bermudo at fol. + +4v. of his 1549 Declaración divides his authorities under four classes: (1) books of Holy Writ (2) Christian doctors (3) classical doctors (4) Christian theorists. To these four he might well have added a fifth: Moslem theorists. The two whom he cites approvingly in both the 1549 and 1555 imprints 1 — Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna [980–1037]) and Al-Fārābī (c. 870–c. 950) — are precisely the two Arabian theorists who still today enjoy the most widespread approval.


Human Voice Musical Treatise Christian Theorist Musical Element Christian Century 
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  1. 1.
    As early as fol. 7, col. 2, of the 1555 Declaración Bermudo appeals to Avicenna as an authority on the therapeutic powers of music. Miguel de Fuenllana (Orphénica lyra [Seville: Montesdoca, 1554], fol. +iij cites the same dictum from Avicenna: mitiga todo dolor. Overleaf (fol. 8v. col. 1), Bermudo cites an equally famous dictum of Alpharabius: Dios nos puso esta semejanfa con la musica: para que facilmente la deprendiessemos, y con ella le siruiessemos.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Cf. Ficino’s De Musica (Opera... omnia [Basel: Henricpetrus, 1576], p. 651).Google Scholar
  3. 1.
    Peter Comestor’s Historia scholastica was the scriptural digest on which the 24,000 line English religious epic, Cursor mundi (c. 1325), was based.Google Scholar
  4. 1.
    When plagiarizing this chapter in his Vergel de musica at fol. 14v., Tapia changed Bermudo’s lizard into a heron and a bear at Salamanca. As often as Tapia sang villancicos with his friends, the heron came close. The bear stood erect when music was played. Bermudo glosses other Isidorean dicta at fols. 13v., 17v., 29, 38v., and 42v. of the 1549 Declaración.Google Scholar
  5. 1.
    According to the Declaración of 1549 (fol. 64v.), Glareanus stipulated 20 Guidonian letters. But in his Isagoge in musicen Glareanus at fol. A4v. actually itemized 22 letters. Gaffurio had of course done the same (Practica musicae [Milan, 1496], fol. a2). Bermudo in his Declaración of 1555 at fol. 88, col. 1, rightly ascribes to Glareanus the habit of calling minor thirds and sixths “imperfect.” See Glareanus’s Isagoge,fol. B4v. (Semiditonus, tertium imperfectum… Ditonus, tertium perfectum… Semitonium cum diapente, sextum imperfectum… Tonus cum diapente… sextum perfectum). Only when Bermudo in the 1555 Declaración at fol. 72, col. 1, cites “Henrricho Glareano” as one of the best modern authorities on the modes, must he surely have had in mind the Dodekachordon. The Isagoge mentions Pierre de la Rue’s mixing of Modes VII and VIII and Obrecht’s of I and II; but says nothing of any distancia infinita entre el modo primeroy el quarto (Declaración,1555, fol. 71v., col. 2).Google Scholar
  6. 1.
    In the 1555 Declaración at fol. 68, Bermudo dismisses Bizcargui as a barbarian when tuning is in issue. Bizcargui (1508) like Ramos (1482) argued that the larger semitone was the sung semitone.Google Scholar
  7. 2.
    e. g., Declaración,1549, fol. 71: pero poco va enello ser redonda, o triangular.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Netherlands 1960

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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