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MY OFFENCE IS GREAT, SO BE THE TORMENT: THE PENITENTIAL SUBJECT IN

FRANCISCO GUERREROS CANCIONES Y VILLANESCAS ESPIRITUALES

BY
CAROLINA GAMBOA-HOYOS

Submitted to the faculty of the


Jacobs School of Music in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree,
Doctor of Music in Choral Conducting
Indiana University
December, 2010

Copyright 2010 by Carolina Gamboa-Hoyos


All rights reserved

To Camilo and to my family

CONTENTS

TABLES .............................................................................................................................. vi
FIGURES ............................................................................................................................vii
MUSICAL EXAMPLES .................................................................................................... viii
CHARTS ............................................................................................................................. ix
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ................................................................................................ x

INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................1

Chapter 1. Francisco Guerreros Career and its Projection in the Culture of Sixteenthcentury Seville .....................................................................................................................12
1.1 Francisco Guerrero ............................................................................................12
1.2. Guerreros Career and the Socio-Political Context of Seville in the Second
Half of the Sixteenth Century..................................................................................20
1.3 The Concept and Practice of Penitence in Sixteenth-century Seville and its
Impact on Guerreros Music....................................................................................23
Chapter 2. Canciones y villanescas espirituales and Spiritual Song in Spain, Italy
and Germany .......................................................................................................................33
2.1 Canciones y villanescas espirituales (Venice, 1589) ........................................33
2.2 Spiritual Songs in Spain ....................................................................................39
2.3 Spiritual Madrigals in Italy................................................................................41
2.4 Spiritual Madrigals in Germany and the Relationship to Spain ........................46

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Chapter 3. Text as the Defining Element in Spiritual Pieces ..............................................50


3.1 Poetry as Prayer .................................................................................................51
3.2 Authorship of Texts ...........................................................................................54
3.3 Religious Poetry and its Function......................................................................56
3.4 Techniques and Characteristics of Spiritual Poetry ..........................................60
3.4.a A lo divino transcriptions: The divinization of learned
love poetry ...................................................................................................61
3.4.b. Passion story. Poetry and painting. Realism and symbolism ............63
3.4.c Influence of meditation and spiritual exercises ..................................69
3.5 Poetic Forms and Versification .........................................................................73
3.6 Analysis of Individual Texts .............................................................................76

Chapter 4. Musical Considerations in the Penitential Songs in Canciones y villanescas


espirituales .........................................................................................................................105
4.1 General Musical Characteristics of the Penitential Pieces in Guerreros
Collection ...............................................................................................................106
4.2 Performance Practice........................................................................................108
4.3 Analysis of Individual Pieces ...........................................................................109

CONCLUSION ..................................................................................................................182
APPENDIX 1: Texts and Translations...............................................................................191
APPENDIX 2: Fragment of Soliloquio VII from Soliloquios amorosos de un
alma a Dios by Lope de Vega ............................................................................................194
BIBLIOGRAPHY ..............................................................................................................196

TABLES

3.1 Types of poetry according to function in Canciones y villanescas espirituales ...........58


3.2 Poetic forms in the penitential pieces of Canciones y villanescas espirituales ............76
3.3 Baxme mi descuydo: The poetic tradition of the repudiation of error.....................84
3.4 Texts associated with Si tus penas ............................................................................104
4.1 Regular clefs and chiavette...........................................................................................120
4.2 Baxme mi descuydo ranges and voice parts with and without chiavette
transpositions ......................................................................................................................121
4.3 Si del jardn del ielo ranges and voice parts with and without chiavette
transpositions ......................................................................................................................146
4.4 Ojos claros, serenos ranges and voice parts with and without chiavette
transpositions ......................................................................................................................156
4.5 Qu te dar, Seor? Structure of verses according to musical structure .................163
4.6. Qu te dar, Seor? ranges and voice parts with and without chiavette
transpositions ......................................................................................................................168

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FIGURES

1. Negacin de San Pedro. Retablo de la piedad (1527-1528). Alejo Fernndez...............66


2. Crucificado de la Clemencia (1603). Sacrista de los Clices. Juan Martnez
Montas and Francisco Pacheco .......................................................................................68

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MUSICAL EXAMPLES
1. Quandos miro mi Dios mm. 54-73 ...........................................................................111
2. Baxme mi descuydo mm. 1-12 .................................................................................118
3. Pluguiera a Dios mm. 48-60 .......................................................................................125
4. Pluguiera a Dios Moral concetto in the last three measures .......................................128
5. Pluguiera a Dios cross-relations in the opening measures..........................................130
6. Mi ofensas grande mm. 22-26. Homorhythmic treatment of O buen Jes ............136
7. Mi ofensas grande mm. 72-77. Word painting for the words lloro and suspiro.137
8. Si del jardn del ielo opening measures.....................................................................143
9. Si del jardn mm. 50-54 ..............................................................................................144
10. Si del jardn mm. 10-20 ............................................................................................145
11. Ojos claros, serenos .................................................................................................153
12. The Two Versions of Ojos Claros mm. 22-24 ..........................................................158
13. Qu te dar, Seor? beginning of the second part (measures 59-79)......................165
14. Qu te dar, Seor? Vertical sonorities in measures 16-25 (Jesus mio dulce) ....167
15. Acaba de matarme Compositional procedure in measures 36-48.............................173
16. Si tus penas ...............................................................................................................177

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ANALYSIS CHARTS

1. No. 1 Quandos miro, mi Dios ...................................................................................116


2. No. 3 Baxme mi descuydo .......................................................................................123
3. No. 10 Pluguiera a Dios .............................................................................................132
4. No. 11 Mi ofensas grande, salol tormento .............................................................139
5. No. 12 Si del jardn del ielo soberano ......................................................................147
6. No. 34 Ojos claros, serenos ........................................................................................160
7. No. 39 Qu te dar, Seor? ......................................................................................170
8. No. 41 Acaba de matarme ..........................................................................................175
9. No. 54 Si tus penas .....................................................................................................181

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The earliest seeds of this document come from my time as a Masters and Doctoral
student at Indiana University. I would like to thank Dr. Jan Harrington for his teaching
and excellent seminars. His knowledge of the choral repertoire is vast, and his love and
appreciation for all types of repertoire allowed us, his students, to explore different types
of topics, periods, regions, genres, etc. It was during one seminar meeting with Dr.
Harrington about sixteenth-century Holy Week music that I realized I wanted to research
the topic of music and penitence in Latin America and Spain. I also want to thank all the
Choral Department members and the Latin American Music Center at Indiana University.
I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. Carmen Helena Tellez, for her support of
this project and for her constant advice in the contents and methods of research for this
study. Dr. Tellez was also fundamental in helping me to shape this document as an interrelated analysis of the specific body of repertoire and the wide historic, literary, and
theological context of the time.
The first part of this document was written while I was working as Research
Library Assistant in the Department of Special Collections and Manuscripts of Princeton
Universitys Firestone Library. I am most grateful for all the research resources that were
available while working there. I am also very thankful to all the staff of Special
Collections and Manuscripts Department who kindly helped me to find and consult very
important sources for this and other projects.
I would also like to thank Dr. Ronald Surtz, professor at the Spanish and
Portuguese Department of Princeton University. Dr. Surtz helped me pinpoint important

characteristics of spiritual poetry of the Spanish Golden Age, and guided me to


significant bibliography in the field in the earliest stages of this research.
The second part of this document was written while working at Universidad de
los Andes, in Bogota, Colombia. I would like to thank Dr. Claudia Montilla, Dean of the
School of Arts and Humanities, and Maestro Armando Fuentes, Director of the Music
Department, for allowing me to take two Summer School leaves to travel to the United
States. These two periods in American libraries were extremely important in order to
focus entirely on the development of this document and consult important bibliography
and sources for this project. I would also like to thank my colleague at Universidad de los
Andes, Maestra Martha Enna Rodrguez. We both share a passionate interest for the
penitential subject in Spanish and Latin American art, and our conversations sparked
important ideas for this document.
Finally, I would like to thank my husband, Camilo, my parents, my sister, and my
family in Colombia for their constant support. Camilos ideas on aesthetics, literature,
and subject-driven analysis were very important in the inception of this project. Our
conversations about our doctoral projects were great spaces to discuss the different stages
and sections of this document. It is not easy to research and write while working and
while frequently traveling between the United States and Colombia. I would very much
like to thank my parents for their patience and support while all this happened.

xi

1
INTRODUCTION

This document will study the penitential subject and nine penitential pieces in
Francisco Guerreros Canciones y villanescas espirituales. This specific body of
repertoire, which is unique in sixteenth-century Spain, will serve as a medium to make a
more encompassing analysis on the penitential subject in the music and poetry of the
time. The result is an analysis of the textual and musical elements of these penitential
pieces, accompanied by an investigation of the context in which they were created,
published and performed.
Two things motivated this study: first, a long-time interest in the penitential
subject in the arts in Latin America and Spain before the eighteenth century; and second,
the importance that Francisco Guerrero enjoyed as a composer in Spain during the
sixteenth century and in Latin America during the seventeenth century.
Catholicism in Spain and Latin America is greatly mediated by the act and
sacrament of penitence. Catholics have to repent and confess to gain salvation, and the
images of Christs Passion serve as a continuous reminder of His great suffering for the
redemption of mankind. During the penitential seasons of the Catholic liturgical year, and
especially during Lent, rituals and celebrations in Latin America and Spain are full of
vivid depictions of the penitential topic. Reenactments, statues, and paintings that
accompany these celebrations emphasize the blood, the nails, the crown of thorns, and
other images of the Passion. Penitential art accompanies, assists, and reminds the
congregation of the meaning of the Passion. During non-penitential times, paintings and

2
statues depicting the Passions scenes remain on display in cathedrals, churches, and
chapels. Thus, the presence of the penitential subject is continuous.
The abundant and distinctive presence of the penitential subject in visual arts,
however, is not clearly seen in the music of these celebrations. On one hand, paintings
and statues have a longer life, and several of them have survived from the sixteenth
century until the present. Music and musical style, on the other hand, have changed
dramatically in Catholic celebrations. While it is likely that some of the vernacular
melodies that are still sung in penitential times come from earlier melodies or chant, most
of the polyphonic musiceither in Latin or in Spanishhas completely disappeared
from current celebrations.
After observing the ostensible disparity between pervasive penitential subject in
the visual arts and the indifference of music towards the same topic, I decided to research
the problem of penitential music in Spain and Latin America during the sixteenth century.
Early investigations during my graduate studies focused on music for Holy Week in Latin
America during the sixteenth and seventeenth century. This research resulted in finding a
considerable number of Latin-texted pieces for Holy Week offices and celebrations, but
very few pieces in the vernacular. These Latin-texted pieces were beautiful, simple, and
straightforward, but did not evoke the vivid imagery that the visual arts employed for the
penitential subject at the time. They were, above all, serviceable liturgical pieces written
for the offices of Holy Week.
Then, by mere chance, I stumbled upon a copy of the Canciones y villanescas
espirituales (Venice, 1589) by Francisco Guerrero. Guerrero was not only among the

3
most important composers in Spain during the sixteenth century, but his music was
copied in several musical archives in Latin America and performed well into the
eighteenth century. The collection of Canciones y villanescas espirituales presented a
very unusual opportunity to study the penitential subject. First of all, it begins with a very
intense and profound piece Quandos miro mi Dios, a five-voice polyphonic setting of
an anonymous penitential poem:
Quandos miro mi Dios, damor herido
y por mi culpa en una cruz clavado
siento lo ques haveros ofendido
y lo que redemirme os costado;
y hallndome con pecho endureido
ms que piedra, con piedra soy forado
a quebrantarle, y aunque se defienda,
sacar un fuego quen el alma prenda.

When I see you, my God, wounded by love


and nailed to the cross for my sins,
I understand what it is to have offended you
and what it has cost you to redeem me;
and finding myself with heart hardened
more than stone, with stone I am compelled
to break my heart, and even though it would defend itself,
to start a fire that would take root in my soul1

Browsing through the entirety of the collection, the penitential subject stood out
among the usual quantities of Christmas and Marian pieces that dominate vernacular
collections in sixteenth-century Spain and Latin America. Although only nine of the
sixty-one pieces are entirely dedicated to the penitential subject, they are strategically
placed at the opening of each section and give the collection a serious and grave character
not present in other Spanish collections of the time. This document focuses on these nine
penitential pieces, and on the penitential subject in the music and poetry of the time.

Translation by Rosanne Cecilia King.

4
Literature review
Francisco Guerrero published the only edition of Canciones y villanescas
espirituales in the Venetian press of Iago Vicentino in 1589. The collection was
published in part-book format and remained the only edition of this collection until 1955,
when Miguel Querol Gavald and the Instituto Espaol de Musicologa published them in
two volumes as part of the series Monumentos de la Msica Espaola. It is very
interesting to note that, although Guerreros output consists mostly of liturgical music
(motets, masses, vespers settings, etc.), the first volume of this collection of spiritual
songs was the one chosen for the first issue of the complete works of Francisco Guerrero.
The uniqueness of this collection and the importance that the editors of Guerreros
complete works attribute to it,2 should lead to more attention from scholars and
performers.
The modern edition includes a thorough critical study by Miguel Querol Gavald,
with information about the original Venetian edition and extant sources; a facsimile of
the cover and a couple of original pages; a transcription of the original preface by
Cristbal Mosquera de Figueroa accompanied by a short study of his life; a study of
Guerreros profane production; a study of the production of villanescas in Spain; a
general discussion of the musical form and style of the pieces of the collection; a short
introduction to the poetic texts that includes an identification of the known authors of the

We begin with the publication of this collection, not only because it is unique in the production
of Guerrero, but also because, chronologically, although it was the last that he offered for publication, it
was the first to be composed, at least in part. Miguel Querol Gavald. Al lector in Francisco Guerrero:
Opera omnia, vol. 1: Canciones y villanescas espirituales. Monumentos de la Msica Espaola, vol. 16.
(Barcelona, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientficas, 1955), 5. Translation by the author.

5
collection, as well as transcriptions of original secular texts; and a thorough bibliography
of works related to Guerrero and his production up until the time of publication.
Querol Gavalds study still stands as the main reference for all the scholars and
performers that have since approached this collection. It does not, however, discuss
issues of socio-historical context, function, aesthetics, or performance practice.
Robert Stevenson, who is probably the greatest scholar of Francisco Guerreros
life and works, included a study of the Canciones y villanescas collection in his book
Spanish cathedral music in the Golden Age.3 His study covers issues of genre and
terminology; the transformation of secular pieces into sacred ones; a short summary of
the original preface by Mosquera; a lengthy and interesting discussion of mode and
expression; and a discussion of Guerreros villancico style. Stevensons study of the
collection, based on Querol Gavalds edition and study, greatly expands on contextual
information and in the analysis of the expressive techniques used by Guerrero. It also
presents the collection in the general context of Guerreros masses and motets. It does
not, however, discuss issues of function, aesthetics, or performance.
Leonard Raymond Rumerys doctoral project4 focuses on the performance issues
associated with this collection, and is of great help to performers or conductors facing
decisions about performance practice. Rumerys document covers at great length several
practical issues, such as the probable use of wind instruments doubling or replacing

3

Robert Murrell Stevenson. Spanish Cathedral Music in the Golden Age (Berkeley: University of
California Press, 1961), 216-224.
4

Leonard Raymond Rumery. Canciones y villanescas espirituales by Francisco Guerrero: A


Performance Study (DMA diss., Stanford University, 1976).

6
voices; the application of musica ficta (correcting inaccuracies in Querol Gavalds
transcription); tempo and proportion; and a very good and supported chapter on Spanish
pronunciation in the sixteenth-century. Although this document is more than three
decades old, it is still surprisingly accurate in its findings about performance practice in
the Iberian world. The only chapter that might need some updating is the discussion
about tempo and proportion, which remains largely an issue of controversy in
Renaissance music scholarship.5
Direct interest in the collection diminished in the 1980s and 1990s, when it would
be mentioned only as an example in studies about the villancico as a devotional music
genre. With the revived interest on Iberian and Latin American music that started in the
late 90s, there has been a renewed interest in the output of Francisco Guerrero from
scholars in Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Latin America. There has
been a steady increase in the publication of performing editions, articles, and monographs
about Iberian music in general and Francisco Guerrero in particular.
In 2000 Herminio Gonzlez Barrionuevo published a substantial book about
Francisco Guerreros life and works. The 900-page work is the product of Gonzlez
Barrionuevos own research in the Seville Cathedral and a compilation of the works of
several scholars. The book is divided in four parts. The first part is dedicated to Guerrero
himself and the musical life in the Seville Cathedral. The second one is dedicated to a
systematic analysis of the composers entire output. The third part comprises several

It is a pity that this document is only available as archival material in Stanford University
because it has not been digitized and is not available online.

7
appendixes about the musical life in the Cathedral of Seville. The fourth and last part is
an entire edition of Guerreros account of his Viaje a Jerusaln (Trip to Jerusalem).
In the second part of the book, Gonzlez Barrionuevo dedicates an entire chapter
to a very systematic approach to the Canciones y villanescas espirituales. This chapter is
an excellent source of reference material by different scholars about genre, possible
chronology, organization of the collection, musical form and style, and a few
performance practice elements such as tempo. Although there is very little new
information about the collection in this chapter, Gonzlez Barrionuevo does an excellent
and systematic compilation of information by different scholars. In addition, the chapter
refers to different sources of information about function, context, and performance
practice in other sections of the book.
In 2002, Sergio de Andrs Bayln published a very short article6 about the
symbiosis between text and music in the collection. This article, which is part of a larger
document,7 discusses issues of rhetoric and word painting in the collection.
The most recent study of this collection is the doctoral dissertation of Rosanne
Cecilia King.8 This dissertation is an excellent study, especially the chapters dedicated to
tracing the history of sacred song in Spain from the fourteenth-century, and the modal

Sergio de Andrs Bayln. La simbiosis msico-textual en las Canciones y villanescas


espirituales de Francisco Guerrero, in Revista de Musicologa 25 no. 1 (June, 2002), 47-87.
7

The author states that this article is a summary of his graduating project for the University of
Salamanca entitled Las Canciones y Villanescas espirituales de Francisco Guerrero (September, 2001).
This project was not available for consultation for the development of the present study.
8

Rosanne Cecilia King, The Canciones y villanescas espirituales of Francisco Guerrero and the
Tradition of Sacred Song in Renaissance Spain (PhD diss., University of Toronto, 2004).

8
analysis of the pieces. Kings study also discusses organizational procedures in the
collection and provides a general analysis of the poetry and the pieces.
The review of the literature about Guerreros Canciones y villanescas reveals that
no further analyses have been done beyond general analyses of the entire collection. The
issue of genre has been discussed, but only superficially in comparison with spiritual
songs from other European regions. For instance, none of the studies have addressed the
possibility that this collection is a series of spiritual madrigals. The examination of the
religious, social, and aesthetic context has largely been avoided; and musicological
literature has discussed only superficially the other important element of the collection:
the texts.
In addition, whereas all studies discuss the texts in general ways, and several
scholars have proposed inner categories of texts and pieces according to subject, none of
the studies has focused in any of them. While previous scholarship has mentioned that the
vast majority of villanelas focus on the Nativity subject, and that the penitential subject
runs across several of the canciones, no studies have been done in either of those topics.
No study of the collection has discussed the issue of social function of the penitential
pieces in the collection, and/or the collection as a whole.
Considering the importance and relevance that the penitential issue had in the last
decades of the sixteenth century, and most especially in Seville, it is surprising that a
study of the penitential concept in the collection of Canciones y villanescas espirituales
has not been done before. Even more, there are no studies of the issue of penitence in the

9
entire output of Francisco Guerrero, or in Spanish vernacular music of the sixteenth
century.

Research Objectives
This document will examine the penitential concept embedded in nine pieces of
Francisco Guerreros collection of Canciones y villanescas espirituales. The study will
focus on their text and music, and will place them in the context in which they were
created, published, and performed.
This document represents a new study of the Canciones y villanescas espirituales
in several ways. It will focus only on the penitential topic, as manifested in nine pieces
that represent a subset in the collection with striking musical and historical significance.
In addition, it will examine the cultural function of these works beyond their intrinsic
musical characteristics. As with any new study, it has been necessary to gather
information about the essential facts of the collection itself, such as context, function,
genre, text, and music. After collecting and discussing this information, this document
will delve into the concept of penitence. The incidence of the subject of penitence on
texts and musical settings will receive detailed analysis. Unfortunately, the scope of this
document will not allow the examination of other important issues, such as the
relationship of penitential music with the visual art. Matters pertaining to Spanish
aesthetics and theology will only be discussed tangentially.

10
The Analysis of Music within a Penitential Perspective
Penitential pieces are the product of a particular perspective on life and religion.
They address issues of the human condition while expressing innermost feelings about
life, death, fear, suffering, guilt, mercy, etc., affording both poet and composer a great
opportunity for intense emotional expression. By exploring the texts along with the
composers expressive devices, it is possible to trace the influence of humanism on the
one side, and of religious rhetoric, on another. By relating this influence in the texts and
in the music to the spiritual and devotional context of the time, it is also possible to see
the perspective of those who sang or attended the performance of these pieces.
Contradictory values of penitence, devotion, and humanism concepts permeated
all aspects of the arts in Spain, not only literature and music. The humanist approach was
also accompanied by a close integration of the arts as an aesthetic, philosophic, and
expressive ideal. Understanding the cultural and spiritual context of both the composition
and performance of Guerreros pieces will give performers deep insights into the
expressive content of the text and the music, and of the intellectuality and spirituality of
those who came in contact with this repertoire. It will also help performers to take
performance and programming decisions, from religious to concert situations, also
including the possibility of inter-disciplinary activities.
The nine penitential songs in Guerreros Canciones offer an incredible
opportunity to study the penitential concept from different points of view. This document
presents the results of a two-way analysis. First, the direct study of these penitential
pieces will allow an understanding of the penitential concept in Spain and Europe during
the sixteenth century and the incidence it had in the arts, especially, music. On the other

11
hand, studying and putting together the different contexts into which these pieces existed,
imbues the text and music of this repertoire with a new significance and allows for a
deeper understanding of their aesthetic and theological implications.

12
Chapter 1
Francisco Guerreros Career and its
Projection in the Culture of Sixteenth-Century Seville

1.1 Francisco Guerrero


Francisco Guerrero was born in Seville, most probably in 1528, although some of
his contemporaries dated his birth in 15271. It seems that he was born into a wealthy
family that lived in the parish of Saint Isidore. His father was Gonzalo Snchez Guerrero,
a painter by trade, and his mother was Leonor de Burgos. Francisco Guerrero had his first
musical studies with his older brother, Pedro Guerrero, a professional musician who
seems to have worked as a singer in some Italian musical chapels, and from whom we
find a few extant compositions, including six motets, nine sonnets, and a madrigal in
vihuela transcription.2
After the probable lessons he took with his brother, it is possible that Guerreros
earliest education was as a seis (choirboy) at the Seville Cathedral, although this is not
documented because there were no records of seises before 1565. However, there is
evidence that Guerrero sang as an alto for the music chapel of the cathedral from 1542 to
1546 (from the ages of fourteen and eighteen) before he became maestro de capilla of the

1

Guerrero dated his birth in 1528 in his autobiographical account Viaje a Jerusaln (Valencia,
1590), but Francisco Pacheco, close friend of Guerrero, and some other contemporaries dated it in 1527.
2

Herminio Gonzlez Barrionuevo, Francisco Guerrero (1528-1599) vida y obra. La msica en la


catedral de Sevilla a finales del siglo XVI. (Sevilla: Cabildo Metropolitano de la Catedral de Sevilla, 2000),
56-57. Most of the biographical information about Guerrero is taken from this book, which compiles the
research of Gonzlez Barrionuevo himself with previous research by Robert Stevenson, Higinio Angls,
Rafael Mitjana, and Jos Mara Llorens.

13
Jan Cathedral. While in Seville, Guerrero took lessons with Pedro Fernndez de
Castilleja (c. 1480-1574), the chapel master; and with Bernardo Villaba, organist and
Castillejas assistant.3 It is significant that Guerrero referred to Fernndez de Castilleja as
maestro de los maestros de Espaa due to the fact that Fernndez de Castilleja taught
some of the most important composers of the time, including Cristbal de Morales and
Rodrigo de Ceballos.4
Guerrero also studied with Sevillian composer Cristbal de Morales (c.15001553). Robert Stevenson thinks that that this happened in 1540-41, but Higinio Angls
and Jos Mara Llorens Cister think it took place in 1545-46. Gonzlez Barrionuevo
states that this happened between April and August 1546, when Morales was in Toledo
and Guerrero went to visit him.5 Cristbal de Morales, who was widely recognized as one
of the first major composers from the Iberian peninsula and one of the most prominent
music figures in early 16th-century Spanish music, also studied with Fernndez de
Castilleja. He worked for the papal chapel as a singer and composer, and wrote mostly
Latin sacred polyphony with both Italian and Spanish influences. His compositions
abound in the Vatican, as well as in Spanish and American archives.
Francisco Guerrero spent most of his life and developed most of his musical
career in Seville. After the four years in which he was an alto for the music chapel (154246), he became chapel master of the Jan Cathedral for a short period of time (1546-49),

3

Gonzlez Barrionuevo, Francisco Guerrero, 57-60.

G. Grayson Wagstaff, "Fernndez, Pedro." In Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/09495 (accessed June 29, 2009).
5

Gonzlez Barrionuevo, Francisco Guerrero, 61-62.

14
after which he returned to Seville to work at the Cathedral. He first became a cantor
(1549-1553), but in 1554 he won the chapel master position at Mlagas Cathedral.
Instead of accepting it, he accepted the offer from Sevilles Cathedral to become assistant
chapel master with the right to succeed Fernndez de Castilleja. Guerrero held this
assistant position for twenty years, increasingly taking over the responsibilities and duties
of the chapel master. In 1574, when Fernndez de Castilleja died at age 90, Guerrero was
finally granted the position of chapel master, which he held until his own death in 1599.
In addition to his activities as composer and singer at the cathedral, there is evidence that
Guerrero was an accomplished organist and that he also played the vihuela.6
Although Guerreros musical career is tied to Sevilles Cathedral, he traveled
throughout his life not only within the Iberian peninsula, but also to Italy and Jerusalem.
Worth noting are his trips to the Monastery of Yuste between 1556 and 1558, to visit
emperor Charles V and present him the book of motets and the first book of masses; the
trip to Madrid in 1559 to visit Phillip II, King of Spain, to inform him of the Canticum
Mariae Virginis quod magnificat nuncupatur (published in 1561); several trips to Toledo,
one of which was to study with Morales; a trip to Rome in 1581 to arrange the printing of
his Missarum liber secundus and Liber vesperarum, and where he also met several
Spanish musicians and singers such as Toms Luis de Victoria and Francisco Soto de
Langa; and his last trip to Jerusalem in 1588. Guerrero recounted this trip to Jerusalem
alongside other autobiographical memories in his Viaje a Jerusalem, published in
Valencia in 1590 with several reprints, and available now in several modern editions. It is

6

The vihuela, a plucked string instrument of the viol family with strings made of gut arranged in
six or seven courses, was an instrument associated with the humanist circles and flourished during the
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries not only in Spain, but in all the areas of Spanish influence of the time.

15
during the outward trip to Jerusalem that Guerrero stopped in Venice to arrange the
publication of Motetta liber secundus and of Canciones y villanescas espirituales.
One of the most important aspects to mention about Francisco Guerreros career,
especially with regard to his Canciones y villanescas espirituales, is his close relationship
and participation in the humanist academies of Seville. Several academies and artistic
gatherings took place in Seville within the same trends present in Italy during the
sixteenth century. Promoted by intellectuals and nobles, these gatherings were attended
by humanists (both laymen and clerics), writers, playwrights, painters, and musicians.
There were several types of academies. The most important were the ones
sponsored by Baltasar del Ro and Hernando Coln; the one sponsored by Diego Girn
and Juan de Mal-lara which was a little bit more professional; and some which were
somewhat more aristocratic, such as the academies led by the Duke of Alcal, Juan de
Arguijo, and Francisco Pacheco.7 In all of these academies, discussion was focused
around the new aesthetic tendencies in all the arts, in a very similar manner to what was
happening in Italian academies.
Academies were imbued with the spirit of humanism, and people who attended
them were interested in learning the thought, culture and art of Classical antiquity,
pursuing their interests within a mostly secular frame. Introduced and promoted in Spain
by Juan Boscn and Garcilaso de la Vega,8 poets and playwrights were influenced by the
new use of language, forms, and subjects of the Tuscan and Petrarchan aesthetic trends of

7
8

Gonzlez Barrionuevo, Francisco Guerrero, 74.

Juan Boscn de Almogver (c.14871542) and Garcilaso de la Vega (c.15011536) are two
Spanish poets who introduced Italian verse forms into the poetry of his country.

16
the Italian Renaissance. Painters and architects were also looking back to antiquity by
applying classical principles, normative proportions and lucid space9 into their pieces.
Towards the end of the century, with the mannerist movement, naturalist description was
abandoned and the depiction of the spiritual became the central creative concern.10
Musicians reflected on the manner of closely relating text and music into a single entity,
and explored techniques to express feelings, represent reality (mimesis), and stir the
affections. In general, there was an overall desire for the fusion of the arts to achieve all
these aesthetic concepts.
In the case of Francisco Guerrero, two academies are important for the study of
his career and output, and especially for the understanding of his Canciones y villanescas
espirituales. First and foremost is the academy of the painter Francisco Pacheco (15641644)11 that was attended by musicians, poets, playwrights, and intellectuals. Among the
literary members of the academy we find Fernando de Herrera and Gutierre de Cetina,
two of the most notable Petrarchan poets of Seville; Baltasar del Alczar; Cristbal
Mosquera de Figueroa, a politician, poet, and vihuela player; and Cristbal de Sayas y
Alfonso, who also sang, played harp, and vihuela. Francisco Guerrero and Francisco
Peraza (the cathedrals organist) were probably the most notable musicians of the
academy. Other members of the academy, although not professional musicians, also sang
and played instruments: Cristbal Mosquera de Figueroa played the vihuela; Luis de

9

Manfred Wundram. "Mannerism." In Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online,


http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T053829 (accessed September 9, 2009).
10
11

Ibid.

Several of Pachecos paintings are or were displayed in Sevilles Cathedral, and he was also in
charge of designing several of the altars and spaces of the Cathedral building during the sixteenth century.
Many of his other pieces are in other institutions and chapels throughout the city. Pacheco also wrote one of
the most famous and influential painting treatises of the sixteenth century, Arte de la pintura (1649).

17
Vargas, a notable painter, played the lute; Manuel Rodrguez played harp and vihuela;
and Cristbal de Sayas y Alfaro sang, played the vihuela and the harp. Francisco
Pacheco, the host, and Luis de Vargas, were two of the most important painters in Seville
at the time.
The academy of Baltasar del Ro, bishop of Scalas, was also very important in the
context of the music of Guerrero. One of the most important chapels inside Sevilles
Cathedral was the Scalas Chapel, built and sponsored by Baltasar del Ro. This chapel
hosted one of the most important religious poetry competitions of the city, and, as it will
be seen later in this paper, the aesthetics of this type of poetry probably influenced the a
lo divino12 texts of some of Guerreros Canciones y villanescas espirituales.
Humanism was embraced not only inside the various academies and their secular
environment, but was also present within the Cathedral itself. Several members of the
Cathedral Council were humanists, and several of them also participated in different
academies. This can be seen in the art, music, and intellectual engagements that took
place inside the cathedral from the sixteenth century on. Thus, the fact that Guerrero
participated in humanist academies was not a rarity, but it was a sign of the overall spirit
of the time, that conceived religion and art under the philosophical and aesthetic
conception and practice of humanism.13 Later chapters will overview how these aesthetic
conceptions that linked theology, the practice of faith, poetry, and art are present in the
penitential pieces of Canciones y villanescas espirituales.

12

A lo divino -in sacred manner- is the expression used to describe a secular work rewritten in a
religious manner.
13

A very important book that discusses this is The Theological Origins of Modernity by Michael
Allen Gillespie (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2008).

18
The contemporary renown of Francisco Guerrero has been somewhat
overshadowed by two of his Spanish contemporaries, Toms Luis de Victoria and
Cristbal de Morales. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, however, Guerrero
was the most influential composer not only in Spain, but also in all the Spanish colonies,
mostly in Spanish America, due to the fact that he worked his entire life in Sevilles
Cathedral. Seville was the point of entry and departure for all trade between Spain and its
colonies, and consequently nurtured a robust economy and a thriving intellectual and
artistic life. Sevilles Cathedral, as the artistic and religious center of the city, became not
only the Patriarchal and Bishopric See of the new American dioceses, but the role model
for the liturgies, rites, and celebrations. Guerreros pieces were copied extensively for the
new American cathedrals, and are found there in larger quantities than those of Victoria
or Morales. The pieces were sung well into the eighteenth century. Robert Stevenson
wrote that
(Guerrero) was the only composer to publish widely abroad while making his career
in Spain indeed all his collections after the first were published abroad. His music
was widely performed, not only in Spain but also for more than two centuries after his
death in Latin America ... Both in his own epoch and for more than two centuries
after his death he remained a favorite composer in Spanish and Spanish-American
cathedrals because he wrote eminently singable, diatonic lines and wove his melodic
strands through a functional harmonic fabric that often anticipates 18th-century
harmonic usage. Much more than either Morales or Victoria his works were copied
and recopied for cathedral use in the New World after 1700.14


14

Robert Stevenson. "Francisco Guerrero," in Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online.
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/11929 (accessed January 10, 2009). For
a detailed record of the pieces of Guerrero in Spanish and American cathedrals, and for a record of the
publication of his pieces outside of Spain see Gonzlez Barrionuevo. Francisco Guerrero. Chapter XII,
especially section IV Publicaciones en el extranjero and section V Obras en Amrica. For the issue of
circulation of music books between Spain and America see Mara Gembero, Circulacin de libros de
msica entre Espaa y Amrica (1492-1650): notas para su estudio, in Music, Printing and Culture in
Renaissance Iberia, eds. Iain Fenlon and Tess Knighton (Kassel-Barcelona: Reichenberger, 2006).

19
Guerreros reputation in Europe grew mostly in his own land and in Italy. Both
Morales and Victoria knew and praised Guerreros music during his lifetime. Several
Iberian composers, among them Alonso Lobo, Juan de Esquivel, Duarte Lobo, and Juan
Bautista Cabanilles made parody works on Guerreros motets and masses, and many of
his pieces were transcribed for vihuela by Miguel de Fuenllana and Estban Daza.15
In Italy, prominent theorists and musicians including Pietro Cerone, Giuseppe
Zarlino, Vicenzo Galilei, and Giovanni Battista Martini, praised Guerreros style as the
role model for motet composition and especially for his great skill in text underlay and
the intimate relationship of text and music in his pieces. For instance, in the famous
treatise El melopeo (1613), Cerone places Guerrero as a role model in liturgical motet
composition: When the composer wants to write a motet, it is necessary to bear in mind
that the voices should sing with gravity and majesty .... which thing has only been
observed in good ecclesiastical composers and excellent musicians such as Josquin,
Phinot, Adriano, Morales, Palestrina, Guerrero, Victoria, etc.16


15

For a detailed list of the parody masses based on pieces by Guerrero see Gonzlez Barrionuevo
Francisco Guerrero, Chapter I, section IV Misas parodia sobre obras de Guerrero. For the vihuela
transcriptions see Miguel de Fuenllana. Orphenica lyra. Libro de msica para vihuela (Genve: Minkoff
Reprint, 1981) and Estban Daza. El parnasso. Libro de musica en cifras para vihuela (Genve: Minkoff
Reprint, 1979).
16

Pues queriendo el compositor hazer un motete, es menester tener en cuenta que las bozes vayan
cantando con gravedad y magestad lo qual no se halla aver sido observado de los buenos compositores
eclesisticos y eccelentes msicos Josquin, Phinot, Adriano, Morales, Palestrina, Guerrero, Victoria, etc.
Pietro Cerone. El melopeo: tractado de msica therica y prctica. (Barcelona: Consejo Superior de
Investigaciones Cientificas, CSIC, 2007) .685 686. English translation by the author.

20
1.2 Guerreros Career and the Socio-Political Context of Seville in the Second Half of the
Sixteenth Century

The context in which we find the musical career and output of Francisco Guerrero
is strongly marked by three very important factors. First, the political importance and
influence of the Habsburg empire after the discovery of the New World; second, the
religious struggles of the Reformation, Counter-Reformation, and the Council of Trent;
and third, the overall Humanist tendencies present not only in art and literature, but also
in Christianity itself.
From 1506 to 1700 Spain was under the rule of the Habsburg dynasty, which
controlled the Iberian peninsula, several territories in Europe, the colonies in America,
and dominated most of the commerce and navigation of the time. Culture under the
Habsburgs flourished into what is now known as the Spanish Golden Age (Siglo de Oro).
The Habsburgs were great patrons of the arts, and the overall wealth of the empire, in
addition to the greatest quantities of gold and goods extracted from the American
colonies allowed for great artistic development inside and out of the court. Writers such
as Miguel de Cervantes and Pedro Caldern de la Barca, playwrights as Lope de Vega,
painters such as Diego Velzquez and El Greco, and composers such as Toms Luis
Victoria, Francisco Guerrero, Cristbal de Morales, Luis Miln, and Alonso Lobo all
flourished under the wealth and patronage of the Habsburg rule.
Together with the importance and influence of the Habsburgs, and in close
relationship to it, the Catholic Church was an institution of unparalleled importance in

21
early modern Spain. It directly represented the main context for the musical output of
Francisco Guerrero, who worked most of his life in the Seville Cathedral.
Spain became the champion of the Catholic cause before Guerrero was born,
during the reign of the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella (1474 1516). With an
environment of thousands of converted Jews and Moors, it was at the request of the
Catholic monarchs that the Inquisition was set up in 1478 to enforce a uniformity of
belief through the recently unified kingdom of Castile and Aragon, and to extinguish
heresy and apostasy of all kinds. After the discovery of the Americas in 1492, the
Catholic monarchs initiated an overwhelming evangelization campaign in the new
colonies. The defense of the Catholic Church increased under Charles V, as the era of the
Reformation (1517-1648) began to be opposed by the Counter-Reformation (1545-1648).
By the end of the fifteenth century the Spanish Church had become firmly associated
with the power of the monarchy.
The first part of Guerreros career developed during the reign of Charles V (1516
1556), as Spain continued to defend Catholic orthodoxy in the Iberian peninsula and
throughout the territories in northern and central Europe that Charles V controlled as
Holy Roman Emperor, and where Protestantism was rapidly spreading. The identity and
perception of Spain as a major champion of Catholicism was, thus, monumental.
The second half of the sixteenth century continued to witness the power of the
Spanish Church and monarchy. During the Council of Trent (1545 1563), when the
Catholic Church was re-examining itself in reaction to the Reformation, the Spanish
Church was already at the forefront, mostly under the influence of Phillip II, Charles Vs

22
successor, who ruled from 1556 to 1598. His policies and influence were strongly marked
by Catholic ideas and his power greatly affected the development of the council.
During the beginning of the sixteenth century, with the rise of reformed churches
that promoted a personal relationship with God and the Bible without the intermediation
of the priests, Catholicism, and most especially Spanish Catholicism had a subtle but
important change. On the one hand, it responded with a strong reinforcement of its
orthodox principles and a hardening of traditional and conservative judgments, especially
against the Jews, the Moors, and against reformation ideals. On the other hand, there
were some innovative trends that influenced it and changed it from within. This fact
greatly concerns the musical output of Francisco Guerrero and other composers and
artists of his time.
One of these trends is represented in the alumbrados (illuminated), a small, elite
group of spiritual devotees based in New Castile17 who, inspired by devotional literature,
advocated the virtues of private, meditative prayer over formal ceremony as a means of
attaining perfect union with God.18 The Alumbrados were considered heretic and
consequently, they were persecuted as a sect related to Protestantism. However, their
ideology of a direct contact with God through the Holy Spirit by means of mystic visions
and experiences influenced the Spanish religious culture of such important figures as
Saint Teresa of vila and Saint John of the Cross. The mystic imagery continued to affect


17

New Castile (Castilla la Nueva) is a Spanish historical region in the southern part of the former
Kingdom of Castile.
18

2002), 28.

Helena Rawlings. Church, Religion and Society in Early Modern Spain. (New York: Palgrave,

23
religious poetry, music and art during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and is
present in the spiritual poetry of madrigals such as the ones in Guerreros collection.
It was mentioned earlier that Guerrero participated in several humanist academies.
In fact, humanism also had an impact in the broader court life. The teachings of Dutch
humanist Desiderius Erasmus (c. 1466 1536) began to influence Spanish religious and
intellectual life as a result of his contact with the imperial court of Charles V.19 Erasmus
supported a new form of religious culture, known as Christian Humanism, in which piety
and learning were intimately related. He also encouraged a wider interpretation of the
Bible that led to a revitalized expression of belief. He called for a more tolerant faith
open to intellectual freedom, private prayer and meditation, and much less ritualistic.20
Erasmian Humanism was a cosmopolitan movement with political, social, and religious
implications, and can be seen as a potent influence in the artistic circles in which
Guerrero and several of the clerics of the Chapter of Sevilles Cathedral moved.

1.3 The Concept and Practice of Penitence in Sixteenth-century Seville and its Impact on
Guerreros Music.
Penitence was identified as a fundamental facet of Christian life by preachers,
theologians, ordinary people, and even reformers during late medieval and early modern
periods. Although certainly this was not a new concept to Christianity, the concept and

19

After a few years in England, Erasmus returned to Flanders in 1516, where he became one of
the royal councilors of Archduke Charles, later Emperor Charles V. He wrote Institutio principis christiani
(Education of a Christian Prince), a humanistic portrait of the ideal ruler, for his princely patron.
20

Helena Rawlings. Church, Religion and Society in Early Modern Spain, 28.

24
practice of penitence was at the forefront of discussions and struggles of both the
Reformation and Counter-Reformation during the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth
centuries. As Katherine Jackson Lualdi and Anne Thayer state in the introduction to their
book Penitence in the Age of Reformations:
Catholics reasserted and reinvigorated traditional forms of penitence, often
using them in novel ways, while Protestants developed new penitential approaches
and institutions. As a result, penitence reached beyond a concern for individual sin
and salvation to the heart of Catholic and Protestant self-definition and communal
identity.21
Being not only at the forefront of theological discussions but, as Lualdi and
Thayer state, at the center of religious communal identity, the question of penitence
becomes crucial in the music of composers such as Francisco Guerrero who worked for
the church his entire life, and who lived in the religiously charged atmosphere of Spain at
the time. In addition to this, and as Tess Knighton has noted, there was a great emphasis
on penitential texts in the Seville motet repertory as a whole.22
Before analyzing the implications of penitence in the madrigals of Francisco
Guerrero, it is important to discuss the concept of penitence, the difference of terms
between English and Spanish languages, and the importance it had during the course of
Guerreros life, especially within the context of the Council of Trent.
Whereas in English there are three different terms related to the subject matter of
the present study (penitence, penance, and repentance), a single term is used in Spanish
(penitencia).

21

Katharine Jackson Lualdi and Anne T. Thayer. Introduction Penitence in the Age of
Reformations. (Aldershot, Hants, England: Ashgate, 2000), 1.
22

Tess Knighton. Introduction Masterworks from Seville. (London: Faber Music, 1996), 2.

25
In one hand, the Diccionario de la lengua espaola of the Real Academia
Espaola defines penitencia as:
1. Dolor y arrepentimiento que se tiene de una mala accin, o sentimiento de
haber ejecutado algo que no se quisiera haber hecho. (Sorrow and regret for doing
wrong deeds, or a feeling of having done something that shouldnt have been
done).
2. Sacramento en el cual, por la absolucin del sacerdote, se perdonan los pecados
cometidos despus del bautismo a quien los confiesa con el dolor, propsito de la
enmienda y dems circunstancias debidas. (Sacrament in which, by the absolution
of the priest, sins committed after baptism are forgiven to those who confess with
sorrow, purpose of amendment, and all other appropriate actions).
3. Virtud que consiste en el dolor de haber pecado y el propsito de no pecar ms.
(Virtue that consists in the sorrow for having sinned and the purpose of not
committing sin again).
4. Serie de ejercicios penosos con que alguien procura la mortificacin de sus
pasiones y sentidos. (Series of arduous exercises for the purpose of mortifying the
passions and the senses).
5. Acto de mortificacin interior o exterior. (Act of interior or exterior
mortification).
6. Pena que impone el confesor al penitente para satisfaccin del pecado o para
preservacin de l. (Punishment that the confessor imposes to the penitent in
order to amend wrong deeds or to avoid committing sin again).23

As it can be seen, the Spanish term penitencia encompasses different actions and
feelings, all related the commission of sins or wrong deeds and the desire to amend for
these.
On the other hand, there are three different terms in English to describe and
understand the penitential question: penitence, penance, and repentance. According to the
Oxford English Dictionary, the prevailing sense of penitence is the fact or state of being
penitent; sorrow for sin or offence committed, together with the desire for and intention

23

Diccionario de la lengua Espanola, Real Academia Espaola, s.v. Penitencia,


http://buscon.rae.es/draeI/SrvltConsulta?TIPO_BUS=3&LEMA=penitencia (accessed June 14, 2010).
Translation by the author.

26
of amendment, but it also used to mean the undergoing of a discipline or exercise as an
outward expression of repentance and expiation of an offence, either voluntarily or as
imposed by an ecclesiastical authority.24 Penance, however has several definitions, four
of which pertain to the subject of this paper:
- The performance of some act of self-mortification or the undergoing of some
penalty as an expression of sorrow for sin or wrongdoing; religious discipline,
either imposed by ecclesiastical authority or voluntarily undertaken, as a token of
repentance and as a means of satisfaction for sin; (also) such discipline or
observance imposed by a priest upon a penitent after confession, as an integral
part of the sacrament of penance.
- Repentance, penitence; amendment of one's life.
- One of the sacraments of the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and some other
Christian churches, including contrition, confession, satisfaction, and absolution.
- Pain, suffering, affliction, sorrow.25

And, repentance is described as the act of repenting or the state of being


penitent; sorrow, regret, or contrition for past action or conduct; an instance of this.26
As it can be seen, the dictionary definition of these three terms lists them as
synonyms in one or several of their meanings. However, taking a closer look at these
definitions, only penance is listed as a sacrament, and only penance is related to the
performance of some act as the result of the wrongdoing.

24

Oxford English Dictionary Online, s.v. Penitence, http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry


/50174570?single=1&query_type=word&queryword=penitence&first=1&max_to_show=10 (accessed
September 2, 2009).
25

Oxford English Dictionary Online, s.v. Penance, http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/


50174377?query_type=word&queryword=penance&first=1&max_to_show=10&sort_type=alpha&result_p
lace=1&search_id=8l9k-EcUyGc-5047&hilite=50174377 (accessed September 2, 2009).
26

Oxford English Dictionary Online, s.v. Repentance, http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/


50203023?single=1&query_type=word&queryword=repentance&first=1&max_to_show=10 (accessed
September 2, 2009).

27
Although the texts and music of Francisco Guerreros pieces should be
understood within the encompassing definition of penitencia in Spanish language, the
differentiation that the English language makes between penitence, penance, and
repentance is helpful to understand the different stages and actions of the concept of
penitence. For the purpose of this document the words penitence and penitential will
be used in the broad definition that relates to the Spanish concept of penitencia.
Besides the regular and common use of language, it is now important to
understand the question of penitence in Catholicism, as it provides the religious context
for the pieces.
Referring to The Catholic Encyclopedia Online, we find that there is no entry for
penitence or repentance, and there are two entries for penance: one is The Sacrament
of Penance and the other is Penance (as a Virtue).
Penance is a sacrament of the New Law instituted by Christ in which forgiveness of
sins committed after baptism is granted through the priest's absolution to those who
with true sorrow confess their sins and promise to satisfy for the same. It is called a
"sacrament" not simply a function or ceremony, because it is an outward sign
instituted by Christ to impart grace to the soul. As an outward sign it comprises the
actions of the penitent in presenting himself to the priest and accusing himself of his
sins, and the actions of the priest in pronouncing absolution and imposing
satisfaction. This whole procedure is usually called, from one of its parts,
"confession", and it is said to take place in the "tribunal of penance", because it is a
judicial process in which the penitent is at once the accuser, the person accused, and
the witness, while the priest pronounces judgment and sentence. The grace conferred
is deliverance from the guilt of sin and, in the case of mortal sin, from its eternal
punishment; hence also reconciliation with God, justification. Finally, the confession
is made not in the secrecy of the penitent's heart nor to a layman as friend and
advocate, nor to a representative of human authority, but to a duly ordained priest

28
with requisite jurisdiction and with the "power of the keys", i.e., the power to forgive
sins which Christ granted to His Church. 27
Penance (poenitentia) designates (1) a virtue; (2) a sacrament of the New Law; (3) a
canonical punishment inflicted according to the earlier discipline of the Church; (4) a
work of satisfaction enjoined upon the recipient of the sacrament. These have as their
common centre the truth that he who sins must repent and as far as possible make
reparation to Divine justice. Repentance, i.e., heartfelt sorrow with the firm purpose
of sinning no more, is thus the prime condition on which depends the value of
whatever the sinner may do or suffer by way of expiation. 28
Two important concepts emerge from this exploration of terms and meanings as
they should be understood in the English language of this paper. First, that penitence is
the state of being sorrowful for sins or offences committed, and not necessarily a
sacrament; and second, that penance is the sacrament that starts from contritio
(repentance, contrition, heartfelt sorrow, or penitence) that then should follow into
confessio, after which a priest pronounces absolution and ordains a set of actions that
represent the repair for the sins committed, satisfactio.
This paper will focus on the penitential concept in its broader sense, as
represented in the penitential pieces of Francisco Guerrero. This includes the exploration
of the state of sorrow of an individual for the sin or offence committed, an attitude that
may imply include the undergoing of an act of self-punishment to express repentance and
expiation of the offence committed. In addition, it can be speculated that the act of
composing, singing or listening to madrigals with penitential texts constituted an outward
expression of repentance.

27

Edward Hanna. "The Sacrament of Penance," The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11 (New York:
Robert Appleton Company, 1911). http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11618c.htm (accessed September 2,
2009).
28

Edward Hanna. "The Virtue of Penance, The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11 (New York:
Robert Appleton Company, 1911). http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11618c.htm (accessed September 2,
2009).

29
It is necessary to quickly note the importance that this issue had in the discussions
of the Council of Trent. Since Reformation theologians understood the act of contrition as
sufficient to obtain Divine pardon, the Council of Trent expressly stated in its fourteenth
session that no reconciliation could be obtained without the other parts of the
sacrament.29 That is, contrition should be followed by confession to a priest and by
actions to repair the offences committed.
In the specific case of Francisco Guerrero, research conducted by Juan Ruiz
Jimnez in the archives of Sevilles Cathedral has demonstrated that there was a notable
change in the repertory and its practice with the implementation of the reforms of the
Council of Trent. A new rezado30 was adopted in 1575 following the agreements to
implement the textual and musical changes in the breviary of 1568 and the missal of
1570. Due to these new guidelines, some of Guerreros own works had to be reworked.
In addition, the new counter-reformation aesthetic, already imbued with a humanist
tradition, and concerned with prosody and the intelligibility of text, greatly influenced the
style of new compositions. As Ruiz Jimnez shows, there is also a noticeable increase in
the production of music at the Seville Cathedral around this time that can be the result of
the reforms of the Council of Trent.31
In the case of Guerrero, the publication of Canciones y villanescas espirituales in
1589 came right after the new doctrines of the Council of Trent had been issued, and the

29

The Council of Trent. The Fourteenth Session: the Canons and Decrees of the Sacred and
Oecumenical Council of Trent. Edited and translated by J. Waterworth (London: Dolman, 1848), 92-93.
30
31

Daily ecclesiastical office, or the group of particular offices for a particular feast.

Juan Ruiz Jimnez. La Librera de Canto de rgano: Creacin y pervivencia del repertorio del
Renacimiento en la actividad musical de la catedral de Sevilla. (Granada: Junta de Andaluca, 2007), 19.

30
collection clearly reflects the strong influence these doctrines made on Guerrero and his
environment. Two very important things can be directly related to this. First, as Guerrero
himself explains in the preface, he agreed to publish this collection on the condition that
originally secular non-moral texts were published in a lo divino transcription. Many of
these pieces have strong and explicit penitential subjects, which may reflect the
importance that this matter had in the time. Second, Guerrero prepared these canciones y
villanescas alongside the second book of motets under the strict proofreading of Zarlino,
who was an authority on text underlay and propriety in polyphonic composition. This
also shows the composer concerned with the new directions that emanated from the
Council of Trent in regards to text comprehension.
Finally, it is important to consider the great importance and heritage of Seville as
a penitential city. Even in the present time, Seville is internationally renowned for the
solemn and beautiful processions that take place during Holy Week. The enactment of
penitential sentiment, of uttermost importance during Lent and Holy Week, was
incorporated by the Sevillian brotherhoods (cofradas) that organize the processions in
these celebrations since the beginning of the sixteenth century, as a result of diverse
theological, liturgical, ascetic, emotional, artistic, social, economic, and political factors.
During the Holy Week processions, Sevillian brotherhoods have been making public
representations of Jesus immense physical and psychological pain as a man during his
last days on earth. It is a profound act that invites contemplation, and that also invites the
public to repent.
The history of Seville and its penitential brotherhoods sheds very interesting light
into the analysis of Guerreros penitential pieces, because it provides an additional

31
contextual perspective into which their performance took place. Jos Snchez Herrero
explains in his article on the origin of Sevillian penitential brotherhoods32 that penitential
representations, not only in Seville but elsewhere in Europe, stem from the Catholic
theological point of view that Jesus is considered to have a double nature, human and
divine, and this double nature helps man to directly relate to Jesus life, and compare it to
his own. Thus, contemplation and representation of the mysteries and pains of Jesus
Passion are at the base of Christian belief and devotion as models for human life and
behavior. In regards to the importance of physical representation and participation,
Snchez Herrero cites the authority of Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church, and
founder of the Cistercian monastic order, who states that mental activity is not enough to
repent. For him, it is necessary to also participate in objective penitential events,
celebrating their effective commemoration in liturgy and accepting the sacraments that
grant us divine grace. It is necessary to incarnate repentance in our being and in our
activity. As an extension of these ideas, artistic and musical representations of Jesus
Passion and the individual participation in them was also an important and meaningful
activity of Christians during penitential times.
Snchez Herreros article on the development of Sevillian cofradas includes
several concepts that will also serve as reference for the analysis of Guerreros penitential
pieces. It mentions the importance of the cultivation of images in Christianity, especially
that of the cross and of Christ crucified; and how some other elements of the Passion
became objects of devotion such as Jesus five wounds, His blood, the crown of thorns,
the seven last words, and the way to Golgotha. As it will be shown in the analysis of the

32

Jess Snchez Herrero. El origen de las cofradas penitenciales, Sevilla penitente (Sevilla:
Editorial Gever, 1995), 15 34.

32
pieces from Canciones y villanescas espirituales, several texts depict or address Jesus as
an image, and mostly, as the crucified man. Also, direct or indirect allusions to his
wounds and blood appear in several of these penitential pieces as vivid symbols of his
Passion, which, in a very moving way invite the viewerand eventually, the listener-- to
repent for the commission of sin.

33
Chapter 2
Canciones y villanescas espirituales and Spiritual Song in Spain, Italy and Germany

2.1 Canciones y villanescas espirituales (Venice, 1589)


Ten years before his death, Francisco Guerrero traveled to Venice to arrange the
publication of two collections. At the press of Iago Vicentino he published his second
book of motets (Mottecta, liber secundus) and Canciones y villanescas espirituales, a
collection of sixty-one pieces in Spanish for three, four, and five voices.
In the preface of the collection,1 Cristbal Mosquera de Figueroa, a politician,
poet, and vihuela player who also attended the humanist gatherings of Francisco Pacheco,
explains the origin of the collection. Guerrero had composed these pieces several years
before and they were circulating in unauthorized copies almost unrecognizable with
mistakes and changes. Urged by friends and music lovers, Guerrero finally decided to
publish them on the condition that secular-texted pieces would be published in a lo divino
transcription. It is now known that at least nine pieces received a new sacred text because
earlier sources with concordances have been found.2

The entire preface by Mosquera de Figueroa is transcribed in Introduccin y Estudio, in


Francisco Guerrero: Opera omnia, vol. 1: Canciones y villanescas espirituales. Monumentos de la Msica
Espaola, vol. 16. (Barcelona, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientficas, 1955), 10-15.
2

Francisco Guerrero, Canciones y villanescas espirituales (Venice, 1589). Opera Omnia.Vicente


Garcia, transcriber and Miguel Querol Gavald, Introduction. Monumentos de la Msica Espaola, 16
(Barcelona: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientficas, Instituto Espaol de Musicologa, 1955).

34
For the rest of the pieces there remain two possibilities: either they originally had
a sacred or moral text, or we have not found an earlier secular-texted source that
demonstrates that it was originally profane.
One of the aspects most discussed among scholars studying this collection is the
issue of genre. The title of the collection is puzzling in several senses as it states that it
consists of spiritual canciones and villanescas. First of all, this is a unique title in the use
of genres and in the use of the word espirituales, as no other Spanish collection of
vernacular songs of the time is entitled in the same way. Second, the term cancin has a
very wide connotation in Spain, equivalent to the English generic term song. Third, the
term villanesca has a very narrow and specific connotation, mostly used in Italy from
about 1537 to about 1650 as synonymous to villanela and villota.3 Lastly, the actual
pieces in the collection seem to belong to the genres of madrigal and villancico rather
than being canciones and villanescas.
Regarding the use of the term villanesca, both Miguel Querol Gavald4 and
Robert Stevenson,5 among other scholars, refer to Sebastin de Covarrubiass dictionary
Tesoro de la lengua castellana (Madrid, 1611), which states that villanescas are: songs
that peasants sing when at leisure; but courtiers, imitating them, have composed joyful

Donna G. Cardamone. "Villanella," in Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online.


http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/29379 (accessed January 15, 2010).
4

Francisco Guerrero, Canciones y villanescas espirituales (Venice, 1589). Opera Omnia.Vicente


Garcia, transcriber and Miguel Querol Gavald, Introduction. Monumentos de la Msica Espaola, 16
(Barcelona: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientficas, Instituto Espaol de Musicologa, 1955), 25.
5

Robert Stevenson. Spanish Cathedral Music in the Golden Age (Berkeley and Los Angeles:
University of California Press, 1961), 217.

35
little songs in the same mode and measure. This is the same origin of the villancicos that
are so frequently celebrated for Christmas and Corpus Christi.6
Querol Gavald continues to explain that in Italian repertoire of the time, the term
villanesca was synonymous with villanelle, villanesche, canzone villanesche, canzone
alla villanesca, villote alla napolitana, aria alla napolitana or canzonette.7 And, after a
brief discussion of the formal scheme of a villanesca and its relationship to the pieces in
Guerreros collection, he states that there are only three villanescas in Guerreros
collection. For Querol Gavald the other pieces are madrigals and villancicos greatly
influenced by late sixteenth-century villanela and madrigal style. He then clarifies that
Andalusian and Castilian composers did not use the term madrigal and that, because of
this, Guerrero used the generic term cancin for pieces composed in madrigalian free
form and with expressive and figured content.8
Herminio Gonzlez Barrionuevo gives another perspective about the use of terms
in the collection title. He notes that the term cancin was sometimes synonymous with
the term motete as Guerrero himself explained in his first book of motets, titled Sacrae
cantiones, vulgo moteta nuncupata (Seville, 1555) which translates as sacred songs,
commonly known as motets. Gonzlez Barrionuevo then explains how a cancin could
be sacred or profane, and, when sacred, it could be considered a spiritual motet in
vernacular language. Thus, in Gonzlez Barrionuevos view, Guerreros collection could
6

"Las canciones que suelen cantar los villanos quando estn en solaz. Pero los cortesanos,
remedndolos, han compuesto a este modo y mensura cantarcillos alegres. Ese mismo origen tienen los
villancicos tan celebrados en las fiestas de Navidad y Corpus Christi." Translation by the author.
7

Querol Gavald, Introduccin y Estudio, 25.

Ibid., 30.

36
be considered a collection of spiritual motets, which were different from madrigals,
whose text was generally profane and with a carefree melodic and literary style.9
Although several scholars relate motets and secular songs as having similar
functionality as para-liturgical pieces, two facts detract from Gonzlez Barrionuevos
conception of the pieces in this collection as motets in vernacular language. First, that
Guerrero consciously chose different terms (canciones and villanescas) for these pieces,
as opposed to the collection of motets that he published simultaneously. Second, and
most important, is the fact that the textual and musical style of motets is different from
those of the pieces of this collection. A complete discussion of the similarities and
differences between Guerreros vernacular songs and motets is outside the scope of this
document. However, in general terms, there are clear characteristics in each genre that
contradict Gonzlez Barrionuevos assertion. Texts come from different sources and have
different styles. The musical style of the vernacular-texted pieces is already moving away
from intricate polyphony towards more transparent and homorhythmic textures and is
trying to directly portray the meaning of text. Motets, on the other hand, although heavily
influenced by new aesthetic tendencies, are still composed in polyphonic style and
following the rules of counterpoint. In spite of these differences, it is still important to
keep in mind that some spiritual songs and motets might have shared liturgical or paraliturgical functions inside and outside the cathedral.
Going back to the discussion of genre, the collection, although entitled Canciones
y villanescas espirituales, truly consists of spiritual madrigals and villancicos. Pieces in

Gonzlez Barrionuevo, Francisco Guerrero, 550.

37
villancico form (those represented in the title by the term villanescas) represent the
traditional Spanish vernacular musical and poetic form that alternates coplas (stanzas)
with an estribillo (refrain) in a mostly homophonic and simple style. Pieces in madrigal
style (those called canciones) represent the appearance of the Italian genre in Spain in the
time of Guerreros generation. Interestingly, in terms of musical style, poetic content, and
historical context these pieces belong to the madrigale spirituale genre mostly
represented in the output of sixteenth-century Italian composers.
Although there are now several studies about the history and development of the
villancico, there is very little research about canciones (madrigals) in Spain, not to
mention the almost non-existent literature about spiritual pieces. It seems that, because
the villancico acquired the status of Spanish national genre during the Renaissance and
the Baroque periods, this has created a lag in research of other repertoire that is probably
considered not uniquely Spanish.10 In any case, even research on the villancico has
flourished only recently.
Rosanne Cecilia Kings dissertation11 on the Canciones y villanescas espirituales
is one of the few documents that traces the appearance and development of spiritual song
in Spain by means of a thorough review of Spanish Renaissance sources that contain
songs with sacred or spiritual texts. In regards to the issue of genre and terminology of
sacred or spiritual songs,12 Kings study shows evidence that, before the second half of

10

This seems to be the case of madrigals, cantatas, operas, and several other genres.

11

Rosanne Cecilia King, The Canciones y villanescas espirituales of Francisco Guerrero and the
Tradition of Sacred Song in Renaissance Spain (PhD diss., University of Toronto, 2004).
12

King and several other scholars use the terms spiritual songs and sacred songs
interchangeably.

38
the sixteenth century, Spanish spiritual songs do not appear written in the free throughcomposed style not based on a popular original.13 Instead, the new style, influenced by
the Italian madrigal style, appears in Spain in the time of Guerreros generation. One of
the most important collections of the time, the Cancionero de Medinaceli, contains
several pieces of this kind, and represents one of the most important bodies of this type of
repertoire.
As the new genre entered Spain through the humanist circles and academies of
Seville, complete collections of sacred pieces appeared for the first time.14 This new
development reflects the high degree of influence that Italian humanism and aesthetics
had into Spanish poetry, literature, music, painting, architecture, and thought, and reflects
the context in which the collection of Canciones y villanescas espirituales was
conceived. Francisco Guerreros collection of spiritual songs and villancicos represents
the isolated peak of the madrigal genre in Spain, as it is the only collection by a single
author that includes a substantial amount of madrigals, and where even the villancicos
have traces of the madrigalian style. There are no subsequent collections with the same
characteristics in Spain, and the Spanish madrigal seems to have died with Guerrero.
The organization of this collection is an important tool for understanding the
conception and function of its pieces. The collection was published in five part-books, as
opposed to a single score; and each part-book starts with the five-voice pieces, followed
by those with four-voice scoring, and lastly by the three-voice ones. Therefore, it can be

13

Rosanne Cecilia King, Canciones y villanescas espirituales, 8.

14

Ibid., 8.

39
surmised that the first criterion for organization was based on a logical sequence of
ensemble composition. Kings study of Guerreros collection shows that there are hints of
a simultaneous alternative second level of organization, which tries to follow the
liturgical calendar. She shows that the organization selected by Guerrero for publication
reflected a careful system not present in any earlier collection of spiritual songs in Spain.
It took into consideration first the number and arrangement of voices, and second, a
thematic grouping of texts according to subject matter, mode, and arrangement of clefs.15
This fact will prove to be very important in the discussion in Chapters 3 and 4 about the
penitential conception and function of the pieces that are the matter of the present
document. It will also serve to assess some possible performance conventions implied by
mode and arrangement of clefs.

2.2 Spiritual Songs in Spain


Songs with spiritual texts in the vernacular were not new in Spain, and they were
not new anywhere else in Europe. The Spanish interest in spiritual songs is evident in the
early cancioneros from the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, where there was
always a group of spiritual songs among a number of secular pieces. These spiritual
songs were, however, in villancico form, and in comparison to the quantity of secular
pieces, spiritual texts represented only a small fraction of the repertoire.
Kings study on Canciones y villanescas espirituales lists sixteen Renaissance
sources that contain spiritual songs, including the Guerrero collection. However, within
15

Ibid., 17-43.

40
these sources, only sixteen percent of the songs have spiritual texts; the rest of the music
is secular. Furthermore, virtually all of the spiritual pieces focus on Nativity scenes,
Marian praise, or Sibylline texts. The moral and penitential subject appears only in a
single, but significant, source: the Cancionero de Medinaceli (1505-20).16
In regards to the social function of spiritual songs, King mentions that archival
evidence documents the theory that Nativity festivities included several of them, and
thus, spiritual songs about the Nativity were probably sung in liturgical and paraliturgical activities. Marian pieces, however, were probably used only in para-liturgical
activities, such as processions and other private or public devotional non-liturgical
practices. After a review of all the sources and their context, King asserts that spiritual
songs could perform a dual function as devotional and liturgical pieces.17 This fact is
especially important to understand the conception and function of Guerreros collection,
as it will be seen in Chapters 3 and 4 of this study.
As mentioned earlier, only in the second half of the sixteenth century spiritual
songs begin to appear in the new through-composed style of the madrigal, not related to a
popular form or tune. By comparison, the earliest madrigals on secular themes appear
already in the Cancionero de Medinaceli during the first half of the century (c. 15051520). This Cancionero is an important source in itself, but it becomes interesting to this
discussion because it includes thirteenth pieces by Guerrero.

16

Ibid., 15.

17

Ibid., 7.

41
After 1550 we find two entire collections devoted to secular madrigals. One is, of
course, Guerreros collection; and the other is Pere Alberch Vilas printed Odarum
spiritualium (1581) from Barcelona, which consists of twelve sacred madrigals entirely
dedicated to Marian texts with no penitential examples.18

2.3 Spiritual Madrigals in Italy

None of the studies dedicated to the Canciones y villanescas espirituales has


addressed the songs in this collection as spiritual madrigals. It seems that the fact that
they are labeled canciones and that they are in Spanish has prevented a comparative
analysis with other madrigals. As it was seen before, even the first modern editor of the
collection, Miguel Querol Gavald explicitly stated that these pieces were madrigals.
Nonetheless there are no studies that analyze them as such, or that relate them to the
development of spiritual madrigals in Italy and Germany at exactly the same time.
Inserting the madrigals of this collection (most especially the ones on penitential texts)
into the context of spiritual madrigals in Italy and Germany will help greatly in
understanding their conception, historic relevance, and musical characteristics.
Suzanne G. Cusick and Noel ORegan define a madrigale spirituale as a general
term for settings of Italian devotional texts not intended for liturgical use which became

18

Pere Alberch Vila (1517 1582) was a Catalan composer and organist. He was organist of the
Barcelona Cathedral and was considered one of the best Spanish organists of the time. His extant output
consists mostly of keyboard and vocal music.

42
particularly fashionable after the Council of Trent.19 This definition states very
important characteristics that will be helpful in understanding Guerreros spiritual songs.
First of all, this genre became important during the Counter-Reformation. As shown
earlier, there is evidence that Guerreros production changed after the Council of Trent in
general, and that several of the pieces of Canciones y villanescas espirituales underwent
a textual and/or musical transformation probably to fit the new post-Council spiritual
environment. This, and the fact that penitence as a concept and as practice became one of
the central issues of the Council of Trent, makes indispensable an analysis of Canciones y
villanescas in relationship to the tradition of spiritual madrigal.
Italian spiritual madrigals have been studied at more length, not only in regards to
composers, music, and text, but in regards to their social function, something that,
unfortunately, has not been addressed with Spanish sacred vernacular songs. Spiritual
madrigals only differ from regular madrigals in terms of the text; their musical style
matches the secular-texted pieces. Therefore, important comparisons should emerge
between Guerreros Canciones y villanescas and the tradition of the Italian spiritual
madrigal, especially in terms of socio-cultural context and function. At the same time,
potential differences would be expected, as rhetorical figures may be distinctive in
Spains musical culture. Taking all this into account, Katherine Susanne Powers study
of the spiritual madrigal in Counter-Reformation Italy will serve as reference to relate the

19

Suzanne G. Cusick and Noel ORegan. "Madrigale spirituale," In Grove Music Online. Oxford
Music Online, http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/17410 (accessed
September 13, 2009).

43
pieces of Guerreros collection to the context and function of the spiritual madrigal
genre.20
Powerss study explains that the spiritual madrigal was sung as part of both
recreational and para-liturgical activities in courts, academies, confraternity houses,
monasteries, and religious institutions. In addition, her study also explains how it was
precisely in the 1580s that this genre reached the height of its production, as a direct
result of the aggressive stance of the Counter-Reformation that followed the Council of
Trent.
A strong influence of Italian culture on Spanish artists should be expected given
the Spanish absorption of Italian poetic forms, the formation of so many humanist
academies, and the close relationship between Italian and Spanish painting and
architecture. It is possible that Guerrero published this collection as his own contribution
to the stream of spiritual publications of the second half of the sixteenth century that
responded to the combined influences of the Council of Trent, Italian Humanism, and
spiritual madrigals. His is one of two collections of Spanish songs that were expressly
entitled espirituales and this is an important clue as to decide on the genre of the
pieces. Both canciones (madrigals) and villanescas (villancicos with madrigalian
influences) are qualified as espirituales. Thus, if we re-write the title in terms of the true

20

Katherine Susanne Powers. The spiritual madrigal in Counter-Reformation Italy: Definition,


use, and style (Ph.D. diss., University of California Santa Barbara, 1997).

44
genre of these pieces, we have a collection of spiritual madrigals and villancicos, very
much in tune with Italian collections of spiritual madrigals and songs of the time.21
In terms of the function of the Italian spiritual madrigal, Powers explains,
religious thought was not excluded from recreational, non-liturgical music22 and
spiritual poetry and madrigals were sung before the term madrigale spirituale appeared
and before the Counter-Reformation took place. As the sixteenth-century reform
movement progressed, though, the spiritual madrigal became the consciously and
deliberately chosen genre to provide appropriate recreational music for Christians, and
bishops and priests encouraged the composition and publication of collections of spiritual
madrigals. The 1580s was the period of greatest production of spiritual madrigals. This
was also the time in which published collections of this kind were explicitly titled and
marketed as spiritual. Most composers created at least a few spiritual pieces with
different types of motivation.23
This strong trend to publish collections in the new spiritual manner motivated the
publication of travestimenti spirituali texts. Travestimenti spirituali were secular works
whose profane texts were transformed into spiritual ones, which is exactly the same
practice as the a lo divino Spanish tradition. Even some madrigals by Francisco Guerrero
21

Collections such as Animuccias Primo libro delle laudi composte per consolatione et a
requisitione di molte persone spirituali et devote, tanto religiosi, quanto secolari (1563), Vincis 4 sonetti
spirituali della illustrissima Vittoria Colonna (1580), Monteverdis Madrigali spirituali (1583), Marenzios
Madrigali spirituali (1584), Anerios two books of Madrigali spirituali (1585) and numerous spiritual
canzonetas (1586-1639), Leones Penitenza, primo libro de madrigali spirituali (1596). Outside Italy, there
are examples such as Montes four books of madrigali spirituali (1581, 1583, 1589 and 1590) and the
cyclic collection of Lassos spiritual madrigals entitled Lagrime di San Pietro (1595).
22

Powers. The spiritual madrigal, 12. All of the following discussion about the development and
function of the spiritual madrigal is taken from Powerss study.
23

See footnote 21.

45
were spiritualized with Italian sacred texts and included in Soto de Langas first and third
books of spiritual songs.24 Two of the penitential madrigals that we will analyze in this
document were included in these publications in their Italian sacred version: No. 39 Qu
te dare seor and No. 54 Si tus penas.25
Most Italian composers of the time created spiritual madrigals, and many,
including Palestrina, Monteverdi, and Marenzio produced entire volumes. In the case of
Monteverdi, not only did he publish two volumes of his own spiritual madrigals, but there
are three books of Latin contrafacta 26 of his secular madrigals published by Alessandro
Coppini early in the seventeenth century. This shows that Guerrero shared this trend, and
the publication of the Canciones y villanescas espirituales in Venice in 1589 directly
belongs to the context of the spiritual madrigal.
Regarding the function of these pieces, Powers demonstrates that spiritual
madrigals were sung in academies, courts, confraternities, religious orders, as part of
devotional ceremonies, where they obtained a quasi-liturgical significance.27 However,
there is not much evidence of the function and performance context of the pieces in
Guerreros collection. Nonetheless, equating them to spiritual madrigals can help infer
notions about their conception, publication, performance, and reception. Thus, it can be
assumed that they were sung in the artistic academies of Seville; in courts not only in
24

Ibid., 18.

25

It is unfortunate that Soto de Langas book was not available for consultation at the time this
document was written.
26

A contrafactum (pl. contrafacta) is the general term for the practice of such things as
travestimenti spirituali or a lo divino versions, as well as many other types of textual changes. Groves
Music defines its as: In vocal music, the substitution of one text for another without substantial change to
the music. In this case, Latin texts replaced the Italian texts of Monteverdis spiritual madrigals.
27

Powers, The Spiritual Madrigal, 24.

46
Seville but also throughout Spain (and probably in Italy with their Italian text); in
Sevillian confraternities; in devotional ceremonies both in Sevilles Cathedral, and in
private chapels. These possible contexts will prove to be of importance when analyzing
these penitential pieces in terms of music, text, and performance practice.

2.4 Spiritual madrigals in Germany and the relationship to Spain


Spiritual madrigals were written not only in Italy but also in several regions
across Europe where Italian influence was felt and where Counter-Reformation ideals
resulted in the composition or adaptation of musical pieces into spiritual ones. Spiritual
madrigals were mostly written in Italian, but sometimes, pieces written in Latin
(devotional motets) or in vernacular languages can be considered to belong to the same
genre, even when not labeled madrigale spirituale.
The case of German-speaking lands is very interesting because it was in these
lands that Reformation ideals started, and it was in these lands that reformers and
counter-reformers were closely facing each other. Catholics in these lands had a
contradictory task. On the one hand, they had to strengthen their identity. On the other
one, they had to speak to a broader segment of the lay population, just as reformers were
doing. This became especially important in the field of musical production.
The case of a Catholic devotional song in Augsburg, as studied by Alexander J.
Fischer, is very interesting. He explains how Catholic leaders discovered, just as their
Lutheran counterparts, that vernacular songs were an ideal medium not only for the
expression of individual and collective faith, but also as propaganda. As a result of this,

47
during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, there was a flowering of the
Catholic vernacular song in which singers of varying aptitudes came together in
confraternity devotions, processions and pilgrimages, performing a continuum of music
ranging from sacred canzonettas in several parts to the simplest monophonic songs. 28
Fischers study demonstrates that vernacular polyphony accompanied the praying
of the Rosary and various Marian festivities; that there were Eucharistic songs both in
para-liturgical activities and within the Mass; and that there were songs based on
paraphrases of Christs Passion intended both for private and public devotional activities.
The important fact about these musical practices lies in that they were sung in a
vernacular language and musical style, and not as Latin sacred pieces. A parallel
scenario can be safely assumed for the performance Guerreros spiritual polyphonic
songs.
The case of Augsburg was not unique, as confessional Catholic music happened
in numerous towns and cities in Catholic Germany by the turn of the seventeenth century.
This is also the social context for Orlande de Lassus in Munich, who composed dozen of
madrigals on religious devotional texts. These pieces were not referred to as spiritual
madrigals, however, nor there was even a reference to their spiritual subject in the title.
Nonetheless, their style and text place these compositions in the spiritual madrigal genre.

28

Alexander J. Fischer. Music and Religious Identity in Counter-Reformation Augsburg, 15801630. (Aldershot, England: Ashgate 2004), 213.

48
Lassuss spiritual output includes the madrigal cycle Lagrime di San Pietro a
sette29 (1595) and the madrigal books of 1585 and 1587. Although these two collections
are not labeled as spiritual, they contain mostly madrigals on spiritual texts. The activity
of Lasso, among many others, resulted in Munich becoming the center for the production
of Catholic vernacular songs in the early seventeenth century. Although a comparison
between Lassus and Guerrero is outside the scope of this document, similarities in both
their musical careers and repertoire output quickly emerge. Both composers were
extremely devout; both had strong ties to Italian style; and both turned towards
penitential and very grave music towards the end of their lives.
As a final remark, it is interesting to note the distinctive characteristics that
Alexander J. Fisher finds in Catholic music as opposed to Protestant music. He explains
how Catholic sensibility emerges from the texts individualistic, subjective and often
vivid imagistic character, contrasting with the more abstract and communal quality of
Protestant psalms and chorales.30 As it will be seen in the upcoming discussion about
musical style and text rendition in relationship to penitential texts, Catholic vivid imagery
pervades the texts of Guerreros spiritual madrigals, most especially in his penitential
texts. Although the madrigale spirituale has usually been defined in terms of its Italian
texts, poets, and composers, there were instances of this genre all through Europe.

29

In this collection, Lassus sets twenty-one poems by the Italian poet Luigi Tansillo (15101568).
The texts depict the stages of grief experienced by Saint Peter after his denial of Christ. The topic of Saint
Peters sadness and contrition in front of the cross is one of the most widespread in penitential poetry,
music, and painting during the end of the sixteenth-century and the beginning of the seventeenth-century.
Guerreros a lo divino setting of Ojos claros, serenos, which will be discussed later in this document,
portrays exactly the same moment.
30

Alexander J. Fischer. Music and Religious Identity in Counter-Reformation Augsburg, 15801630. (Aldershot, England: Ashgate 2004), 223.

49
Several pieces in madrigalian polyphonic style with spiritual texts in the vernacular could
be considered spiritual madrigals because they were conceived as such, in the context of
Post-Tridentine and Counter-Reformational Europe. Writing and, more importantly,
publishing spiritual madrigals was a very important trend in the second half of the
sixteenth-century, and the Venetian publication of Guerreros Canciones y villanescas
espirituales must be understood in this specific context.

50
Chapter 3
Text as the Defining Element in Spiritual Pieces

Prayer and poetry have never ceased to accompany each other through the centuries and
across geographical boundaries.
Michel Darbord, La posie rligieuse espagnole des rois catholiques Philippe II

Penitential pieces are defined, above all, by the subject matter of the text. Text is
the single element that differentiates a penitential song from another type of secular or
spiritual song. Thus, understanding the text is the first step to be taken when analyzing
penitential music. Since text is the most important and differentiating element of a
penitential song, music will always follow it closely, and composers will often try to
present a transparent musical setting that allows the text to be clearly heard and
understood.
There are four important issues to address when analyzing the texts of Guerreros
collection: poetry as prayer; authorship in the collection; function of the texts with
possible implications in the function of the musical pieces themselves; and the
compositional techniques characteristic of Spanish religious poetry of the time. This
chapter will first discuss these four issues, and then will present an analysis of each of the
texts of the penitential pieces of the collection of Canciones y villanescas espirituales.

51
3.1 Poetry as Prayer
The epigraph at the top of this chapter opened Michel Darbords study of Spanish
religious poetry from the time of the Catholic monarchs to the time of Phillip II.1 It places
the relationship between poetry and prayer at the core of the study of religious poetry in
the Renaissance. It also brings forward the importance of poetry in relationship to the
most intimate religious actions, such as penitence. One can also assert that music and
prayer have never ceased to accompany each other, and that poetry, music, and prayer
have always been together in both public and intimate religious actions.
To fully understand the importance of text in penitential pieces, it is essential to
understand the figure of the theologus-poeta (theologian-poet). This concept manifested
frequently in the fourteenth century, especially in the work of Petrarch, Dante, and
Bocaccio, where important theological issues are approached.2 Spiritual poetry by a
theologian-poet could serve as informal or personal prayer, or at least as an appropriate
reading for times of penitence. This practice may shed light on how penitential pieces
would function in the context of devotional life and penitential activities.
The vernacular language of these poems permitted an approach to theological
concepts and moral teachings that would have been otherwise out of reach. The poems
also presented these concepts in an aesthetically appealing way. In the case of Guerreros
penitential texts, as well as in all the moral and penitential pieces by composers all over

1

Michel Darbord. La posie rligieuse espagnole des rois catholiques Philippe II. (Paris: Centre
de Recherches de lInstitut dtudes Hispaniques, 1965), 11.
2

Two of the foremost examples of the figure of a theologus-poeta are Dante Alighieris Divine
Comedy (c. 1308-1321), an allegorical vision of the Christian afterlife, and the entire output of John of the
Cross (1542-1591), whose poetry and studies on the growth of the soul are considered the summit of
mystical Spanish literature and one of the peaks of all Spanish literature.

52
Europe, poetry served as a type of inspired yet accessible prayer, and a vehicle for moral
and theological teachings, not only for the performers themselves, but also for the people
who heard them.
It is important to keep in mind that spiritual madrigals represented a higher-level
of devotional practice for cultivated persons and their entourage. The madrigal form
defines the nature of this private performance by small groups, or by a soloist with a
vihuela in courts and private chapels, as opposed to public performances of motets and
other devotional pieces in the church. The spiritual poetry of these madrigals, together
with the inherent musical style and context of performance, could function as a form of
informal payer or moral reflection for the performers and their audiences.
In the specific case of the penitential poetry of Guerreros collection, we see
direct invitations to reflect and repent. Most texts invite to personal devotional actions;
but others, such as No. 12 Si del jardn del ielo soberano,3 directly invite the sinner to
confess and to reach Christs mercy through the intercession of the Virgin Mary. The
concepts of penitence, both personal and public, and of Marian intercession were
important theological concepts at the time. Presenting them in poetry and music
represented a stance in the discussions that took place during and after the Council of
Trent, and that were a daily matter of debate among reformers and Catholics.
Other poems present complex and abstract theological concepts, such as the direct
relationship between the act of being born and being a sinner. This concept, followed by
the assertion of hope in redemption through Gods mercy is presented in No. 10 Plugiera

3

See Appendix 1 for complete texts and translations.

53
a Dios, based on a poem by Gregorio Silvestre. In the first strophe the poet explains
how he wishes he had never been born so that he would not have been able to sin. In the
last strophe, this despair finds reassurance in the fact that even if his faults were great,
there is nothing that God does not forgive if there is contrition and penitence.
In discussing the concept of the theologus-poeta in sixteenth-century Spain,
Darbord refers to ongoing discussions about using poetry as the same vehicle for profane
love, worldly pleasures, and the mysteries of faith.4 Despite this controversy, this period
is one of the most important and prolific for Spanish religious poetry as an independent
art form, as well as in the field of a lo divino transcriptions for music.
Religious poetry was always a vehicle for moral teachings in devotional settings.
In this period, however, besides presenting important institutional concepts and teachings
of the Church, it also became a vehicle for the theologus-poeta to cultivate the inner
world of man within the sphere that the Church granted for personal meditation. Given
this opportunity as a vehicle for individual expression, religious poetry became imbued
with the spirit of humanism.
Almost all of the penitential texts in the Guerrero collection follow a personal and
intimate style, represented in the use of the first person and addressed either to God or to
the reader directly. Since these poems were conceived in the tradition of the theologuspoeta, the poetry could be considered a form of prayer, with important implications for
understanding the conception, function, and reception of the penitential pieces in
Canciones y villanescas espirituales.

4

Darbord. La posie rligieuse espagnole. 12.

54
Guerrero set to music poems that presented important theological and moral
concepts, within intimate meditations about life, sin, and redemption. The subject matter
and the musical setting reflected the uttermost gravity and seriousness of the act of
penitence as an intimate moment of religious reflection and practice. Therefore, both
performers and listeners were placed in the same context of austerity and intimate
reflection through the musical setting. This veil of austerity and intimacy in the text as
well as in the musical settings will be discussed in Chapter 4.

3.2 Authorship of Texts


Because text in one of the most important factors in penitential pieces, the issue of
authorship of the poems in Guerreros Canciones and villanescas takes great relevance. It
is unfortunate that we only know the authors of six of the texts in the sixty-one pieces of
the collection. Several of the pieces in the collection are a lo divino transcriptions of
earlier secular pieces by Guerrero himself. In these a lo divino versions (a form of
contrafacta), a piece that originally had a secular text gets a reworked text that is a
variation of the original. In some cases we only know the creator of the original profane
text and not the author of the a lo divino transcription.
The authors of the texts of Guerreros collection are not mentioned in the
Venetian publication. Modern scholars have identified some of the authors by finding
concordances with other sources, but unfortunately, we still do not know the vast
majority of the authors of the pieces in the collection. The conjecture that maybe

55
Guerrero himself wrote some of the originals or, perhaps, the a lo divino versions remains
unproven.
It is unfortunate too, that none of the studies that analyze this collection touch on
the subject of authorship of the poems. As we have seen, several poets following the
Italian tendencies introduced by Boscn and Garcilaso wrote spiritual poetry in sixteenthcentury Spain. The five identified authors of the Canciones y villanescas espirituales are
all renowned poets: Lope de Vega, Gutierre de Cetina, Gregorio Silvestre, Garcilaso de la
Vega, and Baltasar de Alczar. None of them was exclusively dedicated to spiritual
poetry.
In regards to the poems by as yet unidentified authors, one can speculate that
these came from sources parallel to those used in Italian or German spiritual madrigals.
Darbords study offers some light on authors or sources known for their spiritual poetry
that could be related to Guerreros collection.5 Spiritual religious poetry is heavily
represented in lyric cancioneros that flourished under Charles V. These cancioneros
collected poems either by a single author or by a selection of renowned poets that were
suitable for musical setting. Examples of these are the Cancionero general, the
Cancionero espiritual of Valladolid, an unpublished cancionero of Cabrera, and the lyric
poetry collections of Cristbal de Castillejo and Sebastin Horozco. Although the
unidentified poems in Guerreros collection do not come from these cancioneros, perhaps
the sources may be non-extant ones. Guerreros texts certainly share the same
characteristics of the poetry of these lyric and spiritual collections.

Darbord. La posie religieuse espagnole.

56
Francisco de Castilla, lvar Gmez de Ciudad Real, and Jorge de Montemayor
were major figures in the field of spiritual, moral, and didactic poetry during the time of
Guerreros compositional activities. Montemayor wrote prose and poetry, not only in the
older Spanish style (using eight-syllable verse lines) but also in the new Italianate style
(mostly eleven-syllable verse lines). His output includes a Cancionero espiritual, a
number of autos sacramentales, and La passion de Christo, all in the older style. In
addition, he wrote several psalms, homilies, and sonnets in the new Italianate style.
It is possible that figures such as Montemayor or any of his contemporaries and
pupils could have been the authors of some of poetry in Guerreros collection. In fact,
Gregorio Silvestre, author of No. 10 Plugiera a Dios, one of the penitential pieces in the
collection, is one of Montemayors most renowned contemporaries. Nonetheless, only
six concordances have been made between Guerreros collection and all the extant
sources of this kind. Only if new sources surface we might find the poets for the rest of
the collection.

3.3 Religious Poetry and its Function


As we have mentioned, Michel Darbord is among the most important scholars in
the field of Spanish spiritual and religious poetry of the Renaissance. Darbords book La
posie religieuse espagnole des rois catholiques Philippe II6 (1965) is an excellent
study that covers subjects, works, and authors from mid-fifteenth century to the end of

6

Michel Darbord. La posie rligieuse espagnole des rois catholiques Philippe II. (Paris: Centre
de Recherches de lInstitut dtudes Hispaniques,1965).

57
the sixteenth century in chronological order. As we have seen in previous sections of this
chapter, Darbords is a descriptive study that serves very well as an introduction to the
authors and works that conform the body of religious poetry in Renaissance Spain. It is
also an excellent source of reference material for anybody interested in this matter.
Darbords study, however, does not discuss in depth the function of this body of poetry.
On the other hand, Bruce Wardroppers several studies address both secular and
religious Spanish poetry and plays, as well as Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque
works, providing a wider context for the examination of spiritual and religious poetry.
His article La poesa religiosa del Siglo de Oro7 is one of the few studies that clearly
discusses the function and techniques of Spanish religious poetry of the Golden Age. It is
also probably the only study that has clarified the use of epithets such as religious,
sacred, divine, spiritual, and devout, attached to this poetry. The present study
follows Wardroppers classification of religious poetry into seven categories, three of
which pertain to the poetry found in Guerreros penitential pieces. It also follows
Wardroppers discussion of the techniques used in this body of repertoire.8
Starting from the least spiritually intense and growing towards the most mystical
examples, Wardropper categorizes seven types of religious poetry according to function.
1. Catechizing poetry, which is mostly didactic in content.
2. Occasional poetry, targeted to religious festivities.

7
8

Bruce W. Wardropper. La poesa religiosa del Siglo de Oro, Edad de Oro 4 (1985): 195-210.

The present study uses both the article cited in footnote 7 as well as Wardroppers previous
book: Bruce W. Wardropper. Historia de la poesa lrica a lo divino en la cristiandad occidental. (Madrid:
Revista de Occidente, 1958).

58
3. Circumstantial poetry, for extraordinary religious activities.
4. Penitential poetry.
5. Meditative poetry.
6. Devout poetry.
7. Mystic poetry.
The collection of Canciones y villanescas espirituales as a whole includes all of
these types. However, the nine pieces in the collection that are the subject of the present
study represent only three of Wardroppers categories: catechizing, penitential, and
meditative (see Table 3.1).
Table 3.1 Types of poetry according to function in Canciones y villanescas espirituales
Type
Piece
Catechizing poetry
No. 12 Si del jardn del ielo soberano
Penitential poetry
No. 1 Quandos miro mi Dios
Penitential poetry
No. 11 Mi ofensas grande
Penitential poetry
No. 34 Ojos claros serenos
Penitential poetry
No. 39 Qu te dar, Seor
Penitential poetry
No. 54 Si tus penas
Meditative poetry
No. 10 Plugiera a Dios
Meditative poetry
No. 3 Baxme mi descuydo
Meditative poetry (?)
No. 41 Acaba de matarme
Type of poetry according to Wardroppers classification.

There is only one example of a catechizing text in the penitential pieces of the
collection: No. 12 Si del jardn del ielo.9 According to Wardropper, a catechizing text
addresses the reader as an individual person, to instruct in one or several elements of the
Catholic faith, and to inculcate a dogma or article of faith. As a subgenre of religious
poetry, its attitude is purely didactic and almost devoid of religious emotion.10 Si del

9

See Appendix 1 for complete texts and translations.

10

Wardropper. La poesa religiosa, 196.

59
jardn del ielo tells the reader to repent, to avoid worldly pleasure, and to seek the
intercession of the Virgin to win redemption. It is not, however, devoid of emotion.
Instead, it is a very lyric text, full of images and sensations. It does inculcate two very
important articles of faith: penitence and the interceding figure of the Virgin Mary.
Establishing the subtle but significant difference between penitential and
meditative poetry as categorized by Wardropper helps define the types of pieces with
penitential texts in Canciones y villanescas espirituales. Wardropper states that
penitential poetry is an act of contrition that is poeticized, generally followed by an
expression of hope that God will forgive the sinner poet. Naturally, the poet directs his
work to God, but the poetic voice pre-supposes also the voluntary participation of the
reader, who is also a sinner.11 Meditative poetry, on the other hand is principally
directed to the poet himself. To compose poetic meditations supposes an act of devotion
disciplined by literary creation; the objective of meditative poetry is to organize and
reform spiritual life.12 In summary, the difference between penitential and meditative
poetry lies in the person to whom the poem is directed. In penitential poetry, the poem is
directed to God in a sort of unidirectional dialogue, as a straight act of contrition, asking
for the forgiveness of sins. In meditative poetry, the poem is directed to the poet himself,
reflecting on his own spiritual life and in how to amend it.
As may be seen in Table 3.1, there are five pieces which are directly addressed to
God, and thus can be categorized as penitential in attitude: No.1 Quandos miro mi

11

Bruce W. Wardropper. La poesa religiosa del siglo de oro, in Edad de Oro 4 (Spring 1985):
198. Translation by the author.
12

Ibid.

60
Dios, No. 11 Mi ofensas grande, No. 34 Ojos claros, serenos, No. 39 Qu te dar,
Seor, and No. 54 Si tus penas. There are two clearly meditative texts, addressed to
oneself: No. 3 Baxme mi descuydo and No. 10 Plugiera a Dios. Finally, No. 41
Acaba de matarme is a special case because it is addressed to an unidentified third
person, probably a godly figure, in a meditative manner. The ambivalence of No. 41 in
attitude and style will be discussed later in this chapter, as this ambivalence seems to be
the result of a not very successful a lo divino transcription. Although the difference in
poetic voice is important between penitential, meditative, and moral texts, musical
settings do not differ according to each type of text and this does not seem to be a criteria
for Guerrero to choose a different musical style.

3.4 Techniques and Characteristics of Spiritual Poetry


Especially important for the present study of penitential texts is, of course, the
practice of divinization of learned love poetry, which will be discussed at length below.
The practice transformed an already existing secular piece into a work of religious or
spiritual character. As we have seen, in Spain this phenomenon was referred as a lo
divino which literally translates as in the sacred manner. Other important practices
that must be considered are the strong emphasis on the Passion story as subject matter;
the extensive use of realism and symbolism, with frequent approximation of poetry to
painting; and the influence of meditation and spiritual exercises. Other characteristics to
be noted in the whole of Guerreros collection are the divinization of traditional popular

61
songs, the use of everyday analogies to explain religious mysteries and dogmas, and the
abundant use of witty remarks.

3.4.a A lo divino transcriptions: The divinization of learned love poetry.


The divinization of both popular and learned secular poetry was a common
phenomenon in Spain and all throughout Europe. The process of divinization of a poem
usually involved the change of a few words, while maintaining the structure and rhyme
scheme of the original setting. The collection of Canciones y villanescas espirituales
includes several pieces that originally had secular texts and which received a new a lo
divino text for the Venetian publication of 1589. The generic term for the technique of
exchanging texts is known as contrafactum13 and these pieces are indeed contrafacta of
Guerreros own earlier secular pieces. Many of the contrafacta pieces of the collection
are pieces that originally had lyric love texts, which were replaced with penitential texts.
It is fascinating to observe how a love piece can be divinized into a penitential
piece, especially when the music remains exactly the same. Since the end of the sixteenth
century saw a growing interest in the direct relationship between text and music, it is
interesting as well as puzzling to observe their relationship in a piece that was originally
conceived with a love text in mind, but was later published with a penitential one.
Understanding the deeper layers of the a lo divino phenomenon will help to explain what
seems to be an impossible contradiction.

13

In vocal music, the substitution of one text for another without substantial change to the
music. Robert Falck and Martin Picker. "Contrafactum," Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/06361 (accessed January 31, 2010).

62
Besides Bruce Wardropper, the a lo divino phenomenon in Spain has been studied
more recently by John Crosbie14. Both studies complement each other in terms of the
history of the phenomenon in Spain, and in the discussion of the correct application and
understanding of the term a lo divino in various authors, times, and places. However,
Wardroppers study begins his study of the divinization process with the intimate
relationship that exists between divine and human love:
What is important for those who study contrafacta ... is that a human way of
conceiving affective relationships between the soul and God and between God
and the church has been established since the origins of Christianity. From the
moment that the divine mystery is conceived in human terms, the appropriation of
love songs with religious purposes was unavoidable.15

This intimate equivalence between human and divine love is at the core of
devotion, which itself can be sacred or secular.16 The concept of an intimate relationship
between human and divine love at the core of sacred devotion and religious activities is

14 John Crosbie. A lo divino Lyric Poetry: An Alternative View. University of Durham, 1989.
15

Bruce W. Wardropper. Historia de la poesa lrica a lo divino en la Cristiandad occidental.


(Madrid: Revista de Occidente, 1958), 68. Translation by the author.
16

The issue of devotion in the Iberian world and the relevance that it has in this collection is
beyond the scope of this document for it encompasses several different issues and genres. It is however of
great importance as these pieces can perhaps considered devotional in nature and function. A few volumes
and articles about devotional music in Spain and Europe have appeared recently. The devotional nature of
villancico is studied in Tess Knighton and Alvaro Torrente, eds. Devotional Music in the Iberian World,
1450-1800: the villancico and related genres. (Aldershot, England: Ashgate, 2007). The development of
motets in the Court of the Catholic Kings is studied in Tess Knighton. Devotional Piety and Musical
Developments at the Court of Ferdinand and Isabella, Iberian Discoveries Vol. 0
http://www2.rhbnc.ac.uk/Music/ILM/ID/Vol_0/Art1/twk.html (accessed June 13, 2009). A general study of
sacred songs and oratorios in Europe is discussed in Robert L. Kendrik Devotion, piety and
commemoration: sacred songs and oratorios, The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-century Music Tim
Carter and John Butt eds. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008). The subject of devotional music
in Munich and the music of Orlando di Lasso is studied in Alexander J. Fisher. Per la mia particolare
devotione: Orlando di Lassos Lagrime di San Pietro and Catholic Spirituality in Counter-Reformation
Munich, Journal of the Royal Music Association 132 no. 2 (2007): 167-220. The relationship between the
growth of sacred polyphony and devotional services at about 1500 is discussed in Howard Mayer Brown.
The Mirror of Mans Salvation: Music in Devotional Life about 1500, Renaissance Quarterly 43 no. 4
(1990): 744-773.Unfortunately the issue of madrigals in devotional life in Spain has not yet been studied.

63
what makes possible contrafacta like Ojos claros, serenos and Si tus penas. Only
with this underlying relationship it is possible to understand how Guerrero could even
think of adding a penitential text to music conceived for lyric love poetry.
The ultimate goal of penitential and meditative poetry is to induce the sinner to
conversion through the contemplation and reflection of the suffering and mysteries of
redemption. Darbord explains that the content of religious poetry in Renaissance Spain is
centered in evangelical texts, and, above all, in the Passion story and in Passion-related
meditations or exclamations. The goal is to induce the conversion of the sinner by
contemplating Christs agony and the mysteries of redemption.17 In order to do this,
Spanish religious poetry of the time is characterized by two things that advance this
objective: realism and symbolism.

3.4.b. Passion story. Poetry and painting. Realism and symbolism.


Spanish religious poetry is marked by a dramatic and bloody depiction of the
Passion story, with a realism that intends to produce piety and horror. Symbolism is
centered as well in the Passion story, but mostly in the symbol of the cross as the tree of
life and source of health. The cross is the instrument of redemption. As it was seen in
Chapter 1, both the cross and Jesus blood are essential elements in the depictions of
Passion scenes of penitential activities in Seville especially since the sixteenth century.
These images are frequently present in the penitential texts of Guerreros following
pieces:

17

Wardropper. Historia de la poesa lrica, 15.

64
No. 1
Quandos miro mi Dios, damor herido
Y por mi culpa en una cruz clavado
Siento lo ques haveros ofendido
y lo que redemirme os costado

When I see you, my God, wounded by love


and nailed to the cross for my sins,
I understand what is to have offended you
and what it has cost you to redeem me

No. 11
Tu cruz, tu muerte y sangre te presento.
O ricas prendas de la pobre gente!

Your cross, your death, and blood I offer to you


Oh riches tokens of the poor people!

No. 41
a Christon cruz clavado,
por dar remedio y fin a mi pecado

to Christ nailed on the cross,


in order to heal and end my sin

In addition to the emphasis on Christs Passion, his blood and the cross, there are
other recurrent topics in Spanish Renaissance religious poetry of the time, all directly
related to the penitential subject. In order to induce contrition and the transformation of
life there is emphasis on the topics of capital sins, vices and virtues, acts of mercy, and
the deceit for earthly life.
The use of realism and symbolism is strongly tied to the close relationship that
existed between poetry and painting. Wardropper explains how:
Since 1947 (if not before) Emilio Orozco Daz, in a series of important works, has
been teaching us the close connection that exists between poetry and painting in
the Baroque period. Religious poets do not hesitate to exploit the techniques of
painters. In 1964 Spitzer, in an article about the sonnet Al triunfo de Judit by
Lope, meticulously discovered the stylistic relations between Lopes portrait, the
Medieval and Renaissance iconographic traditions, and some canvases of
Magnasco and Rubens. The art of all Baroque poets is essentially ... pictoric.
But, the Spanish poet of the time who wanted to follow painting as an art, had to
imitate paintings that were mostly religious.18


18

Wardropper. La poesa religiosa, 206. Translation by the author.

65
There is a close connection between penitential poetry and painting in the pieces
in Guerreros collection. First, there is abundant use of pictorial images in all the
penitential texts. Second, Guerrero was part of the humanist circle of Francisco Pacheco,
one of the most important painters of Seville at the time. Pacheco is widely known as the
teacher of Diego Velsquez and as the author of Arte de la pintura (1649), a treatise of
Spanish painting of late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Pacheco's school
emphasized the academically correct representation of religious subjects. Third, taking a
look at the paintings and sculpture of Pacheco in the Seville Cathedral, there are
outstanding similarities between some of the madrigal texts and some artistic
representations. This is the case of Ojos claros, serenos, which text evokes the scene of
Peters denial.
Ojos claros, serenos,
que vuestro apstol Pedro an ofendido,
mirad y reparad lo que perdido.
Si, atado fuertemente,
queris sufrir por mi ser aotado,
no me miris ayrado,
porque no parezcis menos clemente;
pues lloro amargamente,
bolved, ojos serenos,
y, pues mors por m, miradme al menos.

Clear, serene eyes,


that your apostle Peter offended,
gaze upon and repair that which I have lost.
If, strongly tied,
you wish to suffer for me to be whipped,
do not look upon me with anger,
because you do not appear less clement;
since I weep bitterly,
turn, serene eyes,
and, since you die for me, at least look at me.19

There is an altarpiece in the Seville Cathedral by Alejo Fernndez, titled


Negacin de San Pedro20 (Figure 1) that depicts exactly the same scene as Guerreros
madrigal. Right after the moment of Peters denial, Christ is seen tied to a column, with

19
20

Translation by Rosanne Cecilia King.

Alejo Fernndez (c. 1475 - 1545) was a Spanish painter of the sixteenth century best known for
his portrait of Christopher Columbus painted between 1505 and 1536. His style combines Flemish and
Italianate influences. Several of his paintings are altarpieces at the Seville Cathedral.

66
his eyes closed or looking downward to the ground. Peter is portrayed kneeling in front of
this image, in a silent request to Christ to forgive him, or, to at least look back at him,
which is the text of Guerreros piece. Although Fernndez was not part of Pachecos
circle, it is obvious that Guerrero knew this piece as it stands as the altarpiece of the
cathedral where Guerrero worked his entire life.
Figure 1. Negacin de San Pedro. Retablo de la piedad (1527-1528). Alejo Fernndez. 21

Another example of iconography related to the poetry of Guerreros collection is


the Crucificado de la Clemencia (Figure 2), a wooden representation of Christ crucified

21

Saint Peters Denial (1527-1528). Altarpiece of the Mercy inside the Seville Cathedral. Taken
from Angulo Iiguez. La Catedral de Sevilla. Preface by Fernando Chueca Goitia. Photos by Luis Arenas
Ladislao and Francisco Arenas Peuela. (Sevilla: Guadalquivir, 1991), Figure 360.

67
that presides over the Sacristy of the Chalices in Sevilles Cathedral. Juan Martnez
Montas created the body of this crucified Christ, and the face was carved and painted
by Francisco Pacheco. Although the piece was created after Guerrero died, this
representation of Christ in the cross is considered to be an epitome of the iconography of
the Council of Trent, full of mannerist and proto-Baroque influences of late sixteenth
century,22 and clearly within the same context in which Guerrero conceived his pieces. In
this depiction, Christs eyes are open, but again looking downward. One could very well
imagine the narrator of Ojos claros, serenos, or Lope de Vega himself with his text Si
tus penas, kneeling in front of a crucified Christ like this one, asking Christ for
forgiveness after looking at his crown of thorns, the blood on his face, and intense
expression of suffering for the peoples sins.
Si tus penas no pruevo, o Jess mo,
vivo triste y penado.
Hireme, pues el alma ya te dado.
Y, si este don me hizieres,
mi Dios, claro ver que bien me quieres.

If I do not taste your sorrows, my Jesus,


I live sad and aggrieved.
Wound me, since I have already given you my soul.
And, if you grant me this gift,
my God, I will clearly see how much you love me.23

Lope de Vega
Soliloquios amorosos de un alma a Dios


22

Angulo Iiguez. La Catedral de Sevilla. Preface by Fernando Chueca Goitia. Photos by Luis
Arenas Ladislao and Francisco Arenas Peuela. (Sevilla: Guadalquivir, 1991), 155.
23

Ibid.

68
Figure 2. Crucificado de la Clemencia (1603). Sacrista de los Clices.
Juan Martnez Montas and Francisco Pacheco.24


24

Crucified of the Clemency. Sacristy of the Chalices. Juan Martnez Montas and Francisco
Pacheco. Taken from Angulo Iiguez. La Catedral de Sevilla. Preface by Fernando Chueca Goitia. Photos
by Luis Arenas Ladislao and Francisco Arenas Peuela. (Sevilla: Guadalquivir, 1991), Figure 272.

69
3.4.c Influence of meditation and spiritual exercises
Catholic penitence consists of a systematic examination of the conscience
mediated by the ecclesiastical institution, and preferably assisted by different books of
prayers, books of meditations, and guided spiritual exercises. This systematic order of
activities were known to all people, and not only shaped the religious activities
themselves, but also influenced how artists conceived and shaped their poetry, music,
paintings, sculpture, etc. It also influenced the way in which contemporary performers
and listeners understood and contextualized all artistic pieces related to penitence.
Especially important for the case of Renaissance Spain are two books that shaped
how Catholics understood and executed the act of penitence: the Spiritual Exercises
(1548) by Ignatius of Loyola and the Book of Prayer and Meditation (1554) by Luis de
Granada. These two books compiled the tradition of meditation that existed in
Christianity since the Middle Ages and directed it towards the Tridentine goal of selfreform, discipline, and pious behavior.
One of first to discuss the relationship between the practice of spiritual exercises,
penitence, and music is Alexander J. Fisher, in his article about Orlande de Lassuss
Lagrime.25 Fisher focuses on meditation, prayer, and spiritual exercises as prescribed by
Ignatius of Loyola and Luis de Granada, and how these concepts influenced music such
as Lassos masterpiece. As Fisher explains, meditation was a regular activity since the
Middle Ages, and usually consisted of three stages, namely, a first stage of purgation,

25

Alexander J. Fischer. Per mia particolare devotione: Orlando di Lassos Lagrime di San
Pietro and Catholic Spirituality in Counter-Reformation Munich, Journal of the Royal Musical
Association 132 no. 2 (January 2007): 167220. All the discussion about meditation and spiritual exercises
is based in this article.

70
involving acknowledgment and purgation of sin; a second stage of illumination, where
consisting of an intellectual rumination about sin; and a final stage of uniona mystical
joining with God.26
During the sixteenth century, due to the Counter-Reformation and its prosecution
of heresies, meditation for laymen and clergy outside of monastic walls focused on
purgation and illumination, and avoided the stage of mystic union with God. The writings
of both Ignatius and Luis de Granada are addressed to this specific target. In contrast, the
works of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, developed within monastic walls,
focused much more on the mystical contemplation and union with the divine. This
mysticism is very much studied today, but in the sixteenth century it had less influence in
the way in which ordinary people carried their penitential activities.
Understanding the general principles of conception and organization of the
meditation books of Ignatius and Luis de Granada permits an insight into the structure of
penitential poetry as well as their function within the general practice of penitence.
Although both authors agree in the stages of meditation (purgation, illumination), they
both follow different ways to achieve the goal of penitence. Granadas method consists of
the following stages:
-

Make an effort to visualize the circumstances of sin

Make a structured analysis of the committed sin

Analyze the causes and effects of sin on the soul


26

Ibid., 172.

71
-

Make a resolution to overcome sinfulness and to embrace the mystery of


redemption27

As it will be seen in the analysis of the penitential texts of Guerreros songs,


Granadas influence can be seen in the form of penitential poetry. Penitential poems
usually start with a couple of verse lines that emphasize the visualization of sin through
the use of strong vivid images. Then there are a couple of verse lines that show the effects
of sin on the soul. For the end there is either a final statement that manifests the sinners
resolution to overcome sin, or a verse line in which there is reassurance that after
confession and repentance of sins, there will be redemption.
In addition to the format that Granada prescribes, it is also useful to note
Ignatiuss method for his Spiritual Exercises, which can also be seen in the madrigalian
poetry of Guerreros pieces. In terms of the exercises content, Ignatius prescribes a first
week dedicated to the consideration of sin and damnation as the first stage of purgation
and preparation; and then three weeks of meditations about Christs life, Passion, and
resurrection. These spiritual exercises, as prescribed by Ignatius, follow a general twofold form:
-

Stage of overcoming of the self, achieved through intellectual abstraction and


subjective emotion (composition and analysis)

Dialogue between the penitent and God28


27
28

Ibid., 171.

Ibid., 172. This dialogue can be in either colloquy or soliloquy form. A colloquy is a
conversation a dialogue between two persons. A soliloquy is an instance of talking to or conversing with
oneself, or of uttering one's thoughts aloud without addressing any person. (Oxford English Dictionary)

72
Three characteristics stand out in relationship to the analysis of poetry and music:
intellectual abstraction, subjective emotion, and dialogue between penitent and God.
These three characteristics are always found in penitential poetry of the time. As it will be
seen in the discussion of each individual penitential poem of the Villanescas y canciones
espirituales, there is always an intellectual and sophisticated abstraction of the sin
committed, followed by a vivid emotional image that seeks to produce an affective
response in order to get to a firm resolve. Poems are always shaped in the form of a
unidirectional dialogue between the penitent and God, or a monologue of the
poet/penitent itself.
It is significant that the meditation should end with an implied dialogue or
monologue as a petition from the penitent to God, especially because, as both Ignatius
and Luis de Granada prescribe, the petition must be adapted to the matter under
consideration. For instance, in meditating about the Passion, the sinner must ask for grief,
tears, and suffering to emulate the same pains that Christ suffered.29 As it will be seen,
the poets of Guerreros pieces closely follow this guideline.
Petitions in the form of a unidirectional dialogue stand as a suitable medium for
poets to express personal and vivid emotions within the context of Christian humanism.
They also can serve as colloquies themselves. Fisher explains that an Ignatian colloquy
is the climax of the meditation and is a product of emotional engagement, which in turn
arises not from the intellectual abstraction but from an act of will.30 Although only
speculation, it is possible that these musical pieces by themselves could serve as the

29

Ibid., 175.

30

Ibid., 176.

73
musical end of a meditation, enhancing the emotional engagement of the concept with the
power of poetry and music. This is the case, for instance, of No. 54 Si tus penas. The
spiritual text of this song is by Lope de Vega and it actually appears as a song text at the
end of his Seventh Soliloquy from Soliloquios amorosos de un alma a Dios. (See
Appendix 2 for the entire meditation fragment before the song).

3.5 Poetic Forms and Versification


Strongly related to the techniques and characteristics of religious Spanish poetry
is the issue of poetic construction, namely strophes and versification. Specific forms were
used for specific subjects and functions and this can enlighten our perception about
performance context of Guerreros collection. In addition, poetic form is closely related
to and usually dictates musical form. Thus this section will be closely related to the
different discussions about musical form that will take place in Chapter 4.
Spanish poetry underwent a drastic change halfway through the sixteenth century.
As with all the arts, the influence of Italian aesthetic trends introduced by Juan Boscn
and Garcilaso de la Vega changed the use of language, forms, and subjects in poetry.
Whereas traditional Spanish poetry was constructed in verse lines of eight-syllables, the
new Italianate verse line was constructed in verse lines of seven and eleven syllables. In
the same way, the preference for certain types of strophes changed. The second half of
the sixteenth century witnessed an increase in use of Italianate forms such as the sonnet,
the madrigal, and the ottava rima (which became octava real in Spain). At the same time,

74
traditional forms such as the villancico continued to be popular but became heavily
influenced by the new Italianate style.
The collection of Canciones y villanescas espirituales contains two types of
genres: canciones (songs in madrigal style) and villanescas (villancicos). Each genre is
associated with a type of text. Whereas villanescas are related to festive, uplifting, and
devotional subjects related to Christmas, Corpus Christi, and Marian celebrations;
cancin is the chosen genre for moral, penitential, and elegiac subjects related to
penitential seasons, as well as topics of death and lamentations.
Pieces in villancico form (i.e. villanescas) represent the traditional Spanish
vernacular musical and poetic form that alternates coplas (stanzas) with an estribillo
(refrain) in a mostly homophonic and simple style.
General villancico form:
Estribillo Copla 1 Estribillo Copla 2 Estribillo Copla n - Estribillo

Pieces in madrigal style (those called canciones) represent the appearance of the
Italian genre in Spain in the time of Guerreros generation, and mostly use the new
Italianate style of seven- and eleven-syllable verse lines either in octava real, sonnet or
madrigal form.
All the penitential pieces that will be analyzed in this document are canciones and
they are in octava real, sonnet or madrigal form as explained in Table 3.2. There are no
penitential pieces in villancico form as this form was used for lighter, more popular, and
festive texts. Conversely, the pieces in the collection of Canciones y villanescas
espirituales related to Christmas and Marian subjects are all in villancico form.

75
The octava real is a strophe of eight 11-syllable verse lines. The first six verse
lines have paired rhyme, and the last two verse lines have the same consonant rhyme
(ABABABCC). It is also known as octava rima for its relationship with the Italian ottava
rima, or octava heroica for its common treatment of heroic, sacred, or serious subjects.
No. 1 in the collection, Quandos miro mi Dios is the only octava real in the series that
has a penitential text.
The sonnet is one of the most important poetic forms in the collection. It is the
most traditional Petrarchan form of poetry and one of the most cultivated forms in
learned and high devotional poetry. A sonnet is a short poem of fourteen verse lines
arranged into two quartets and two terzets. Spanish sonnets of the Renaissance were
written in hendecasyllables and usually use a strict rhyme scheme for the first two
quartets: ABBA:ABBA. The rhyme scheme of the two terzets is somewhat free, but three
variants are the most common: CDE:CDE, CDC:EFE, or CDC:DCD. Two of the most
emotional pieces with penitential texts in the collection are composed in sonnet form, No.
10 Plugiera a Dios and No. 11 Mi ofensas grande.
By far, the most abundant poetic form in the collection of Canciones y villanescas
espirituales is the madrigal. The madrigal is a short composition of freely arranged
seven- and eleven-syllable verse lines. The subject matter of a madrigal is usually lyric,
soft, and delicate. Four out of the five penitential pieces written in madrigal form are a lo
divino versions of love madrigals (Nos. 3, 34, 41, and 54) which clearly shows the
association of the madrigal form to lyric secular poetry.

76
Table 3.2 Poetic forms in the penitential pieces of Canciones y villanescas espirituales
Poetic form
Piece
Octava real No. 1 Quandos miro mi Dios
Sonnet
No. 10 Plugiera a Dios
Sonnet
No. 11 Mi ofensas grande,
salol tormento

# of verse
lines
Rhyme scheme*
8
ABABABCC
14
ABBA ABBA CDE CDE
14
ABBA ABBA CDC EFE

Madrigal
Madrigal

No. 3 Baxme mi descuydo


No. 12 Si del jardn del ielo
soberano

8
12

ABbACCDD
ABb AAb CDD ECC

Madrigal
Madrigal
Madrigal
---

No. 34 Ojos claros, serenos


No. 41 Acaba de matarme
No. 54 Si tus penas no pruevo
No. 39 Qu te dar, Seor

10
8
5
16 (8+8)

aBB cDd CcaA


AbbacbdD
AbbcC
ABCC DEFF GHII JKLL

* Capital letters are 11-syllable verse lines, lower-case are 7-syllable verse lines.

3.6 Analysis of Individual Texts


No. 1 Quandos miro mi Dios, damor herido (Anonymous)
There is only one penitential piece in octava real form, but it is the first piece of
the collection, the piece that sets the tone for the entire collection. Because an octava real
is the form that is used for heroic, sacred, or serious subjects, choosing to open the
collection with an octava real represents a stance to present it as a serious and
appropriate collection of spiritual music, not a frivolous collection of lyric amorous
songs.
Spanish
Quandos miro mi Dios, damor herido
y por mi culpa en una cruz clavado
siento lo ques haveros ofendido
y lo que redemirme os costado;

English translation31
When I see you, my God, wounded by love
and nailed to the cross for my sins,
I understand what it is to have offended you
and what it has cost you to redeem me;


31

All the English translations of the poems used in this document are by Rosanne Cecilia King
with minor alterations by the author.

77
y hallndome con pecho endureido
ms que piedra, con piedra soy forado
a quebrantarle, y aunque se defienda,
sacar un fuego quen el alma prenda.

and finding myself with heart hardened


more than stone, with stone I am compelled
to break my heart, and even though it would defend itself,
to start a fire that would take root in my soul

The opening piece of the collection favors the poetic form of the spiritual
madrigal above a spiritual villancicothe most traditional but also the most popularoriented Spanish genre. In Renaissance poetry, content was closely linked to form;
specific contents required suitable poetic garbs. Texts directed to God or to the King, or
texts of certain gravitas were to be written in highly cultured poetic types. On the other
hand, texts with a worldlier subject could, and should be written in more familiar poetic
types.
Quandos miro mi Dios is a text that directly addresses Christ in the Passion
scene. It is a penitential text of the most serious quality. In this case, the suitable poetic
genre is an octava real, a stanza of Italian origin (ottava rima) established in Spain during
the early Renaissance by Garcilaso de la Vega and Juan Boscn, who introduced Italian
Petrarchan poetry in the poetic circles of Spain. As it was mentioned before, an octava
real consists of eight 11-syllable verse lines in ABABABCC design, and is usually
associated with highly moral subjects, epic or sacred.
There are several characteristics associated with the octava real that have
important implications to the penitential subject of this piece. One is that many authors
advocated the use of a final important verse line, a final statement that left a strong

78
impression in the person that read it32. In the case of Quandos miro mi Dios the final
verse line (to start a fire that would take root in my soul, or to start a fire that would
ignite my soul) is the most important verse line for penitential purposes. After
contemplating the pains of Christ during the Passion, the penitent narrator finally decides
to take action; he or she has to break his or her hardened heart and let it catch the fire of
love for Christ and embrace a good life.
Other authors also advocated that an octava real should make extensive use of
epithets. This particular poem doses not use epithets and it uses only one adjective.
Renaissance authors considered epithets and adjectives an important medium, not only to
decorate the verse line but also to express the affects33. Quandos miro mi Dios is a
surprisingly plain poem that makes use of past participles instead of adjectives within a
very narrow range of polarities. The only adjective appears in verse line 5 pecho
endurecido (hardened heart) and is intended to rhyme with participles such as
herido, clavado, and forzado (wounded, nailed, forced) all of which make direct
references to the harrowing pains of Jesus Passion. The use of these devices shows that
the most important concept in this poem is the proud nature of the sinner. The narrator
has had a hard heart and only by contemplating Christ in the cross and his suffering he or
she will be able to soften his or her heart. The absence of a wider range of adjectives or

32

Juan Daz de Rengifo explains in his Arte potica espaola that poets han de rematar la octava
con alguna sentencia, o dicho que dexe con sabor, y gusto al que la lee. (Chapter LIV, 59). Quoted in
Catalina Palomares y Jos Palomares, La Octava real y la pica renacentista espaola. Notas para su
estudio, Revista electrnica Lemir 8 (2004). http://parnaseo.uv.es/lemir/Revista/Revista8/Palomares/
Epicarenacentista.htm (accessed October 6, 2009).
33

Usa en ella de muchos eptetos/ que al verso dan dulzura y hermosean,/ y por l se expresan los
afetos. Juan de la Cueva. Ejemplar potico: epstola III vv.229-234. Quoted in Catalina Palomares y Jos
Palomares, La Octava real y la pica renacentista espaola. Notas para su estudio, Revista electrnica
Lemir 8 (2004). http://parnaseo.uv.es/lemir/Revista/Revista8/Palomares/Epicarenacentista.htm (accessed
October 6, 2009).

79
epithets indicates the narrowness of penitence and contrition, as opposed to joy, selfgratification, and vain excess. The poem focuses on the contemplation of the suffering of
Christ in the cross with intense austerity.34
Another important characteristic of octava real and of Spanish poetry of the time
in general is the use of alliteration. In this poem there is alliteration in a very crucial verse
line: y por mi culpa en una cruz clavado (and nailed to the cross for my sins). Three
of the most important words for penitence (culpa, cruz, clavado; guilt, cross, nailed) are
all linked by the use of the same initial letter (c) making it a very sonorous and therefore
memorable a verse line. This verse line is also the most important in terms of contrition
and moral teaching. It is because of the sinners fault that Christ is nailed to the cross. It
drives the reader towards the clear and direct conclusion that we should be sorrowful for
our sins, and we must rectify our life.
In regards to realism and symbolism, as Darbord explained, this poem uses the
symbol of the cross (por mi culpa en una cruz clavado) as the mean of salvation. This
poem also depicts the iluminista characteristics of the time (sacar un fuego quen el
alma prenda, to start a fire that would take root in my soul) by using the image of fire
as the passion of the soul, and as an igniting element towards contrition and
reconciliation.
Some other elements characteristic of the octava real should be mentioned,
including the importance of avoiding vowel collisions, the propriety or impropriety of

34

It is interesting to compare this austerity in the use of language, as well as the austerity in the
musical rhetoric, with the austerity of Crucifixion scenes of Spanish painters of the time such as El Greco
(1541-1614), Jos de Ribera (1591 1652), and Francisco de Zurbarn (1598-1664). Their Crucifixion
scenes are painted using a palette of blacks and sepias, in which the image of Christ in the cross is the only
lighted area in the canvas.

80
enjambment35, and the correct accentuation of syllables in each verse line. These issues
will be further considered when analyzing the music, but it is important to note that the
avoidance of colliding vowels gives a poem a very characteristic sound. Colliding vowels
provoke elisions more suitable to colloquial speech. Consequently, avoiding vowels
conveyed a very refined quality, and gave the verse line a very fluid line and sonority. In
this poem there are only two instances of vowel collision: in line two culpa en, and in
line four redemirme os.
The issue of enjambment was much discussed by authors of the time. Some
advocated its avoidance; others, mostly those influenced by Italian aesthetics, advocated
its use for the following reasons. Enjambment gave special refinement to the poem by
breaking the predictability of a full meaning in every single verse line, adding the beauty
of longer lines of sound and thought between verse lines. However, there is only one
instance of enjambment in this poem (between lines six and seven).
In terms of the relationship between spiritual penitential poetry and the act of
penitence and meditation, this poem shows several of the characteristics explained
before. Following the steps of Luis de Granada, it starts with a strong visual image,
seeing Christ wounded in the cross; it then shows the results and consequences of sin on
the soul (a hardened heart); and finally it ends with a strong resolution to overcome this
sinfulness and to embrace the mystery of redemption using the image of fire. The
objective is achieved through serious and austere expressive devices.


35

The continuation of the sense of a phrase beyond the end of a line of verse.

81
In terms of the Ignatian Spiritual exercises, the poem addresses the overcoming of
the self by a strong subjective emotion, the vivid image of Christ suffering in the cross
and the fact that the sinner has caused this suffering. Also following the Ignatian
directive, it is written as a unidirectional dialogue with God. This particular poem ends
with a subtle allusion to mysticism with the image of lighting the soul on fire in order to
embrace a good life and seek redemption. These final lines represent the final stage of
meditation, of union with God, but only with hints of mysticism, without the
exacerbations and strong images of Teresa of Avila or John of the Cross.
No. 3 Baxme mi descuydo (Anonymous)
This madrigal is an a lo divino transcription of an earlier anonymous text.

Spanish
original

Secular version
Baxsteme, Seora, a tal estado,
de lalta cumbre do me vi subido,
que, por mi mal, sido
para mayor dolor tan regalado
Otros suelen desir bien de su mal
y yo, de tu favor, pena mortal
pues, aun buelta, de afable, duro y fuerte,
te tengo de seguir hasta la muerte.

A lo divino version
Baxme mi descuydo a tal estado,
de lalta cumbre do me vi subido,
que, por mi mal, sido
del mundo engaador tan regalado
Otros suelen sacar bien de su mal
y yo, de su favor, pena mortal
pues, mostrndose afable, duro y fuerte,
me sigue por me dar amarga muerte.

English
translation

You lowered me, lady, to such a state,


My carelessness lowered me to such a state,
from the high summit where I saw myself
from the high summit where I saw myself raised,
raised,
thus, because of my evil,
that, because of my evil,
I have been rewarded for such great pain.
I have been thus rewarded by the deceptive world
Others are accustomed to deriving good from Others are used to prospering from their
their evil
evil
but I, from your favor, derive mortal pain;
and I, from his favor, mortal pain;
for, although you changed, from affable,
for, though appearing to be affable, hard and
hard and strong,
strong
I am obliged to follow you until death.
pursues me in order to give me bitter death.
Bold letters indicate the changes from the secular to the a lo divino version

This poem, especially in its spiritual version, seems to belong to the poetic
tradition that Wardropper categorizes as repudiation of error. In this type of poem, the

82
poet expresses regret for a youthful life dedicated to values he now recognizes to be
false.36 There is a series of poems by Garcilaso de la Vega, Sebastin de Crdoba, and
Lope de Vega, all of which belong to this tradition and which, surprisingly, have several
similarities in the wording and content of this spiritual version.
In the secular version, the poet is addressing his lady, and regrets his present low
state because of her unrequited love. In the spiritual version, the poet is not addressing
anybody but is in a spiritual meditation with himself. The poet reflects on his past
mistakes, and his ungratefulness for Christs gift of redemption.
As it can be seen in Table 3.3, the opening lines of the poem, as well as the
overall penitential meaning, greatly resemble three other poems of the same tradition.
Garcilasos sonnet is very similar in content and in the construction of the rhyme to the
secular version of Guerreros song. It portrays life as a road and the poet looking
backwards to it. It also uses conventional expressions such as to be killed for
unrequited love. Although Garcilasos text is a sonnet and the text of Guerreros
collection is a madrigal in eight verse lines, the consonantal rhyme of both poems is
astonishingly similar, both texts using the same word endings.
The poems by Sebastin de Crdoba and Lope de Vega, although not as similar in
form to the text of Guerreros piece, are very similar in content and probable function.
Crdobas poem is a spiritualization of Garcilasos sonnet. Instead of addressing the issue
of unrequited love, the poem becomes concerned with mans fall from divine grace and
Christian hope in redemption. This sonnet uses the idea of the hill of grace, just as it is

36

Wardropper. Spanish Poetry of the Golden Age, 47.

83
used in Baxme mi descuydo. In the same way, Lope de Vegas sonnet is similar to the
text of Guerreros piece for it is clearly a text of self-examination. It does not use explicit
images, and it is more a text of meditation about the fact that the only reward from living
in the world is mortal pain. In any case, the lyric verse lines of the secular versions of
Garcilasos sonnet and Guerreros secular piece become the grave, serious, and cultivated
verse lines typical of meditation poetry of the sixteenth and seventeenth century.

84
Table 3.3. Baxme mi descuydo: The poetic tradition of the repudiation of error
Anonymous
(In Guerreros secular version)
Baxsteme, Seora, a tal estado,
de lalta cumbre do me vi subido,
que, por mi mal, sido
para mayor dolor tan regalado
Otros suelen desir bien de su mal
y yo, de tu favor, pena mortal
pues, aun buelta, de afable, duro y fuerte,
te tengo de seguir hasta la muerte.

Anonymous
(In Guerreros spiritual version)
Baxme mi descuydo a tal estado,
de lalta cumbre do me vi subido,
que, por mi mal, sido
del mundo engaador tan regalado
Otros suelen sacar bien de su mal
y yo, de su favor, pena mortal
pues, mostrndose afable, duro y fuerte,
me sigue por me dar amarga muerte.

Texts of the secular and spiritual songs by Francisco Guerrero. The secular text is found in a manuscript
from Valladolid and in a choir book in Puebla Cathedral (Mexico)

Garcilaso de la Vega
(1501-1536)
Cuando me paro a contemplar mi estado
y a ver los pasos por do me ha trado,
hallo, segn por do anduve perdido,
que a mayor mal pudiera haber hallado;
mas cuando del camino est olvidado,
a tanto mal no s por do he venido;
s que me acabo, y ms he yo sentido
ver acabar conmigo mi cuidado.

Sebastin de Crdoba
(?1545 - ?1604)
Cuando me paro a contemplar mi estado
y a ver los pasos por do me ha trado,
hallo, segn que anduve tan perdido,
que hubiera merecido ser juzgado.
Bajando de la gracia en bajo estado
estaba de mis culpas tan herido
que quien me viera fuera conmovido
a me llamar con lstima cuitado

Yo acabar, que me entregu sin arte


Mas la esperanza me entreg sin arte
a quien sabr perderme y acabarme
a quien puede, mirndome, sanarme,
si quisiere, y an sabr querello;
y cierto como puede es el querello:
que pues mi voluntad puede matarme,
que pues la vida puso por librarme,
la suya, que no es tanto de mi parte,
y l solo puede darla por su parte,
pudiendo, qu habr sino hacello?
pudiendo, qu har sino hacello?
Texts taken from Wardropper. Spanish Poetry of the Golden Age, 49-53.

Lope de Vega
(1562-1635)
Cuando me paro a contemplar mi estado
y a ver los pasos por donde he venido,
me espanto de que un hombre tan perdido
a conocer su error haya llegado.
Cuando miro los aos que he pasado,
la divina razn puesta en olvido,
conozco qu piedad del cielo ha sido
no haberme en tanto mal precipitado.
Entr por laberinto tan extrao,
fiando al dbil hilo de la vida
el tarde conocido desengao;
mas de tu luz mi escuridad vencida,
el monstruo muerto de mi ciego engao,
vuelve a la patria la razn perdida.

85
No. 10 Plugiera a Dios(Gregorio Silvestre)
Spanish (Gregorio Silvestre)
Plugiera a Dios, si aquest es buen partido,
que yo nunca nasiera o no pecara,
o, llorando, mi culpa tal quedara,
como si no la oviera cometido;

English translation
May it please God, if I am a good person,
that I had never been born or had never sinned,
or, weeping, that my fault would stay,
as if I had never committed it;

y ya que tan protervo y malo sido


que a tanto perdimiento no llegara,
quen duda de mis males yo tomara,
por no perder mi ser, el no aver sido.

and because I have been so wicked and evil;


that I had never come to such a loss
that in doubt from my evils I would take,
in order not to lose my being, the option of never having been.

Ay! no lo quiera Dios, ni tal pretendo.


Ya s que aun en la piedra y en la planta
el ser sobrel no ser tiene excelenia.

Ay! May God not to want it, nor do I aim for it.
I know that even in stones and plants
being prevails over non-being.

Pecador grande soy, mas bien entiendo


que nos posible ser mi culpa tanta
que no la sane Dios con su clemenia.

I am a great sinner, but well do I understand


that it is impossible for my guilt to be so great
that God could not heal it with his clemency.

Gregorio Silvestre (1520 1569) was a poet and musician, who was born in Lisbon
(Portugal) and died in Granada (Spain). His poetry stands at the peak line between the Castilian
school of poetry and the new Italianate school.37 He was also a keyboardist at Granada, probably
at the Granada Cathedral. His works were published only in 1582, thirteen years after his death,
and not much is known about the composition date for individual poems. It seems that around
1560 Silvestre started to experiment with hendecasyllable verse lines, and therefore, this
particular poem can be dated between 1560 and 1569. It is not known if Guerrero knew Silvestre
personally, and it is not known how Guerrero got hold of this particular poem; it could have been
presented to him in a manuscript version before Silvestres death in 1569, or later in his life as
part of Silvestres printed publication of 1582.
Guerrero could have only obtained the poem in manuscript form as early as 1560 (when
Silvestre started to experiment with hendecasyllables) or in or after 1582 (the date of Silvestres

37

Darbord. La posie rligieuse espagnole, 430.

86
printed publication). In addition, this musical setting was not included in the Orphenica lyra
collection of 1554 or in any other sources besides the Canciones y villanescas espirituales of
1589. Thus, it is likely that Plugiera a Dios is a later composition and not a re-printing or an a
lo divino transcription of an earlier piece. It is even possible that it could have been composed
expressly for the publication of Canciones y villanescas espirituales.
Plugiera a Dios was published as part of the third book of the printed edition of
Silvestres pieces. This third book contains moral and devout songs, two romances, and several
glosas,38 including one glosa to the famous Coplas of Jorge Manrique. It is important to note that
in this particular section of Silvestres collection, all the poems are in eleven-syllable verse line
and are either sonnets or octaves. Also, all the poems in this section are lyric texts about the
resurrection of the Lord, the joy of the souls and of the Virgin, or penitential texts decorated with
baroque and painful images.39
The penitential subject in this sonnet is related to one of Silvestres favorite subjects: the
nothingness of man persisting in error against the unfathomable patience of God.40 As opposed
to No. 1 Quandos miro mi Dios, this poem is not in dialogue form, and is not a direct address
to Christ or to God. It is rather an intimate, personal meditation, a talk to oneself. The two
quartets talk about how better it would be not to have been born, than to have been born just to
commit sin. The two concluding terzets give a little bit of hope in declaring that the state of

38

Spanish word for the English term glose or gloss. A glosa is a poem composed as an amplification
of lines taken from an earlier and usually better-known poem, although not literally as a gloss in the explanatory
sense. Chris Baldick "Glosa" in The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms. Oxford University Press, 2008. Oxford
Reference Online. Oxford University Press. <http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/ENTRY.html?subview=
Main&entry=t56.e500> (accessed July 2, 2010).
39

Darbord. La posie rligieuse espagnole, 432.

40

Ibid..

87
being prevails over the state of non-being. No matter how great our sin is, God is full of mercy,
and his clemency prevails over all sinfulness.
Curiously, this poem does not portray specific images of Christs Passion, the cross or the
blood. In fact, it does not paint any image at all, and only portrays the feeling of guilt and
contrition of the soul. It conveys a very grave and austere stance, without any adjectives, epithets
or alliterations, and represents a sober depiction of the contrite soul. Furthermore, there are no
hints of illuminism or mysticism, and no allusions to fire, divine love, or mystic union with God.
In relationship to the practice of meditation and spiritual exercises, this poem could relate
to the more intellectual and abstract modalities, where no direct images are portrayed and no
strong feelings are evoked. The two strongest concepts of this poem are, first, the fact that it
would have been better not to have been born, and second, the fact that Gods clemency is
always awaiting for the contrite soul. There are no images of the horrors of hell or of Christs
Passion. Instead, the poem closes with a very consoling verse line. This poem could represent the
final stages of penitence, when consolation is in sight, and the sinner is remembering his or her
offences not to do them again.

No. 11 Mi ofensas grande, salol tormento

Spanish
Mi ofensas grande, salol tormento;
mas ay! tu desamor no me atormente,
o buen Jes, que de tu graia ausente,
pensallo mata. Qu harl sufrimiento!

English translation
My offence is great, so be the torment;
but, ay! your indifference might not torture me,
oh fair Jesus, except that thinking about your absent
grace is death. What suffering will do!

Tu cruz, tu muerte y sangre te presento.


O ricas prendas de la pobre gente!
Permitir tu amor divino, ardiente,
que tales esperanas llevel viento?

Your cross, your death, and blood I offer to you.


Oh riches tokens of the poor people!
Will your divine, ardent love permit
such hopes to take flight?

88
Ay, Dios! que te ofend, que ya no miro
si tu bondad me salva o me condena;
tu honra lloro y por tu amor suspiro;

Oh God! that I offended you, that I now do not see


if your kindness saves me or condemns me;
your honor I lament and for your love I sigh;

Tu honra satisfaz con cualquier pena;


la culpa tira; porque hars dun tiro
tu honra esquita y a mi alma buena.

Satisfy your honor with whatever punishments necessary;


throw away the blame, because in one blow you will
acquit your honor and save my soul.

This is another penitential sonnet with hendecasyllable verse lines. The two quartets and
two terzets, display the rhyme scheme of ABBA ABBA CDC EFE. It is an anonymous sonnet
but Querol Gavald states that it is not an a lo divino transcription but an originally sacred poem
found in this exact version in four different extant manuscripts.41
Compared with Plugiera a Dios, the images in this sonnet appear much more explicit
and direct. The poem contains also a direct dialogue of the contrite soul with Jesus. It starts with
a very strong first line Mi ofensas grande, salo el tormento (My offence is great, so be the
torment). Not only is the poet stating that his or her sin is great, but is asking directly to be
punished. In this sense, this poem could be understood to belong to the second stage of
penitential spiritual exercises, the dialogue between the penitent and God.
The second quartet also displays the Spanish preference for realism and symbolism. Its
first verse line presents the three most important things to be contemplated by the penitent soul:
the cross, Christs death, and Christs blood. Thus the opening verse lines of both the first and
the second quartet are strong statements of the penitent soul, with direct images of the Passion of
Christ, and with a clear request from the penitent soul to receive punishment. The second verse
line of the second quartet, O ricas prendas de la pobre gente (Oh rich tokens of the poor


41

Miguel Querol Gavald. Introduccin y estudio, in Francisco Guerrero: Opera omnia, vol. 1:
Canciones y villanescas espirituales. Monumentos de la Msica Espaola, vol. 16. (Barcelona, Consejo Superior de
Investigaciones Cientficas, 1955), 37.

89
people) defines the cross, Christs death and blood as the three most precious treasures of
mankind.
The first terzet has a lyric quality and, if not directly addressed to God himself, could be
addressed to a lover, showing perhaps a mixture between human and divine love. The second
terzet brings the final request to God, satisfy your honor with whatever punishment necessary.
It is, thus, the final plea of the penitent soul to get the appropriate punishment, to perform the
required penitential action, and finally be forgiven.
Mi ofensas grande, salol tormento is one of the few penitential pieces in the
collection that portrays direct penitential actions. The poet asks to be tormented, to be punished
in such a way that evokes the painful physical actions of self-injury that some people practiced as
part of penitential activities.

No. 12 Si del jardn del ielo soberano

Spanish
Si del jardn del ielo soberano
quisieres la violeta y fresca rosa,
sin que spinanojosa
con rigor coran hiera y tu mano,
huye llorando del plazer mundano,
y a la Virgen gloriosa
de tus culpas te muestra lastimado,
que mudarn contento y regozijo;
mostrndole tus lgrimas al hijo,
dir: -Templad, mi hijo, vuestra yra
y pues su culpa gime y llorado,
limpiad con vuestra sangre su pecado-.

English translation
If from the garden of the sovereign heaven
you would like the violet and the fresh rose,
so that the angry thorn would not
harshly wound your heart and hand,
flee weeping from worldly pleasure
and to the glorious Virgin
she shows how you are hurt by your faults,
which she will change to contentment and delight,
showing your tears to her son,
she will say: - Temper your wrath, my son,
and since his guilt wails and he has wept,
cleanse his sin with your blood -.

As it was seen before, this catechizing and didactic poem directly invites the sinner to
confess and to ask for the intercession of the Virgin Mary. Sacramental confession and

90
veneration of the Virgin Mary as the most powerful intercessor were very important theological
issues of the time, debated extensively in the Council of Trent as a matter of difference among
reformers and Catholics. This poem is a madrigal in which the poet addresses the sinner, asking
him or her to repent and to ask the Virgin Mary for intercession. Interestingly, there is a shift of
the poetic voice at the end of the text, when the poet writes down the actual words of intercession
that the Virgin herself would say to Christ.
Understanding the concepts of this poem is somewhat difficult, for it displays several
instances of symbolism, paradox, and metaphors. The overall concept could be summarized as a
moral teaching to flee from worldly pleasure, and to pursue heavenly love through veneration of
the Virgin Mary. The overall goal of life, therefore, is to be able to enjoy the beauty of the rose
(the love of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ) without the pain of the thorns (worldly love).
Si del jardn del ielo features several verse lines of symbolic and pictorial poetry. The
opening line itselfjardn del ielo soberano refers to the Garden of Eden in a very
cultivated and ornamented manner. There are also several allusions to elements of Christs
Passion (thorns and blood,) and recurrent iteration of words referring to guilt. The freer poetic
arrangement of the madrigal genre permits the expression of delicate feelings suitable to Marian
devotion.

No. 34 Ojos claros, serenos

Ojos claros, serenos is one of the most famous songs by Francisco Guerrero, both in its
original secular version and in the a lo divino version published in Canciones y villanescas

91
espirituales. This piece, with its secular text, also exists in a transcription for vihuela and voice
made by Miguel de Fuenllana. The secular version of this song is part of the famous Cancionero
Musical de Medinaceli, a collection of secular and spiritual songs and Latin motets copied in the
second half of the sixteenth century. The date of this Cancionero and the fact that several
madrigals by Francisco Guerrero are part of this collection show that Guerrero wrote the secular
versions of some of these pieces at a very young age. It also shows that he was very highly
regarded from very early in his life, so much as to be included in this important collection.

Secular version
(Gutierre de Cetina)
Ojos claros y serenos,
si de un dule mirar sois alabados,
por que, si me mirais, mirais airados?
Si, quanto mas piadosos,
mas bellos pareeis a quien os mira,
no me mireis con ira,
porque no parezcais menos hermosos.
Ay, tormentos raviosos!
Ojos claros y serenos,
ya que ansi me mirais, miradme al menos.

Spanish
original

A lo divino version
(Anonymous)
Ojos claros, serenos,
que vuestro apstol Pedro an ofendido,
mirad y reparad lo que e perdido.
Si, atado fuertemente,
quereis sufrir por m ser azotado,
no me mireis ayrado,
porque no parezcais menos clemente;
pues lloro amargamente,
bolved, ojos serenos,
y, pues mors por mi, miradme al menos.

English
translation

Fair eyes serene,


Clear, serene eyes,
if you are praised for your sweet glances,
that your apostle Peter offended,
why, if you look at me, do you look angrily?
gaze upon and repair that which I have lost.
If the more kindly you look,
If, strongly tied,
the more beautiful you seem to him who looks
you wish to suffer for me to be whipped,
at you,
don't look at me in anger,
do not look upon me with anger,
so that you won't seem less beautiful.
because you do not appear less clement;
Oh, maddening torture!
since I weep bitterly,
Fair eyes serene,
return, serene eyes,
since you are looking at me in that way, at least and, since you die for me, at least look at me.
look at me.42
Bold letters indicate the changes from the secular to the a lo divino version

In order to fully understand the spiritual version of this piece, it is very important to
discuss its secular origin. The spiritual version of Ojos claros, serenos is the only piece of the
group of divinized pieces in Canciones y villanescas espirituales that underwent an extensive

42

Translation by Elias Rivers, Renaissance and Baroque Poetry of Spain, (New York: Scribner, 1972), 82.

92
musical transformation following the new spiritualized text. The musical discussion of this
transformation will be done in Chapter 4, but to understand the characteristics and implications
of the new a lo divino text, it is necessary to start with a discussion of the original secular text.
The original secular version of this madrigal is the most famous madrigal in Spanish
poetry of the Golden Age. Its author, Gutierre de Cetina (c.1515 - c.1557), was a Sevillian poet
who was member of the academy of Francisco Pacheco. Cetinas style is a direct result of the
introduction in Spain of the Italian style of poetry by Boscn and Garcilaso in the middle of the
sixteenth century. Cetina is famous for writing the first madrigals in Spain, but he also wrote
around two hundred sonnets.43 His poems circulated in manuscript form and were never
published or collected during his time. Cetinas poetic style imitated Petrarch and other Italian
poets, especially Luigi Tansillos musicality.44
Cetinas style characteristics can be appreciated in Ojos claros, serenos, including his
lack of containment; the preoccupation with descriptions of the female body, especially the eyes;
his tendency toward a certain mannerism involving witty word play; a predilection for love as a
subject, in imitation of Petrarchs poems to an unattainable lady; and the contrast between the
past good and a present evil.45
As it was seen earlier in this chapter, the divinization of secular texts has a very important
background in the establishments of parallelism between human and divine love at the core of
devotion, prayer, and religion. As Wardropper stated, the appropriation of love songs for

43

Cetinas work is especially important for extending the influence of Petrarch not only in Spain but also in
the New World. Cetina travelled several times to America from 1546 to his death in Mexico around 1557.
44

J. Ignacio Dez Fernndez. Gutierre de Cetina, Sixteenth-Century Spanish Writers. Gregory B. Kaplan,
editor. Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 318. (Detroit: Gale, 2005). Literature Resource Center. Gale.
http://go.galegroup.com/ps/start.do?p=LitRC&u=prin77918 (accessed July 25, 2009).
45

Ibid.

93
religious purposes existed since the origins of Christianity. When confronting a piece such as
Ojos claros, serenos (or as No. 54 Si tus penas) in which an explicit love text is replaced by
a strong penitential text, it is of the uttermost importance to keep this parallelism in mind.
Although at first sight human and divine love, and lyric and penitential poetry can be perceived
as polar opposites, they are theologically and probably psychologically part of the same human
and religious experience, the experience of love. Thus, replacing a love poem with a penitential
text while keeping the same musical framework is not a paradox. The aesthetic and affective
implications of the relationship between text and music in this piece will be studied a length in
Chapter 4.
The spiritual version of this text is almost an entirely new poem. Whereas the structure of
the poem remains unchanged, and the general underlying concept of each verse line remains,
only few words of the original text are kept, and the scene and concept change almost entirely.
The concepts of unrequited love, sadness, and the desire for looking into the others eyes,
however, stay in the new spiritual version. Also, the overall strong emphasis on the sense of sight
remains, either through the ladys eyes or Christs eyes, and gives both versions a strong
cohesion and sense of return within the ten verse lines of the poem. However, the divinization of
this text completely changes the characters in the scene: the character that speaks is changed
from a poet in love to Saint Peter; and the character that is being addressed changes from the
beloved lady to Christ in the cross.
The new spiritual text of Ojos claros, serenos is a pictorial portrayal of the scene of
Peters repentance after his triple denial. The subject of Peters repentance is common in
European poetry of the time, as it summarizes several topics of the Counter-Reformation.

94
Especially important is Luigi Tansillos Lagrime di San Pietro.46 According to Wardroppers
classification, the text in Guerreros piece is truly penitential, representing Peter in front of the
cross and directly addressing Christ. It is an explicit request of the poet in the voice of Peter, to
be forgiven or, at least, to be able to look into Christs eyes again.
Structurally, the alternation between seven- and eleven-syllable verse lines and the tight
rhyme scheme (aBBcDdCcaA) gives the poem and overall echo effect and a strong sense of
return at the end. This structure will prove extremely important to the musical setting, as we will
see in Chapter 4.

No. 39 Qu te dar(Anonymous)
Spanish
Qu te dar, Seor, por tantos dones
que mandas a montones cada hora
al alma pecadora? O, quin me diese,
Jess mo dulce, que por ti muriese!
Sangre me as dado y sangre querra darte:
pocos dar parte a quien dadol todo.
No daver modo, no daver medida,
Christon amarte, y pocos dar la vida.

English translation
What will I give you, Lord, for so many gifts
that you pour down every hour
on the sinning soul? Oh, that I could give myself,
my sweet Jesus, that I could die for you!
You have given me your blood, and blood I would give you:
it is little to give part to he who has given all.
There does not have to be a way, there is no method,
Christ, in loving you, and it is little to give one's life.

Un grande abismo un otro abismo llama;


y ass la llama de tu amor inmenso,
quandon l pienso, me arrebata y prende
y un grande deseo de morir menciende.
Muera, y no biva, por tu amor, o vida
que, por dar vida a quien te ava ofendido,
de lana herido fuerte,
sufriste acerba y dolorosa muerte.

A great abyss calls to another abyss;


and thus the flame of your immense love,
when I think of it, carries me away and ignites me,
and a great desire to die inflames me.
May I die, and not live, for your love, oh life,
because, for giving life to he who had offended you,
wounded by the lance of fierce love,
you suffered bitter and painful death.

Qu te dar, Seor is an anonymous poem with an irregular poetic structure. As it is


found in Guerreros collection, it consists of two eight-verse lines strophes, in a madrigal set into

46

The Lagrime di San Pietro (Tears of Saint Peter) is a cycle of twenty madrigals by Orlando di Lasso,
published in 1595. Luigi Tansillo (15101568) was an Italian poet of the Petrarchan school. He was associated with
the Court of Naples and worked for Pedro lvarez de Toledo in 1536. Several of his poems have been set to music
by Italian composers of the time.

95
two distinct parts. Each strophe consists of two quartets in ABCC rhyme scheme. All of the verse
lines of the poem have eleven syllables, except the penultimate one, which is only nine syllables
long. None of the Spanish versification manuals list strophes of this kind, and an organization of
four verse lines in ABCC rhyme scheme usually only exists as the final quartet of an octava real.
Other quartets are usually found with either ABAB or ABBA rhyme schemes. Consequently, it
is difficult to classify this text into one of the conventional poetic structures. It is not an octava
real, nor a sonnet. It could be a madrigal, but there is no alternation between seven- and elevensyllable verse lines, and the rhyme scheme is somewhat strict compared to the free style of
madrigals.
This poem exists only as the text to Guerreros musical setting, and Guerreros choice of
sectionalizing the verse lines into musical lines does not always conform to the poems division
of eleven-syllable verse lines. As it will be seen in Chapter 4, Guerrero sometimes chooses to
split verse lines into two different musical sections, which results in different types of inner
poetic structures.
Qu te dar, Seor is a penitential text, directly addressed to God, with some mystical
an illuminist elements and a strong juxtaposition between life and death. The illuminist elements
can be seen in the descriptions of the love between God and the sinner, which use some of the
same images of human love. Images of fire, light, and sensual desire appear in lines such as the
flame of your immense love that carries me away and ignites me, and in a great desire to die
inflames me. The predilection for references to fire, and to portrayals of divine love in human
terms is shared by mystical authors such as John of the Cross and Theresa of Avila, and is
reminiscent of the illuminist movement.

96
This poem features a very interesting, yet traditional, use of the word llama, which in
Spanish means both flame and to call. Both meanings are used in the poem. Furthermore, in
using the word llama as flame, the poet represents both the flame of love, and possibly the
flames of hell for the unrepentant sinner.
The juxtaposition of life and death is evident in the abundant use of the words vida (life)
and muerte (death). In this particular poem, this battle between life and death stops at the
moment of Christs death. The text, therefore, ends in a sad place, without the hope of
resurrection still in sight. The text suits the character of the first penitential stage of meditation,
with strong references to Christs suffering, with images of death, a suggestion of the flames of
hell, and no images of hope. It is an excellent text to induce guilt and repentance, preparing the
sinner for contrition and for the later steps of penitence, confession and absolution. Nonetheless,
Guerreros musical setting does not present rhetorical gestures of word painting to mark the
strong images of the text. It is possible that Guerrero wanted to let the words speak for
themselves by presenting them in a very plain and transparent way.

No. 41 Acaba de matarme (Anonymous)

Spanish

Secular version
(Anonymous)
Acava de matarme, o amor fiero,
que mas quiero la muerte
que vida de tal suerte;
mas, deja yr primero
mis hulltimos sospiros
al pecho duro y fuerte
de aquella cruda fiera
que sola la ocasin que amando muera.

Spiritual version
(Anonymous)
Acaba de matarme, o amor fiero,
que ms quiero la muerte
que vida de tal suerte;
mas, dexa ir primero
mis ltimos suspiros
del pecho duro y fuerte
a Christon cruz clavado,
por dar remedio y fin a mi pecado.

97
English translation

Finish killing me, oh fierce love;


because much more do I desire death
than life of this sort;
but, first let
my last breaths go
to the hard strong breast
of that crude fierce one
that only upon loving may die.
Bold letters indicate the changes from the secular to the a lo divino version

Finish killing me, oh fierce love;


because much more do I desire death
than life of such sort;
but, first let
my last breaths go
from my hard strong breast
to Christ nailed on the cross,
in order to heal and end my sin.

Acaba de matarme is an a lo divino transcription of an earlier piece. It is constructed as


a silva, a type of madrigal that freely combines seven- and eleven- syllable verse lines with
consonant rhyme. It usually has a AbbacbdD rhyme scheme, where long verse lines frame short
verse liness closely interconnected by tight consonant rhyme. Silvas were born around the end of
the sixteenth century, and were the preferred metric construction of meditative poetry at the turn
of the century.
The original secular text comes from a soprano part found in manuscript 15411 in Museo
Lzaro Galdiano in Spain. This is the same museum where the original manuscript of Francisco
Pachecos Libro de verdaderos retratos was found, in which there is a portrait and a short
biography of all the people that attended Pachecos humanist gatherings, including Guerrero
himself. All this suggests that this text could have been written by one of the poets that attended
the gatherings of Pacheco, and probably by a close friend of Guerrero.
The spiritual version of the poem is not a particularly successful one. The original secular
text clearly starts and ends as a lyric poem of unrequited affection, centered on the imprecations
of an individual dying of love. The spiritual version keeps intact the first five verse lines,
changes only one word of the sixth one, and completely changes the last two verse lines from the
reference to the fierce beloved lady to Christ in the cross. The first verse line of the poem, finish
killing me, oh fierce love, is left intact in both versions. In the secular version this first verse

98
line refers credibly to the beloved lady; but in the spiritual version it should have been
transformed into something more appropriate to references to the figure of loving Christ.
Therefore, the adapted poem does not establish a coherent meaning or affect from beginning to
end.
As it comes across in the spiritual version, albeit in an unsuccessful way, this is a poem
of a dying person asking for forgiveness to Christ on the cross. There is a strong emphasis on this
image of Christ by the use of alliteration in the phrase Criston cruz clavado, and Christ is
portrayed as the medium of redemption.
While the secular version is directly addressed to the beloved lady, the spiritual version
and its failed opening verse line result in a blurred poetic voice. The poem at first addresses
Christ on the Cross, but doing so with the phrase fierce love ruins the affective sincerity. The
poem does not work as a truly penitential text in which the sinner is addressing Christ asking for
forgiveness. Nor does it work as a meditative text, because it is not addressed back at the poet
himself.
Two issues of poetic construction will determine several features of the musical setting.
First, this is a very short poem, with only eight verse lines, most of which are only sevensyllables long. On the other hand, these short verse lines are not semantically independent, as
this poem features several instances of enjambment. While Guerrero generally prefers to group
verse lines together when they complete a semantic unit, in this particular musical setting,
Guerrero keeps even the short verse lines of poetic enjambment separate, probably to get a song
of a good size. Grouping verse lines together would have resulted in an extremely short
madrigal.

99

No. 54 Si tus penas no pruevo (Lope de Vega)

This is one of the most interesting texts and pieces of the entire collection. First of all, the
spiritual version is an adaptation of a text by Lope de Vega, one of the most important authors of
the Spanish Golden Age. Second, although it is one of the shortest pieces, it is one of the most
effective pieces of the collection.
Si tus penas no pruevo is an a lo divino transcription. The original secular piece is titled
Tu dorado cabello and is found as No. 59 of the Cancionero de Medinaceli (copied around
1550). The secular poem is a lyric madrigal in which the poet asks his beloved not to be cruel
with him. He requests that if she is not going to love him back, that she at least should let him
loose to find happiness. Table 3.4 shows a comparison between the text found in the Cancionero
de Medinaceli setting (c. 1550), the one found in the collection of Canciones y villanescas
espirituales (1589), and the one published in Lope de Vegas Soliloquios (1662).
It can barely be stated with any certainty that the spiritual text is a divinization of the
secular madrigal. The overall structure, rhyme scheme, and word endings remain the same, but
there are only few words that are exactly the same in both poems. The change, as it usually
happens in a lo divino transcriptions, occurs by a shift from the secular theme of unrequited love
to a strong penitential text.
Besides being published as the text of No. 54 of the Canciones y villanescas espirituales
(1589), this spiritual text is found as part of the seventh soliloquy of Soliloquios amorosos de un

100
alma a Dios (1626) by Lope de Vega.47 In regards to the chronology of the text, scholars
studying Lope de Vegas work have demonstrated that he usually wrote texts such as this one
several years before he inserted them into new works for publication.48 Thus, Guerrero evidently
knew and used this text before Lopes publication of the Soliloquios in 1626.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines a soliloquy as an instance of talking to or
conversing with oneself, or of uttering one's thoughts aloud without addressing any person or a
literary production representing or imitating a discourse of this nature.49 It must be noted that a
soliloquy is prose, and is not a mute prayer; but that is spoken or uttered alone, and, in this case,
praying or making a dialogue with Christ himself.
In his seventh soliloquy, Lope de Vega meditates about a repenting soul, in love with
God, his Lord. Seeing Christ on the cross, this repentant soul wants to give him the gift of music.
The soul, which is Lope de Vega himself, decides to give Christ a song to win his heart. Si tus
penas is only the first strophe of this song, which in its entirety comprises twelve strophes, all
with the same AbBcB rhyme scheme.


47

There is no English translation of these writings. The Spanish title can be translated as Loving Soliloquies
of a Soul to God. Lope Flix de Vega (1562-1635) is one of the most important authors of the Spanish Golden Age
and one of the most prolific of all Spanish writers. He wrote an impressive number of plays, several pastoral novels,
serious and burlesque epics, narrative poems, short stories, and a variety of poetic compositions. He is best known
for his plays, most of which were performed (and many published) during his lifetime. In the 1590s, he became one
of the most popular dramatists of his time. He took holy orders in 1614 and died a priest in Madrid on August 25,
1632. Clara Estow, "Lope de Vega," in Research Guide to Biography & Criticism (January 1986): 390-394. Literary
Reference Center, EBSCOhost (accessed January 29, 2010).
48

Line Amselem-Szende. Encarnacin de Lope de Vega en los Soliloquios amorosos de un alma a Dios,
Criticn 87-88-89 (2003): 19-20.
49

Oxford English Dictionary Online, s.v. Soliloquy, http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/50230397?


query_type=word&queryword=soliloquy&first=1&max_to_show=10&sort_type=alpha&result_place=1&search_id
=zbuW-FTNAzx-5359&hilite=50230397 (accessed October 26, 2009).

101
The end of the paragraph that introduces the song in the seventh soliloquy, and the
original first strophe as published in Lope de Vegas Soliloquios reads:
Mas ahora Seor ... yo quiero deciros una Cancin, que os enamore, que aunque Vos sois
el mismo amor, conviene que de mi parte haya la disposicin suficiente, para que Vos le
empleis: Escuchad, Seor mo, as veis reducidas a vuestro servicio todas las almas,
que viven fuera de l, en los engaos del mundo.
Si tus penas no pruebo, Jess mo,
vivo triste, y penando;
ddmelas por el alma, que te he dado,
que si este bien me hicieres,
ay Dios! Cmo ver lo que me quieres.50

Hugo Lezcano, in his article about Lope de Vegas Soliloquios explains how this
extensive work was written not only in the biblical tradition of soliloquies, but most of all, under
the influence of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises and the Confessions of Saint Augustine.51 Lope
de Vega himself states in the foreword to his Soliloquios that he wrote this work kneeling in
front of the cross and in the solitude of the dessert of the Grande Chartreuse.52 Lezcano also
suggests that Lope de Vegas purpose with this work was to induce his readers towards divine
love, just as the poet had returned to sacred life in his later days using the Augustinian and the
Ignatian meditational ways:


50

But now Lord ... I want to offer you a Song, to win your heart, although Thou art love itself, it will be
good that I have enough disposition, so that Thou use him: Listen, my Lord, so that Thou see all the souls subdued
to Thy service, those that live outside of him, in the deceptions of the world. The difference between roman and
italics is found in the source itself. Lope de Vega. Soliloquios amorosos de un alma a Dios. (Lisbon: Imprenta de
Lorenzo de Anveres, 1644), 86. For the full fragment that contains the entire section of the soliloquio and the
complete song see Appendix 2.
51

Hugo Lezcano. Los Soliloquios de Lope de Vega: entre el ensayismo y la penitencia, Cahiers de
lILCEA 4 (2003): 37.
52

Grande Chartreuse (La Gran Cartuja in Spanish) is the head monastery of the Carthusian order. It is
located in the Chartreuse Mountains, north of the city of Grenoble, in France.

102
Augustinian introspection allows Lope to walk the difficult path that stands between sin
and spiritual peace. In the Soliloquios the first person serves two purposes: to address
God and as a way for the author to begin a dialogue with himself ... while Lope (is)
kneeling before a crucifix or lost in the solitudes of the dessert of La Gran Cartuja, (he)
moves forward towards repentance53

It is in this meditative and penitential context that Guerreros song Si tus penas must be
understood. In Lope de Vegas Soliloquios the context of Si tus penas is a meditational one,
however, the poetic voice of the text of the song itself is entirely penitential, with the poet
directly addressing God. In the strophe that finally becomes the text of Guerreros musical
setting, the poet is asking God to give him his sufferings as a sign of his love, which is the
central concept of meditative and penitential exercises. Tasting, or at least trying to imagine
his sufferings and sorrows is the first step of these exercises in order to repent and receive
forgiveness of sins.
There are a few differences between the published version in the Soliloquios (1626) and
the text found in Guerreros collection, which could mean two things (see Table 3.4). One, that
there was an earlier version by Lope de Vega himself, which Guerrero used for his musical
setting. Or, that Guerrero consciously adapted the text to better fit his already existing secular
setting. It could also mean that Guerrero was perhaps working from memory, and remembered
the overall text, but confused some of the words.
These small changes, however, greatly modify the meaning of the text, and make it even
more penitential and even mystical in nature. In verse line 3, Lope de Vegas poem reads Give
(the sorrows) to me for the soul, which I have already given you. This is an elegant and abstract
way for the poet to express his feelings. Guerreros version, instead, reads Wound me, since I

53

Ibid., 40.(Translation by the author)

103
have already given my soul to you. The poet is asking God to wound him in the metaphorical
way of being wounded by Christs love. The arrow of love pierces the mystics heart. This line
also evokes the severe penitential actions practiced by some, including actual self-infliction of
physical wounds. It is, thus, a much stronger verse line than the verse line published in 1626.
Another significant change is present in verse line 5. Whereas Lope de Vegas text of
1626 starts with Oh God! (Ay Dios!), Guerreros text of 1589 starts with My God! (Mi
Dios!). It is a very small change, but My God denotes a much more humanist approach and a
closer relationship to God than the somewhat general interjection Oh God. Guerrero
composed the piece with the secular text in mind, and only later in his life, for the Venetian
publication of 1589, he replaced the original love poem with the penitential text from Lope de
Vegas soliloquy. This falls very much in the context of the post-Tridentian aesthetics and
religious practice. It is also important to keep in mind a substantial difference between a written
penitential or meditative text and a sung piece. A penitential or meditative text is both written
and conceived to be read in solitude as a personal and intimate experience. In the case of a sung
piece, it would be interesting to analyze how the concepts of intimacy, personal prayer, and
individual expression translate when the text is sung either by a soloist accompanied by a
vihuela, or by a group of people.

104
Table 3.4 Texts associated with Si tus penas

Spanish

English
translation

Secular version
(Anonymous, Cancionero de Medinaceli,
circa 1550)
Tu dorado cabello, zagala ma,
me tiene fuerte atado.
Sultame, pues el alma ya te he dado;
y, si esto no hizieres,
amor, me quexar quan crel eres.

Spiritual version
(Canciones y villanescas
espirituales,1589)
Si tus penas no pruevo, o Jess mo,
vivo triste y penado.
Hireme, pues el alma ya te dado.
Y, si este don me hizieres,
mi Dios, claro ver que bien me quieres.

Song by Lope de Vega


(Soliloquios amorosos de
un alma a Dios, 1626)
Si tus penas no pruebo, Jess mo,
vivo triste, y penando;
ddmelas por el alma, que te he dado,
que si este bien me hizieres,
ay Dios! Cmo ver lo que me quieres

Your golden hair, my girl,


ties me strongly.
Let me go, for I have already given my soul
to you;
And, if you will not,
my love, I'll complain of your cruelty.*

If I do not taste your sorrows, my Jesus,


I live sad and aggrieved.
Wound me, since I have already given my
soul to you.
And, if you grant me this gift,
my God, I will clearly see how much you
love me.

If I do not taste your sorrows, my Jesus


I live sad and grieving.
Give them to me for the soul, which I have
already given you.
That if you grant me this good.
oh God! How much will I clearly see that
you love me.

* Translation from Sevilla circa 1560: Secular Polyphony of the Andalusian School, La Trulla de Bozes, Passacaille, 936.
Bold letters indicate the changes in Guerreros pieces from the secular to the a lo divino version

105

Chapter 4
Penitential Songs in the Canciones y villanescas espirituales: Musical Considerations

All the aspects that have been discussed so far in this paper represent the
underlying context influencing the musical style of the penitential pieces in Guerreros
collection. The madrigalian style of these spiritual pieces is a result of musical humanism
and the activities in artistic and intellectual academies. The penitential subject is a direct
result of the Counter Reformation theological discussions, the different policies of the
Council of Trent, and the spiritual environment derived from both.
The importance and abundance of examples with penitential subject in all the arts
in Seville does not reflect only a common trend in all the regions across Europe; it also
represents the special resonance that the subject had in the popular, intellectual, and
artistic life of Seville, which can be clearly seen, even today, in the importance of
Sevillian penitential cofradas (brotherhoods) during Holy Week.
The most important difference between spiritual madrigals and other types of
madrigals is the text. Therefore, while analyzing the music, it is very important to
observe the characteristics of spiritual poetry in general and penitential poetry in
particular in Spain at the end of the sixteenth century. Most especially, it is critical to note
the implications that the penitential and meditative subject had on musical technique,
form, and function.

106

4.1 General Musical Characteristics of the Penitential Pieces in Guerreros collection


Sixteenth-century Spanish poetry, painting, and architecture with penitential
topics tend to portray very intense images and symbols related to the pain and the
suffering of the Passion1. It could be expected that composers would have made use of
equally bold musical gestures to express the strong images presented by penitential and
meditative poetry. Surprisingly, this was not the case. This happened in marked contrast
to the fact that composers were very concerned with the relationship between text and
music and with the stirring of the affects through art, all within a cultural context favoring
individualistic artistic expression. Composers used bold rhetorical gestures in madrigals
with love, war, and nature subjects; but not in madrigals with penitential subject.
The general style of penitential pieces is described by Katherine Powers:
The musical style of the spiritual madrigal is not distinct from the madrigal genre;
the religious nature of the spiritual madrigal did not give rise to a particular style
for the entire repertoire. Rather, there are many styles in the spiritual madrigal:
some works emphasize the sacred aspects of the texts with compositional devices
from liturgical music, though others mimic the attitude of a love song. In that the
bulk of the texts are somber, penitential prayers, many spiritual madrigals were
composed in a deliberately reserved style with some combination of longer note
values, minor consonances, smooth melodicism, and little painting of individual
words. Some spiritual madrigals are settings of sermon-like poems on the death of
Christ in which the poet, acting as a guide, commands the listener in the
imperative voice. These spiritual madrigals are marked by expressive devices
including longer note values, homorhythm, simultaneous rests, narrow-ranged
melodies, and a lack of text repetition. 2

1

This, of course, is a generalization. Not all penitential works use strong images or gestures.

22

Katherine Powers. Introduction, in Musica spirituale, libro primo (Venice, 1563).


(Middleton, Wisconsin, A-R Editions: 2001), xix.

107
This summary of characteristics of the Italian spiritual madrigal, especially the
description of spiritual madrigals with a penitential subject represents as well the style of
Guerreros penitential pieces in the collection of Canciones y villanescas espirituales. A
strong emphasis on transparent textures allows a clear understanding of the text. Whereas
some pieces present a more contrapuntal texture that recalls liturgical music (without
heavy intricate counterpoint), other pieces present simpler homorhythmic or homophonic
textures, recalling lyric secular pieces.
Just as Powers describes, the overall style of Guerreros penitential pieces is very
reserved. Longer note values are interspersed with few shorter note values, and there is an
overall predominance of stepwise motion and smooth melodic lines in all voice parts. In
stark contrast with the strong images in the text, there is little word painting in these
songs. When there is word painting, it is done in a very subtle and understated manner.
Some of the devices used for word painting or expressive purposes include the use of
homorhythm, of simultaneous rests, the use of musica fictaespecially flattened scale
grades and some cross relationships, and the use of relative extreme ranges.3
The style of composition and performance stems from the intrinsic relationship
between text and music and from the context and function in which these pieces were
conceived and performed. This spiritual repertoire was cultivated at courts, academies,
households of wealthy clerics, and the oratories of confraternities. In addition, pieces
were conceived and performed for private devotional sessions, para-liturgical activities,
or for artistic functions during Lent or other penitential periods.

3

It is somewhat difficult to prove that extreme ranges were used as tools for expressive purposes.
Musical pitch was not fixed, and, as it will be seen, there were probably certain conventions for pitch
transposition.

108
Even though not all the songs in Canciones y villanescas espirituales are on the
penitential subject, a penitential-texted piece opens each of the sections of the entire
collection. No. 1 Quandos miro, mi Dios opens the five-voice group; No. 34 Ojos
claros, serenos opens the four-voice group; and No. 54 Si tus penas opens the threevoice group. This shows an explicit intention of putting to penitential subject at the
forefront of the collection, which reflects the spiritual and artistic context of the time in
Seville.

4.2 Performance Practice


This document will not delve into details of performance practice as this work
was done in an excellent way by Leonard R. Rumery in his doctoral project Canciones y
Villanescas Espirituales by Francisco Guerrero: A Performance Study.4 Rumerys
document, somewhat forgotten and not widely available, is an excellent study of all the
performance practice issues regarding this collection. It includes extensive and detailed
information about practical music at Seville; instruments and instrumentation of
Guerreros music; a very detailed discussion on musica ficta, tempo, and proportions in
the collection; and exhaustive charts of Spanish pronunciation in the sixteenth century
compiled from very reputable and significant sources. Modern performers as well as

Rumery, Leonard Raymond. Canciones y Villanescas Espirituales by Francisco Guerrero: A


Performance Study. DMA Project, Stanford University, 1976.

109
readers interested in the practical aspects of performing these pieces are strongly
recommended to consult this excellent source.

4.3 Analysis of Individual Pieces


The analysis of each penitential piece of the collection will start with an
examination of the relationship between text and music. Depending on the characteristics
of each individual piece, a study of the most relevant issues of modality, structure, style,
and performance will follow. Otherwise, the analysis of each individual piece is designed
to be self-contained for the purpose of providing a quick resource for the reader. A formal
chart and the text with a poetic translation are also included for easy reference.
No. 1 Quandos miro, mi Dios (Anonymous text)
Quandos miro mi Dios, damor herido
y por mi culpa en una cruz clavado
siento lo ques haveros ofendido
y lo que redemirme os costado;
y hallndome con pecho endureido
ms que piedra, con piedra soy forado
a quebrantarle, y aunque se defienda,
sacar un fuego quen el alma prenda.

When I see you, my God, wounded by love


and for my sins, nailed to the cross
I understand what it is to have offended you
and what it has cost you to redeem me;
and finding myself with heart hardened
more than stone, with stone I am compelled
to break my heart, and even though it would defend itself,
to start a fire that would take root in my soul

This one-part madrigal sets an octava real poem. It consists of a single strophe of
eight verse lines with an ABABABCC rhyme scheme. The musical structure strictly
follows the versification of the poetry, and is arranged into eight sections, one for each
verse line. As it is customary in late Renaissance polyphony, and specifically in Spanish

110
music of the time, Guerrero uses a different compositional procedure for each section.
Each verse line receives a different treatment.
In general, almost all the verse lines end with a cadence in which all the voice
parts participate. After the cadence, a new verse line starts with a clearly defined new
procedure. Only between verse lines five, six, and seven, where there is enjambment in
the poem, Guerrero chose to overlap the musical sections (see Example 1). By doing
this, the music emphasizes semantic meaning rather than closely following the ostensible
poetic structure. For instance, the first part of the sixth verse linewhich semantically
completes verse line fivecontinues the compositional procedure used for the fifth verse
line. The second part of the verse line receives a new motivic and compositional
treatment, which is seamlessly continued into verse line seven. The outcome of
Guerreros choices is an altered sectionalization of the poem that gives more importance
to the meaning of the words than the rhyme schemes and versification, while still
manifesting the poetic enjambment.
Guerreros musical structure emphasizes the important points of the meditative
poem. The most important verse lines receive the lengthiest treatments; the first and the
last verse lines are the longest. The first verse line presents the important visual image of
Christ wounded by love in the cross. The last verse line is the critical line, containing a
summary of the character of the entire piece and a moral teaching, very much like the
concetto in Italian madrigals of the time.5 After having meditated about Christs

5

The concetto is the final verse of an Italian madrigal, and it represents and encompasses the
entire idea or "concetto" of the piece. In several cases the concetto is a moral one, but not always. In the
case of penitential and meditative madrigals the concetto is usually a moral one, directly addressed to the
sinner and inviting him or her to take action and repent. The notion of a concetto remains the same in
Spanish madrigals and has an important role in Guerreros spiritual pieces.

111
suffering for human sins, the madrigal concludes with the line to start a fire that would
take root in the soul that emphasizes the importance of taking action after reflection.

Example 1. Quandos miro mi Dios mm. 54-73 (verse lines five, six, and seven)

112
Example 1, continued

Besides the opening image and the final moral concetto, Guerrero also
emphasizes the moral teaching that emerges as the expected outcome of the poetic
meditation. He adds length to the meditational or moral verse lines. Verse line five is the
longest after the first and the last, and with its musical enjambment it becomes even
longer. This group of verse lines (five, six, and seven) presents the central meditative and
penitential concept that the poet has a hardened heart because of sin. This verse line is
also the only one in the poem with an adjective (endurecido, hardened). Not only is this
verse line the longest one in the madrigal, but, as it will be seen below, this single
adjective is emphasized by different word painting devices. Thus, verse line five stands
as the center of the poem, of the meditation, and of the musical setting.
The text setting in this piece is entirely syllabic, and the text underlay, original by
Guerrero, is clearly marked in each section. Only the first and last verse lines feature text
repetition as another layer of emphasis to the central meditative concepts of the poem.
Although there are contrasts of texture between imitative counterpoint and homorhythm,

113
even in the contrapuntal sections the text is easily understood. Counterpoint in these
sections is not dense, and the rate of entrances among the different voices allows for a big
portion of text to be heard before the next voice appears.
There are very few instances of word painting in this setting, and they are very
subtle. In verse line one the word wounded is represented by the use of E flat. Verse
line three, with the words I understand what it is to have offended you, is a descending
lament in all the voice parts, representing the sinner who has offended Christ and is in the
lowest point of the spiritual journey. In verse line five, the words finding myself with
heart hardened are painted with successive use of raised notes as durus accidentals. This
can be easily construed as symbol for the learned, since the Spanish word endurecido
(hardened) derives from the Latin word durus, which also names the hard hexachord
used due to the presence of the F# (See Example 1 above).
Upon examination, it appears that the most important concepts and images of the
poem are presented by means of vocal declamation rather than by word painting. Verse
line two, and nailed to the cross for my sins, and the second half of verse line five,
hardened heart are set in strict homorhythmic texture.
In regards to modal ethos and modal theory, this piece seems to be written in a
transposed Mode 9D Aeolian modealthough there are several instances in which
there is mode uncertainty because of the extensive use of F sharp. The madrigal is set in
mollis system, with a final in D, and a range from F to d. It uses the standard clefs, and
thus, it does not arouse any issue of transposition. Mode 9 was a sixteenth-century
addition to the traditional system of 8 modes. Glarean calls it Aeolian in his description

114
of the 12-mode system. The range of the non-transposed ninth mode is from A to a, with
a final on A, and a reciting tone on E.6
In regards to the modal ethos, Quandos miro mi Dios does not match the
adjectives that sixteenth-century theorists used to describe each mode. For instance, for
Zarlino, who often adopted Glareans comments on the ethos of some modes, the ninth
mode was cheerful, sweet, soft, and sonorous.7 Neither the text nor the overall
sonority of this madrigal agrees with these adjectives. Guerreros setting is serious,
meditative, even somber, to depict the images and penitential emotions of the text.
Balancing the setting and the mode, perhaps Guerrero meant this piece to be
straightforward and somewhat neutral, as a point of departure for the series.
Quandos miro, mi Dios emerges then as a direct but somber piece. It is written
in a low range for all the voice parts and melodies have a very narrow range, giving the
setting a dark tint both in sonority and register. Rhythms are very simple mostly using the
tactus note value, duple divisions, and uncomplicated dotted figures. The tempo is
regular duple common time, without any changes of meter or proportions. Textures are
mostly transparent, even in contrapuntal sections. All of these characteristics combine as
a conscious choice of Guerrero to allow for a clear enunciation and understanding of the
text.
The ranges of the voices in this madrigal allow for either a mixed-ensemble or an
all-male performance. However, the edition of this piece, as well as all the other five-part
pieces in the collection, presents a puzzling choice of transcription. The alto part, which

6

Harold S. Powers, et al. "Mode." In Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/43718pg3 (accessed July 27, 2010).
7

Ibid.

115
originally is written in alto clef (third line C clef), is transcribed in the modern edition as
a tenor part (treble clef transposing an octave down). The narrow range of this part can be
sung by either an alto (boy or woman) or a tenor. The preface to the edition does not
mention the reason for this change, so it seems an odd choice to deliberately change the
original clefs of the piece. Changing clefs in performing editions is quite common, but it
is usually justified by a strong difference between the expectations of the original clef and
modern ensemble ranges. By choosing a tenor clef, the editor is perhaps advocating for a
performance by an adult male-only ensemble. However, although it is not clearly known
today, and there is still much research to be done about this issue, it is likely that
devotional (non-liturgical) music could be sung either by men, women, or mixed
ensembles depending on the performance context. The change of the original clefs tilts
the balance of potential ensemble choices.

116

Chart 1. No. 1 Quandos miro, mi Dios (Anonymous text)


5vv, Mode 9 (transposed Aeolian, D final, mollis system, range F d), standard clefs. Minim transcribed as half note.
Verse line 1
Quandos miro, mi Dios damor herido

Verse line 2
Y por mi culpa en una cruz clavado

Verse line 3
Siento lo ques averos ofendido

Verse line 4
Y lo que redemirme os costado

Length
Text and
Word
painting
Counterpoint
and texture

33 minims (16.5 measures)


3 full repetitions of text
Strong image: herido

18 minims (9 measures)
Repetition of en una cruz clavado
plus alliteration

18 minims (9 measures)
2 repetitions of text.
Emphasis on redemirme

Imitative counterpoint in contrary


motion
Entrances: T B S2 S1 - A

Declamatory homorhythm in the


beginning followed by very simple
counterpoint.

Forces
Center

Only four voices at a time


Uncertainty of mode for the use of F#.

Four voices, then five voices

(d - G)

20 minims (10 measures)


2 repetitions of text.
Strong image ofendido
Descending melodic lines
First section (siento lo ques):
Descending melodic lines in simple
counterpoint
Second section (averos ofendido):
Dense imitative counterpoint with
upward melodic initiation followed by
descending line.
Five voices
Use of cadential extension after
having reached D
C
D

(A d)

(Bb)

5-part imitative counterpoint

Five voices

Verse line 5
Y hallndome con pechondureido

Verse line 6
Ms que piedra, con piedra soy forado

Verse line 7
A quebrantarle y aunque se defienda

Verse line 8
Sacar un fuego quen el alma prenda

Length

25 minims (12.5 measures)


Central meaning of the poem
(repentance).
Several repetitions of hallndome
Ascending chromaticism (use of ficta
and durus system) for endureido

15 minims (7.5 measures)


Enjambment with previous verse line
Enjambment in the poem is translated
into a continuous flow from the
previous verse line.
Use of Eb for defienda

33 minims (16.5 measures)

Text and
Word
painting

22 minims (11 measures)


Enjambment with previous verse line
Enjambment in the poem is
translatated into overlapping in the
musical setting.
Ascending chromaticism (use of ficta
and durus system) for forado

Concetto. Moral teaching.


Several textual repetitions
Ascending skips for sacar un fuego
Descending skpis for quen el alma

Counterpoint
and texture

Paired imitative entrances of


hallndome
Homorhythm for pechondureido

Simple counterpoint

Dense imitative counterpoint

Forces
Center

Alternation 4 and 5 voices

Ms que piedra in the same quasihomorhythmi style of the previous


verse line
Con piedra soy forado in imitative
counterpoint
5 voices

Two trios followed by 5 voices

5 voices
Cadential extension by plagal cadence

Bb

(D)

(g)

Bb

117
No. 3 Baxme mi descuiydo (Anoynymous a lo divino text)
Baxme mi descuydo a tal estado,
de lalta cumbre do me vi subido,
que, por mi mal, sido
del mundo engaador tan regalado.
Otros suelen sacar bien de su mal
y yo, de su favor, pena mortal
pues, mostrndose afable, duro y fuerte,
me sigue por me dar amarga muerte.

My carelessness lowered me to such a state,


from the high summit where I saw myself raised,
that, because of my evil, I have been
thus rewarded by the deceptive world.
Others are used to prospering from their wickedness,
and I, from his favor, mortal pain;
for, though appearing to be affable, hard and strong
pursues me in order to give me bitter death.

Baxme mi descuydo is an a lo divino transcription of an earlier Guerrero


secular piece (Baxsteme seora). The a lo divino version is a meditative text in the
style of a madrigal poem with an ABbACCDD rhyme scheme. This poem belongs to a
tradition of texts on the subject of repudiation of error. The musical setting strictly
follows the form of the poem, with one musical section for each line of text.
Although there are no instances of enjambment in the poem, Guerrero chooses to
effect a musical overlap in two places. First, he overlaps the end of verse line two and the
beginning of verse line three. The overlapping is so extensive that the beginning of verse
line three can only be heard in the entrances of the last two voices. There is a strong
division halfway through the poem marked by the use of a period after verse line four.
However, instead of following the poetry and making a pause, Guerrero overlaps verse
lines four and five, eliminating the strong division of the poem and creating a continuous
flow of counterpoint.
It would appear hard to justify a close relationship between text and music in a
piece that is known to be an a lo divino transcription, since a new text replaces the
original text to which the music was composed. The original secular piece had a love
text that has been found in an alto part of the Ms. 255 of Valladolids Cathedral. The part
itself does not seem to present any musical differences from the new version in

118
Canciones y villanescas espirituales.8 However, the general ideas of the text (a descent
after being in a high place, being punished for taking care of worldly things) are similar
in both versions, secular and spiritual. The musical technique of ascending and
descending lines portray suitably the first two verse lines of both texts. As it can be seen
in Example 2, the word baxme (lowered) is represented by a pronounced downward
melodic line; and the phrase de lalta cumbre do me vi subido (from the high summit
where I saw myself raised) is portrayed by a pronounced angular melodic motion and a
general motion towards the highest register in all voice parts. In the same way, the fugato
procedure of the last verse line also works, as it represents the word to follow in both
versions.

Example 2. Baxme mi descuydo mm. 1-12

This source was not available for consultation.

119
Example 2, continued

Baxme mi descuydo is a very contrapuntal madrigal, in which the text is hard


to understand except for those performing the work. The contrapuntal entrances are very
close to each other and dont allow much of the text to be heard in one voice. Complex
rhythmic procedures, different rates of waiting time between imitative entrances, and
extensive use of contrapuntal text repetition blur the text further. There are very few

120
homorhythmic sections (measures 15-16, and 31-32), and so short that they are almost
non-audible in the stream of continuous and dense counterpoint.
Baxme mi descuydo, like several other pieces in the collection, is written in a
set of high chiavette (See Table 4. 1). The use of chiavette during the late Renaissance
and early Baroque periods remains a controversial topic among scholars, but it seems that
the use of this different combination of clefs had a three-fold purpose. Patrizio Barbieri
explains how the high chiavette helped identify the mode of the piece and to differentiate
between the eight psalm modes, the eight motet modes, and the twelve new Glarean
modes. Chiavetti also helped differentiate an authentic and a plagal mode because they
helped establish the ambitus of the piece. Finally, pieces in high clefs were intended to be
transposed downwards. Some authors prescribed a transposition down a fifth (Ganassi).
Others prescribed a transposition down a fourth if a B flat was present in the signature,
and by a fifth when there was no signature (Banchieri and Picerli). It seems, however,

Table 4. 1 Regular clefs and chiavette


Voice Part
Tiple 1

Tiple 2

Alto

Tenor

Baxo

Regular clefs

Chiavette

121

that only in instrumental music the transposition implied by a high chiavette meant a
specific pitch level.9
As it can be seen in Table 4. 2, the overall range of the piece, along with the range
of each individual part changes substantially if the chiavette transposition is applied.
Barbieri explicitly states that chiavette transposition did not imply a specific pitch in
vocal music, and these pieces could be sung in any pitch as long as all the voices are able
to sing them. If a modern vocal ensemble sings the piece at the written pitch, the ranges
would equal those of a modern mixed ensemble (Soprano 1, Soprano 2, Alto, Tenor, and
Bass)10. However, if one transposes the piece a fourth down, the piece can be sung by an
all-male ensemble, and would better fit the overall somber feeling of the meditative text.
A downward transposition could also serve as a word-painting technique, representing
the lowering of the sinner as a consequence of evil acts.

Table 4. 2 Baxme mi descuydo ranges and voice parts


with and without chiavette transpositions
Part
Non-transposed
Transposed down a 4th
Overall range
Bb g
F d
Tiple 1 (Soprano 1) g g (soprano)
d d (mezzo or alto)
Tiple 2 (Soprano 2) d g (soprano)
A d (alto)
Alto
G bb (alto)
D f (tenor)
Tenor
D a (tenor)
A e (baritone)
Baxo (Bass)
Bb d (baritone)
F g (bass)

Patrizio Barbieri. "Chiavette," in Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online,


http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/05567 (accessed March 1, 2010).
10

The discussion of ranges in these pieces as well as all the tables related to these issues reflect the
situation of modern ensembles and of modern voice ranges. The use of modern voice-labels such as
soprano or tenor does not imply that either boys, women or men sang these pieces during the sixteenth
century. These labels are only for reference for modern performers.

122
Mode 1, Dorian, had specific associations in terms of ethos during the
Renaissance. In 1487 Nicol Burzio described it as a mode that induces happiness and is
capable of representing all affects (Musices opusculum part II). In 1556 Hermann Finck
described it as a mode that has the liveliest melody of all, arouses the somnolent,
refreshes the sad and disturbed [and is] like the Sun, who is deemed first among the
planets the foremost musicians today use this tone the most. Zarlino, however,
described it as somewhat sad towards the end of the sixteenth century.11 It seems that
different theoreticians and different composers used the Dorian mode for different
purposes, or that it was, somehow, a default mode for a number of different emotions. In
the case of Guerreros Baxme mi descuydo only the description of Zarlino would fit
the character of the poetry. This is significant, as Zarlino is probably the only one among
the three theoreticians that had contact with Guerrero, and the one who exalted
Guerreros abilities in properly setting music to the affects of the text.
As a final thought, it is important to mention that the modern edition of Canciones
y villanescas espirituales is not consistent with the transcription of rhythmic values, and
there is no explanation of this in the critical apparatus. Whereas in No. 1 Quandos miro,
mi Dios the minim was transcribed as a half note, and the half note seems to be the
tactus of the piece, in No. 3 Baxme mi descuydo is transcribed as a quarter note and
probably works also as the tactus of the piece. However, to modern performers, a quarternote tactus might imply a faster tempo than a half-note tactus and would lead to a faster
performance of Baxme mi descuydo than the text and the counterpoint would suggest.


11

Harold S. Powers, et al. "Mode," in Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/43718pg3 (accessed March 1, 2010).

123

Chart 2. No. 3 Baxme mi descuydo (Anonymous a lo divino text)


5vv, Mode 1 (G Dorian, G final, mollis system, range Bb g), high chiavette. Minim transcribed as quarter note.
Verse line 1
Baxme mi descuydo a tal estado

Verse line 2
de lalta cumbre do me vi subido

Verse line 3
que, por mi mal, sido

Verse line 4
del mundongaador tan regalado.

Length
Text and
Word
painting

18 minims (4.5 measures)


Descending lines for baxme

Imitative and dense counterpoint.


Close entrances T-S1-S2-B-A

Forces
Center

5 voices
d

5 voices
F

19 minims (4.5 measures)


Use of Eb for mal sido
Extensive text repetition.
Because of overlapping,
beginning of this verse line is
blurred.
Verse lines 2 and 3 are
overlapped for 1 measure.
Imitative and dense counterpoint.
Close entrances S2-A-T-S1-B
5 voices
D
d

35 minims (8.5 measures)


Use of Eb for mundo engaador
Extensive text repetition.

Counterpoint
and texture

24 minims (6 measures)
High register for alta cumbre.
Ascending lines for me vi
subido
Pictoric line in the bass line, with
angular lines like a mountain.
Quasi-imitative counterpoint in
very dense and close entrances.

Homorhythmic beginning,
imitative counterpoint into two
antiphonal groups for the rest of
the verse line.
5 voices - quartet - upper trio
d
(g)
g

Verse line 5
Otros suelen sacar bien de su mal

Verse line 6
y yo, de su favor, pena mortal;

Verse line 7
pues, mostrndose afable, duro y fuerte

Verse line 8
me sigue por me dar amarga muerte

Length
Text and
Word
painting

21 minims (5 measures)

24 minims (6 measures)
Collective individuality y yo
Homorhythm for emphasis
Harmonic descend from C to Bb
for mortal pain

28 minims (7 measures)
Long note values for duro y
fuerte

35 minims (9 measures)
Final concetto. Extensive text
repetition.
Fugato imitative entrances for
me sigue

Counterpoint
and texture

Imitative and dense counterpoint.


Very close entrances T-B -S2-AS1

Free counterpoint for y yo,


homorhythm for the rest of the
verse line

Imitative and dense counterpoint.


Close entrances. Change to longer
note counterpoint for second half
of verse line.

Forces
Center

5 voices
g

5 voices
C

Fugato imitative entrances for


me sigue
Head motive entrances then
homorhythm with one
contrapuntal voice.
5 voices
d
G
G
Big medial cadence.
Final authentic cadence.

Bb

5 voices (late bass entrance)


Bb
Full
cadence

124
No. 10 Plugiera a Dios (Gregorio Silvestre)
Plugiera a Dios, si aquest es buen partido,
que yo nunca nasiera o no pecara,
o, llorando, mi culpa tal quedara,
como si no la oviera cometido;

May it please God, if a good person,


that I had never been born or had never sinned,
or, weeping, that my fault would stay,
as if I had never committed it;

y ya que tan protervo y malo sido


que a tanto perdimiento no llegara,
quen duda de mis males yo tomara,
por no perder mi ser, el no aver sido.

and because I have been so wicked and evil;


that I had never come to such a loss
that in doubt from my evils I would take,
in order not to lose my being, the option of never
having been.

Ay! no lo quiera Dios, ni tal pretendo.


Ya s que aun en la piedra y en la planta
el ser sobrel no ser tiene excelenia.

Ay! May God not to want it, nor do I aim for it.
I know that even in stones and plants
being prevails over non-being.

Pecador grande soy, mas bien entiendo


que nos posible ser mi culpa tanta
que no la sane Dios con su clemenia.

I am a great sinner, but well do I understand


that it is impossible for my guilt to be so great
that God could not heal it with his clemency.

This madrigal is structured in two parts, following the natural division of sonnets
into a first section of two quartets, and a second section of two terzets. It is also one of
the longest madrigals in the collection with 272 minims (68 measures). Each verse line
receives a separate section with a different musical procedure. In a peculiar way, there are
also several strong cadences along the piece, not only in major structural divisions, but
some times even from one verse line to the next. This makes the music flow at a slow
pace, as if stopping to reflect on the poetic text before moving onto the following verse
line. In spite of this, in some junctions (such as the ones between verse lines 1-2 and 1011), Guerrero anticipates the style of the following verse by the end of the previous verse
to create a sense of continuity. In these places, although the voices are cadencing
together, the style of composition connects both verses giving the piece moments of more
continuous flow.

125
There are only two instances of musical overlapping between verse lines. The first
one happens between the first and second quartet of the first part (verse lines 4-5), a
minor overlap between the cadencing bass part and the entrance of the upper three parts.
The second one happens between the first and second terzet of the second part (verse
lines 11-12, measure 50). This second instance represents a major overlap because, while
the upper trio is cadencing, the lower parts are entering with the important text I am a
great sinner (See Example 3).
In this same passage Guerrero consciously blurred the first appearance of the text
in the bass and tenor parts, as if this penitential feeling would appear at first in the
background of the penitent soul. After this, the subsequent entrances of the upper voices
clearly present the penitential text of self-recognition, and the penitential feeling emerges
in the foreground. Besides this background-foreground effect, the overlapping between
these two sections also works to prevent further sectionalization between the inner
components of the sonnet.
Example 3. Plugiera a Dios mm. 48 60

126
Example 3, continued

As it happens with all the spiritual madrigals in the collection, the verse lines with
strong moral or theological significance receive longer treatment than the rest. In the case
of Plugiera a Dios both the twelfth and the last verse lines receive the most weight.
Verse line twelve (pecador grande soy, I am a great sinner) in the example above is
the longest one in the madrigal. The importance of this sentence is accentuated by several
simultaneous techniques. First, the subdued entrance in the background of the texture is
followed by the entrance of the upper three parts. Second, in spite of this subdued

127
entrance, there is a strong shift in rhythmic activity from the previous verse line, with the
use of semibreves and minims instead of the continuum of semi-minims presented before.
Finally, there is extensive repetition of text accompanied by an almost wild exploration of
the entire gamut with the use of F sharp, G sharp, C sharp, and D sharp, as a rhetorical
gesture emphasizing the importance and the meaning of the text.
After this poignant passage, the last verse line of the sonnet with the text that
God could not heal with his clemency represents the moral concetto of the entire
meditative poem. Even if the sinners fault is great, Gods mercy will forgive it after
penitence. This text is extremely important because it represents the hope that all sinners
have in Gods clemency while reflecting on their own faults. Guerrero presents this final
line of text at least six times in antiphonal imitative counterpoint. It is as if one had to
repeat these words again and again to really believe them, and to find comfort in
forgiveness while repenting for ones own sins. Even more, after a cadence in the
antepenultimate measure, Guerrero re-iterates the moral concetto with a plagal cadence in
E in which the lower trio of voices declaims the words in strict homorhythm, while the
second soprano emphasizes one more time that redemption will be done with His
clemency (see Example 4).
The relationship between text and musical setting in this madrigal starts from the
quality of the poem, a very intellectual and learned sonnet by Gregorio Silvestre. Sonnets
are the poetic forms most highly regarded of all. A sonnet is a long poem, with a strict
rhyme scheme, that deals with the highest subjects, such as sacred and secular love.
Mostly all meditative poems in the collection, as is the case of Plugiera a Dios, are set
in sonnet form.

128
Likewise, Guerreros musical setting is intellectual, planned, and restrained in
style. It is not a simple, accessible, and transparent setting in which the words stand out,
and in which several instances of word painting illuminate the meaning of the text. This
is a meditative text, a text directed to oneself for the purpose of reflecting about faults
and sins. The highly contrapuntal construction with dense rhythmic activity of Guerreros
setting does not allow for clear understanding of the text. It seems as if this meditative
text was purposely set in this complex form so that it fulfills its purpose for the individual
performer singing for his or her own moral edification. One could speculate that it was
not important to make the setting accessible for a potential audience; probably singing
this madrigal functioned more as a collective meditation in penitential times.
Example 4. Plugiera a Dios Moral concetto in the last three measures

There are very few moments of homorhythm in Plugiera a Dios, and they all
directly related to the concept of sin. In measure 11 the words are not to sin, and in
measures 60-62 they are it is impossible for my guilt to be so great. Verse line 11 is

129
another important moment where Guerrero chose to emphasize text with the use of
homorhythm. The very abstract and intellectual concept, being prevails over non-being,
is presented in strict homorhythm and emphasized with the use of full pauses between the
repetitions of text.
Spanish music of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries is known for the abundant
use of cross-relations. The opening of Plugiera a Dios is one of the best examples of
this (see Example 5). The reiterated cross-relation between G and G sharp in this
opening could be understood as the dubitative and plaintive state of mind of the sinner,
who is meditating about asking God to forgive his sins. It could also represent the
ambivalence between being and non-being, as the poet would prefer not to have been
born instead of having sinned. The opening of the second quartet of the sonnet in
measures 20-21 brings another instance of cross relations, this time between C and C
sharp. This cross relation audibly presents the word protervo (wicked) in the
acceptance of the poet of his previous mistakes.
Several of the penitential pieces in the collection are composed in Mode 3
(Phrygian). This mode had a special aura during the Renaissance. Not all the
theoreticians used the same adjectives in terms of its ethos, but they all used strong words
to describe it. In opposition to Mode 1 (Dorian), which was probably a default mode
for a different range of affections, Mode 3 was a conscious choice to fit a specific text or
provoke a specific emotion.
Nicol Burzio described Mode 3 as provoking to anger, and Hermann Finck
explained that the Phrygian mode was not wrongly attributed to Mars moves to

130
choler and biliousness loud words, hideous battles, and bold deeds suit this [tone].
Zarlino, however, described it as Somewhat hard; moves one to weeping.12 As with the
case of No. 3 Baxme mi descuydo, it is Zarlinos description the one that better fits
the modal ethos of this piece. In Plugiera a Dios Guerrero consciously chose to use the
Phrygian mode to represent the harshness and sadness in Silvestres meditative poem.
Example 5. Plugiera a Dios cross-relations in the opening measures


12

Harold S. Powers, et al. "Mode," in Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/43718pg3 (accessed March 1, 2010).

131
The modern transcription of Plugiera a Dios presents several issues for
discussion. In the same way as No. 1 Quandos miro, mi Dios, the original alto line is
transcribed as a tenor line in the modern edition. In Plugiera a Dios, however, this
could be justified by the fact that this line goes down to a low E. Nevertheless, these
pieces were not conceived with a fixed pitch in mind, and the issue of range can be
flexible to the available performers.
In regards to the modern rhythmic transcription of this piece, the incipit before the
first part of the piece states that the original minims are transcribed as quarter notes.
However, there is no incipit before the second part of the madrigal, which presents a
great change in rhythmic activity. It is not know, therefore, if this apparent change is a
product of a different type of transcription, or if it is true to the original publication. 13


13

As a final note on the modern transcription of this piece, it is important to keep in mind that
there are a couple of mistakes in the rhythmic figuration of some parts which are easily fixed by comparing
it to that of the other parts. In measure 14, the first bass note should be a dotted quarter. In measure 46, the
last Tiple 2 note should be an eight note.

132

Chart 3. No. 10 Plugiera a Dios (Sonnet by Gregorio Silvestre)


5vv, Mode 3 (Phrygian, E final, range G f). Two parts. Minim transcribed as quarter note.

a) First Part
Sonnet: First Quartet
Verse line 1
Plugiera a Dios, si aquestes buen partido,
Length
Text and Word
painting

Counterpoint
and texture
Forces
Center

26 minims (6.5 measures)


Several instances of cross
relations between G and G#.
Si aquetes buen partido is
repeated. Second time, in the style
of the next verse line, as a
transition.
Free counterpoint with some
imitations
5 voices
e

(A)

Sonnet: Second Quartet


Verse line 5
y ya que tan protervo y malo sido
Length
Text and Word
painting
Counterpoint
and texture
Forces
Center

13 minims (3.5 measures)


Cross relation between C and C#
for protervo
No textual repetition
Free counterpoint with some
imitations
4 voices (SSAT)
d
G

Verse line 2
que yo nunca nasiera o no pecara,

Verse line 3
o, llorando, mi culpa tal quedara,

Verse line 4
como si no la oviera cometido;

20 minims (5 measures)
Several textual repetitions.
Homorhythmic emphasis for o
no pecara

18 minims (4.5 measures)


Some textual repetition.

19 minims (4.5 measures)


Textual repetition.

Imitative counterpoint in close


entrances. Some antiphonal
entrances. Homorhythmic ending.
5 voices
a
a

Imitative counterpoint.

Imitative counterpoint in close


entrances.
Overlapping with next verse line.
5 voices
C
(F) d

Verse line 6
que a tanto perdimiento no llegara,

Verse line 7
quen duda de mis males yo tomara,

Verse line 8
por no perder mi ser, el no aver sido.

9 minims (2.5 measures)

12 minims (3 measures)
Emphasis on text by texture

23 minims (5.5 measures)


Emphasis by several repetitions of
text.

Imitative counterpoint in paired


entrances
5 voices
G
C

Almost homorhythmic

Antiphonal beginning, free


counterpoint for the end.
5 voices
E

5 voices
a

5 voices
C

133

Chart 3, continued
b) Second Part
Sonnet: First Terzet
Verse line 9
Ay! no lo quiera Dios, ni tal pretendo.
Length
Text and Word
painting

Counterpoint
and texture
Forces
Center

Verse line 10
Ya s que aun en la piedra y en la planta

Verse line 11
el ser sobrel no ser tiene exelenia.

27 minims (6.5 measures)


Strong change in rhythmic activity for change
in character of the text. Longer notes and less
rhythmic activity in all the parts.
Exclamatory ay! in lament-like motion.
Free counterpoint with imitative head motive.

14 minims (3.5 measures)


Text repetition for en la planta. Second
time has the same style of next verse line, as a
transition.

23 minims (5.5 measures)


Full pause between el ser and sobre el no
ser for emphasis and as suspiratio.

Free counterpoint.

5 voices
a

5 voices
C

Antiphonal and homorhythmic.


Overlapping with next section.
Antiphonal quartets, then antiphonal trios
d

Sonnet: Second Terzet


Verse line 12
Pecador grande soy, mas bien entiendo
Length
Text and Word
painting

Counterpoint
and texture
Forces
Center

Verse line 13
que nos posible ser mi culpa tanta

Verse line 14
que no la sane Dios con su clemenia.

43 minims (11 measures)


Longest section in the piece. Strong change in
rhythmic activity.
Longer notes, use of F#, G#, C#, and D#
(total exploration of Gamut) , and extensive
repetition of text for emphasis on pecador
grande soy
Different procedure and pitch center for mas
bien entiendo)
Free counterpoint with some imitation.

8 minims (2 measures)
Emphasis on text by texture

33 minims (7.5 measures)


Moral concetto
Extensive textual repetition.
Some cross relationships between G and G#

Homorhythm

5 voices
A

4 voices (SSAT)
C

Imitative counterpoint with some antiphonal


entrances. Homorhythmic ending.
5 voices
d
(E-a)
E

(A)

134
No. 11 Mi ofensas grande, salol tormento (Anonymous text)
Mi ofensas grande, salol tormento;
mas ay! tu desamor no me atormente,
o buen Jes, que de tu graia ausente,
pensallo mata. Qu harl sufrimiento!

My offence is great, so be the torment;


but, ay! your indifference might not torture me,
oh fair Jesus, except that thinking about your absent
grace is death. What suffering will do!

Tu cruz, tu muerte y sangre te presento.


O ricas prendas de la pobre gente!
Permitir tu amor divino, ardiente,
que tales esperanas llevel viento?

Your cross, your death, and blood I offer to you.


Oh riches tokens of the poor people!
Will your divine, ardent love permit
such hopes to take flight?

Ay, Dios! que te ofend, que ya no miro


si tu bondad me salva o me condena;
tu honra lloro y por tu amor suspiro;

Oh God! that I offended you, that I now do not see


if your kindness saves me or condemns me;
your honor I lament and for your love I sigh;

Tu honra satisfaz con cualquier pena;


la culpa tira; porque hars dun tiro
tu honra esquita y a mi alma buena.

Satisfy your honor with whatever punishments necessary;


throw away the blame, because in one blow you will
acquit your honor and save my soul.

Mi ofensas grande, salol tormento is a very similar piece to No. 10 Plugiera


a Dios. Both are penitential sonnets, both are very long pieces, and both are in Mode 3.
Mi ofensas grande, however, is not divided into two parts, and does not present a
clear-cut sectionalization of verse lines. Instead, all the verse lines present some degree of
overlapping, with very few simultaneous stops in authentic cadences. The overall result is
a continuous flow and alternation of contrapuntal and homorhythmic textures.
Whereas Plugiera a Dios had very few instances of homorhythm, and the
meditative text is somewhat blurred by the intricate counterpoint, Mi ofensas grande
has several instances of homorhythm to emphasize the frequent and overtly penitential
statements. According to Wardroppers categorization Mi ofensas grande is a truly
penitential text, where the sinner addresses God directly, asking for forgiveness. Laced
with exclamations (ay!, oh!) and images of the passion (cross, death, blood),
it also presents the most direct penitential verse line in all the collection: My offence is

135
great, so be the torment. This is a core stage of the sacrament of Penitence, in which
the sinner, according to the extent of the committed sin, has to pursue a compensating
graceful action to receive forgiveness. In most cases, the penitential activity would
consist of prayers. In the most extreme cases, even self-inflicted wounds would be
performed in the sixteenth century.
The penitential focus of this sonnet flows clearly through its structural plan. The
first verse lines of each strophe (1, 5, 9, and 12) deliver a strong penitential statement, the
following verse lines of each strophe elaborate on this first verse line, and the last verse
line of the poem serves as moral concetto that brings hope to the sinner:
Verse line 1: My offence is great, so be the torment
Verse line 5: Your cross, your death, and blood I offer to you
Verse line 9: Oh God! That I offended you, that I now do not see
Verse line 12: Satisfy your honor with whatever punishment necessary
Verse line 14: Acquit your honor and save my soul
Guerreros musical setting strictly follows this structure. Once again, Guerrero
emphasizes importance by length and repetition of text. Verse lines 1, 5, 9, and 14 are the
longest in the setting (see Chart 4). Most of the other verse lines are much shorter, and do
not present much text repetition.
The other parts of the poem that do not present the sinner addressing God but the
innermost reaction of the individual are emphasized in Guerreros musical setting by the
use of homorhythm. Such is the case of the words O buen Jes (Oh fair Jesus)14 and tu
honra lloro (your honor I lament). The homorhythmic and chordal treatment in


14

It is interesting to note that O buen Jes is the Spanish translation of O bone Jesu, which was
the opening line for many different motets during the Renaissance. There was a convention of setting this
very intimate text in homophony, which is followed here by Guerrero.

136
Guerreros setting brings emphasis to the sinners cry towards Jesus in the act of
repentance (See Example 6).
Example 6. Mi ofensas grande mm. 22-26. Homorhythmic treatment of O buen
Jes.

For verse line 11, with the words tu honra lloro y por tu amor suspiro (your
honor I lament and for your love I sigh), Guerrero uses not only homorhythm for clear
textual emphasis, but uses explicit examples of word painting. (See Example 7). First he
uses B flat for the word lloro (I cry) and then he uses the rhetorical figure of suspiratio
for the word suspiro (sigh).
Guerreros musical construction follows strictly also the internal structure of the
verse lines. Where there are two clauses in the verse line, Guerrero assigns a different
compositional procedure for each. This is the case, for instance, of verse lines 1, 3, and
11, in which different contrapuntal procedures are assigned to each different clause. The
result is a sub-sectionalization of the madrigal, within the general continuous flow of the
text.

137

Example 7. Mi ofensas grande mm. 72-77. Word painting for the words lloro and
suspiro

Like Plugiera a Dios, Mi ofensas grande is a penitential madrigal in Mode 3


(Phryghian). Zarlinos description of the mode once more fits best the text and character
of this piece: Somewhat hard; moves one to weeping. However, unlike Plugiera a
Dios, this madrigal does not present cross-relations or extreme explorations of the

138
gamut. On the contrary, this piece has soft and simple melodic lines, with an overall
imperfect consonant sound built mostly with intervals of thirds and very pleasant to the
modern ear.
There exist some issues with the available modern transcription. First, as is the
case with several other madrigals in the collection, the original alto part is transcribed as
a tenor line. Second, the madrigal contains long stretches of lines without text;
consequently, there is ample room for discussion on editorial text underlay.15


15

In fact, there are three measures in the Tiple 1 line (measures 40-42) that have no text underlay
at all in the modern edition. It is likely that the words for these four notes are Te presento. The editorial
text underlay presented in the modern edition is very good and maintains uniformity with the almost
omnipresent syllabic style of the entire collection of Canciones y villanescas espirituales. It is also very
good in assigning text to music with excellent rhetoric and prosodic style, paralleling the excellent
relationship between text and music for which Guerrero was famous in his time.

139

Chart 4. No. 11 Mi ofensas grande, salol tormento (Anonymous text)


5vv, Mode 3 (Phrygian, E final, range G e). Semibreve transcribed as half note.
Sonnet: First Quartet
Verse line 1
Mi ofensas grande, salol tormento;
Length
Text and Word
painting

30 semibreves (15 measures)


Somber penitential mood is
represented in long notes, few
ornamental notes, late treble
entrance, subdued register.
Text repetition

Counterpoint
and texture

Free counterpoint with imitative


head motive.

Forces

5 voices
e

Center

(a)

(a)

Verse line 2
mas, ay! tu desamor no me atormente,

Verse line 3
o buen Jes, que de tu graia ausente,

Verse line 4
pensallo mata. Qu harl sufrimiento!

13 semibreves (6.5 measures)


Interjections of mas ay!
separated by rests and quasi
homorhythm.
Overlapping from next section as
anticipative interjection.
This verse line has the tone of
secular love.
Free counterpoint with imitative
head motive.

15 semibreves (7.5 measures)


Homorhythm and text repetition
to emphasize Jesuss kindness.
Similar to the treatment that the
words O bone Jesu in Latin
motets.

12 semibreves (6 measures)
Emphasis by texture and
antiphonal text repetition.
Poetic enjambment between verse
lines 3 and 4 is not done in the
musical setting.

Homorhythmic start with a late


bass entrance. Then free
counterpoint.
4 voices at a time
C
G

Homorhythmic start. Then


antiphonal: upper quartet vs.
lower quartet.
4 voices
G
(E)

5 voices
A

Sonnet: Second Quartet


Verse line 5
Tu cruz, tu muerte y sangre te presento.

Verse line 6
O ricas prendas de la pobre gente!

Verse line 7
Permitir tu amor divino, ardiente,

Verse line 8
que tales esperanas llevel viento?

Text and Word


painting

14 semibreves (7 measures)
Strong images of the Passion not
acknowledged by word painting.

9 semibreves (4.5 measures)


Ornamented notes for ricas
prendas

8 semibreves (4 measures)
Textual clarity by texture.

Counterpoint
and texture

Imitative counterpoint.

Quasi homorhythmic with faster


rhythmic activity.

Antiphonal homorhythm

Forces

5 voices
a

13 semibreves (6.5 measures)


Overlapping with previous section
for poetic enjambment.
Long melismatic lines for
vientoBig overlap with next verse line.
Homorhythmic beginning. Longer
contrapuntal and melismatic lines
for viento
5 voices
a
e

Length

Center

5 voices
C

5 voices
a

140

Chart 4, continued
Sonnet: First Terzet
Verse line 9
Ay, Dios! Que te ofend, que ya no miro
Length
Text and Word
painting

Counterpoint
and texture
Forces
Center

25 semibreves (12.5 measures)


Longer notes for exclamation Ay, Dios!
Text repetitions.
Sudden shift of rhythmic activity from
previous verse line.
Big overlap with previous verse line.
Imitative counterpoint in long notes and long
lines.
5 voices
e
E

Sonnet: Second Terzet


Verse line 12
Tu honra satisfaz con cualquier pena
Length
Text and Word
painting

10 semibreves (5 measures)
Ornamentation for emphasis of pena

Counterpoint
and texture

Free counterpoint with some head motive


imitation

Forces

5 voices
c

Center

Verse line 10
si tu bondad me salva o me condena;

Verse line 11
tu honra lloro y por tu amor suspiro;

10 semibreves (5 measures)
Use of steady semiminims, very steady
rhythm for tu bondad
Overlap with previous verse line but clear-cut
ending before next verse line.

13 semibreves (6.5 measures)


Use of Bb for lloro
Use of suspiratio for suspiro
Emphasis by homorhythmic texture.

Imitative counterpoint

Homorhythm in the beginning. Then imitative


counterpoint in close entrances.
4 voices 5 voices
a
c

5 voices
E

Verse line 13
la culpa tira; porque hars dun tiro

Verse line 14
tu honra esquita y a mi alma buena

16 semibreves (8 measures)
Anticipation of the words la culpa for
emphasis.
Word painting with ascending semi-minims
for tira
Free counterpoint with some head motive
imitation and some antiphonal treatment.

28 semibreves (14 measures)


Final concetto
Very simple rhythm, mostly in steady semiminims

5 voices
d

Free counterpoint with some head motive


imitation. Two quartets followed by full
forces
4 voices 4 voices 5 voices
a
(a)
E
Plagal cad.

141
No. 12 Si del jardn del ielo soberano (Anonymous text)
Si del jardn del ielo soberano
quisieres la violeta y fresca rosa,
sin que spinanojosa
con rigor coran hiera y tu mano,
huye llorando del plazer mundano,
y a la Virgen gloriosa
de tus culpas te muestra lastimado,
que mudarn contento y regozijo;
mostrndole tus lgrimas al hijo,
dir: -Templad, mi hijo, vuestra yra
y pues su culpa gime y llorado,
limpiad con vuestra sangre su pecado-.

If from the garden of the sovereign heaven


you would like the violet and the fresh rose,
so that the angry thorn would not
harshly wound your heart and hand,
flee weeping from worldly pleasure
and to the glorious Virgin
she shows how you are hurt by your faults,
which she will change to contentment and delight,
showing your tears to her son,
she will say: - Temper your wrath, my son,
and since his guilt wails and he has wept,
cleanse his sin with your blood -.

This moral, contemplative poem, as narrated by an anonymous or omniscient


character, has the purpose of making the sinner repent. It first shows the image of the
Garden of Eden (the garden of the sovereign heaven,) and then proceeds to tell the
sinner what to doto flee from worldly sin and ask the Virgin Mary for intercession with
her son Christ. This is not a cry for forgiveness or a quiet meditation by the sinner. In this
sense, it does not show truly penitential characteristics; but it is rather a manual for
penitence dressed in the shape of a lyric poem.
One of the most interesting features of this poem is a shift from the initial
anonymous narrator to the direct speech of the Virgin Mary addressing Christ and
interceding for the sinner. This shift, however, is not paralleled in the musical setting in
the manner of a different compositional style; the piece remains almost entirely
contrapuntal from beginning to end.
Although this poem starts with a beautiful image of the Garden of Eden, and
although the overall impression is that of a lyric love poem, there are several images from
the Passion and allusions to penitential activity. Embedded in the lyricism of the moral

142
poem we find descriptions such as spinanojosa (angry thorn) and limpiad con
vuestra sangre (cleanse with your blood) that are directly related to the Passion scene.
There is a strong emphasis on guilt, both metaphorically and with the direct use of the
word culpa (guilt) in verse lines seven and eleven; and, overall, there is a strong use of
language related to penitential activity such as huye llorando (flee weeping),
mostrndole tus lgrimas (showing your tears), and su culpa gime y ha llorado
(his guilt wails and has wept).
The poem is a conventional madrigal, with a free combination of seven- and
eleven-syllable verse lines. In this specific case, there are only two seven-syllable verse
lines (verse lines three and six). The poem groups verse lines into trios, and creates inner
cohesion through the use of only five types of endings (ABb AAb CDD ECC).
Guerreros musical setting follows the overall poetic structure closely with a different
musical procedure for each verse line. However, there is no musical parallel for the verse
line grouping or the tight rhyme scheme.
One of the most compelling features of Guerreros setting of this text appears in
the first six measures (Example 8). To emphasize the vivid image of the Garden of Eden,
the madrigal starts with an emphatic homorhythmic statement presented only by the
upper four voices. The absence of the bass line and the overall high range of all parts
describe the garden of the sovereign heaven as a higher place where man aspires to go
or return. After this short burst of high notes, the upper four parts elide into the first word
of the second verse line quisieres (you would). At the same time the bass enters with
the text of the first verse line in an emphatic ascending line that could represent the quest
for this higher place.

143
Example 8. Si del jardn del ielo opening measures

The madrigal then continues in different types of imitative counterpoint with only
two instances of homorhythm for textual emphasis. Verse lines six and seven, which are
treated almost as a single verse line, present a homorhythmic texture that emphasizes the
importance of the relationship between the sinner and the figure of the Virgin Mary with
the text Y a la Virgen gloriosa de tus culpas te muestra lastimado (And to the glorious
Virgin, she shows how you are hurt by your faults).

144
The end of the eleventh verse line and the beginning of the last verse line are also
set in homorhythm. This enhances the penitential words su culpa gime y llorado (his
guilt wails and has wept) and the word limpiad (cleanse) with which the Virgin
Mary asks Christ to cleanse the soul of the sinner (see Example 9).
Example 9. Si del jardn mm. 50-54

There are several instances of word painting in this madrigal. The most important
and expressive one appears in verse line three, one of the two short verse lines in the
poem. For this section, Guerrero presented the very short text sin que spinanojosa (so
that the angry thorn would not) several times in incessant repetition, exploring the whole
gamut from sharps to flats, and using tritones that resolve in imperfect consonances (see
Example 10).
Other examples of word painting are more conventional and expected, such as the
use of B flat for lastimado (hurt) in verse line seven, and in lgrimas (tears) in

145
verse line nine; or the use of ornamented melismatic passages for fresca rosa (fresh
rose), and for plazer mundano (worldly pleasure).
Example 10. Si del jardn mm. 10-20

There are also some instances in which Guerrero consciously avoided using word
painting. Such is the case of verse line five and the words huye llorando (flee
weeping). Also, when the poem shifts to the direct speech of the Virgin in verse line ten,
there is no shift of texture and the words of the Virgin receive the same contrapuntal
treatment of the previous verse lines. Probably Guerrero did not want to turn this lyric

146
madrigal into a dramatic piece with identifiable characters. Maintaining the contrapuntal
style, and avoiding a dramatic dialogue keeps the appropriateness of the madrigal as well
as its didactic and moral purpose.
Si del jardn del ielo is written in high chiavette and without any signature.
As it was discussed before with Baxme mi descuydo, this probably means that the
piece was to be transposed down a fifth. This transposition would turn the piece into a
low range piece, and would make it suitable for an equal-voices ensemble instead of a
mixed ensemble (see Table 4. 3).
Table 4. 3. Si del jardn del ielo ranges and voice parts
with and without chiavette transpositions
Part
Non-transposed
Transposed down a 5th
Overall range
C g
F d
Tiple 1 (Soprano 1) f g (soprano)
Bb d (mezzo or alto)
Tiple 2 (Soprano 2) e e (soprano)
A a (alto)
Alto
G c (alto)
C f (tenor)
Tenor
G g (tenor)
C c (baritone)
Baxo (Bass)
C d (baritone)
F g (bass)
Si del jardn del ielo is written in Mode 7 (Mixolydian). Zarlino explains that
the Mixolydian had the nature of inciting the spirit and restoring it.16 If Guerrero was
following Zarlinos description of the nature of modes, it is possible that he chose the
seventh mode to underline the meaning of the text, which is trying to incite the sinner to
repent in the first section, and to pacify his spirit with the view of the hope of salvation
through the Virgin Mary in the second section.


16

Gioseffo Zarlino. On the modes. Part Four of Le Istitutioni Harmoniche (1558). Translated by
Vered Cohen. Edited with an Introduction by Claude V. Palisca. (New Haven: Yale University Press,
1983), 25.

147

Chart 5. No. 12 Si del jardn del ielo soberano (Anonymous text)


5vv, Mode 7 (Mixolydian, G final, range C g). High chiavette. Semibreve transcribed as half note.
Verse line 1
Si del jardn del ielo soberano

Verse line 2
quisieres la violeta y fresca rosa

Verse line 3
sin que spinanojosa

Text and Word


painting

9 semibreves (5 measures)
Emphasis on direct tone of didactic/moral
text. Portraying image of the garden of Eden.
Very late bass entrance below verse line 2.

16 semibreves (8 measures)
Word-painting for angry thorn with tritones
that later resolve in imperfect consonances.
Several repetitions of text.
Exploration of the whole Gamut, starting
from C#, F#, and G#, and ending with Bb.
Possibly as word painting of thorns.

Counterpoint
and texture

Homorhythm

Forces

Upper quartet.
G

14 semibreves (7 measures)
Quisieres belongs to previous section.
Total overlapping of texts. Bass is singing
verse line 1 while the rest are singing verse
line 2.
New musical treatment starts with la
violeta.
Word-painting for fresca rosa
Free counterpoint with some head motive
imitation.
5 voices
G
G

Length

Center

Length
Text and Word
painting

Counterpoint
and texture
Forces
Center

Imitative counterpoint.
5 voices
G

Verse line 4
con rigor coran hiera y tu mano

Verse line 5
huye llorando del plazer mundano

Verse line 6
y a la Virgen gloriosa

Verse line 7
de tus culpas te muestra lastimado,

9 semibreves (5 measures)
Use of Bb for rigor

10 semibreves (5 measures)
No special emphasis or wordpainting for llorando
Ornamented melisma for plazer
mundano
Free counterpoint with some head
motive imitation.
5 voices
C
G

3 semibreves (2 measures)
Emphasis by texture in the text
that represents Marian
intercession.

10 semibreves (5 measures)
Use of Bb for lastimado
Emphasis on penitential text by
texture.

Homorhythm

Quasi homorhythm

Imitative counterpoint in close


entrances
5 voices
F
C

4 voices
G

5 voices
G

148

Chart 5, continued
Verse line 8
que mudarn contento y
regozijo;

Verse line 9
mostrndole tus lgrimas al hijo,

Verse line 10
dir: -Templad, mi hijo, vuestra
yra

Verse line 11
y pues su culpa gime y llorado

Verse line 12
limpiad con vuestra sangre su
pecado-.

9 semibreves (4.5
measures)
Faster rhythmic motion
and overall ascending
initial notes to represent
the meaning of the text and
create excitement.

9 semibreves (4.5
measures)
No special emphasis for
the word lgrimas
Guerrero elides verse lines
9 and 10 and creates a
dramatic introduction: al
hijo dir

10 semibreves (5
measures)
Direct speech of the Virgin
Mary is blurred in dense
counterpoint.
Several repetitions of text.

8 semibreves (4 measures)

Counterpoint
and texture

Complete change of
texture. Very strict
imitative counterpoint.

Imitative counterpoint in
close entrances.

Free counterpoint with


some head motive
imitation.

Forces

5 voices
d

Free counterpoint with


imitative head motive.
Al hijo dir in
homorhythm
5 voices
C
G

15 semibreves (7.5
measures)
Moral concetto.
Homorhythmic emphasis
for limpiad
Juxtaposition of slow
limpiad and fast con
vuestra sangre
Several repetitions of text.
Homorhythmic start, then
free counterpoint with
some head motive
imitation.
5 voices
G
(C)
G

Length
Text and
Word painting

Center

5 voices
G

No special emphasis in
culpa. The last ha
llorado is emphasized by
homorhythmic ending.

5 voices
G

149
No. 34 Ojos claros, serenos (Anonymous a lo divino text)
Ojos claros, serenos,
que vuestro apstol Pedro an ofendido,
mirad y reparad lo que perdido.
Si, atado fuertemente,
queris sufrir por mi ser aotado,
no me miris ayrado,
porque no parezcis menos clemente;
pues lloro amargamente,
bolved, ojos serenos,
y, pues mors por m, miradme al menos.

Clear, serene eyes,


that your apostle Peter offended,
gaze upon and repair that which I have lost.
If, strongly tied,
you wish to suffer for me to be whipped,
do not look upon me with anger,
because you do not appear less clement;
since I weep bitterly,
turn, serene eyes,
and, since you die for me, at least look at me.

Ojos claros, serenos, both in the secular and in the spiritual versions, is one of
the most renowned pieces in Francisco Guerreros entire output, and the most famous and
performed piece in the collection of Canciones y villanescas espirituales. It is the first
piece in the group of 4-part pieces in the original publication, and is the piece that opens
the second volume of the collection of Canciones y villanescas as presented in the
modern edition of Monumentos de la Msica Espaola.
During Guerreros lifetime Ojos claros, serenos, with the original secular text
by Gutierre de Cetina, appeared first in the Cancionero de Medinaceli, a collection
copied in the second half of the sixteenth century, and in a transcription for voice and
vihuela by Miguel de Fuenllana in Orphenica lyra (Seville, 1554). The version that was
published in Venice for the Canciones y villanescas espirituales (Venice, 1589) is a
substantially revised version of the music with a new a lo divino text.
Ojos claros, serenos has a very interesting poetic structure that serves as
foundation for the musical setting. It is a madrigal that freely combines seven- and
eleven- syllable verse lines with an aBBcDdCcaA rhyme scheme. The structure of the
poetic text is clearly marked into two terzets (aBB cDd) and a final quartet (CcaA). At
the same time, the madrigal as a whole has a strong cohesion, with only four rhyme

150
endings used in all the poem, and a very marked return to the opening lines in the final
two verse lines. The sense of return occurs with the reappearance of the A rhyme ending,
but even more firmly with the recall of the words ojos serenos in the ninth verse line.
Guerreros musical setting mirrors almost exactly this poetic structure, with only
one exception (See Example 11 for a complete transcription of the piece). In the poem,
verse line 7 belongs to the final quartet (CcaA). In the musical setting, Guerrero makes
verse line 7 the end of the previous section, attaching it to verse line 6, and starts a new,
distinct, musical section with verse line 8. This break between verse lines 7 and 8 allows
Guerrero to emphasize the penitential text of verse line 8 pues lloro amargamente
(since I weep bitterly). The emphasis occurs first through a full pause between verse
lines 7 and 8, and second, through an emphatic and strict homorhythmic declamation of
the text to allow the central penitential affect of the poem to be clearly heard.
The four-voice pieces in the collection of Canciones y villanescas espirituales
project a different overall style of in general than the five-voice pieces. Whereas fivevoice pieces display a more learned contrapuntal style, the four-voice pieces lean towards
simpler counterpoint and feature many more homorhythmic passages.
Ojos claros, serenos is written in short homorhythmic, declamatory passages
with few sections of very simple counterpoint. Counterpoint in pieces such as Ojos
claros, serenos and several other four-part pieces is limited to rhythmic variation within
homorhythmic passages and paired imitative entrances. The result is a simpler and more
transparent style that allows the text to be clearly understood.
Besides the use of texture and word painting to emphasize the spiritual and
penitential affects of the text, musical structure brings cohesion and a heightened sense of

151
emotion to this madrigal. The madrigal is divided in four sections. The first section
consists of the poems opening terzet, a comparatively long section of 32 semibreves for
only three verse lines. The second section features verse lines 4 to 7 and is about half the
length of the first section (18 semibreves). After this inner section, there is a short
passage of 8 semibreves exclusively dedicated to verse line 8 pues lloro amargamente
(since I weep bitterly). This short passage presents the central penitential concept of the
poem and works as the climactic emotional center of the piece. The final section is a
parallel of the opening section, with a length of 36 breves for the last two verse lines of
the poem. In this final section there is a return to the initial thoughts of the ojos serenos
image that was presented in the opening, followed by a moral concetto in the last verse
line of the piece.
Both the poetic structure and the musical setting are built in a manner in which
the first and the last verse lines stand as balanced and parallel structural pillars, where
reflection begins and ends. The emotional arc spans from the guilt experienced in front of
Jesus on the cross (Ojos claros, serenos), through the emotional climax of repentance
(pues lloro amargamente), to the hope of redemption in the last verse line.
The first musical section presents the penitential image of Peter in front of
Christ.17 The madrigal starts with an exclamation of the text Ojos claros, serenos
(Clear, serene eyes), done only by three voices in empty-sounding chords with no
thirds. The second iteration of the text is done by the four parts, now with full triadic
sonorities, but in an even higher tessitura than the first statement. The musical setting of
the entire first verse line progresses in long note values that portray the solemnity and

17

See Chapter 3 for the relationship between Guerreros musical setting and penitential paintings
in the Seville Cathedral.

152
anguish of Peters speech in front of Christ on the cross. After two requests for Christs
serene eyes, the music quickly turns into a faster and quasi homorhythmic passage to
express the confessional statement que vuestro Apstol Pedro an ofendido (that your
Apostle Peter offended).
After an inner section of short declamatory passages, the central verse line of the
poem arrives on the text pues lloro amargamente (since I weep bitterly). This section
(measures 26-29), which has the central penitential action of repenting for the
commitment of sins, acts as both the ending of the inner section and as the transition
towards the return of the opening material.
The last section of the madrigal returns with an emphatic homophonic statement
in a very high register on the words bolved, ojos serenos (return, serene eyes) which
is similar in character and content to the second iteration of the first verse line in the
opening section. However, this time Guerrero insertsfor the first time in the settinga
little bit of melismatic and ornamental treatment (see measure 30) as a character
transition towards the hopeful final concetto.
In the same manner that the first verse line was repeated for emphasis in the
opening section, the last verse line of the poem is repeated several times. This final
section with its repeated text works both as a plea of the sinner (y pues mors por mi,
miradme al menos, and since you die for me, at least look at me) and as a hopeful hint
for the penitent: if Christ died for the sins of the world, it is very possible that he will turn
his serene eyes to the sinner and offer forgiveness.

153
Example 11. Ojos claros, serenos

154
Example 11, continued

155
Example 11, continued

156
As with previous pieces, Ojos claros, serenos is written in high chiavette. This
indication, coupled to the addition of a flat in the signature, results in a probable
transposition of a fourth downwards. Although transposition in this era may not mean
pitch transposition, in modern circumstances the overall result of performing the piece at
written pitch or in a transposed version is quite different. If the piece is performed at
pitch, is lies in a very high range for all the voice parts and the result would be that of a
continuous cry for mercy. If, however, the piece is performed down a fourth, the piece
would remain in a low-middle range for all voice parts and would acquire a certain
feeling of somberness and meditation. (See Table 4. 4).
Table 4. 4. Ojos claros, serenos ranges and voice parts
with and without chiavette transpositions
Part
Non-transposed
Transposed down a 5th
Overall range
G g
D d
Tiple 1 (Soprano 1) g g (soprano)
d d (mezzo or alto)
Tiple 2 (Soprano 2) e eb (soprano)
B a (alto)
Alto
C c (alto)
G g (tenor)
Tenor
G g (tenor or alto)
D f (tenor)
This four-part piece offers a number of ensemble possibilities. If the piece is
performed at written pitch it can be sung by either an SSAA or an SSAT ensemble. If the
piece is transposed it can be sung by an AATT ensemble. In all cases, however, the
absence of a low bass line affects the overall sonority.
Ojos claros, serenos is written in G Dorian, like No. 3 Baxme mi descuydo.
As it was discussed earlier, Renaissance theorists attributed different ethos to the Dorian
mode. Only Zarlinos description of this mode being somewhat sad pertains to the
characteristics of Guerreros penitential text.

157
Ojos claros, serenos exists in three different versions. Although a detailed
comparison of the three versions exceeds the scope of this document, it is important to
keep in mind that this piece was originally a secular-texted madrigal, and that only for the
Venetian publication of 1589 Guerrero revised it and changed the text. Ojos claros,
serenos was the only a lo divino piece that received an extensive musical transformation
alongside the transformation of the text. Although the overarching musical structure and
sonority of the madrigal remain unchanged from the secular to the spiritual version, there
are changes in other musical parameters to fit the new affect of the text. The original
ornamentations of the secular madrigal disappear; and, although vertical sonorities
remain essentially the same, in many sections the inner disposition of chord voices has
mutated to portray the inner characteristics of the text. There are several changes in note
values, rests, and long pauses that result in different degrees of separation between
phrases in both versions. In some cases, although the notes are kept intact, the text
underlay is entirely different. More important, there are differences in the application of
written-in accidentals between the two versions.
Example 12 shows measures 22 to 24 of both the original secular version of Ojos
claros included in the Cancionero de Medinaceli and the a lo divino version included in
the collection of Canciones y villanescas espirituales. It can be seen that the text underlay
and rhythmic figures are different to accommodate the two different texts and the
inherent prosody of each poetic line. In addition, and very interesting to the modern
performer, is the different use of musica ficta between the two versions. In measure 24 of
the original secular version the tiple 1 ends in B flat and the decision to make it a B

158
natural or not is left to the performer. In the same measure in the a lo divino version, the
first tiple line ends with a B natural expressly written in the score.

Example 12. The Two Versions of Ojos Claros mm. 22-24

There are a couple of similar cases throughout the score that show a different
approach to musica ficta between the publication of the secular version (copied in the
second half of the sixteenth century) and the spiritual transcription in the Venetian edition
of 1589. It seems that writing the alterations of musica ficta directly in the score had

159
become a convention towards the end of the sixteenth century. In addition, a comparison
between these two versions is extremely helpful for the modern performer because it
shows different stages of the musica ficta application.
The second extant reworking of this piece is the transcription that Miguel de
Fuenllana published in his Orphenica lyra of 1554, in tablature for voice and vihuela.
The tablature consists of an arrangement of the four parts to the best available hand
positions on the vihuela, while the tenor line is selected to be sung. The fact that
Fuenllana considered the tenor to be the melodic line sheds some light on the two
polyphonic versions. The tenor line may have had a tradition of theoretical importance as
the old cantus firmus placeholder, but in all likelihood, it simply had the right range and
tessitura to be sung by a male soloist accompanied by the vihuela. This transcription, as
well as the abundance of other transcriptions of secular vocal music, makes a case for
speculation about the true market of Guerreros polyphonic pieces. Perhaps they were
meant to be sung accompanied by a vihuela and not entirely sung by a vocal ensemble.
Another fact worthy of mention is that tablatures are an excellent resource for
checking common contemporary practice of musica ficta. Tablatures indicated the exact
note to be played, freeing the performer from making choices in the application of musica
ficta rules. Therefore, modern performers should study this excellent resource for the
application of musica ficta in Ojos claros y serenos, since there are several
disagreements between the two modern transcriptions of the two polyphonic settings and
the tablature version by Fuenllana.

160

Chart 6. No. 34 Ojos claros, serenos (Anonymous a lo divino text)


4vv, Mode 1 (G Dorian, G final, range G g). High chiavette. Semibreve transcribed as half note
Overall
Musical Form
Poem

A
Verse line 1
Ojos claros, serenos

Verse line 1 (repeated)


Ojos claros, serenos,

Verse line 2
que vuestro apstol Pedro an ofendido,

Verse line 3
mirad y reparad lo que perdido.

Length

8 semibreves (4 measures)
Homorhythmic declamation
addressing Christ's eyes. Empty
harmony and parallel 4ths may
mean emptiness of the sinner. Full
long pause between this statement
and the repetition afterwards.

9 semibreves (4.5 measures)


Higher tessitura in top voices and
extended cadence, for added
intensity in the repetition of the
text. This time the harmony
includes thirds. Very high tessitura
as a cry for help.

8 semibreves (4 measures)
Use of Eb for the word "perdido"
(lost), Peter has sinned and has
lost his grace.

Trio SST with empty harmonies


(no 3rds in the beginning and
parallel 6 chords)
3 voices
d

Tutti SSAT homophonic


beginning and melismatic semicadence.
Tutti
d
D

7 semibreves (4 measures)
It is Peter the Apostle as narrator,
probably after his denial.
Use of Eb and probably a cross
relation between Eb and E
(depending on the application of
ficta) when referring to Peter the
Apostle (narrator).
Tutti SSAT simple almost
homorhythmic counterpoint.
Tutti
g

Duets then Tutti


g

Text and
Word painting

Counterpoint
and texture
Forces
Center

Overall
Musical Form
Poem

Length
Text and
Word painting

Counterpoint
and texture
Forces
Center

Paired entrances (TA - SS)


followed by a cadence.

B
Verse line 4

Verse line 5

Verse line 6

Verse line 7

Si atado fuertemente,

queris sufrir por mi ser aotado,

no me miris ayrado,

4 semibreves (2 measures)
Use of homorhythmic recitation
for clear presentation of the text.
Use of rests for emphasis

7 semibreves (3.5 measures)


Use of Eb for the words "suffer"
and "whipped"

2 semibreves (1.5 measures)


Use of Eb for the words "angry"
and "cry"

Homorhythm recitation.

Quasi homorhythmic recitation.

Homorhythm

porque no parescas menos


clemente;
5 semibreves (2.5 measures)
Although this verse line, by
rhyme scheme, belongs to the
following, Guerrero places at the
end of this musical section.
Simple counterpoint.

Tutti
Bb

Tutti
Bb

Tutti
g

Tutti
g

161

Chart 6, continued
Overall
Musical Form
Poem

Length
Text and
Word painting

C (with a short return to A)


Verse line 8

Verse line 9

Verse line 10

pues lloro (pues lloro),


amargamente,
8 semibreves (4 measures)
Central section of the piece that
encompass the penitential feeling.
Use of Eb for "bitterly crying".
Use of rests for emphasis,
repetition of the text "pues lloro,"
first incomplete, and the second
time in a higher tessitura in the
upper parts, as a cry for help.

bolved, ojos serenos

y pues mors por m, miradme al


y pues mors por m, miradme al
menos,
menos,
30 semibreves (15 measures)
Final moral concetto
Use of Eb for "die for me" and "at least." Extensive and insistent
repetition of text that emphasizes the sentence "and since you die for
me, at least look at me." The dialogue between parts could be seen as
the multiple cries of mankind for forgiveness. The full authentic
cadence of the piece comes in m. 44, but the following plagal cadence
gives the madrigal the plaintive and sorrowful sonority and the
homorhythmic motion portrays all the different cries coming together
as an individual voice in the end.

Counterpoint
and texture

Homorhythmic declamation.

Forces

Tutti
g

Center

6 semibreves (3 measures)
Key section of the piece. It is a
direct interpellation between Peter
and Christ, asking him for
forgiveness. Return to the topic of
the serene eyes
Melismas for the word "serene".
Strong exclamation for the
imperative "bolved." Longest
melisma for "serenos" of the piece.
Paradoxical use of in "serenos"
(could depict the anguish that the
narrator still feels and not the
direct meaning of the word).
Homorhythmic declamation with
longer melisma in the semicadence.
Tutti
D

Homorhythmic beginning. Paired


duet entrance and tutti full
cadence. (First full cadence in the
piece).
Tutti
g

Verse line 10 (repeated)

Four duet entrances and tutti full


cadence.
Duets - Tutti
g

162
No. 39 Qu te dar, Seor? (Anonymous text)
Que te dar, Seor, por tantos dones
que mandas a montones cada hora
al alma pecadora? O, quien me diese,
Jess mo dule, que por ti muriese!
Sangre me as dado, y sangre querra darte:
poco's dar parte a quien dado'l todo.
No d'aver modo, no d'aver medida,
Christo'n amarte, y poco's dar la vida.

What will I give you, Lord, for so many gifts


that you pour down every hour
on the sinning soul? Oh, that I could give myself,
my sweet Jesus, that I could die for you!
You have given me your blood, and blood I would give you:
it is little to give part to he who has given all.
There is no way, there is no measure,
Christ, in loving you, and it is little to give one's life.

Un grande abismo un otro abismo llama;


y ass la llama de tu amor inmenso,
quando'n l pienso, me arrebata y prende
y un gran deseo de morir m' enciende.
Muera, y no biva, por tu amor, o vida,
que, por dar vida a quien tava ofendido,
de lana herido d' amor fuerte,
sufriste acerba y dolorosa muerte.

A great chasm calls to another chasm;


and thus the flame of your immense love,
when I think of it, it carries me away and holds me,
and a great desire to die inflames me.
May I die, and not live, for your love, oh life,
who, giving life to he who had offended you,
wounded by the lance, of fierce love,
suffered a bitter and painful death.

Qu te dar, Seor? is a two-part madrigal in several ways similar to No. 10 Plugiera


a Dios. However, unlike Plugiera a Dios, this poem is not a sonnet. This poem has a very
uncommon rhyme scheme and poetic structure. It consists of two stanzas, each with eight
hendecasyllable verse lines, similar to an octava real but with different rhyme scheme. Qu te
dar, Seor? is the longest penitential madrigal in the collection with 238 minims. It is also one
of the few penitential pieces that ends with a verse line about bitter and painful death and with no
hope of redemption still in sight.
Guerrero does not follow the poetic structure of the text as strictly as he does with other
poetry. Since this poem features several instances of enjambment and of inner rhyme within
verse lines, Guerrero sometimes breaks verse lines into smaller musical structures, and other
times, a single musical procedure encompasses two or even three verse lines. The result is a new
structure, unique to the musical setting, with short and long sections that do not perfectly mirror
the layout of the poem (see Table 4. 5).

163
Table 4. 5. Qu te dar, Seor? Structure of verse lines according to musical structure
Structure of poetic text
Que te dar, Seor, por tantos dones
que mandas a montones cada hora
al alma pecadora? O, quien me diese,
Jess mo dule, que por ti muriese!
Sangre me as dado, y sangre querra darte:
poco's dar parte a quien dado'l todo.
No d'aver modo, no d'aver medida,
Christo'n amarte, y poco's dar la vida.

Un grande abismo un otro abismo llama;


y ass la llama de tu amor inmenso,
quando'n l pienso, me arrebata y prende
y un gran deseo de morir m' enciende.
Muera, y no biva, por tu amor, o vida,
que, por dar vida a quien tava ofendido,
de lana herido d' amor fuerte,
sufriste acerba y dolorosa muerte.

Structure of musical setting


Part I
Que te dar, Seor, por tantos dones
que mandas a montones cada hora
al alma pecadora?
O, quien me diese,
Jess mo dule, que por ti muriese!
Sangre me as dado, y sangre querra darte:
poco's dar parte a quien dado'l todo.
No d'aver modo, no d'aver medida,
Christo'n amarte,
y poco's dar la vida.
Part II
Un grande abismo un otro abismo llama;
y ass la llama de tu amor inmenso,
quando'n l pienso,
me arrebata y prende
y un gran deseo de morir m' enciende.
Muera, y no biva, por tu amor, o vida,
que, por dar vida a quien tava ofendido,
de lana herido
herido d' amor fuerte,
sufriste acerba y dolorosa muerte.

This madrigal is written in a very simple and clear contrapuntal style that leans towards
complete homorhythm in several sections. In alternation with the strict homorhythmic style,
there are several instances of paired entrances and dialogue between voice duets. The few
imitative sections (verse lines 5, 8, 9, and 11) last for only two or three measures. The only long
stretch of imitative counterpoint appears in the last verse line, the moral concetto, where the text
is repeated several times in learned contrapuntal style; not even the last measures of the madrigal
return to homophonic declamation.
The relationship between text and musical setting in this madrigal is dominated by the
omnipresent homorhythmic texture that places the text at the center of attention. In these
homorhythmic sections Guerrero follows the patterns of the spoken text in a masterly way. In
addition, this madrigal presents many examples of word painting. There is the traditional use of

164
flattened notes for important fragments of text, such as E flat for por ti muriese (I could die
for you), muera y no biva (may I die, and not live), de lana herido (wounded by the
lance), and acerba y dolorosa muerte (bitter and painful death). There is also a musical
image of blood flowing down from Christ to the sinner in verse line 5, sangre me as dado
(you have given me blood). In the second part, the opening verse line Un grande abismo un
otro abismo llama (A great chasm calls to another chasm) is portrayed with a pronounced
descending line that represents the downward path towards the abyss (un grande abismo) and,
at the same time, the use of echo-like counterpoint portrays the call between chasms (See
Example 13).
One of the most interesting issues of Qu te dar, Seor? lies in the use that both the
poet and Guerrero give to the word llama. As it was discussed in Chapter 3, llama in Spanish
means both flame and the verb to call. The word llama ends the first verse line of the
second part un grande abismo un otro abismo llama (a great chasm calls to another chasm)
and appears in the next verse line y ass la llama de tu amor inmenso (and thus the flame of
your immense love). Guerrero overlaps these two verse lines and by doing this, the word
llama appears simultaneously with the two verse lines creating an interesting texture both in
pure musical terms and in poetic meaning (see Example 13). This word, in the meaning of
flame, is painted three measures later with the text me arrebata y prende (carries me away
and ignites me). The flame of Gods immense love is presented in rhythmic and vivid
counterpoint followed by the densest rhythmic section in the entire piece, as the climax of mystic
ecstasy and meditation.
Guerrero uses vertical sonorities as expressive devices in special ways. The musical
setting of the first quartet features very fascinating examples. The piece opens with a

165
declamatory section with full triadic sonorities. However, after these sonorities, the cadences of
the second and third verse line resolve into empty unisons. It is as if full triads represent the
pleasure of beautiful sounds that the sinning soul does not deserve and cannot enjoy, and
therefore must be reduced to severe unisons during the souls penitential state.
Right after the second unison ending, the words Jess mo dule, que por ti muriese
(my sweet Jesus, that I could die for you) are presented again in very expressive full sonorities.
Guerrero, for the first time in the piece, uses the B natural to create a G major chord as the
opening sonority for this verse line. Then he continues with sweet consonant sonorities, but
makes a very surprising progression for the text que por ti muriese (that I could die for you).
Instead of using dissonances or other word painting devices, Guerrero starts by moving to a
flattened note (E flat), but then presents a very surprising and uplifting progression from E flat to
F, ending again en G. (See Example 14). This surprising harmonic move infuses the text with a
sense of hope, instead of anguish or fear. The move to G major in the cadence represent the
happiness that the sinner would feel if he or she would die for Christ, and in this way repay Him
for all the gifts He has given to humanity.
Example 13. Qu te dar, Seor? beginning of the second part (mm. 59-79)
Tiple 1

Tiple 2

Alto

Tenor

T1

&b c
&b c

Un

gran

Vb c

&b

& b

Un

mo lla

yas - s

la

lla

ma,

yas

la

lla

mo un o

o - troa

bis - mo lla -

troa-bis - mo

dea-bis

gran - dea - bis - mo

ma,

un

gran

un

mo

Un

&b

gran - dea - bis - mo

troa - bis

dea-bis

lla - ma, yas - s la lla

T2

w
&b c

Un

ma de

ma de

un

tua - mor in - men -

tua - mor in - men -

&b c

Tiple 1

&b c

Tiple 2

Un

gran

b c

Un

T1

&b

&b

troa - bis

ma,

yas - s

Vb

T1

T2
T2

TT

T2

T2

b# #

&&b

so,

yas - s

yas

lla - ma,

la

lla

bis - mo lla -

yas - s

tua - mor in - men -

ma de

tua - mor in - men -

la lla

ma de

tua - mor in - men -

ma,

un

ma de

mo un o

lla

la

yas - s

so,

la

lla

ma de

tua - mor in - men -

do'n l

quan

pien - so,

do'n l

quanquan-

do'n l

&&b b

&&b b . .

j

J
mea

J
rre - ba - tay

mea

mea

V - Jrre -Jba - tay pren


-de,

rre - ba - tay pren - de,

so,

so,

pren - de,

mea - rre

rre

mea - rre - ba - tay

mea

mea

rre

rre-ba-tay


rre-ba-tay

pren - de

mea - rre - ba - tay

ba - tay pren

mea - rre

mea

mea -

rre

mea

rre - ba - tay pren - de,

mea -

rre - ba - tay pren - de,

.
. J J
J
JJJ
pren - de,

pren - de,

so,

jjj j
J JJ J

rre - ba - tay pren - de,

j j
V b J J j j
b

mea - rre-ba-tay

mea - rre-ba-tay

so,

pien pien-

jj j

mea

&bb
&
-

pien

- do'n
do'n
l l

pien

w w
VVb b

quan

- do'n l
pien - wso,

so,

ma,

bis - mo lla

quan

pren - de,

quan

pren - de,

o - troa

.
J

mea

dea-bis

troa-bis - mo

gran - dea - bis - mo

ma,

la

mea

mo lla

troa

so,so,

T1
T1

un

Jj J J

J
so,
quan - do'n
l
pien
so,
mea J Jrre-ba-tay pren - de,
so,
quan - do'n
l
pien
so,
mea
rrej
-ba-tay pren - de,
.
&b b n n . jJ J

&

JJ
&bw
&b

so,

o -

T1

gran

Un

un

mo

Un

&b

lla - ma, yas - s la lla

T2

dea-bis

gran - dea - bis - mo

Example 13,Vcontinued
Tenor

w
&b c

Alto

ba

ba - tay pren

ba

ba - tay pren


#
-

tay - pren - de

ba - tay pren

rre

de

pren - de

de

tay - pren - de

de

de

166

167
This madrigal is written in transposed mode 2 (G Hypodorian). There are severe
discrepancies regarding the ethos of this mode among Renaissance theoreticians. Zarlino stated
that the ancients...claimed that ...the Hypodorian induced a certain laziness and indolence by the
heaviness of its movements and that the Pythagoreans had the custom, between morning and
the time they went to sleep, of mitigating the exertions and cares of the mind from the past day
Example 14. Qu te dar, Seor? Vertical sonorities in mm. 16-25 (Jesus mio dulce)

T1

T2

T1

&b
&b
&b

quin me

& b #
&b
&b
Vb

mo

die

quin me

Vb w

mo

ra?

mo

nw

mo

T2

die

dul

dul

dul

dul

- e,

- e,

- e,

- e,

se,

que


por

Je

se,

Je

Je

ss

se!

b
ti

nw

por

ti

mu - rie

mu - rie

ss

mu - rie

por

ss

se!

ti

ss

que

mu - rie

por

die

se,

ti

que

que

Je

quin me

se,


quin me die

se!

se!

San

by means of the Hypodorian18 Nicol Burzios stated that it was heavy and pitiable suitable
for lamentations.19 And, Hermann Finck states that is diametrically opposed to the [Dorian


18

Zarlino, On the modes. 22.

168
mode] produces tears, makes [one] morose pitiable, heavy, serious, most subdued of all
[like] the Moon.20 In this case, one could find good associations between the text of this
madrigal and all the descriptions of its mode. This is, in fact, a penitential text, a lamentation of
the committed sins, and thus it is suitable to use a heavy and pitiable mode as Burzio describes
it. It is also a serious text that ends with a strong image of death and fits the affects of pitiable,
heavy, and serious, just as Finck explains. Even Zarlinos description of the mode as heavy
of movement could be applied, as this madrigal is probably intended to serve as a reflection on
the commitment of sins, a moment of quiet and remorse in the act of penitence.
In addition to all the previous statements about the affective characteristics of the
Hypodorian mode, it was the lowest in range. This, in addition to the fact that Qu te dar,
Seor? is written in high chiavette could result in a performance of very low-range and somber
quality. The piece, at written pitch, is already very low; with the transpositions implied by
chiavette it becomes even lower and darker. (See Table 4. 6).
Table 4. 6. Qu te dar, Seor? ranges and voice parts
with and without chiavette transpositions
Part
Non-transposed
Transposed down a 4th
Overall range
C d
Ga
Tiple 1 (Soprano 1) d d (mezzo-soprano)
A a (alto)
Tiple 2 (Soprano 2) c d (mezzo-soprano)
G a (alto)
Alto
D g (tenor or alto)
A d (baritone)
Tenor
C eb (baritone or tenor) G bb (bass)


19

Nicol Burzio. Musices opusculum (1487, pt ii). Quoted in Harold S. Powers, et al. "Mode," Grove
Music Online. Oxford Music Online, http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/43718
(accessed November 10, 2009).
20

Hermann Finck. Practica musica exempla variorum signorum, proportionum et canonum, iudicium de
tonis, ac quaedam de arte suaviter et artificiose cantandi continens (1556, book 4). Quoted in Harold S. Powers, et
al. "Mode," Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online, http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/
grove/music/43718 (accessed November 10, 2009).

169
A very important issue of performance practice in this piece is the range of the alto part
(D g). At written pitch, this piece lies very low for a regular modern alto singer, and it would
better fit a modern tenor range. If the piece is transposed down a fourth, the part definitely suits a
modern baritone. The modern edition presented in Monumentos de la Msica Espaola
transcribes the first part of the madrigal in regular treble clef, and the second part in modern
tenor clef. Although this transcription decision helps the layout of the score by avoiding the use
of ledger lines for the lowest notes, it confuses the modern performer. A modern editor could
transcribe this part to tenor clef, since very few modern altos can sing below a low F, and make a
note that the original manuscript presented an alto clef.

170

Chart 7. No. 39 Qu te dar, Seor? (Anonymous text)


4vv, Mode 2 (G Hypodorian, D-G final, range C d). High chiavette. Semibreve transcribed as half note. Two parts.
Part I:
Poem

Verse line 1
Qu te dar, Seor? Por tantos
dones

Verse line 2
que mandas a montones cada hora

Verse line 3
al alma pecadora? O, quin me
diese,

Verse line 4
Jess mo dule, que por ti
muriese!

Length
Text and
Word
painting

11 minims (5.5 measures)

10 minims (5 measures)
Empty cadence on unison d

16 minims (8 measures: 5 + 3)
Empty cadence on G

Counterpoint
and texture

Homophonic

Homophonic with contrapuntal semicadence

Forces
Center

Tutti
Bb - D

Tutti
d d [unison]

Breaks up the original verse line with


a contraposition of texture. First half:
Homophonic with contrapuntal
ending. Second half: Paired entrances
Tutti
d (G) G [unison]

13 minims (6.5 measures)


Word Jess features the first time
B natural is used. Chromatic rising in
the top line Jess mo dule, as an
exclamation. Use of E flat in the
words ti and muriese.
Homophonic

Poem

Verse line 5
Sangre me as dado y sangre
querra darte:

Verse line 6
pocos dar parte a quien dadol
todo.

Verse line 7
No daver modo, no daver
medida,

Verse line 8
Christon amarte y pocos dar la
vida.

Length
Text and
Word
painting

22 minims (11 measures)


Descending motive for sangre as if
blood was flowing down.
Use of suspensions.
Rising motive for the exclamation y
sangre querra darte

14 minims (7 measures)

12 minims (6 measures)

Counterpoint
and texture

Imitative entrances (T-A-S2-S1), then


very dense free counterpoint.

Paired imitative dialogue

Forces
Center

Tutti
G-G

Homophonic beginning for emphasis


in pocos dar parte.
Then paired entrances ending in
homophonic cadence.
Tutti
F -D

21 minims (10.5 measures)


Use of Eb in an untexted note,
transcribed as Christo. Use of rest
before y pocos dar la vida for
emphasis. One suspension. First big
full cadence of the piece to end part
I.
Overlapping between verse lines 7
and 8. Quasi-imitative entrance, then
free counterpoint.

Tutti
dd

Tutti
G-G

Tutti
dD

171

Chart 7, continued
PART II
Poem

Verse line 9
Un grande abismo un otro abismo
llama,

Verse line 10
y as la llama de tu amor inmenso,

Verse line 11
quandon l pienso, me arrebata y
prende

Verse line 12
y un gran deseo de morir
meniende

Length
Text and
Word
painting

17 minims (8.5 measures)


Imitative entrance in the beginning is
like an echo in the chiasm. Word
game llama (to call, and flame)

12 minims (6 measures)
Mystic elements: flame of intense
love

11 minims (5.5 measures)


Use of E flat for morir.
Similar harmonic movement to verse
line 4.

Counterpoint
and texture

Imitative entrance.

Very big overlap between verse lines 9


and 10. Homophonic emphasis for as
la llama de tu amor inmenso

Forces
Center

Tutti
d (Bb) - C

Tutti
C-D

15 minims (7.5 measures)


Several repetitions of me arrebata y
prende which is a mystic element.
Very big cadence in D at the end of
this section.
Quasi-homorhythmic entrance,
imitative entrances for me arrebata
and then dense counterpoint for the
cadence.
Tutti
D (g) - D

Poem

Verse line 13
Muera y no biva, por tu amor, o
vida,

Verse line 14
que, por dar vida a quien ava
ofendido,

Verse line 15
de lana herido, damor fuerte

Verse line 16
sufriste acerba y dolorosa muerte.

Length
Text and
Word
painting

12 minims (6 measures)
It is interesting that there is NO
special treatment of this phrase.
Is perhaps Bb a chord of life?

12 minims (6 measures)
Many suspensions.
C in the tenor at the cadence is the
lowest sounding note in the entire
piece, on the word offended

11 minims (5.5 measures)


Use of Eb for wounded. Herido
damor fuerte is the most dissonant
passage in the entire piece. Guerrero
rephrases this verse line as herido
damor fuerte which changes the
original sense.

38 minims (19 measures)


Final concetto.
This final verse line is repeated
several times. Use of Eb for
acerba (scathing), muerte and
dolorosa. Widespread use of
suspensions. Last sonority is an
empty chord, without third!

Counterpoint
and texture

Duet followed by tutti in free


counterpoint

Imitative entrances then free


counterpoint.

Trio entrance, then paired imitation.

Overlapping of verse lines 15 and 16.


Imitative entrances, with a very
recognizable point of imitation.

Forces
Center

Bb Bb

Bb - C

Cg

g G [no 3rd]

Homophonic section preceded by a


full pause in all sections to
emphasize y un gran deseo de morir
meniende.
Tutti
gG

172
No. 41 Acaba de matarme (Anonymous a lo divino text)
Acaba de matarme, o amor fiero,
que ms quiero la muerte
que vida de tal suerte;
mas, dexa ir primero
mis ltimos suspiros
del pecho duro y fuerte
a Christon cruz clavado,
por dar remedio y fin a mi pecado.

Finish killing me, oh fierce love;


because much more do I desire death
than life of such sort;
but, first let
my last breaths go
from my hard strong breast
to Christ nailed on the cross,
in order to heal and end my sin.

Acaba de matarme is an a lo divino version of a lyric love madrigal. It was


mentioned in Chapter 3 that the spiritual version of the text is not very successful, and,
unfortunately, this also translates into a relatively unsuccessful musical setting. The
secular text is kept intact except for the last two verse lines, in which the character to
whom the poem is addressed suddenly appears to be Christ on the cross instead of a
lover.
As with all the penitential pieces in the collection, Guerrero closely follows the
structure of the text for the musical setting, and extends the first and final verse lines to
emphasize the first image of the poem and its connection with the final moral concetto. In
this case, both the first and last verse lines are set in more or less strict imitative
counterpoint. The inner verse lines are a combination of free quasi-imitative counterpoint
and homo-rhythmic passages that emphasize important verse lines such as que ms
quiero la muerte (much more do I desire death), mis ltimos suspiros (my last
breaths), and del pecho duro y fuerte (from my hard strong breast).
This madrigal features a compositional procedure not common elsewhere in this
collection that is very frequent in works by other Renaissance authors. Instead of using an

173
imitative head motive that dissolves into free counterpoint followed by an almost
homorhythmic cadence, Guerrero presents several paired-voice entrances with
parallelism in thirds. In this procedure, the first duet consists of the lower part with the
head motive and the upper part following in parallel thirds. Then, another voice enters
with the head motive (either in exact imitation or in diminution) usually accompanied by
the fourth part either in parallelism or in contrary motion. In general, the parallel thirds
are quite apparent to the ear, making this piece to stand apart from the rest of the
penitential madrigals of the collection. (See Example 15).
The original version of this madrigal was already in mode 3 (Phrygian). The most
poignant madrigals on penitential texts in the collection, such No. 10 Plugiera a Dios
and No. 11 Mi ofensas grande, are also composed in mode 3. The ethos of mode 3
could function both for unrequited love and for penitential texts. Thus, it is possible that
the fact that the original secular piece was already in a suitable mode influenced the
decision to transform it into a piece with penitential text.
Example 15. Acaba de matarme Compositional procedure in measures 36-48

174

Example 15, continued

175

Chart 8. No. 41 Acaba de matarme (Anonymous a lo divino text)


4vv, Mode 3 (Phrygian, E final, range C e2). Semibreve transcribed as half note.
Verse line 1
Acaba de matarme, o amor fiero
28 semibreves (15 measures) =
21 semibreves (11 measures) + 7
semibreves (4 measures)
Two sections:
Opening imitative counterpoint,
then homorhythm for o amor
fiero. Saltus duriusculus for the
opening interval acaba de
matarme.
Opening duet - imitative
counterpoint homorhythm.
Tutti
e
E
C

Verse line 2
que ms quiero la muerte
5 semibreves (2.5 measures)

Poem

Verse line 5
mis ltimos suspiros

Length

Poem
Length

Text and
Word painting

Counterpoint
and texture
Forces
Center

Text and
Word painting
Counterpoint
and texture
Forces
Center

Verse line 3
que vida de tal suerte
10 semibreves (5 measures)

Verse line 4
mas, dexa ir primero
11 semibreves (5.5 measures)

Quasi-imitative counterpoint. Use


of parallelism.
Tutti
G
a

Imitative counterpoint in
diminution. Use of parallelism.
Tutti
d
A

Verse line 6
del pecho duro y fuerte

Verse line 7
a Christon cruz clavado,

18 semibreves (9 measures)
Long pause and homorhythmic
emphasis for first iteration of text.
Second iteration is imitative.
Homorhythm imitative
counterpoint

8 semibreves (4 measures)
Use of sharps (durus) for the word
duro

16 semibreves (8 measures)
Tritone in measure 44. Except for
this, not much word painting.

Verse line 8
por dar remedio y fin a mi
pecado.
34 semibreves (17 measures)
Final concetto

Free counterpoint almost


homophonic.

Imitative counterpoint. Use of


parallelism

Tutti
d

Tutti
a

Emphasis on text by texture.

Homorhythmic
Tutti
C

Tutti
C

Two complete sets of imitative


entrances, then free counterpoint.
Use of parallelism.
Tutti
d
E

176
No. 54 Si tus penas (Text by Lope de Vega)
Si tus penas no pruevo, o Jess mo,
vivo triste y penado.
Hireme, pues el alma ya te dado.
Y, si este don me hizieres,
mi Dios, claro ver que bien me quieres.

If I do not taste your sorrows, my Jesus,


I live sad and aggrieved.
Wound me, since I have already given you my soul.
And, if you grant me this gift,
my God, I will clearly see how much you love me.

Soliloquios amorosos de un alma a Dios

Si tus penas is the shortest one of the penitential pieces, and the only one for
three voices. Despite its size and overall simplicity, this is perhaps the most interesting
musical setting in the entire collection. It is an a lo divino transcription of a secular lyric
poem. The spiritual text is by Lope de Vega, one of the most important poets and
playwrights of the Spanish Golden Age. The combination of the quality of the poetic text
and the effectiveness and simplicity of the musical setting result in one of the most
poignant, vivid, and affective pieces in the collection. It seems that Guerrero, aware of
the quality of the poetry, decided to set it in a very transparent musical setting that does
not obscure the text but enhances its affective power.
Si tus penas contains only five verse lines. To compensate for its shortness,
Guerrero employs a lot of text repetition, restating entire musical sections. Even with all
the repetitions, the musical setting is only 120 minims long. The piece displays a rare
clear-cut tripartite musical form (A-B-C). The first section (A) presents the penitents
request to taste Christs sorrows in a declamatory and homophonic way. Then,
Guerrero breaks up the first verse line and combines it with the second verse line to
elongate it and to produce three different statements.

177
Example 16. Si tus penas21


21

Musical transcription by Fernando G. Jcome. Available for copy and distribution at the Choral
Public Domain Library and accessed from www.solovoces.com.

178
Example 16, continued

179
The first iteration of si tus penas no pruevo (if I do not taste your sorrows) is
a soft and moderate musical phrase. The second one, in which the entire verse line is said,
is in a higher register, and represents a much more anxious cry for redemption. The third
statement, in which Guerrero combines the end of the first verse line and the second verse
line o Jess mo vivo triste y penado (my Jesus, I live sad and aggrieved) goes back
to the low register and ends in an empty G unison sound. This entire section is then
repeated.
The central section, although very short, is the most important of the piece. The
text hireme pues el alma ya te he dado (wound me, since I have already given you
my soul) exemplifies the traditional use of mystic language for penitential purposes. The
word hireme (wound me) could be understood in the literal way of a penitent asking
for physical punishment. However, in the context of mystic love, this expression can be
understood as the image of being wounded by Gods love or pierced by Gods love.
This central section, with its threefold repetition of the word hireme, becomes the
epitome of these two meanings. The penitent is asking for punishment for the committed
sins, and is also asking to be wounded by Gods love and forgiveness. This central
section starts in an E flat sonority and features the first and only full cadence of the piece,
resolving into a full G major sonority.
The third section is the final moral concetto, setting the text that reassures the
sinner of Gods mercy mi Dios claro ver que bien me quieres (my God, I will clearly
see how much you love me). For this section Guerrero switches from the entire
homophonic texture of the first two sections, and builds a strictly imitative contrapuntal
section that is sung twice. The first time there is an incomplete cadence on a unison G in

180
the two top parts. The second and final time, there is a full cadence that resolves again in
an empty G sound in octaves. The piece, thus, ends in a very solemn and grave way,
avoiding any ornamentation, cadential extension or the picardy third that is usually
found at the end of most madrigals. Si tus penas is almost entirely syllabic, and there
are no ornaments of any kind. The entire musical setting permits the text to speak for
itself.
The penitential affect of this poem seems very well suited to the heavy and
pitiable characteristics of mode 2 (Hypodorian) mentioned by Burzio, and to the
heavy and serious affects that Finck relates to it. This madrigal, intended as a
meditation among the soliloquies of Lope de Vega, requires a mode that incites calm and
quiet, and that matches the characteristic heaviness of movement mentioned by
Zarlino. However, despite the ostensible match between the affect of the text and the
ethos of mode 2, it should not be forgotten that this madrigal is a contrafacta of a text
about unrequited love, and that the mode, declamation, and word painting come directly
from this secular version.

181

Chart 9. No. 54 Si tus penas (Text by Lope de Vega)


3vv, Mode 2 (Hypodorian, G final, range f eb). Minim transcribed as quarter note.

Overall form: // A :// B //: C ://


Form
Poem
Length
Text and
Word painting
Counterpoint
and texture
Forces
Center

Form
Poem

Length
Text and
Word painting

Counterpoint
and texture
Forces
Center

A
56 minims (14 measures) total
Verse line 1 (first half)
Si tus penas no pruevo

:
Verse line 1 (complete)
si tus penas no pruevo, o Jess mo

Verse line 1 (end) Verse line 2


O Jess mo vivo triste y penado

7 minims (2 measures)
10 minims (2.5 measures)
11 minims (3 measures)
Higher register for the second iteration of the text. Text repetition to create new meanings. Use of Eb for the
word penas. End in unison for the word penado
Homophonic and declamatory.
Tutti
D

B
14 minims (3.5 measures)
Verse line 3
Hireme, pues el alma ya te he
dado
14 minims (3.5 measures)
Threefold repetition and use of Eb
for emphasis on hireme
First full cadence at the end of this
section.
Homophonic and declamatory.

C
50 minims (12.5 measures)
: Verse line 4 Verse line 5
Y, si este don me hizieres, mi Dios, claro ver que bien me quieres.

Tutti
Eb

Tutti
g/d

50 minims (12.5 measures)


Final concetto
Incomplete cadence for the first time, cadence in octaves (no third) for
the end of the piece. Very somber ending.
Imitative counterpoint. Entrances Alto T2 T1.
g

182
CONCLUSION

The collection of Canciones y villanescas espirituales and, most especially, the


penitential pieces published in this collection, are a direct result of Christian humanism
coexisting with the religious struggles of the Reformation, the Counter-Reformation, and
the Council of Trent. Guerrero conceived these pieces while participating in the activities
of both the humanist academies and the Cathedral of Seville. Poets who worked or who
were known in these academies most likely composed the texts; and these pieces might
have been sung and/or played by the members of these academies. This collection of
spiritual pieces represents an excellent portrayal of Christian humanism, which placed
religion and art under the same philosophical and aesthetic conception.
The Venetian printing of this collection in 1589 represents the contribution of
Francisco Guerrero to the trend of publications of spiritual collections that followed the
Council of Trent and that were imbued with the ideals of the Catholic CounterReformation. Vernacular songs in the context of penitence are very important because
they are an ideal medium for the expression of individual and collective faith, as well as
Catholic propaganda. The penitential pieces in this collection portray issues of Catholic
orthodoxythe importance of confession, of the sacrament of Penitence, and of constant
repentanceand they could be used as medium for moral teachings and reflection. At the
same time, they respond to the Reformation challenge with a new representation of a
closer relationship between man and God, with less ritualistic mediation by the Church,
and a more intimate form of devotion. In this regard, the activity of singing or listening to
these pieces can be understood as a form of union between man and God, just as the

183
mystics and illuminists proclaimed, insofar they had the potential to induce in the
believer a state of meditative prayer or reflection.
Spiritual pieces with penitential or meditative texts fulfill some of the
requirements inherent in the attitude of penitencia, the Spanish word encompassing the
concepts of penitence, repentance, and contrition. Such requirements where highlighted
by Ignatius de Loyola and Luis de Granada, and consisted of meditation on ones sins,
and reflection on life directions and future righteous actions. Therefore, it is possible to
speculate that these pieces could also work as private prayer, either in preparation to the
penitential sacraments, as a way to gain forgiveness, or simply as appropriate
entertainment for penitential periods.
Being conceived in Seville, a strong penitential center in Europe, the texts of
these pieces contain shared characteristics of the Sevillian penitential art. This is seen in
the vivid imagery of the wounds and blood of Christ, as well as in the portrayal of Jesus
as a mortal human being. These two characteristics allow for an easy process of
identification between man and Jesus, in order to better understand and feel the
redemptive significance of the suffering of the Passion for the forgiveness of our sins.
In terms of genre, this collection poses an interesting problem. The collection is
entitled Canciones y villanescas espirituales but, after taking a closer look, the pieces in
this collection do not match the characteristics of neither canciones (songs) nor
villanescas as they are understood conventionally. Instead, they should be classified as
madrigals and villancicos respectively. The canciones showcase a free-form polyphonic
style equivalent to the Italian madrigal; the villanescas display the more homophonic

184
style and fixed form of the Spanish villancico. By choosing the wording of the title
Guerrero made a conscious decision to share and compete in the trend of spiritual
collections that flourished in Italy in the last decades of the sixteenth century after the
Council of Trent. Several Italian collections of spiritual pieces also used the words
canzone, villanesche or villanelle.
This genre relationship represents a fascinating discovery. The madrigal genre
never took root in Spain, and Spanish composers did not use the word madrigal for their
free-form polyphonic pieces in the vernacular. Guerrero was one of very few composers
in Spain who wrote pieces in madrigal style, and it seems that he was the last one to
publish such pieces. Thus, Guerreros use of the word canciones seemed more
appropriate for the purpose of presenting the collection in his native country, while
emulating the preferred title of Italian collections. It disguised inadvertently the historical
presence of madrigals in Spain.
Similarly, the use of the word villanesca for the title of this collection has puzzled
scholars for a long time. The villanesca was a short-lived Italian genre in simple and
straightforward homophonic style. The pieces in this collection, however, are in strict
villancico form with some hints of the more sophisticated madrigalian style. It seems that
Guerreros decision to use the word villanesca was a way to insert this collection into the
world of Italian spiritual collections and present it to the Italian market.
Even more, pieces with free-form polyphonic style in this collection should be
understood as spiritual madrigals even though they dont have Italian texts. Thy share the
musical style, poetic content, and historical context of the madrigale spirituale genre.

185
Understanding these pieces as spiritual madrigals helps to understand their conception,
historic relevance, and musical characteristics, all of which seem to be foreign to the
Spanish musical tradition of the time and which make this collection unique.
The study of the Canciones and villanescas espirituales within the tradition of the
madrigale spirituale permitted a new and truer understanding of their function within the
culture. All the pieces in the collection, but most especially the penitential songs we
analyzed in detail were probably performed in the artistic academies of Seville, in
Sevillian confraternities, in devotional ceremonies in Sevilles Cathedral and in private
chapels. It is likely that these pieces were also performed throughout Spain and, possibly,
in Italy in their Italian translation.
Since the defining element between a spiritual and a secular madrigal is the text,
one of the main endeavors of this document was to study the spiritual poetry of these
pieces. In these spiritual madrigals the text is the element that carries all the penitential
images and poetic forms define the function of a specific piece.
Collections such as the Canciones y villanescas espirituales show how poetry,
music, and prayer have worked together historically for both public and private religious
or devotional activities. Spiritual poetry and their corresponding musical settings could
stand as equal to private prayers. In addition, spiritual poetry in the vernacular permitted
an approach to theological concepts and moral teachings that would have been,
otherwise, out of reach for many of the performers, and certainly for most listeners.
Defining the type of poetry in Guerreros madrigals helped define the attitude of the

186
pieces within the penitential perspective. In Guerreros collection there are three different
types of texts: catechizing, meditative, and purely penitential.
The divinization of secular music into spiritual pieces rises as one of the most
important issues in the collection of Canciones y villanescas espirituales, especially when
trying to understand the relationship between text and music. The a lo divino
phenomenon has been widely studied in the field of sixteenth-century poetry, and
understanding this phenomenon from the purely textual basis was extremely helpful to
understanding the genre of musical contrafacta in Guerreros music and in Spain. As it
was seen in this study, the intimate equivalence between human and divine love is at the
core of devotion, which itself can be sacred or secular. This equivalence makes possible
that initially secular pieces became penitential for Guerreros 1589 Venetian publication.
Another interesting finding was the considerable influence that prescribed
spiritual exercises published by religious leaders like Ignatius de Loyola and Luis de
Granada exerted on spiritual poetry and the related madrigals in terms of content, form,
and function. Prescribed spiritual exercises usually consisted of a period of meditation
and reflection followed by a private dialogue with God. The period of meditation usually
comprised four different stages of visualizing the circumstances of sin, a structured
analysis of the committed sin, analyzing the causes and effects of sin on the soul, and a
final resolution to overcome sinfulness and to embrace the mystery of redemption.
The texts in Guerreros penitential pieces usually correspond to one of the
aforementioned stages of meditation, and generally follow the precepts of the specific
type of spiritual exercise in terms of content and form. Longer texts sometimes pass

187
through the various stages and resemble an entire spiritual exercise in miniature. Added
to this general structural disposition, the penitential poetry in Guerreros setting used
vivid images to portray Christs suffering and the horrors of hell. This view of Christs
suffering was deemed necessary to motivate the spiritual exercises. The poetic formulas
of soliloquy or dialogue were occasionally and not consistently matched in the musical
setting.
Guerrero became internationally known during his lifetime for his great ability to
set text to music. In all the pieces of the Canciones y villanescas espirituales Guerrero
follows closely the meaning and structure of the poem to construct his musical settings.
When he does not, this departure from the original form becomes a rhetorical element
that brings a new layer of meaning to the piece and that enhances its spiritual function.
The penitential subject is carried entirely in the text. The music is shaped
formally and semantically by the poetry. The penitential pieces in the Canciones y
villanescas espirituales do not use bold gestures of word painting to portray the strong
images present in the texts. This differs from the common stylistic trait of secular
madrigals on subjects such as love and war. On the contrary, Guerreros penitential
pieces are reserved and subtle, shifting between a very simple and straightforward quasihomophonic style and intricate but elegant counterpoint. Guerrero emphasizes the verses
with strong moral or theological significance through textural changes to homophony and
by favoring a section with longer duration and textual repetition.
These madrigals echo the poetic structure also in the manner in which the first and
the last verse stand as balanced and parallel structural pillars, where reflection begins and

188
ends. The middle is the emotional arc spanning between the two. The final verse, which
stands as the moral concetto, usually emerges as the most important in the musical setting
because it summarizes the penitential action. Final verses can take up to three or four
entire repetitions of texts, and three or four musical sections.
Given that the nine penitential pieces of Guerreros collection of Canciones y
villanescas espirituales do not emphasize word painting or vivid imagery, the settings are
surprisingly austere. On the other hand, for the most part, they have a transparent texture
that allows the text to be clearly understood. It seems as if the music avoids acting as a
sensual distraction, and works as a medium to enhance the text through a subtle affective
atmosphere. Above all, one must not look for the same type of bold gestures that abound
in visual arts with penitential subject in the musical settings of penitential texts. The
function and context of these musical settings was different. Visual images either in
painting, poetry or literaturesought to produce shock in those who saw, read or listened
to them, in order to persuade them to repent. Penitential music, on the other hand,
belonged more to the realm of reflection, moral teaching, and appropriate entertainment
for penitential times.
Finally, although there are several discussions about modal ethos in the
Renaissance, a survey of the penitential pieces in the collection of Canciones y
villanescas espirituales does not show a clear association between mode and poetic ethos.
There is a small emphasis on Mode 3 (Phrygian) and Mode 2 (Dorian), but no clear
conclusions can be drawn from this.

189
This document shed light not only on the specific details of the penitential pieces
in Guerreros Canciones y villanescas espirituales; but also into more general aspects of
vernacular songs in sixteenth-century Spain. Humanism, especially Christian humanism,
influenced text and music composition in the Spanish sixteenth century. Penitential music
is a reflection of this new form of Humanism that made use of poetic and musical rhetoric
for spiritual purposes.
The composition and publication of the Canciones y villanescas espirituales
reveal the utmost importance of penitential topics in Seville. The cultural environment
after the Council of Trent, the Spanish Counter-Reformation, and the local traditions of
Seville are inseparable from these musical settings. Guerreros penitential vernacular
music reflects and enhances beautifully the significance of this cultural and spiritual
environment. Understanding the context of Guerreros pieces helps performers to have a
truer perspective on the pieces themselves and to transform this understanding into
performing and programming decisions.
Further analysis of this collection is needed. Besides the penitential topic present
in the selected nine pieces, there exist other threads that run throughout the whole
collection, including the themes of the Nativity, Marian veneration, and Corpus Christi.
There are also allusions to the topics of vanitas and carpe diem that would become
eventually extremely important in the seventeenth century.
This analysis of the vernacular penitential pieces of Francisco Guerrero has to be
complemented by a comparative analysis with his other penitential repertoire written on
Latin texts. This will probably shed additional light into Guerreros musical style

190
associated with the penitential topic, and will help complete an overview of the
penitential topic within his the entire output.

191
APPENDIX 1
Texts and Translations

No. 1 Quandos miro mi Dios, damor herido (Anonymous)


Quandos miro mi Dios, damor herido
y por mi culpa en una cruz clavado
siento lo ques haveros ofendido
y lo que redemirme os costado;
y hallndome con pecho endureido
ms que piedra, con piedra soy forado
a quebrantarle, y aunque se defienda,
sacar un fuego quen el alma prenda.

When I see you, my God, wounded by love


and nailed to the cross for my sins,
I understand what it is to have offended you
and what it has cost you to redeem me;
and finding myself with heart hardened
more than stone, with stone I am compelled
to break my heart, and even though it would defend itself,
to start a fire that would take root in my soul1

No. 3 Baxme mi descuiydo (Anoynymous)


Baxme mi descuydo a tal estado,
de lalta cumbre do me vi subido,
que, por mi mal, sido
del mundo engaador tan regalado
Otros suelen sacar bien de su mal
y yo, de su favor, pena mortal
pues, mostrndose afable, duro y fuerte,
me sigue por me dar amarga muerte.

My carelessness lowered me to such a state,


from the high summit where I saw myself raised,
that, because of my evil, I have been
thus rewarded by the deceptive world
Others are used to prospering from their wickedness,
and I, from his favor, mortal pain;
for, though appearing to be affable, hard and strong
pursues me in order to give me bitter death

No. 10 Pluguiera a Dios (Gregorio Silvestre)


Pluguiera a Dios, si aquest es buen partido,

que yo nunca nasiera o no pecara,


o, llorando, mi culpa tal quedara,
como si no la oviera cometido;

May it please God, if a good person,


that I had never been born or had never sinned,
or, weeping, that my fault would stay,
as if I had never committed it;

y ya que tan protervo y malo sido


que a tanto perdimiento no llegara,
quen duda de mis males yo tomara,
por no perder mi ser, el no aver sido.

and because I have been so wicked and evil;


that I had never come to such a loss
that in doubt from my evils I would take,
in order not to lose my being, the option of never
having been.

Ay! no lo quiera Dios, ni tal pretendo.


Ya s que aun en la piedra y en la planta
el ser sobrel no ser tiene excelenia.

Ay! May God not to want it, nor do I aim for it.
I know that even in stones and plants
being prevails over non-being.

All the translations are by Rosanne Cecilia King with minor alterations by the author.

192

Pecador grande soy, mas bien entiendo


que nos posible ser mi culpa tanta
que no la sane Dios con su clemenia.

I am a great sinner, but well do I understand


that it is impossible for my guilt to be so great
that God could not heal it with his clemency.

No. 11 Mi ofensas grande, salol tormento (Anonymous)


Mi ofensas grande, salol tormento;
mas ay! tu desamor no me atormente,
o buen Jes, que de tu graia ausente,
pensallo mata. Qu harl sufrimiento!

My offence is great, so be the torment;


but, ay! your indifference might not torture me,
oh fair Jesus, except that thinking about your absent
grace is death. What suffering will do!

Tu cruz, tu muerte y sangre te presento.


O ricas prendas de la pobre gente!
Permitir tu amor divino, ardiente,
que tales esperanas llevel viento?

Your cross, your death, and blood I offer to you.


Oh riches tokens of the poor people!
Will your divine, ardent love permit
such hopes to take flight?

Ay, Dios! que te ofend, que ya no miro


si tu bondad me salva o me condena;
tu honra lloro y por tu amor suspiro;

Oh God! that I offended you, that I now do not see


if your kindness saves me or condemns me;
your honor I lament and for your love I sigh;

Tu honra satisfaz con cualquier pena;


la culpa tira; porque hars dun tiro
tu honra esquita y a mi alma buena.

Satisfy your honor with whatever punishments necessary;

throw away the blame, because in one blow you will


acquit your honor and save my soul.

No. 12 Si del jardn del ielo soberano (Anonymous)


Si del jardn del ielo soberano
quisieres la violeta y fresca rosa,
sin que spinanojosa
con rigor coran hiera y tu mano,
huye llorando del plazer mundano,
y a la Virgen gloriosa
de tus culpas te muestra lastimado,
que mudarn contento y regozijo;
mostrndole tus lgrimas al hijo,
dir: -Templad, mi hijo, vuestra yra
y pues su culpa gime y llorado,
limpiad con vuestra sangre su pecado-.

If from the garden of the sovereign heaven


you would like the violet and the fresh rose,
so that the angry thorn would not
harshly wound your heart and hand,
flee weeping from worldly pleasure
and to the glorious Virgin
she shows how you are hurt by your faults,
which she will change to contentment and delight,
showing your tears to her son,
she will say: - Temper your wrath, my son,
and since his guilt wails and he has wept,
cleanse his sin with your blood -.

No. 34 Ojos claros, serenos (Anonymous)


Ojos claros, serenos,
que vuestro apstol Pedro an ofendido,
mirad y reparad lo que perdido.
Si, atado fuertemente,

Clear, serene eyes,


that your apostle Peter offended,
gaze upon and repair that which I have lost.
If, strongly tied,

193
queris sufrir por mi ser aotado,
no me miris ayrado,
porque no parezcis menos clemente;
pues lloro amargamente,
bolved, ojos serenos,
y, pues mors por m, miradme al menos.

you wish to suffer for me to be whipped,


do not look upon me with anger,
because you do not appear less clement;
since I weep bitterly,
turn, serene eyes,
and, since you die for me, at least look at me.

No. 39 Qu te dar, Seor (Anonymous)


Que te dar, Seor, por tantos dones
que mandas a montones cada hora
al alma pecadora? O, quien me diese,
Jess mo dule, que por ti muriese!
Sangre me as dado, y sangre querra darte:
poco's dar parte a quien dado'l todo.
No d'aver modo, no d'aver medida,
Christo'n amarte, y poco's dar la vida.

What will I give you, Lord, for so many gifts


that you pour down every hour
on the sinning soul? Oh, that I could give myself,
my sweet Jesus, that I could die for you!

Un grande abismo un otro abismo llama;


y ass la llama de tu amor inmenso,
quando'n l pienso, me arrebata y prende
y un gran deseo de morir m' enciende.
Muera, y no biva, por tu amor, o vida,
que, por dar vida a quien tava ofendido,
de lana herido d' amor fuerte,
sufriste acerba y dolorosa muerte.

A great chasm calls to another chasm;


and thus the flame of your immense love,
when I think of it, it carries me away and holds me,
and a great desire to die inflames me.
May I die, and not live, for your love, oh life,
who, giving life to he who had offended you,
wounded by the lance, of fierce love,
suffered a bitter and painful death.

You have given me your blood, and blood I would give you:

it is little to give part to he who has given all.


There is no way, there is no measure,
Christ, in loving you, and it is little to give one's life.

No. 41 Acaba de matarme (Anonymous)


Acaba de matarme, o amor fiero,
que ms quiero la muerte
que vida de tal suerte;
mas, dexa ir primero
mis ltimos suspiros
del pecho duro y fuerte
a Christon cruz clavado,
por dar remedio y fin a mi pecado.

Finish killing me, oh fierce love;


because much more do I desire death
than life of such sort;
but, first let
my last breaths go
from my hard strong breast
to Christ nailed on the cross,
in order to heal and end my sin.

No. 54 Si tus penas no pruevo (Lope de Vega)


Si tus penas no pruevo, o Jess mo,
vivo triste y penado.
Hireme, pues el alma ya te dado.
Y, si este don me hizieres,
mi Dios, claro ver que bien me quieres.
From Soliloquios amorosos de un alma a Dios

If I do not taste your sorrows, my Jesus,


I live sad and aggrieved.
Wound me, since I have already given you my soul.
And, if you grant me this gift,
my God, I will clearly see how much you love me.

194
APPENDIX 2
Fragment of Soliloquio VII from Soliloquios amorosos de un alma a Dios.
Lope de Vega. Soliloquios amorosos de un alma a Dios.
(Lisboa: Imprenta de Lorenzo de Anveres, 1644), 85-88.
Un alma, Dios, y Seor mo, tan enamorada de Vos, como olvidada del mundo,
arrepentida de haberos respondido, que tena los pies descalzos, y recin lavados, cuando
Vos llegasteis a su puerta, viene a rondar, y pasear la de vuestro Santsimo costado, y
dice, que viene muerta de amores por un muerto. Yo pienso, que os imagina muerto por
ella en la Cruz, que debe de ser la causa que la trae a buscaros muerta de amor; y siendo
as, asomad a esa preciosa ventana, por la celosa teida de prpura, el amoroso corazn,
que quiere daros msica, pues las lgrimas os lo parecen, mirndoos en estado que hasta
las piedras os la dieron, hirindole unas con otras. Cuando sal de aquel Pueblo brbaro,
como casa de Jacob, donde pas la vida, que Vos sabis, no retirado el mar en s mismo,
ni con paredes de hielo, formando calles a mi paso, no volviendo el Jordn atrs, ni
saltando los montes como corderos, sino alegrando los Cielos y los ngeles, a quien tanto
regocija la conversin de un alma; yo cant Versos de jbilo, Himnos de redencin, y en
instrumentos de paz, la gloria de vuestras misericordias: mas ahora Seor, que no est mi
libertad como la hermana de Aarn Mara, cantando en las orillas de las rojas aguas, sino
la Pursima Mara, Madre vuestra, en las del mar de vuestra Pasin, tan rojo de vuestra
sangre, llorando, y diciendo a los que pasan, que atiendan, y consideren, que no hay dolor
igual al suyo: yo quiero deciros una Cancin, que os enamore, que aunque Vos sois el
mismo amor, conviene que de mi parte haya la disposicin suficiente, para que Vos le
empleis: Escuchad, Seor mo, as veis reducidas a vuestro servicio todas las almas,
que viven fuera de l, en los engaos del mundo.
Si tus penas no pruebo, Jess mo,
vivo triste, y penando;
ddmelas por el alma, que te he dado,
que si este bien me hicieres,
ay Dios! Cmo ver lo que me quieres.
Quireme bien, y en drmelas lo muestra:
que es ley entre amadores,
partir, como los gustos, los dolores;
que no es partir al justos,
tener tu los dolores, y yo el gusto,
Ms qu te pido yo, que t me quieras?
si tu, mi bien, me quieres
de suerte, que por darme vida, mueres;
yo soy quien no te quiero,
pues vindote a la muerte, no me muero.
O quien te amara tanto, que muriera

195
en un acto amoroso,
transformada en las penas de su Esposo!
que no es el amor cierto,
si vivo yo, cuando te miro muerto.
Yo dije, que te daba el alma ma:
pues vive tu en mi pecho;
mas ay, que est de tanto error deshecho!
pero quien Cielos labra,
pechos puede formar con su palabra.
No quiero vida yo sin t, mi vida;
si tu mi vida eres,
en ti mismo estars cuando quisieres:
que yo siempre querra
estar en ti, pues eres vida ma.
Ay! si estuviese una hora yo contigo,
y que esta hora fuese
tan grande, que mayor que el tiempo fuese,
y que tanto durase,
que tus eternos aos igualase!
Bien s que soy de pobres labradores,
y grosera aldeana,
y que tu Majestad es soberana:
mas tu, que te apocaste,
subiste mi valor, cuando bajaste.
En la cuenta no vale nada el cero;
mas tu numero santo,
puesto al principio, vengo a subir tanto
1ue viene a ensalzarme,
porque te humanas tu, para endiosarme.
Dame, Seor, tu cruz, dame tus clavos,
para que no me huya,
traspasen las espinas de la tuya,
mi cabeza dichosa,
corona de tus flores a tu Esposa.
Descansa un poco, dulce vida ma,
de tu Cruz en mis brazos,
tercero sea tu Cruz destos abrazos,
y as pareceremos,
Dios Hombre, el hombre Dios, de amor extremos.

196
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