Music of the Spanish Renaissance

Music of the Spanish Renaissance

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Music of the Spanish Renaissance Back

Music of the Spanish Renaissance

"Hachas" is a set of variations, which was very popular during the Spanish Renaissance. The theme is first played in chords, and then varied in both hands with running figures. A following triple-time dance completes the work. It was composed for the historic Spanish chromatic harp that has two rows of strings like our modern chromatic harp. Its Spanish name is "Harpa a dos Ordenes". However, these two rows were arranged in the same manner as the keys on a piano. One row were the natural colored C major strings, the other the complementary chromatic strings, which were colored (therefore called "Chroma" - strings).

"Guardame las Vacas" (Guard my cows) is another variation. The masters of the Renaissance proved their artistry with variations. The melody comes from a folk song and has also survived in numerous variations by other masters. Composed for the early Spanish guitar, the five-course vihuela.

"The Fantasia X" composed by Mudarra is a musical parody of a Spanish harpist, who enthusiastically used the chromatic strings of his harp. In the second part Mudarra used musical cross relations (in this case, the simultaneous use of f and f #) to make the "modern" experiments of his harp-playing colleagues appear ridiculous.  As a precaution Mudarra explains:  "There are some false notes in the second part but they sound good when they are played beautifully." Composed originally also for the vihuela, it strikes us today as being an almost jazzy sounding composition. It's fun to play!

Inhalt

Hachas
Quatro Diferencias sobre „Guardame las Vacas”
Fantasia X

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„Es gibt ein Geheimnis um die Musik” sagte der alte Harfner „dem ich näher kommen möchte. Auf der Suche nach diesem Geheimnis schufen die Musiker immer kompliziertere Kompositionen — und doch ist die Musik, die die Menschen im Innersten bewegt, oft die einfachste. Aber nicht jede simple Melodie berührt deshalb die Menschen. Vielleicht ist dieses Geheimnis zu einfach, um es in Bücher zu schreiben oder in Worte zu fassen, ja, die Gelehrten würden am Ende sogar die Köpfe darüber schütteln, wenn sie's wüßten. Aber die Musiker stoßen manchmal zufällig darauf: einmal, zweimal in ihrem Leben finden manche von ihnen eine Melodie, die unsterblich wird, die den Menschen vertraut wird wie ihre eigene Hand und die ihnen dennoch einen Schauer den Rücken herunterlaufen läßt, wenn sie sie hören. Dann geschieht dieses Geheimnis der Musik.”