Ana Lombardía

Ana Lombardía

Berenson Fellow
‘Extrañas Canciones y Tañidos’: Violin Music in 17th-century Castilian Manuscripts and its Italian Models


Ana Lombardía is a post-doctoral fellow at the Instituto Complutense de Ciencias Musicales (ICCMU), Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She holds a PhD in Musicology, an MRes in Hispanic Music and a BMus in Violin. Her research focuses on chamber music from 1660 to 1820, combining stylistic, social, gender, and Spanish-Italian perspectives. She has been a visiting scholar at the universities of Cardiff, Bologna, Pavia, and UNC Chapel Hill, and a fellow at the Fondazione Cini in Venice and the Royal Spanish Academy in Rome. She is the author of twenty publications and has given papers at thirty international conferences, and has been awarded two international musicology prizes, the Ruspoli Prize in 2012 and the Otto Mayer-Serra Award in 2017.

Project Summary

The seventeenth century was central for the transformation of violin music and technique throughout Europe, following Italian models. Spanish violin-music sources from that period are very scarce and have been virtually neglected by scholarship. However, two anonymous Castilian manuscripts attest to significant expansion of the violin repertoire in Spain, from popular dances written in tablature (the Salamanca Manuscript, ca. 1659), to a richer range not only of dances but also of idiomatic sonatas in staff notation (the Gusarañas Manuscript, ca. 1690). This project will explore the relationship of this repertoire with Italian musical practices, by comparing notation system, genres, and style with contemporary Italian sources. No doubt, the Italian sonatas, considered “strange songs and sounds” (extrañas canciones y tañidos) in Madrid in 1677, revolutionized violin-music composition and performance in Spain. In contrast, there was a more balanced and bilateral exchange regarding sets of variations —such as the Italian passacaglia and the Spanish folia—and dance-song genres—such as the Spanish chaconne and the Italian moresca. Yet the actual origin of these schemata, constantly subject to geographical variants, is controversial. This research aims to deepen our understanding of that fascinating period of instrumental-music history, when processes of both internationalization and experimentation ran parallel. The results will be a critical edition with commentary and two lecture-recitals.