Enríquez de Valderrábano

Fantasía 21 hecha sobre una canción


Silva de sirenas (1547), fol. 74v


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Source title Esta entrada desta fantasia esta hecha sobre vna cancio[n], ase de tañer espacio hasta llegar a vna proporcion de tres minimas al compas, y de alli adelante se a de tañer apriesa. Primero tono. Tercero grado.
Title in contents   Fantasia sobre una entrada de una cancion
Text incipit


Category abstract

Genre fantasia

Fantasia type Par

Mode 1

Voices 4

Length (compases) 161


Tuning E

Courses 6

Final IV/0

Highest I/8

Lowest VI/1

Difficulty difficult

Tempo variable

Song Text


Vocal notation


Rubric: “The opening of this fantasia is based on a chanson. It has to be played slowly until arriving [at a section] in the proportion of three minims to a bar, and from their on it has to be played fast. Mode 1, third level [of difficulty].” A parody fantasia based on an unidentified model, presumably a French chanson. Valderrabano tells us however that it is the beginning of his work that is parodied. The works is quite long: 161 compases, and has tempo change features that distinguish it: moderate tempo >> fast triple time >> duple, fast.

The fantasia is composed in a free polyphonic style, with phrases of differing content that balance and complement one another. The motive which occurs within theme 1 reappears several times, not as a significant theme but as a linguistic turn which adds some sense of unity. The T voice of c.6-9 is restated at c.46 ff. The opening of the proporcion 3 at 71, loosely resembles the opening of the work. The two binary sections differ in style marginally as a result of the changed tempo, and the desired mood. The opening has more downward melodic movement especially in the top voice, and is more homophonic. The harmony of the opening is noteworthy especially the suspensions and avoidance of a “tonic” chord.