MSD, xxxv
Novi capricci armonici musicali in vari toni, gui, vn, bc, et altre sonate per la
chitarra sola, op.5 (Bologna, 1674/R)

Nuovi soavi concenti di sonate musicali, gui, et altre sonate concertate, 2 vn, b viol,
op.6 (Bologna, 1680), 4 ed. in MSD, xxxv
Armoniosi toni di varie suonate musicali, gui, et altre suonate concertate, 2 vn, b
viol, op.7 (Bologna, 1684)
BIBLIOGRAPHY
W. Kirkendale: L'Aria di Fiorenza, id est Il Ballo del Gran Duca
(Florence, 1972)
R.T. Pinnell: The Theorboed Guitar: its Repertoire in the Guitar
Books of Granata and Gallot, EMc, vii (1979), 3239
M. Dell'Ara: Giovanni Battista Granata: chitarrista, compositore, e
barbiere chirurgico, Il Fronimo, no.26 (1979), 615
A. Blardone: Giovanni Battista Granata: una figura da riscoprire,
Il Fronimo, no.61 (1987), 417
O. Gambassi: Il Concerto Palatino della signoria di Bologna
(Florence, 1989), 2337 passim
G.R. Boye: Giovanni Battista Granata and the Development of
Printed Guitar Music in Seventeenth-Century Italy (diss., Duke
U., 1995)
G.R. Boye: Performing Seventeenth-Century Italian Guitar Music:
the Question of an Appropriate Stringing, Performance on
Lute, Guitar, and Vihuela: Historical Practice and Modern
Interpretation, ed. V.A. Coelho (Cambridge, 1997), 18994
GARY R. BOYE