Alfonso X - Deus te salve groriosa

public domainfor solo voice

year of composition / 1st publication: s.a.

No composer photo available

Composer: Alfonso X El Sabio (1221–1284)
Aliases, aka:
Country of origin / activity: Portugal
Text author: traditional
Arranger / Editor: N/A

Available documentation:

not available
My thanks and appreciation to
for sending me this score.

Lyrics: (source)
1 Déus te salve, grorïosa
2 Reínna María,
3 Lume dos Santos fremosa
4 e dos Céos Vía.

Stanza I
5 Salve-te, que concebiste
6 mui contra natura,
7 e pois téu padre pariste
8 e ficaste pura
9 Virgen, e porên sobiste
10 sôbela altura
11 dos céos, porque quesiste
12 o que el quería.
Déus te salve, grorïosa...

Stanza II
13 Salve-te, que enchoísti
14 Déus gran sen mesura
15 en ti, e dele fezísti
16 óm' e creatura;
17 esto foi porque ouvísti
18 gran sen e cordura
19 en creer quando oísti,
20 sa mesagería.
Déus te salve, grorïosa...

Stanza III
21 Salve-te Déus, ca nos dísti
22 en nóssa figura
23 o séu Fillo que trouxísti,
24 de gran fremosura,
25 e con el nos remĩísti
26 da mui gran locura
27 que fez Éva, e vencísti
28 o que nos vencía.
Déus te salve, grorïosa...

Stanza IV
29 Salve-te Déus, ca tollísti
30 de nós gran tristura
31 u por téu Fillo frangísti
32 a cárcer escura
33 u ïamos, e metísti
34 nos en gran folgura;
35 con quanto ben nos vĩísti,
36 queno contaría?
Déus te salve, grorïosa...

MIDI: not available MP3: not available

not available CD:

Video - posted on YouTube: This is a multi-voice arrangement.

Jorge Barbosa - Três cantigas de Santa Maria - Afonso X
Uploaded on Dec 4, 2011
Três cantigas de Santa Maria - Afonso X
1. Virgem Santa Maria 00:01
2. Santa Maria estrela do dia 04:00
3. Deus te salve 07:40

Jorge Barbosa, composição inédita

Grupo Vocal Ançã-ble, interpretação
Pedro de Miranda, direcção
Edição discográfica pelo Instituto Português de Santo António em Roma

Internet references, biography information:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Cantigas de Santa Maria ("Canticles of Holy Mary"; are 420 poems with musical notation, written in Galician-Portuguese during the reign of Alfonso X El Sabio (1221–1284) and often attributed to him.

It is one of the largest collections of monophonic (solo) songs from the Middle Ages and is characterized by the mention of the Virgin Mary in every song, while every tenth song is a hymn.

The manuscripts have survived in four codices: two at El Escorial, one at Madrid's National Library, and one in Florence, Italy. Some have colored miniatures showing pairs of musicians playing a wide variety of instruments.

The Cantigas are written in Galician-Portuguese, fashionable as a lyrical language in Castile at the time. The Cantigas are composed of 420 poems, 356 of which are in a narrative format relating to Marian miracles; the rest of them, except an introduction and two prologues, are of lore or involve Marian festivities. The Cantigas depict the Virgin Mary in a very humanized way, often having her play a role in earthly episodes.

The authors are unknown, even if several studies indicate that Galician poet Airas Nunes might well have been the author of a large part of them. King Alfonso X — named as Affonso in the Cantigas — is also believed to be an author of some of them as he refers himself in first person. Support for this theory can be found in the prologue of the Cantigas. Also, many sources credit Alfonso owing to his influence on other works within the poetic tradition, including his introduction on religious song. Although King Alfonso X's authorship is debatable, his influence is not. While the other major works that came out of Alfonso's workshops, including histories and other prose texts, were in Castilian, the Cantigas are in Galician-Portuguese, and reflect the popularity in the Castilian court of other poetic corpuses such as the cantigas d'amigo and cantigas d'amor.

The metrics are extraordinarily diverse: 280 different formats for the 420 Cantigas. The most common are the virelai and the rondeau. The length of the lines varies between two and 24 syllables. The narrative voice in many of the songs describes an erotic relationship, in the troubadour fashion, with the Divine. According to 2000 publishings by scholar Manuel Pedro Ferreira the models for the Cantigas might actually be something different than a traditional French rondeau. He calls the format for some of the Cantigas the "Andalusian rondeau" which has a structure of AB/BB/AB.

The music is written in notation which is similar to that used for chant, but also contains some information about the length of the notes. Several transcriptions exist. The Cantigas are frequently recorded and performed by Early Music groups, and quite a few CDs featuring music from the Cantigas are available.

The Cantigas are preserved in four manuscripts:[1] To (códice de Toledo, Biblioteca Nacional de España, MS 10069), T (Biblioteca de El Escorial, MS T.I.1), F (códice de Florencia, Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale, MS b.r. 20) and E (códice de los músicos, Biblioteca de El Escorial MS B.I.2).
E contains the largest number of songs (406 Cantigas, plus the Introduction and the Prologue); it contains 41 carefully detailed miniatures and many illuminated letters.
To is the earliest collection and contains 129 songs. Although not illustrated, it is richly decorated with pen flourished initials, and great care has been taken over its construction.
The T and F manuscripts are sister volumes. T contains 195 surviving cantigas (8 are missing due to loss of folios) which roughly correspond in order to the first two hundred in E, each song being illustrated with either 6 or 12 miniatures that depict scenes from the cantiga. F follows the same format but has only 111 cantigas, of which 7 have no text, only miniatures. These are basically a subset of those found in the second half of E, but are presented here in a radically different order. F was never finished, and so no music was ever added. Only the empty staves display the intention to add musical notation to the codex at a later date. It is generally thought that the codices were constructed during Alfonso's lifetime, To perhaps in the 1270s, and T/F and E in the early 1280s up until the time of his death in 1284.

The music
The musical forms within the Cantigas, and there are many, are still being studied. There have been many false leads, and there is little beyond pitch value that is very reliable. Mensuration is a particular problem in the Cantigas, and most attempts at determining meaningful rhythmic schemes have tended, with some exceptions, to be unsatisfactory. This remains a lively topic of debate and study. Progress, while on-going, has nevertheless been significant over the course of the last 20 years. According to Manuel Pedro Ferreira, a scholar on the Cantigas, the music found in the Cantigas cannot be classified as Arabic, but instead must be classified as "Moorish-Andalusian". This musical influence is unusual in European music of the Middle Ages, and lends special qualities to the collection, although it does not predominate. The more obvious and demonstrable influences that come directly from the Latin and Byzantine ecclesiastical traditions must be taken into account.

Page last modified: August 20, 2013