Alonso Mudarra

Fantasía 07, fácil


Tres libros de música en cifra (1546), fol. I/7


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Source title Fantasia facil.
Title in contents   Otra fantasia facil
Text incipit


Category abstract

Genre fantasia

Fantasia type ImP

Mode 1

Voices 3

Length (compases) 85


Tuning A

Courses 6

Final V/0

Highest I/8

Lowest VI/0

Difficulty easy

Tempo medium

Song Text


Vocal notation


Tempo = C = tempo medio.
The work is extremely intricate, delicate & subtle. It is divisible into 7 highly interdependent thematic sections. The non-exposing voices make continual passing reference to structural material from other sections, hence a high level of cohesion. Although the piece is labelled “fácil” it is quite to the contrary, both in absolute technical terms and particularly in terms of the application of the music – voice leading etc. The work is idiomatic and is a loose incorporation of polyphonic principles.
The sections themselves display different levels of vocal – modal incorporation but never enter into the purely idiomatic instrumental style.
Sections [ compases]:
• I 1-24 — Section I is built on two ideas: a cantus firmus in the bass with imitative material shared between the upper two parts. The cantus firmus divides into 2 12 compas phrases, the first of which divides again into 3 and 4 bar units with clear cadences in the upper parts. Mudarra displays his mysterious enigmatic character by not directly welding motives 1a & 1b into any rigid form. They are each introduced separately in different voices in the first four bars, their independence is preserved but their interdependence is felt. Both reappear many times in subsequent sections independently; 1a in a more whimsical manner and 1b by its nature in a cadential sense. It of course unifies the cadential process into many 4-3 patterns. Within section I, as the mystery unfolds motives 1a & 1b appear several times as head and tail of a theme with different material sandwiched between. Beginning in bar 12, they are welded in the alto to produce the principal theme of Section VI and from bar 15 they are used with Narváez – like extensions which have similarities to K1, 2 & 6.
• II 24-38 — Section II is a strictly imitative treatment of the new theme until bar 35 where 2 bars of free counter-point is introduced to make the cadence.
• III 38-41 — Section III is nothing more than a brief interlude of 3 bars length where the Alto voice states 1a & 1b linked together.
• IV 41-56 — Section IV introduces a new theme with a curious beginning in the Superius, disguised by statement of 1b in the altus. Melodic activity is maintained in the top voice, so the imitation of the theme in the bass is similarly mystified. Theme K1 is introduced thereafter in the middle voice to make a long cadence (after a longer theme than previously) similar to Mudarra’s intab of Josquin’s “Pteni” from the Missa Faysan Regres.
• V 56-66 — Slow cadence section V is another contrast. More like consonancias but includes 1b (see theme 4) 2 statements: S, B with A weaving a free line terminating the section with 1b.
• VI 66-73 — Section VI carries on the activity of A giving 2 statements of theme 5 the second of which is accompanied by parallel 10ths in the bass representing another entry whereafter the A restates 1b to close section at 75.
• VII 73-86 — Section VII is dovetailed in to actually begin in 73 with S starting “free” theme 6 which has many précised elements of earlier material. An attempt to imitate is begun by A in 78 but resolves into accompanying the cantus firmus given in the bass. Alto then restates K1 thus concluding the work.