The Morgan Library & Museum, New York [Ms. M 979]
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The Vindel Parchment, latter half of the 13th c, contains 7 cantigas de amigo—a complete work attributed to the Galician composer and performer Martin Codax—with music for 6 of them. They represent songs sung by a maiden awaiting her absent lover in Ría de Vigo. Cantigas de amigo are the most original genre of medieval Galician lyric poetry. In these short, lively ballads belonging to the European “women’s song” genre, a maiden in love sings— alone or accompanied by her female friends, sisters or mother— about her life, hopes and sorrows, and sometimes about nature too. The waves in the sea near Vigo are highly symbolic in Martin Codax’ ballads, imbuing his lyrics with great eroticism. Until the discovery of the Vindel Parchment, the only known medieval Galician cantigas with a musical settings were the religious Cantigas de Santa María of Alfonso X the Wise. The Sharrer Parchment (late 13th or early 14th c.) discovered subsequently, feature 7 poems by King Dinis I of Portugal which were secular and yet belonged to the cantigas de amor genre. It is not yet known which scriptorium made the Vindel Parchment although it must have been well equipped and had skilled scribes.
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Palaeographic evidence and the musical settings, e.g. similarities between the 6 melodies by Martin Codax and the music of some of the Cantigas de Santa María, suggest that Martin Codax was involved with the Castilian courts of Alfonso X the Wise and Sancho IV. Deluxe facsimile limited to 987 copies. Companion volume directed by Mariña Arbor, with contributions by Antonio Calvia, Antonio Ciaralli, Rip Cohen and Simone Marcenaro; foreword by Harvey L. Sharrer.
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