Luis de Milan, Libro de música

One of the truly great milestones in music history,
both a tutor and rich source of music for the vihuela

Libro de música de vihuela de mano intitulado El maestro

Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid
Deluxe facsimile edition with introductory study
by Gerardo Arriaga

Madrid, 2008. xxvi, 202 pp, 20 x 29 cm

Full-color reproduction of the Valencia, 1536 edition. Of utmost importance not only to vihuela enthusiasts but also to renaissance lute players and modern classical guitarists. “El Mastro” (“the Teacher”) was created as a method and is the earliest known example of Spanish tablature for the vihuela in print. The music it contains is exquisite: 40 fantasies, 40 preludes, 6 pavanas, 6 Christmas carols for vihuela and voice, 4 old romances and 6 sonnets. El Maestro is presented in levels from simple to complex, so that a beginning vihuelist can proceed from elementary to more complicated pieces as he or she learns. Many are of considerable virtuosity and compositional styles vary from simple homophony to polyphonic with virtuoso passagework. One notices immediately the great care with which the work was created and engraved. Alternate passages are given for players who wish to avoid more virtuosic parts, sections of pieces are indicated as optional, and Milan provides verbal tempo indications. The "vocal" notes in the tablatures for the Christmas carols have been painstakenly printed with red ink (a precursor of Bach’s use of red ink for the Biblical texts of the St. Matthew Passion). The music of Luis Milan is popular with performers to the present-day—both classical guitarists and lutenists regard El Maestro as an integral part of their repertoire. Introduction in Spainish by Gerardo Arriaga. Beautifully hard bound, with coverboards being a replica of the original.

Luis de Milan, Libro de música, cover

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