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Alonso Mudarra

1510 | 1580

Renaissance

(Vertaling nog niet beschikbaar) Spanish vihuelist and composer. Raised in Guadalajara in the household of the third and fourth dukes of the Infantado, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza (1461–1531) and Iñigo López de Mendoza (1493–1566), it is likely that Mudarra travelled with the latter in the entourage that accompanied Charles V to Italy in 1529. He subsequently entered the priesthood, probably in Palencia, becoming a canon at Seville Cathedral on 18 October 1546, less than two months before the publication of his vihuela book. During the following 34 years he played an important role in cathedral affairs: arranging the annual Corpus Christi celebrations, hiring wind players, negotiating the purchase and installation of a new organ, and consulting in 1572 with Francisco Guerrero at the request of the chapter concerning the music commissioned from Guerrero for the coming Christmas season. From March 1568 he served as major-domo of the cathedral, in charge of all disbursements. After his death, the 92,000 maravedís raised from the sale of his possessions was distributed to the poor according to the provisions of his will. Mudarra's Tres libros de musica en cifras para vihuela was published in Seville on 7 December 1546 (R 1980; ed. in MME, vii, 1949). Comprising 77 works (including six pieces for four-course guitar and one for harp or organ), the book contains numerous innovations. These include the earliest music published for guitar, a newly-invented 14-line tablature system for harp and organ, suite-like groupings of works by mode, and the earliest fabordón psalm printed in Spain. The most prolific genre among Mudarra's works are 27 fantasias, mainly polythematic works in imitative style with lyrical free extensions and strong architectonic symmetry. He also included two monophonic ostinato fantasias and several of more idiomatic character. The ingenious Fantasía que contrahaze la harpa en la manera de Ludovico is a disguised set of folia variations that use cross rhythms and bold chromaticism to imitate the legendary harpist of Ferdinand III of Aragon. The short tientos are idiomatic preludes used to commence the modallygrouped ‘suites’ of the second book, while the glosas are parody fantasias in which Mudarra alternates intabulated vocal polyphony with original music. Twenty works from the second book were reprinted in keyboard tablature by Venegas de Henestrosa (Libro de cifra nueva, 1557; ed. in MME, iii, 1944), several with substantial modification. Other works for solo vihuela include three pavanas, one paired with a galliard, and variations on Conde claros and Guárdame las vacas. The brief tiento for harp or organ appears in isolation to exemplify Mudarra's new tablature. His songs are without parallel in 16th-century Spanish literature. They include romances, villancicos, canciones, and sonnets by Garcilaso, Boscán, Petrarch and Sannazaro. Latin settings include two psalms, texts by Horace, Ovid and Virgil, in addition to intabulated mass sections by Josquin and Févin, and motets by Gombert, Willaert and Escobar. Vocal parts are notated either on a separate staff, or marked in the tablature with apostrophes. Three signs, , C and C, are used to indicate fast, medium and slow tempos. Mudarra's preface also discusses plucking technique, both thumb-index alternation and the plectrum-like dedillo stroke.

Alonso Mudarra

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