Ralph Maier

Josquin’s Mass Settings for Vihuela, with a Critical Edition of Diego Pisador’s Intabulations of Faysant regretz (1552)


In sixteenth-century Spain, the music of Josquin des Prez enjoyed universal veneration and remarkable longevity, due in no small part to the advent of print and the widespread circulation of vihuela intabulations. Josquin’s Missa Faysant regretz, present in the earliest printed editions of Petrucci, was adapted by every vihuelist that intabulated his music, and is one of eight near-complete Mass intabulations in Diego Pisador’s self-published Libro de música de vihuela (Salamanca, 1552). For vihuelists, and by extension the majority of sixteenth-century Spanish households, the role of Josquin was central to virtually every facet of music making, providing not only an ideal model for study, but also a fundamental resource for adaptation and emulation whose full impact has not yet been completely addressed by modern scholarship. And for performers as well, the present study will offer fresh insights into an important though infrequently performed body of music.

Chapter One of this study examines the distribution of Josquin’s music from early printed vocal editions and manuscript sources to the printed vihuela books of Narváez, Mudarra, Valderrábano, Fuenllana, and Pisador, and assesses both Josquin’s readership as well as international currents in the transmission of his music through intabulations. In Chapter Two, a close reading of the vihuela sources reveals the manner in which Josquin was adapted to best suit the instrument, with an examination of the impact of his music on original compositions and an assessment of the vihuelists’ use of ornamentation and musica ficta. Chapter Three presents an edited vihuela tablature and diplomatic transcription into full score of Pisador’s intabulation of the Missa Faysant regretz, including alternatives for ornamentation and musica ficta drawn from the vihuela intabulations of Pisador’s contemporaries and the New Josquin Edition. An appendix provides suggestions for the development of dedillo, an integral but elusive and rarely practiced right-hand technique.

Prefatory Material / Chapter 1 / Chapter 2/ Chapter 3 / Conclusions / Bibliography / Appendix

Ralph Maier