“The Vihuela Fantasia: A Comparative Study of Forms and Styles”. Ph.D. diss., Monash University, 1983.Previous Next
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This work traces the evolution of the Spanish fantasia for vihuela de mano from its improvisatory origins in the early sixteenth century to a genre conforming to the norms of contemporary vocal polyphony. Analyses of works by Milán, Narváez, Mudarra, Valderrábano, Pisador, Fuenllana, and Daza demonstrate this evolution with particular reference to melodic and contrapuntal design and formal architecture. The author applies a graphic-statistical method that measures the conformity of each fantasia to abstract concepts of vocal counterpoint, and that assesses the level of idiomatic thinking in each work. This methodology, developed and applied to a specific repertoire of 219 fantasias written for the vihuela may have broader applications for stylistic questions about abstract instrumental music of the sixteenth century. While it is clear that vocal repertoire was the focal point for musical development throughout the Renaissance, the composers of instrumental music also drew on a long unwritten tradition of virtuoso instrumental performance. It may be too simplistic to arrange the works on a single axis between these two traditions. The fantasias may be evaluated according to two additional parameters: (1) concept (through the quantification of polyphonic procedures employed, or conformity to the procedures inherent in the "motet" part of "instrumental motet") and (2) idiom (through measurement of the instrumental resources and textural devices employed). The idiomatic possibilities of the instrument can influence the concept in two ways, either as a restrictive shackle or as an inspiration.
Composer MILAN, NARVAEZ, MUDARRA, VALDERRABANO, PISADOR, FUENLLANA, DAZA
Music genre FANTASIA
Research field MUSIC, ANALYSIS