Spain Music from Middle Ages to 16th Century

Musical lyric in the vernacular in the Middle Ages. – During the 12th and 13th centuries, Provençal and Catalan troubadours invaded the cities and courts of the kings of the various Spanish countries. To limit ourselves to the troubadours of which we have preserved some melodies, we must mention Marcabru, Peire Vidal, Peire Ramon of Toulouse the Elder, Peire d’Alvergne, Arnaut Daniel, Raimbaut de Vaqueiras, the monk of Montaudon, Arnaut de Mareuil, Giraut de Borneil, Folchetto of Marseille, Bertran de Born, Raimon de Miraval, and Giraut Riquier.

According to PLUS-SIZE-TIPS.COM, Alfonso I, Pietro I, Giacomo I and Pietro II in Catalonia-Aragon, and Alfonso VIII, Ferdinand III and Alfonso the Wise king of Castile, are the kings who most distinguished themselves in favor of troubadour art and music. The most important monument of the Spanish musical lyric of the century. XIII is given by the three codes of Canticles Spain Maria of King Alfonso the Wise, king of Castile and León (1282-1284). By that name we mean the religious songs of King Alfonso generally dedicated to the Virgin. This king was not only a poet but also an excellent composer. The canticles that we preserve today in the measured musical notation of the century. XIII, which shows the mixed modal rhythm, are about 420. Their musical construction (not their rhythm) maintains a very close relationship with that of the Italian lauds of the Cortona and Florence codices. Of profane songs with a Galician-Portuguese text, only 6 cantigas da amigo are known, by the Galician troubadour Martín Codax or Codaz, a native of Vigo.

Polyphony of ” Ars antiqua “. – We do not know on what the truth of the affirmation of Virgilius Cordubensis is based, where he in his Philosophia narrates that in the sec. XI at the Arab University of Cordoba had two masters of music de ista Arte quae dicitur organum. Certainly in the monastery of Ripoll he was well acquainted with polyphonic uses already in the 11th century, which in Santiago di Compostella were instead practiced in the first half of the century. XII. The Callistino di Compostella codex of 1137 preserves 21 examples of organum which follow the style of the repertoire already practiced in Spain Martial of Limoges. About the cathedral of Tarragona we know the name of an organist Lucas Magnus (d. 1164).

In the century XIII it is known that there were various centers of vocal music: the cathedral of Toledo, the monastery of the religious of the Cister de las Huelgas (Burgos), Ripoll, Tortosa, etc.

The music of “Ars nova “. – From what has been said it is clear that, as far as ancient polyphony is concerned, Spain is worthy of being placed after France and England, the richest European nations in this respect. Instead, as for the polyphony of the ars nova (after 1320), the Castilian repertoire appears very scarce; not so the Catalan, whose archives offer us immense material of historical documentation about the music of the century. XIV; documents that show how the counts-kings of Catalonia-Aragon were always surrounded by musicians and instrumentalists from the courts of Flanders, France, Germany, Italy and England; which to serve for the amusement of the court, which instead intended exclusively for the liturgical-musical service of their chapels. Musicians from the papal court of Avignon and others from Germany, Flanders or the peninsula itself are cited as expert singers. In the Catalan court the works of Guillaume de Machault were highly esteemed in their time. There was also the famous Jacob de Senlèches known under the name of Jacomi, and we also meet Graziano Reynau, a native of Tours, who served in the royal palace of Barcelona during the years 1390-1429. Musical codes preserved in France, Italy and Catalonia offer a small part of the religious and profane repertoire practiced in the courts and churches of Catalonia and Aragon. Just as this repertoire reminds us of that of France, that of the monastery of Montserrat contained in Llibre Vermell is partly reminiscent of Italian with its hunts and ballads.

The polyphony of the centuryXV and the first centuryXVI. – Among the most renowned centers of this time we should mention the court of Alfonso IV of Catalonia-Aragon (I of Naples), known under the name of Alfonso the Magnanimous, and the court of the Catholic kings Ferdinand and Isabella of Castile-Aragon. The court of the Magnanimous, little studied in this respect, can give us the key to clarify many obscure points of the Spanish and Italian musical history of the century. XV. Up to our days little importance had been given to the Italian polyphonies of the century. XV; except for the music of the theorist Johannes Tinctoris so far only that of the lies has been studied and recently the polyphony of the Laudi of the late century. XV and early XVI. The court of the Magnanimous in Naples (in such continuous relations with the courts of the Estensi, the Sforza and others), whose musical repertoire is partly preserved, will be able to tell us how far the influence of the Flemings and Italian music reached in Flanders. As far as Spain is concerned, we can affirm that the amorous musical repertoire preserved at the courts of the Catholic Monarchs, with its villancicosromances and estrambotes, etc., of the second half of the century. XV and the beginning of the XVI, it found its first origin in the court of the Magnanimous in Naples. It is therefore not extraordinary that we encounter in that court some analogies with the repertoire of Italian music of those times. During the sec. XV the profane song of the accompanied Lied and the religious polyphony of the Dufay-Binchois epoch and later of the Ockeghem-Obrecht-Josquin epoch were practiced in Spain; but it is no less certain that the Spanish musicians, knowing and practicing the music of the Franco-Flemish and Italians, were able to create another very characteristic and profoundly lyrical one. The chapel of Queen Isabella (who died in 1504) had more than 40 salaried musicians without taking into account organ, clavichord and lute players for her room and for the chapel. Among the most eminent masters of this era we remember Johannes de Anchieta, Francisco de la Torre, Pedro Tordesillas, Johannes Escobar, Francisco de Peñalosa and Juan del Encina, the founder of the opera house in Spain. Studying religious polyphony in Spanish schools we realize how the Spanish polyphonists, with a surprising simplicity of technique and apparently archaic musical forms, were able to create a genre of mystical music that was rarely outdated.

In the profane field the villancicoscancionesromances, etc., of the amorous and worldly music of the second half of the century. XV and early XVI, contrast with the profane repertoire of Franco-Flemish music of the court of Burgundy for their moving simplicity and the popular substratum that their composers take up. What was once said has no historical foundation, namely that Spain did not practice polyphony before the arrival of the Flemings who accompanied Philip the Fair in 1501-1502. Among the theorists of the century XV we can mention Fernando Estevan, Fernando del Castillo, Bartolomé Ramis (Ramos) de Pareja, master of the University of Salamanca, professor in 1482 in Bologna, who introduced a revolution in Italian and Spanish music theory, Guillermo de Podio (Depuig), Domingo Marcos Durán, etc.

Spain Music from Middle Ages to 16th Century