Luis de Narváez

Fantasía [11] del quinto tono


Los seis libros del Delphin (1538), fol. 28v


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Source title Esta fantasia es del quinto Tono / y enla quarta en el ------- esta la claue de faut. En la tercera enel tercer traste esta la claue de cesolfaut.
Title in contents   Fantasia del quinto Tono.
Text incipit


Category abstract

Genre fantasia

Fantasia type ImP

Mode 5

Voices 4

Length (compases) 124


Tuning G

Courses 6

Final IV/0

Highest I/7

Lowest VI/0

Difficulty not specified

Tempo fast

Song Text


Vocal notation


This is one of Narváez’s miniature masterpieces of imitative polyphony in the Francesco da Milano style. It is a polythematic imitative fantasia in 4 sections (see diagram). Particular features: more difficult and longer than the other lib. II fantasias. Sequential extension of 1st theme.
Prominence of voice pairing in S/A + T/B combinations. Overlapping cadences. Repeated final section. Typical variability of theme 1. Developmental approach to section IV, and counter themes in same section.

It survives in prints by Phalese and Morlaye as well as one English manuscript, the Willoughby lute book. The inscription at the head of this piece in the Willoughby version has been interpreted differently by different scholars. Ward reads it as “ffantaci de narboyes” (Ward 1992, 5). If this is so, then Ward’s comment on p. 5 is credible: “Vihuelists may have been in Prince Philip’s entourage and that of some of the grandees who accompanied him during the time of the Spanish connection; this might account for the appearance of pieces by Narváez and the Conde claros variations in the Osborn and Willoughby Mss”. On the other hand, what Ward reads as “narboyes” has been read as “Morlaye” by other observers and would lead to the conclusion that the work was copied from 1552-04.

The copies of the piece are located in:
• Phalèse, Des chansons reduictz en Tablature, fol. b3 (Brown 1546-18, nº 5)
• Morlaye, Premiere livre de tabulature de leut, fol. 6v (Brown 1552-04, nº 5)
• Willoughby Lute Book (Nottingham Univ. Lib., Mi LM 16), fol.1v-2 (nº 1)

Song Text

Modern edition(s)
Printed source(s)