Alonso Mudarra

Fantasía 08


Tres libros de música en cifra (1546), fol. I/8


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Source title Fantasia.
Title in contents   Otra fantasia
Text incipit


Category abstract

Genre fantasia

Fantasia type ImP

Mode 2

Voices 4

Length (compases) 70


Tuning A

Courses 6

Final V/0

Highest I/10

Lowest VI/0

Difficulty not specified

Tempo medium

Song Text


Vocal notation


This piece is rather more rhapsodic and improvisatory than many of Mudarra’s. It seems to be more of a written down improvisation than a carefully worked out witty piece (more characteristic of Mudarra) Pujol’s description of the work “de una espiritual continuidad y equilibrada proporción” is quite apt in itself as an analysis. There are two germinal ideas in the piece: one which is the head of a polyphonic theme, which occurs with many different tails and the other is an ascending scale in fast seminimas, usually 6 to 8 in number. The first of these ideas is quite vocal in its concept, the second is instrumental. The treatment of each theme however is within a continuing polyphonic context – there is no consonancias y redobles sectionalization. There are few sectionalizing cadences and so the work is very on-going – sectionalization seems almost a false distinction. Distinct events or turns of mind occur at compases 16, 25, 29, 34, 41, 46, 60. The work may be divided at bar 46. The work opens with three successive non-overlapping statements of theme 1 in clearly separated four-bar phrases and a V (6/4)- I cadence, after which follows the scalic idea but closely related to theme. This is followed at 16 by a set of tighter imitation with two themes built on the head motive. It is followed by cadential material 25-29. At 29 the Bass voice calls attention to itself developing from the head motif into a formulaic polyphonic network which establishes a dramatic ebb and asserts the plagal mode. It thereafter builds with the alto voice prominent using a motive incorporating the two basic ideas. In bar 41 there is a strong cadence continuing into a climatic 5 bar phrase which uses extremes of register. A cadence is made at 46 onto F (modal dominant of Hypodorian). The fall of tension which follows seems an intentional release. It begins with an inversion of the head motive with scalic development. The form of this second section is a direct parallel of the first. It begins with three loosely organized 4 bar phrases with scalic movement in one voice at a time in a similarly light texture. Each phrase is clearly defined by V-I cadences. These three phrases are followed by a tighter section in which a polyphonic theme of fixed form makes three appearances. It is based on the scalic idea. Simultaneously with its second appearance is a quotation of an the first theme. A free cadence closes the work. The typical motive Cadential semitone d–c#–d which plays such an important structural role in Mudarra 7 is also quite important in this work but in a secondary manner.
The modality of the piece seems to oscillate somewhat between the Dorian & Phrygian centres because of constant oscillation between b-flat & b-natural. Mudarra in both sections takes his time working himself up to making his most developed statements. The intermediary territory is however in no way inferior.