––1–– Evolution of the Vihuela and Guitar1.1. The Vihuela de ManoInstrument makers from the Kingdom of Aragon are believed to have first developed thevihuela de mano around the middle of the fifteenth century. Most modern writers on thissubject have presented various versions of a general hypothesis that the vihuela firstevolved from the medieval fiddle: in essence, that the pear-shaped fiddle was modifiedwith curved waists to facilitate bow strokes. Subsequently, it became known as thevihuela de arco, from which two other variants were then developed—the vihuela depeñola, played with a plectrum, and the vihuela de mano, played with the fingers.Recent research by Ian Woodfield contradicts this hypothesis; however, and indicates thatthe earliest bowed vihuelas were in fact “the result of a union between the pluckedvihuela and the bowed medieval fiddle.”1 Woodfield has documented iconographicsources showing that early plucked vihuelas in the 1430s and 1440s initially had waistswith sharply angled corners at the point where they joined the sides [Plate 1], whilefiddles of the same period already had waists that were gently curved. The sharply angleddesign began to be applied to fiddles and gradually gained acceptance during the latterhalf of the fifteenth century. Plate 1 Vihuela de peñola Valencian school (mid/late 15th century) Virgin with Child and angel musicians: detail Altarpiece, Colegiata de Játiva (Valencia) Photograph: Mas Archive1 Ian Woodfield, The Early History of the Viol, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984). Thereader is encouraged to refer to this excellent source of detailed information about the development of thevihuela as revealed through the pictorial record.
During the sixteenth century, techniques of playing with the fingers instead of a pickwere developed to accommodate the demands of performing an evolving style ofpolyphonic instrumental music. Through this music, the vihuela de mano gained so muchpopularity in Spain that it came to be known as the vihuela comun, and later simply as thevihuela.1.2. The Vihuela in SpainJohn Griffiths provides this overview of Renaissance Spain: The marriage of the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella in 1469 produced a hitherto unknown political unity and stability. The reconquest of southern Spain was completed with the capture of Granada in 1492, ending almost eight hundred years of Moorish occupation. The infamous Inquisition was established in 1481, and the expulsion of the Jews in 1492 was also undertaken with the aim of uniting Spain under a single faith. To further imperial aspirations, Columbus’ exploratory expedition to the Americas [in 1492, and subsequently in 1493, 1498, and 1502]…was financed by Ferdinand and Isabella. Under their rule, Spain emerged as a modern European state. The ascent to the throne in 1516 of Charles V, the first Spanish Habsburg, consolidated earlier advances. The Spanish economy was boosted by wealth from the American territories, although this wealth was largely dissipated in wars caused by Charles’ religious fervour. Internal stability was maintained, however, and the extension of Spanish sovereignty beyond her national frontiers into Italy, the Low Countries and Africa resulted from Charles’ role as Holy Roman Emperor. Spain was a politically dynamic and artistically fertile environment… In 1556 Charles abdicated in favour of his son Philip II. During Philip’s reign to 1598, Spain remained at the forefront of European politics and art.2With the exception of Spain and its colonies, the lute was the favorite instrument of thearistocracy throughout Europe. Some musicologists, such as Gilbert Chase, assert that theSpanish may have rejected the lute because of its negative association with Arabicculture.3 This theory, however, overlooks the fact that many other cultural vestiges of theMoors remained in Spain after their expulsion. New evidence also suggests that the lutewas more commonly played in Spain after 1600 than previously believed, although no2 John Griffiths, “The ‘Vihuela’ Fantasia: A Comparative Study of Forms and Styles,” Ph.D. dissertation,Monash University (Australia), 1984, 2-3.3 Gilbert Chase, The Music of Spain, (New York: Dover, 1941, rev. 1959).
Spanish source of lute music is known to exist.4 Nevertheless, the vihuela, and later theguitar, prevailed over the lute in Spanish culture. According to Griffiths: In the last twenty years there has been a fundamental shift in our perception of the social position of the vihuela in sixteenth century Spanish society. Formerly seen as principally an instrument of the court, largely based on evidence suggested by the printed musical sources, recent research makes it clear that the vihuela enjoyed a much wider popularity… The pioneering studies of Pujol and Ward revealed a total of only some thirty-five sixteenth century vihuelists. Subsequent archival research has now quadrupled this figure and articles on many of them are included in the recent Diccionario de la música española e hispanoamericana. Furthermore, the discovery of printing contracts for some of the vihuela and related keyboard has made it clear that they were published in large editions of 1000-1500 copies, and were obviously aimed at widespread distribution… Not only do we know of professional vihuelists employed at court, but also of noblemen who were amateur players. Vihuelists from other social groups include university educated professionals and their wives, clerics who played the vihuela in their leisure time, and soldiers such as Garcilaso de la Vega, whose swiftness with the sword was often balanced by skills in poetry and music… The popularity of the vihuela was surely extensive.5Despite the vihuela’s popularity in Spain, extant sources of music for the instrument arefew. The repertoire of the Spanish vihuelists that is known to have survived is found inseven books and in a few unpublished manuscripts dedicated specifically to the vihuela,as well as in two books of music considered interchangeable with the harp, lute, andvihuela.64 Diana Poulton, “The Lute in Christian Spain” The Lute Society Journal, Vol. XIX (London: 1977): 34.5 John Griffiths, “The Two Renaissances of the Vihuela,” online essay published by Goldberg Magazine,http://www.goldbergweb.com/en/magazine/essays/2005/04/31026.php (January 2, 2006).6 (Griffiths) “The vihuela also gained rapid acceptance in the parts of Italy that were under Spanishinfluence, especially Naples, and also Rome during the Borgia papacies. Known in Italy as the viola damano, the instrument was cultivated there alongside the lute. Exploration of the Neapolitan face of thevihuela is one of the current areas of research into the instrument.” “ (Griffiths) The discovery of newmaterials continues to augment and refine our knowledge of the instrument, its music, and its players, whileJohn Ward’s 1953 account of the vihuela and its performance practice remains the most authoritative,central point of reference.” (John Ward, “The ‘Vihuela de mano’ and its Music, 1536–1576,” Ph.D. diss.,New York University, 1953.)
1.3. Original Sources of Vihuela Music Printed Books.7 1536, Valencia. Luis Milán. Libro de Musica de vihuela de mano. Intitulado El Maestro.8 1538, Valladolid. Luis de Narváez. Los seys libros del Delphin de musica de cifras para tañer Vihuela.9 1546, Seville. Alonso Mudarra. Tres Libros de Musica en Cifras para Vihuela.10 1547, Valladolid. Enrique de Valderrabano. Libro de Musica de Vihuela, intitulado Silva de sirenas.11 1552, Salamanca. Diego Pisador. Libro de Musica de Vihuela.127 The location of copies of these works and a list their contents are given in Howard Mayer Brown,Instrumental Music Printed before 1608: A Bibliography (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press,1967).8 Facsimile Edition: (Geneva: Éditions Minkoff, 1975). Critical Editions: Luis Milán, Libro de Musica devihuela de mano intitulado El Maestro, ed. Leo Schrade (Publikationen Älterer Musik 2, Leipzig, 1927;reprint, Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 1967); Luis Milán, El Maestro, ed. Charles Jacobs (University Park andLondon: Penn. State Univ. Press, 1971); and (in guitar notation and pitch) Luis Milán, El maestro: operecomplete per vihuela, ed. Ruggero Chiesa (Milan: Edizioni Suvini Zerboni, 1974).9 Facsimile Edition: (Geneva: Éditions Minkoff, 1980. Critical Editions: Luis de Narváez, Los seys librosdel Delphin de música de cifra para tañer vihuela, ed. Emilio Pujol, Monumentos de la Música Española 3(Barcelona: Instituto Español de Musicología, 1945; reprint, 1971); ed. Rodrigo de Zayas (with facsimile)Los vihuelistas: Luys de Narváez, Colección Opera Omnia (Madrid: Editorial Alpuerto, 1981); EduardoMartínez Torner. Colección de Vihuelistas Españoles del Siglo XVI (Madrid: Orfeo Tracio, 1923; reprint,Madrid: Unión Musical Española, 1965); and (in guitar notation and pitch) Luis de Narváez, “Los seyslibros del Delphín de música de cifra para tañer vihuela. Valladolid, 1538,” ed. Graciano Tarragó (Madrid:Unión Musical Española, 1971).10 Facsimile Edition, with introduction by James Tyler (Monaco: Editions Chanterelle, 1980). CriticalEdition: ed. Emilio Pujol, Monumentos de la Música Española 7 (Barcelona: Instituto Español deMusicología, 1949, reprint. 1984). Although informative, this edition is difficult to use because Pujoltranscribed the pieces into keys that had only been “imagined” in the original tablatures. He had mistakenlybelieved that the clefs in the original tablature indicated vihuelas of different sizes; instead, the clefs simplywere intended to help the performer locate the finalis of the mode that was transposed from its originalpitch.11 Facsimile Edition: (Geneva: Éditions Minkoff, 1981). Partial Critical Edition: Enriquez de Valderrábano,Libro de música de vihuela intitulado Silva de Sirenas, ed. Emilio Pujol. 2 vols., Monumentos de la MúsicaEspañola, 22-23 (Barcelona: Instituto Español de Musicología, 1965).12 Facsimile Edition: (Geneva: Éditions Minkoff, 1973). Critical Edition: Francisco Roa and FelipeGértrudix, El libro de música de vihuela de Diego Pisador (1552), 3 vols. (Madrid: Editorial Pygmalión,2002).
1554, Seville. Miguel de Fuenllana. Libro de Musica de Vihuela, intitulado Orphenica lyra.13 1576, Valladolid. Esteban Daza. Libro de Musica en cifras para Vihuela intitulado el Parnasso. 14 Manuscripts. The oldest known vihuela tablature is a single, one-page piece found in a copy of Lucius Marineus Siculus’ Epistolarum familiarum (Valladolid, 1514), held by the British Library under the shelf mark C.48.h.1.15 MS 6001 is a collection of ten pieces, discovered in 1975 by Juan José Rey in a poetic anthology called Ramillete de flores (1593), held by the Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid.16 The “Simancas Fragments,” is a recently discovered collection of seven pieces held at the Archivo General de Simancas, Casa y Sitios Reales, leg. 394, fol. 130-31. 17 MS Mus. 40032 is a substantial collection believed to have been copied in Italy at the end of the sixteenth century.18 Manuscripts were also found attached to individual copies of three of the printed books: the Madrid copy of Mudarra’s Tres libros,19 one of13 Facsimile Edition: (Geneva: Éditions Minkoff, 1981). Critical Edition: Miguel de Fuenllana. OrphénicaLyra, ed. Charles Jacobs (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978).14 Facsimile Edition: (Geneva: Éditions Minkoff, 1979). Critical Editions: Esteban Daza. The Fantasias forVihuela, ed. John Griffiths, Recent Researches in Music of the Renaissance, 54. (Madison: A-R Editions,1982); and Rodrigo de Zayas. Los vihuelistas: Esteban Daça, Colección Opera Omnia (Madrid: EditorialAlpuerto, 1983).15 Reproduced by Antonio Corona-Alcade, “The Earliest Vihuela Tablature: A Recent Discovery,” EarlyMusic 20 (1992), 594–600. Corona-Alcade provides a facsimile, transcription, and historical analysis.16 Facsimile Editions: Juan José Rey, Ramillete de flores: Colección inédita de piezas para vihuela (1593),with critical notes and transcription (Madrid, 1975); and Javier Hinojosa and Frederick Cook, eds.Ramillete de Flores Nuevas (Zurich: Editio Violae, 1981). This collection contains nine previouslyunknown works and a variant set of diferencias on Guárdame las vacas by Narváez.17 Reproduced by Antonio Corona-Alcalde, “A Vihuela Manuscript in the Archivo de Simancas”. The Lute26 (1986): 3-20.18 See John Griffiths, “Berlin Mus. MS 40032 y otros nuevos hallazgos en el repertorio para vihuela,” inEspaña en la Música del Occidente, ed. Emilio Casares et al., 2 vols. (Madrid, 1987), vol. I, 323–4.. Thismanuscript, previously held by the Preussiche Staatsbibliothek, Berlin. was lost after World War II, andwas rediscovered recently at the Jagiellonska Library in Cracow, Poland.19 This has ten handwritten pages with six pieces copied from Fuenllana’s Orphénica lyra and a previouslyunknown piece entitled basa e alta.
the Madrid copies of Valderrábano’s Silva de sirenas (R. 14018),20 and in the Vienna copy Valderrábano’s book.21 Other Sources. Two printed sixteenth-century books were designated as being suitable for any polyphonic Instrument: 1557, Alcalá de Henares. Luis Venegas De Henestrosa, Libro de cifra nueva para tecla, arpa y vihuela.22 1578, Madrid. Antonio de Cabezon, Obras de musica para tecla, arpa y vihuela…231.4. The Four-Course GuitarAccording to John Ward, “of the other stringed instruments, only the guitar shared in [thevihuela’s] popularity, but its separate existence was in name only; it was in fact a form ofthe vihuela de mano.”24 The guitarra de quarto órdenes was a treble instrument, smallerthan the vihuela and easier to play. Although initially played with a plectrum, imagesdating from the sixteenth century usually show players plucking with their right-handfingers, thus indicating the evolution of technique to accommodate polyphonic music andrasgueado strumming patterns.More than three hundred pieces are known to have been written for the four-courseguitar, the majority appearing outside of Spain in French and Flemish publications. Theearliest guitar pieces, however, are from Spain, the first six of which appeared in 1546 inAlonso Mudarra’s Tres Libros de Musica en Cifras para Vihuela. Eight years later, ninemore guitar pieces appeared in Miguel de Fuenllana’s vihuela book, Orphenica lyra, withnine other pieces for a five-course instrument Fuenllana called the vihuela de cincoordenes [see 3.3], which likely is the same instrument that later became known as theguitarra de cinco ordenes. The popularity of the five-course guitar rapidly eclipsed thatof the four-course guitar and the vihuela following the publication of a tutor in 1586 by20 This has four handwritten pages containing four pieces copied from Fuenllana’s Orphénica lyra.21 This consists of three sets of diferencias by an unknown author.22 Critical Edition: Higinio Anglés, La música en la corte de Carlos V con la transcripción del “Libro decifra nueva para tecla, harpa y vihuela” (Alcalá de Henares, 1557) compilado por Luys Venegas deHenestrosa, 2 vols., Monumentos de la Música Española 2-3 (Barcelona: Instituto Español de Musicología,1944; reprint. 1965).23 Critical Edition: Antonio de Cabezón. Obras de música para tecla, harpa y vihuela... Recopiladas ypuestas en cifra por Hernando de Cabezón su hijo, ed. Felipe Pedrell, revised by Higinio Anglés, 3 vols.,Monumentos de la Música Española 27-29 (Barcelona: Instituto Español de Musicología, 1966).24 John Milton Ward, “The ‘Vihuela de Mano’ and its Music (1536-1576),” Ph.D., New York University,1953, 5.
Joan Carles Amat, which also popularized the rasgueado style of playing chords for theaccompaniment of songs and dances.1.5. Important Facsimile Edition on CD-ROMModern players now have access to facsimiles of all seven of the published Spanishbooks containing vihuela and guitar music on one CD-ROM. This outstanding newresource now makes this large and important body of music available to all in and easyformat and for an affordable price. Furthermore, the red numerals (cifras coloradas) arerepresented in the tablatures of the vocal pieces, whereas other modern facsimiles are inmonochrome, thus obscuring the vocal line.