Fantasy or reality? The vihuela in the Obras of Cabezon

John Anthony Griffiths

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This article examines the place of the vihuela within Cabezon s Obras para tecla, arpa y vihuela. It examines the issue, fi rstly, in terms of musical style, the adaptability of Cabezon s notation, and the extent of the modifi cations needed to adapt the music satisfactorily for a plucked instrument. Secondly, it examines the circumstances surrounding the publication of the Obras and the infl uence on its notation, style and contents that were derived from de Libro de cifra nueva of Venegas de Henestrosa. The study demonstrates that only a small proportion of Cabezon s music is easily transferable to the vihuela, and the evidence tends towards the conclusion that the vihuela was of little interest to the keyboard composer, but that the inclusion of the vihuela in the title was appropriated from Venegas, perhaps with a mind to increasing the circulation of a book which otherwise would only have a restricted clientele.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193 - 213
Number of pages21
JournalRevista de musicaologica Spain
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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