Cantigas de Santa Maria online

It only took them 750 years or so, but the Cantigas de Santa Maria are now online. They’re hugely important both as a document of the Galician language and as an example of mediaeval music, not to mention the gorgeous illustrations, some of which I have used as illustrations in this blog.

They were commissioned by Alfonso X the Wise, whose 800th birthday is coming up in November, so as a little birthday present, the Spanish Heritage people have put two of the four original manuscripts online in their entirety. One more than 500, the other more than 700 pages. That will take me a while to admire all the beauty of it.

You can access either or both from this index page which also has an introductory paragraph for each.

screenshot of the codex with the famous images of musicians. The cantiga beginning underneath the image is Rosa das rosas, No. 10.

There is also an excellent database of the texts and notation, where you can translate the dots into modern notation:

Cantigas de Santa Maria for singers

(Also works very nicely for recorder players, and surely for other instruments too !)

And this YouTube channel has many (maybe all?) of them as recordings with original illustrations and a karaoke-style text line, so you can sing along.


One Response to “Cantigas de Santa Maria online”

  1. euro session on Tuesday | Galician Session Oxford Says:

    […] will also mark the 800th birthday of Alfonso X el Sabio, who compiled the cantigas de santa maria, so we may hear one or two tunes out of that (not all 420 though). One that we have played a few […]

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