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Antonio Valente

Intavolatura de Cimbalo (Napoli 1576)

  • Editor: Maria Luisa Baldassari
  • Publisher: Ut Orpheus
  • Code: HS 307
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Antonio Valente “blind”, Neapolitan since a long time according to the list of Neapolitan musicians by Scipione Cerreto and organist in S. Angelo a Nilo in Naples, is known in modern times for his two volumes of keyboard music: Versi spirituali published in 1580 and, some years before, the volume here in transcription, Intavolatura de cimbalo, printed by Giuseppe Cacchio in 1576.
This volume has many original features: first keyboard tablature ever printed in Naples, it’s not written in musical characters but in a number-based system never met, according to the current studies, in any other print or manuscript both in and outside Italy. The dedication letter, written by Fra’ Alberto Mazza, praises Valente as the inventor of this writing method, so easy and effective that everybody, even “uncouth youths that did not know music and keyboard”, could attain the result of playing from it in two months.
The Intavolatura presents different genres of music: a fantasia, six ricercatas, a Salve Regina on a cantus firmus, four vocal chansons intabulated for keyboard with more or less diminutions,and nine dances, variations and dance/variations on long-living tenors like Romanesca or Zefiro. There are no liturgical compositions, both because unsuitable in a collection for amateurs and because Valente will publish a new book of sacred music in a few years.
The book is a sort of compendium of the keyboard genres of the period, similar to some older Spanish publications and to the later Neapolitan ones by Trabaci and Majone. Other contemporary volumes on the contrary choose to present a single type of composition: this is the case of the Versetti by Valente and the Ricercate by Rocco Rodio.

Author: Antonio Valente (16th century-before 1601)

Editor: Maria Luisa Baldassari

Publication Date: 4/13/2021

Pages: pp. 104

Size: 230x310 mm

Binding: Paperback (Soft Cover)

ISMN: 979-0-2153-2714-6

Code: HS 307