a type of Spanish musical comedy that was popular during the 18th and early 19th centuries. Originally a song with a refrain, it later became a short scenic intermezzo with music and dances that was performed between the acts of a play.
Around 1750, the tonadilla became an independent stage production that was often a vehicle for topical satire. Between 1770 and 1800, the tonadilla was very popular. Tonadillas were written by L. Misón, A. Guerrero, J. Palomino, B. de Laserna, V. Galbán, P. Esteve, and P. de Moral. Around 1850 the tonadilla declined in importance as the zarzuela became prevalent. The last writer of tonadillas is considered to be the singer, guitarist, and composer M. Garcia. A song from García’s tonadilla The Imaginary Servant (1804) was used by G. Bizet in his opera Carmen. E. Granados wrote songs for voice and piano entitled Collection of Tonadillas Written in the Old Style.