Keyboard Arrangements and Original Compositions



between bks. IV and V he inserts nine original organ 1 compositions (13 pages). He prefaces these with the promise that all the required accidentals have been included 2 (from fols. 114–120). Actually, he does omit the necessary flats in alto and bass at mm. 503 and 553 of the “true sixth mode” piece (fols. 116v.–117), as well as the necessary sharp in the tenor at meas. 573. Sharps are needed at mm. 383 (alto) and 534 (tenor) of the “eighth mode” piece (fols. 117v.–118). But he does come remarkably close to redeeming his promise.3 All nine pieces were specifically composed for keyboard, he says at fol. 113v. That this was so can be readily proved by looking at the two lower parts of Ave maris stella (fol. 114), mm. 81, 113–4, 151; of the “eighth mode” piece at meas. 551; of the “fourth mode” at mm. 403, 554; of the “true sixth” at mm. 341, 391–2, 401, 521–3, 582; and of Pange lingua at meas. 201. In each of these places the bass goes lower than Spanish basses were ever required to sing. The distance from bass to tenor is a tenth which must be taken in the left hand alone but which is easily possible because of the short octave. He also prescribes over a dozen unvocal melodic intervals. No less than eight are mandatory augmented seconds (“first mode with touches of the fourth” [fols. 114v.–115], mm. 10–11 and 43–44, altus; “fourth mode” [fols. 115v.–116], mm. 10 and 12, cantus; “true sixth mode” [fols. 116v.–117], mm. 9 and 39, altus; 22, basis; 57, cantus. What is more, he prescribes five arrant chromaticisms (Conditor alme siderum, meas. 10 [altus], “true sixth mode,” mm. 9 [cantus], 19 [altus], Vexilla regis, meas. 27 [altus], Veni Creator, meas. 12 [altus]).


Original Composition Fourth Mode Musical Phrase Mode VIII Creator Spiritus 
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  1. 1.
    Bermudo seems to have considered organ and manichord as equivalent instruments in El arte Tripharia at fol. 37 (Para poney en el monachordioChrw(133) que es saber goner en el organoChrw(133)).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bermudo does not claim to have printed all the needful accidentals either at fol. 38v. in El arte or at fol. 83 of the 1555 Declaración.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    In Orgel und Klavier, p. 234, an Fill would seem to be required at meas. 112 of Veni Creator spiritus. The mistake is however the transcriber’s. Bermudo notated the bass-part in gamma-clef without the sharp-signature found in the other parts. Whatever the reasons for partial signatures in earlier works, Bermudo here omits the sharp-signature (bass) simply because the lowest voice touches F only once — on which occasion Fq must be played to avoid a diminished-5th leap.Google Scholar
  4. 1.
    Anglés in Anuario musical, VII (1952), assumed at p. 196 that only one Urrede Pange lingua is now extant, and at p. 197 that Cabezón’s glosa (MME, II, 119–120) has nothing to do with Urrede’sGoogle Scholar
  5. 1.
    MME, XVII, 84–90 (odd-verse), 91–99 (even-verse).Google Scholar
  6. 2.
    Even the keyword in Santa Maria’s title, fantasia, fails to occur frequently in Bermudo’s writings. At fol. 99v., line 41, it does appear — there seeming to mean “improvisation” (homophonic villancicos lay no adequate musical groundwork on which to build and expand buen ayre de fantesia). Cf. Diego Ortiz’s use of the term fantasia (Trattado de glosas, 1553, fol. 26).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Netherlands 1960

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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