Search

Narváez, Luis de

Active 1538-1552

Previous Next
Person Born Died Gender Person ID
Luis de Narváez Granada? 1505/ca Valladolid or Madrid? 1552.02 M P0087

Instrument(s) Professional group Social status Social sphere Why is the person listed?
vihuela vihuela de mano Musician Servant Court - royal Polyphonist/Theorist Vihuelist & Composer Instrumentalist & composer (plucked)

Years active Place active Century Region
1538-1552 Valladolid, Granada, Toledo, Sanlucar 16cent/2/mid Andalucia Castilla
Biographical information

Luis de Narváez was one of the leading vihuelists in Spain during the first half of the sixteenth century. His vihuela music was published as Los seys libros del Delphin in Valladolid in 1538, and two motets survive as well. Several moern editions of his music have been published, Biographical accounts and analysis of his music are found in most important reference works.

LIFE The bare facts of his life are these:
1503-1505 — born in Granada -- based on later evidence
1529-1533 — Narváez may have accompanied Francisco de los Cobos to Bologna and Germany
1536 — Narváez may have accompanied Francisco de los Cobos to Rome
1537-1538 — Cobos was mainly in Valladolid
1537.05.18 — request for privilege to print Los sey libros provides significant further information about his knowledge of the music of Luis de Guzmán, and Francesco da Milano
1538.07 — Charles V met François I in Nice. Cobos was there too, so perhaps Narváez as well.
1538.10.15-1539.01.31 — Narváez was present at the Cortes de Toledo (dates of the sessions of the nobles) Gómez Fernández 2017, p. 162 ff. where he would have contact with Juan Alonso de Guzmán, VI Duque de Medina Sidonia, Francisco de los Cobos, and Iñigo López de Mendoza, IV Duque del Infantado.
1538.10.30 — publication of “Los seys libros” in Valladolid was completed. Dedication to Francisco de los Cobos suggests his patronage of Narváez.
1539.11.01 Starting date of Narváez’s salary from the Duke of Medina Sidonia
1539 — motet a4 De profundis clamavi published in Moderne, Motetti del fiore (Lyon, 1539)
1540.03.01 — Narváez was fired by the Duke of Medina Sidonia
1542 — motet a5 O salutaris hostia published in Quintus liber mottetorum ad quinque, et sex, et septem vocem (Lyon: Jacques Moderne, 1542).
1548 — Attachment to the royal court. Libro de la Veeduría from the end of 1548 continues to list Narváez among the singers as “maestro de los mochachos.” (angles1944, 112-113). anglesMCC, p. 104. “Luys de Narbáez, que ha de tener cargo de enseñar a los mochachos cantorçicos tiples de la capilla, con otros XL mill cada año, desde setiembre del dicho año adelante.” Narváez continued in Philip II’s retinue for the entire sojourn. (Knighton, in robledo2000, table 4, 55)
1549.03 described by one of his companions as “Narbaes Oberister Vber dj Knaben” (See schönerV, p. 62, from Gerhard Pietzsch, Quellen und Forschungen zur Geschichte der Musik am kurpfälzischen Hof zu Heidelberg bis 1622. Mainz: Vlg der Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur, 1963.
1552 — Records of the personnel in Philip’s capilla shows the name of Narváez until 1552. For that year, his name appears with the marginal notation: “† II-1552,”1 (Robledo2000, Appendix 20, 360) establishing the composer’s death in February 1552. At that time, the court was officially in Valladolid. However, during the first half of 1552, Philip’s base of operation was Madrid. (Trend 1926, p. 52). For so long a period, he might have taken with him his capilla or part of it. Thus, Narváez most likely died in Valladolid, but Madrid is also a possibility.
1554 — Two poems by Narváez published in Esteban de Nágera, Cancionero General

Juan Alonso de Guzmán, VI Duque de Medina Sidonia,
and his son Juan Carlos de Guzmán. IX Conde de Niebla.

Hopkinson Smith reported to John Griffiths in 2018 that, according to Juan Antonio Martínez (Córdoba) the tomb of a “Luys de Narbáez” is to be found in the Catedral de Coria (Cáceres) “en el patio del claustro, abandonado entre dos arcos.” This was reported some time earlier and Hoppy noted it in the flyleaf of his copy of the Minkoff reprint

REPUTATION
16-17th centuries
• Zapata, Miscelánea. c. 1590. cáp XV De una habilidad de un músico: “Fue en Valladolid, en mi moçedad, un músico de vihuela, llamado Narváez de tan extraña habilidad en la música que sobre quatro voces de canto de organo de un libro echaba en la vihuela de repente otras quatro, cosa a los que no entendían la música milagrosa, y alos que la entendían la música milagrosa, y alos que la entendían milagrosísima (p95)
• bermudez1608: cap 27 “De los músicos y cantores famosos desta Ciudad”. Narváez is the first musician he mentions. Fol 131v: “Luis de Narbaez fue tan famoso músico, que lo mereció ser del Rey don Felipe II. porque la dul/ [fol. 132] çura de su vihuela suspendía el ánimo del rey, como Timoteo el de Alexandro. Su hijo Andrés de Narváez, tan grande músico, que está por determinar si le igualó su padre”. Translated by Corona-Alcalde, “He was such a famous musician that he merited serving King Philip, because the sweetness of his vihuela filled with wonder the king’s spirit.” Hopkinson Smith Narváez CD, pp. 12-13.
• ralloCRO. [Written mid 16th century]. “…y después de haber oido a aquellos dos tan señalados músicos en la vihuela, Torres, Narváez y Macotera, tan nombrados en España…” cited by reyp1997, p 96 [see vihuela instruments file]
• gallardo1863, I/870 • "fue famosísimo maestro de vihuela. Fuélo de Felipe II"

MUSIC
SOURCES
• Music by Narváez in English sources. Identified in ward1969 (especially p. 363, n. 27). Further information in wardEL (edition of the Osborn Commonplace book). In wardEL (vol. 1, p. 45) he identifies the Narváez piece in the Willoughby Lute book. Variation 3 of Sacris Solemnis, and the Baxa de contrapunto are in the Osborn book (available on line at Yale) and Fantasía 11 is in the Willoughby book, probably in the hand of Sir Francis Willoughby. Ward suggests that the Willoughby piece and the Sacris solemnis variation retain enough of the detail of the Narváez source taht they could have been copied directly from el Delphín, while the number of variants in the Baxa de contrapunto suggest that they were not copied directly from a copy of the original print. (wardEL, vol 1, p. 30)
MOTETS
• Motetes de Narváez: two such works have survived: motets published in collections by Moderne, Quartus liber cum quatuor vocibus, Motetti del fiore (Lyon: Jacques Moderne, 1539); Quintus liber mottetorum ad quinque, et sex, et septem vocem (Lyon: Jacques Moderne, 1542). De profundis clamavi for four voices and O salutaris hostia for five voices. Both motets are published in narvaezZAYAS, p. 208-227. The first 23 measures of O salutaris hostia appear in Aspectos de la cultura musical, 87.
POETRY
• Poems by Narvaéz in nágeraCG 1554. Narváez is mentioned in two poems. In one he is in service to a certain lady, Ana de Prado, described as “full of virtues”; the other suggests that Narváez worked directly for the Emperor around this late date. (See: Pepe Rey 2007-1; Corona Alcalde, notes to Hopkinson Smith Narvaez CD, p. 12)

• Parada y Barreto (paradaD) weas the first to point out the presence of works by Narváez in publications by Moderne.
• Gómez Fernández cites other references to Narváez in documents AGFCMS, leg. 2476, fol. 330v («vihuela de arco») y leg. 2471; leg. 2476, leg. 2479, fol. 271; leg. 2481, fols. 5r, 48r, 98v, 99r.

Related persons


Source documents
Date Document
1537.05.18 Luis de Narváez, request for a printing licence.
1538.10.30 Luis de Narváez, Los seys libros del Delphin.
1549 Libro de la Veeduría.
1552/ca Cristóbal de Villalón, El Crotalón, de Christóphero Gnophoso.
1554 Esteban de Nágera, Cancionero general de obras nuevas nunca hasta aora impressas.
after 1592 Luis Zapata de Chávez, Miscelanea.
1615-1621 Anon, Granada [o descripción historial del insigne reino y ciudad ilustrisima de Granada]
1539.11.01 Luis de Narváez, salary November 1539
1540.03.01 Luis de Narváez, fired by Duke of Medina Sidonia


Bibliography
Ref Author Item Pages
gomezfer2017 Gómez Fernández, Lucía. Musica, nobleza y mecenazgo: los duques de Medina Sidonia en Sevilla y Sanlúcar de Barrameda (1445-1615). Cádiz: Universidad de Cadiz, 2017.
fink2011 Fink, Michael. “Luis de Narváez: Some Fresh Perspectives on His Life and Music”. Journal of the Lute Society of America 44 (2011): 47-76.
pratD Prat, Domingo. Diccionario biográfico- bibliográfico- histórico- crítico de guitarras (instrumentos afines), guitarristas (profesores - compositores - concertistas - lahudistas - amateurs), guitarreros (luthiers), danzas y cantos, terminología. Buenos Aires: Romero y Fernández, 1934; rpt Columbus OH: Editions Orphée, 1986.
saldoniD Saldoni, Baltasar. Diccionario Biográfico-Bibliográfico de efemérides de músicos españoles. 4 vols. Madrid: Antonio Pérez Dubrull, 1868-81; reimp. ed Jacinto Torres, Madrid: Centro de Documentación Musical, Ministerio de Cultura, 1986. IV, 223
angles1944 Anglés, Higinio. La música en la corte de Carlos V con la transcripción del “Libro de cifra nueva para tecla, harpa y vihuela” (Alcalá de Henares, 1557) compilado por Luys Venegas de Henestrosa. 2 vols. Monumentos de la Música Española II, III. Barcelona: CSIC, 1944; rpt 1965. 104
narvaezZAYAS Narváez, Luys de. Los vihuelistas. Luys de Narváez. Colección Opera Omnia dirigida por Rodrigo de Zayas. Madrid: Editorial Alpuerto, 1981. 208-227
reyp1997 Rey, Pepe. “Nominalia: instrumentos musicales en la literatura española desde La Celestina (1499) hasta El Criticón (1651)”. Los instrumentos musicales en el siglo XVI. Proceedings of the I Encuentro Tomás Luis de Victoria y la música española del siglo XVI (Avila, May 1993). Avila: Fundación Cultural Sta. Teresa, 1997. 41-100. 96
gallardo1863 Gallardo, Bartolomé José. Ensayo de una Biblioteca Española de Libros Raros y Curiosos. 4 vols. Madrid: 1863-89; reimp. Madrid: Gredos, 1968. I, 870
zapataGAY Zapata de Chaves, Luis. Miscelánea de Zapata. Ed. Pascual de Gayangos. Memorial Histórico Español: Colección de documentos, opúsculos y antiguedades, 11. Madrid: Imprenta de la Real Academia de la Historia, 1859. 95, cap XV
paradaD Parada y Barreto, José. Diccionario Técnico, Histórico y Biográfico de la Música. Madrid: B. Eslava, 1868.
tornerC Martínez Torner, Eduardo. Colección de Vihuelistas Españoles del Siglo XVI. Madrid: Orfeo Tracio, 1923; rpt Madrid: Unión Musical Española, 1965.
bermudoDEC2 Bermudo, Juan. Comiença el libro llamado declaracion de instrumentos musicales... Ossuna, 1555. Rpt. ed. Macario Santiago Kastner, Documenta Musicologica, 11. Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1957. 29v
morphyL Morphy, Guillermo. Les Luthistes espagnols du XVIe Siècle. 2 vols. Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1902; rpt New York: Broude Brothers, 1967.
narvaezMGG Griffiths, John. “Narváez, Luis de”. Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. 2nd edition, ed L. Finscher. Personenteil, 12. Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1994-. 915-916.
narvaezDMEH Griffiths, John. “Narváez (I)”. Diccionario de la música española e hispanoamericana. Ed. Emilio Casares Rodicio. Madrid: Sociedad General de Autores y Editores, 1999-2002. Vol. 7, 976-79.
ward1969 Ward, John. “Spanish Musicians in Sixteenth-Century England”. Essays in Musicology in Honor of Dragan Plamenac on his 70th Birthday. Eds. G. Reese and R.J. Snow. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1969. 353-364. 363, n. 27
ruiz1993 Ruiz Jiménez, Juan. “Insights into Luis de Narváez and music publishing in 16th-century Spain”. Journal of the Lute Society of America 26 (1993): 1-12.
ward1992 Ward, John M. (ed) Music for Elizabethan Lutes: The Osborn Commonplace-Book Tablatures and Related Sources. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992. I/30,45
ward1953 Ward, John M. “The ‘Vihuela de mano’ and its Music, 1536-1576”. Diss., New York University, 1953. 380-84
reyp2007-1 Rey, Pepe. “Otros libros de vihuela”. Estudios sobre la vihuela. Ed. Carlos González. Madrid: Sociedad de la Vihuela, 2007. 11-30.
bermudez1608 Bermúdez de Pedraza, Francisco. Antigüedad y excelencias de Granada. Madrid: Luis Sánchez, 1608. cap. 27
narvaez1538 Narváez, Luis de. Los seys libros del Delphin de musica de cifras para tañer Vihuela. Valladolid: Diego Fernández de Córdoba, 1538.
nagera1554 Nágera, Esteban de. Cancionero General de obras nuevas nunca hasta aora impressas. Zaragoza, 1554.
Contributor

John Griffiths