top of page

Line of musicians

Jaume CERVERA Marques

Jaume CERVERA Marquès

Castelló d'Empúries, 1858

Barcelona, 1950

 The School of Music Peralada worked last XIX th century and early XX th, and very little has been said about the relevant figure of its director from the the foundation until the school was definitely closed.


  Jaume Cervera-Marquès was born in Castelló de Empúries in 1858. He was the son of Josep Cervera-Rocalba, the one who drove the first steps of the art of music. Soon, however, he got a great knowledge of several instruments, as well as harmony and composition. When he moved to Torroella de Montgrí, he learned the craft of cork making, started to wrote the first compositions.


  Mr. Antoni de Rocabertí , Count of Zavellà, (1831-1887), "lawyer and resident in Paris with his brother Tomàs, Count of Peralada, mining engineer and his sister Joana, they decided to return to the land of Empordà and then undertook the relevant reforms the properties of Peralada, around the 1875.



   "Very soon, he acquires great knowledge, masters various instruments,

   as well as composition and harmony .... "


 Among the many works carried out by both brothers, we must highlight here the founding of a music school in 1882, the direction of which was entrusted to Jaume Cervera Marquès, on June 5, 1882, first destined to the children of the castle employees, and shortly thereafter extended free of charge to the rest of the children of Peralada and the surrounding towns. Franscesc Civil tells us about this school in the aforementioned work: "The teaching of the School was completely free as well as all the household items that were necessary Hours: from 8 am to 10, Letters: from 11 to 12, Music-solfeggio: afternoon, from 2 to 4, sports until five, and from 5 to 6, instruments.


 The Count loved children very much and was happy to provide them with all possible attractions, he even hired an army sergeant, who was also a printer, to introduce them to gymnastics and pre-military training. He himself accompanied the children in the Parish and to the catechism and to the elderly and the poor he passed daily vouchers for bread and others.


 He was a true distributor of his wealth involving all the people. As for the School of Music, he took advantage of his brother's various trips to Paris to provide it with the best possible instruments: saxophones, sarruphones, bassoons, clarinets, the most modern, not counting the plaza instruments, tenors and trebles. It also organized, in charge of the students, and for their encouragement and training, a Band that adorned the processions and public events of the population and that was repeatedly requested for major festivals ". The students, upon finishing their studies at the Palau , were given by the counts with the instrument with which they had studied.



"Upon finishing their studies at the Peralada Palace Music School, the students.  

were presented by the counts with the instrument with which they had studied.  

The musical study program was designed by the director Jaume Cervera himself."  



 The musical teaching program was designed by the director Jaume Cervera himself. His students came out well prepared and able to go to any orchestra. From there arose the brothers Josep and Miquel Serra y Bonal, Josep Ferrer, father of the composer Rafael Ferrer y Fitó, the tenors Mariano Calvet and Josep Lleonsí, etc. In 1890 Miquel Serra brought together several of the School's disciples and founded the cobla La Principal de Peralada with the following formation: Martín Monte (flabiol), Jaume Llongueras and Josep Serra (fuels), Mariano Calvet and Anton Mont (tenors), Joan Mont B. and Miquel Albreda (cornettes), Joan Monte P. and Joaquim Grosset (fiscornos) and Miquel Serra (double bass). This song would become one of the first in the country and, although it deserves a separate chapter, we only quote now what the writer Josep Pla tells us: (...) "It was a song that emphasized the orchestral ensemble and that sounded with fidelity ...


 The passage of the musicians through the school gave them great humility, a sense of obedience, sociability and integration, honed their professional honesty, polished them with genius and tricks. On the other hand, the constant contact of the musicians with the land gave a dry so closely linked to the landscape to their performances, such a strict fidelity to the interpretation, that what they produced was a work well done ". All of this was largely thanks to Jaume Cervera.

 The Count of Zavellà died in 1887 and the following years his brother and sister. Despite Francesc Civil pointing out that after these deaths. "The School did not get up and very soon it was nothing more than a memory", the truth is that it was until July 1914 that Jaume Cervera left the post of director after 33 years in office, as shown in the document that we reproduce Shortly before (1913) Jaume Cervera had moved to Roses, since he did not receive the salary that he had stipulated in the School and he was in charge of running a store that his father had bought for 300 duros in 1856. commerce, to give private lessons of music and to touch in the church.


 He was a man of great skill: he fixed clocks, worked as a carpenter, made plans for a house, marked the divisions of fields in a field, studied bookkeeping in Figueres, etc. Jaume Cervera Marquès died in Barcelona where his daughter Isabel resided in 1950. At the age of 85, specifically on July 22, 1943, although he had written a sardana dedicated to his children: "Leaves of a flower". Married to María Bret and Campmol , from Borrassà, had 7 children: José, Juan, María, Martín, Emilio, Naeus, and Isabel. Only the eldest son, José, devoted himself to music. Juan was a Carmelite father, Emilio was a priest, Neus was a national teacher and Isabel a pharmacist. A very nice anecdote from Jaume Cervera refers to when the railway line arrived in Figueres.


 A group of musicians eager to get to know the train, took the instruments and moved to Barcelona. Once on the Rambla they offered themselves to the owner of a café to let them play sardanas only in exchange for passing the plate. The offer was rejected, but the establishment next door was not. They were very successful, so much so that the planned two days of stay in Barcelona were extended to 5, without agreeing to go to play at the establishment that had rejected them.The documents that we reproduce are a small part of the daily account book that Jaume kept exhaustively Cervera Marquès since 1882 and throughout his stay in Peralada as director of the Music School of his castle. As you can see, we are faced with an exceptional document of interest to better know this school so important in the development of copla music and its interpreters and composers. Once again, Mr. Emili Cervera y Lliuró, grandson of Jaume Cervera Marquès, who has put all the material and his memory, -which is not little-, so that we can disclose such interesting episodes of our music.



"He was a very skilled man: he fixed clocks, he was a carpenter,

he made the plans of a house, marked the divisions of the plots

from a field, studied bookeeping in Figueres, etc. "

bottom of page