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Perhaps it was because there was more Spanish blood in his veins than French, or perhaps because during his privileged youth he had received a fine musical education, marked by the ‘Mediterranean’ presence of Cardinal Mazarin; the fact remains that Louis XIV was an excellent guitar player. He had seen and heard the guitar close up whilst still a child, when the commedia dell’arte actor, known in France as “Scaramouche”, played it with the future king on his knees. He was then taught by Jourdan Bernard de La Salle, an otherwise unknown musician, perhaps of Spanish origin, who held the title of Maître de guitare to the king for many years. In the middle of the seventeenth century, the guitar was not a favoured instrument in France; indeed, it was regarded as exotic, even equivocal, in many circles. Whereas in Spain, and especially in Italy it was strongly established as a fascinating antagonist to the lute and theorbo, the precious and demanding musical taste of the French meant they took longer to accept it. However, once the King had embraced the instrument, by emulation the fashion spread quickly at court.