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Juan Carlos Amat (c.1572 - 1642)

juan carlos amat guitarra espanola

Guitarra española

Juan Carlos Amat is what we might call a guitar aficionado today. He was a doctor by trade and earned his medical degree from the University of Valencia around 1595. Amat was born in Monistrol de Montserrat, Spain, and was named municipal physician for the town in 1618. He also held several other government positions, and even started a period as mayor when he died in 1642.

Today, Juan Carlos Amat’s treatist, Guitarra española, survives him. Interestingly, the only extant edition of the treatise is a reprint from 1626. A letter of dedication at the beginning of the treatise is dated 1596, which is presumably the date of the original publication. Amat’s book did not include any real pieces. Instead, it’s a 9 chapter work that describes stringing, tuning, and playing all the major and minor chords on the five-course guitar.