Musica Iberica I – Hasta el siglo XV

A collection of songs from Spain, from the 12th century to the fifteenth. Quite a period, and the record tries to make us understand what happened in music during that time. Personally, I found the B side the most interesting: it has short songs from the fifteenth century, called villancicos.

These villancicos were originally short poems with a refrain (estrabillo) and several couplets (coppla). In music these usually were arranged in ABA form. They gained more popularity in the sixteenth century, spreading through the Spanish colonies in South America. The later forms were also more religious, where the fifteenth century pieces presented here were more rustic.

The inside of this gatefold contains some interesting information about the instruments that were used in this recording. It is in Spanish, but one thing caught my eye: the sacabuche. In English that would be sackbut. And then I remembered I have somewhere in my collection a work with sackbuts. It turns out that I already wrote about it, just not about the sackbut. From the Spanish liner notes I understand the sackbut is an early form of the trombone. There is even an image included.

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