1553: Diego Ortiz

SUNDAY, April 4, 2021 – 1:18 PM

Diego Ortiz, age 43

Early music is not my thing, so for the most part I start with Bach and move forward. But last week I was in a weird mood. Someone shared some of Ortiz’s music, and I enjoyed it. So since I have nothing from the 1500s I decided to do more listening. Obviously he did not write all this music at exactly age 43, but I just used that number as a starting point. No one really knows much about the exact dates of composition.

Recercada Secunda played on crumhorn

What is a crumhorn? I didn’t know, but it reminds me of a bagpipe, and sure enough there is a link. This may be one of the oddest things I’ve every heard. It made me laugh.

Recercada segunda

It’s short, and what is going on? You will hear G major move to F major, which is clearly Mixolydian, today, but it is tuned down to F# major, which is of no importance to people who do not have perfect pitch. But then you always hear a V chord, which is like modern major. What is interesting about this kind of sound is that it’s also very modern. You will hear it a lot in hard rock.

Recercada No. 1 sobre el passamezzo antiguo

The word “receercada” is translated as “research”, but the meaning here is “study”, which today is usually written as “etude”. To this is a study or etude about the old passamezzo, which was an old folk song style even way back in the 1500s.

Recercadas del Trattado de Glosas

This is a set of studies, and the whole video is about 50 minutes long. Full disclosure: I managed to listen for only a few minutes, but maybe in a weird mood and with other things to do I could listen longer.

But what is it?

…a music book for viola da gamba (Ortiz calls it vihuela de arco or violón) and harpsichord, published in 1553 by the Spanish composer and violist Diego Ortiz.



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