Luis Milán

Fantasía [06] del primer tono


El Maestro (1536), fol. C1v


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Source title Esta fantasia que se sigue es del primero tono: y del segundo: y porque usa de los dichos dos tonos se dira tono mixto porque si la dicha fantasia fuesse solo del primero tono no podria hazer una clausula que haze enla quarta en el segundo traste de la vihuela. y si fuesse solamente del segundo tono no podia hazer vna clavsula que haze en el quinqueno traste; y porque vsa del vn tono / y del otro como arriba es dicho se dize Tono mixto.
Title in contents  
Text incipit


Category abstract

Genre fantasia

Fantasia type ImP

Mode 1+2

Voices 3

Length (compases) 151


Tuning A

Courses 6

Final V/0

Highest I/7

Lowest VI/0

Difficulty not specified

Tempo not specified

Song Text


Vocal notation


The rubric explains that “The following fantasia is in the first mode and the second and because it uses both modes it is said to be in a mixed mode because if the said fantasia were only in the first mode it would not make cadence as it does on the fourth [course] on the second fret of the vihuela, and if it were only in the second mode it could not cadence on the fifth fret, and because it makes use of one mode and the other as is said above, it is called mixed mode.” There is no indiction of tempo.

It is an unusual work of quite individual character. It reveals itself in its own terms, and is quite distinct from the first 5 fantasias. In melodic terms it divides into ten episodes, but a formal analysis can be based on much broader narrative and modal criteria.

The work is the first longer fantasia in Milán’s anthology. Episodes: 1 (1-29); 2 (30-39); 3 (40-43); 4 (44-58); 5 (59-73); 6 (74-87); 7 (87-97); 8 (98-122); 9 (122-130); 10 (131-151).

The work divides into three or four broader periods. There is a case to see II and III as a single period given the motivic and textural similarities.
I (1-43) episodes 1-3 - largely quasi imitative + characteristic Milán coda
II (44-72) episodes 4-5 - substantially imitations of short motives.
III (73- 130) episodes 6-9 - as for II.
IV (131-151) cadential
In this sense the work can be seen as 3 periods of similar length + coda.

Episode 1: The design is noteworthy: the theme appears 4 times in duo, the melody always being uppermost in the texture. The lower voice consistently enters half way through reiterating the head of the theme. This is Milán’s technique of an initial episode that is more reminiscent of vocal polyphony than many of his internal episodes.

In modal-tonal terms, the episodes and periods are closely aligned with a tonal structure belonging to modes 1 and 2:
I: d — A
II: F — d
III: C — A
IV: F — d