Ars Metrica

Ripetizione, parallelismo e leixaprén: il testo e la musica

This essay examines the relationship among text, meter, and music in the Galician-Portuguese cantigas, using compositions that make explicit reference to dance forms as a point of departure. Several findings point to the existence of the bailada genre in the Galician-Portuguese region, though they are insufficient for defining its precise characteristics. However, the texts under study have certain formal traits in common, such as a basic aaB structure, the presence of a refrán and their frequent use of repetition. The second part of this essay is dedicated to the role of music in the development of the repetitive techniques characteristic of the Galician-Portuguese school (parallelism and leixaprén), as well as to compositions built on meters analogous to the Occitan balada or the French rondel. The study concludes with an examination of the relationship between rhythmic and melodic structure in the Cantigas de Santa Maria, which recall the cantigas de amigo from a formal point of view and share affinities with “choreographic” genres of contemporary romance-language song forms. Read more