Diagonal: An Ibero-American Music Review
Melodías para versos silenciosos: Bailes, danzas y canciones para violín en el Manuscrito de Salamanca (ca. 1659)
- Author(s): Lombardía, Ana
- et al.
The Salamanca Manuscript (ca. 1659), preserved in the Biblioteca Nacional de España but virtually unknown to date, is the earliest Spanish violin-music source that has been located. It contains ten melodies of bailes (popular dances), danzas (courtly dances), and canciones (songs) from Spain, Portugal, Italy and Latin America. Most of this repertoire was sung, played and danced simultaneously. The manuscript includes five dance types of which Iberian melodic examples prior to 1700 were hardly known to date: folijón, morisca, zarambeque, chaconne and Spanish galliard. In addition, it contains examples of three schemata that are better known: ruggiero, jácara and canario. The music is written in tablatures that symbolize violin fingerings, but not the rhythm or harmony, so the transcription is very problematic. The article contains a codicological study of the source and a "historically informed re-composition" that departs from various sources, not only musical (e.g., Sanz and Ruiz de Ribayaz), but also iconographic (e.g., Velázquez) and literary (e.g., Cervantes). The proposed transcriptions allow for refining the musical prototypes of the eight aforementioned bailes and danzas so far extant. This small music selection shows the intense internationalization of popular repertory in the mid seventeenth century.