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Tomás de Santa María


Dominican composer and theorist of the Renaissance, whose treatise on keyboard technique is still of prime value; b. Madrid, c. 151020; d. Valladolid?, 1570. Fray Tomás obtained a royal printing license in 1557 for his bulky treatise, Arte de Tañer Fantasía, assi para Tecla como para Vihuela (Valladolid 1565), but publication was delayed eight years because of a paper shortage. The work, which is divided into two independent parts of 90 and 124 folios, contains more musical examples than any other treatise issued in 16th-century Spain, and reveals that he consulted with numerous "learned and skilled practitioners of the art, especially with the eminent royal musician, Antonio de Cabezón." Although Tomás considered his instructions for playing the monacordio (clavichord) merely preliminary to part 1, it is these instructions that have been translated (by E. Harich-Schneider and R. Boadella as Anmut und Kunst am Klavichord; Leipzig 1937) and cited in manuals for performing on old keyboard instruments. His method for fingering, graces, and rhythmic variants finds no parallel in his century and is so explicit that many so-called innovations of English virginal technique can now be traced to Spanish practice. Part 2 (ch. 16) included a group of favordones (fabordones ) transcribed by F. Pedrell to show how Vesper Psalms were chanted in accompanied four-part harmony in the 16th century. Although on the title page he promises to teach "the art of playing with imagination, on keyboard instruments as well as vihuela " (six-course guitar), Tomás is in his best element when dealing with the keyboard.

Bibliography: f. pedrell, ed., Hispaniae schola musica sacra, 8 v. (Barcelona 189498) v.6. o. kinkeldey, Orgel und Klavier in der Musik des 16. Jahrhunderts (Leipzig 1910). e. harich-schneider, The Harpsichord (St. Louis 1954). e. harichschneider and r. boadella, "Zum Klavichordspiel bei Tomás de Santa María," Archiv für Musikforschung 2 (1937) 243245. j. de marieta, Historia Eclesiástica de todos los Santos de España (Cuenca 1596) pt. 2, fol. 211, no. 102. s. kastner, Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart 11:137879. g. reese, Music in the Renaissance (rev. ed. New York 1959).

[r. stevenson]

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