Book Creator

Middle Ages: Secular Music

by Eva Tudela


The MIDDLES Ages Music:
Secular Music
By Eva Tudela
Cantigas de Santa María,
Alfonso X the Wise,
The Cantigas de Santa María (mid-13th century) constitute the medieval religious songbook of Galician-Portuguese literature.

The cantiga is the typical genre of medieval Galician-Portuguese poetry (12th-14th centuries). They are sung poetry, whose lyrics and music were composed by troubadours. The one who played and sang these poems was the minstrel, who was also sometimes a troubadour.

The melodies are taken from Gregorian monody, popular lyric and troubadour songs, and mostly take the form of rondeau, with a musical chorus that is repeated after the glosses.

There are 418 different cantigas, plus an introduction in homage to Don Alfonso and a prologue. Of the Cantigas de Santa María there are four conserved codices, all of them from King Alfonso X's own court.
General music characteristics
- In one voice, doubled with instruments
- Composed by Troubadours
- Performed by Troubadours and Minstrels
- TEXT: Regional languages (and also latin by goliards)
- Rhythm is marked and varied, with the idea of the time signature.
- Movement (TEMPO) with marked beats.
- MELODY, Singable (Cantabile) to be remembered.
- Mood (Character) Sensual, expressing emotions.