Enríquez de Valderrábano

Conde Claros


Silva de sirenas (1547), fol. 48v


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Source title [vihuela 1]: Esta musica q[ue] se sigue va sobre el canto llano del conde Claros. Arriquez. Viguela mayor. El te[m]ple de las viguelas es en tercera menor/ y por mas claro la quarta en vazio desta viguela mayor ha de sonar en octaua debaxo de la segunda en vazio de la viguela menor. Segundo grado. / [Vihuela 2]: Viguela menor. Primero grado.
Title in contents   Sobre el tenor del conde claros en tercera menor a cinco Anrriquez.
Text incipit


Category variations

Genre conde claros

Fantasia type

Mode 6

Voices 4

Length (compases) 81


Tuning G

Courses 6

Final IV/0

Highest I/6

Lowest VI/1

Difficulty easy + med.

Tempo fast

Song Text


Vocal notation


Rubric: [vihuela 1]: “This music that follows is on the ground of Conde Claros. Arriquez. Larger Vihuela. The tuning of the vihuelas is at the minor third and to make it clearer the open fourth course on this vihuela has to sound an octave lower than th open second course on the smaller vihuela. Second level [of difficulty]. [Vihuela 2]: Smaller vihuela. First level [of difficulty.”

In the thirteen variations on Conde Claros set for two vihuelas, the vihuela menor keeps the cantus firmus audible, repeated exactly each time while the texture develops with a considerable amout of counterpoint between the two instruments. Each instrument is written in two parts and the parts are extremely well crafted. To understand the music it is best to consider the larger vihuela in E and the smaller vihuela in G.

Full text: In Binkley Spanish Romances (with English translation), 120-30
• “Conde Claros” (Don Claros de Montalbán) was the protagonist of a popular Carolingian romance. See diaz1978

Song Text

Media noche era por filo,
los gallos querían cantar,
Conde Claros, con amores
no podía reposar.
(1st stanza. from Trend, The Music of Spanish History to 1600, p 104)

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