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How Did Gaspar Fernandes Influenced His Life? Essay

Gaspar Fernandes was a Portuguese composer who lived from 1565 to 1629. Fernandes spent the majority of his career as an organist in cathedrals of what is now present day Antigua, Guatemala and Puebla, Mexico. One genre that truly allowed Fernandes to demonstrate his versatility was the Villancico since he used inspiration from different languages and cultures from the New World. The villancico, which in this day and age has been reduced to the term “christmas carol”, was often polyphonic and set to a religious theme. It was not until 1539 that the villancico grew popular in Latin America, some credit is due in part to Fernandes Extensive work. Paul R. Laird writes in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, “A manuscript now at Oaxaca Cathedral includes more than 250 villancicos (and other pieces with…

Known for various villancicos, one of Fernandes most popular works is “Xicochi conetzintle”. The song itself barely reaches one minute in length and takes the form of a lullaby in a way, with its lyrics talking about a child falling into a peaceful sleep. Fernandes original wrote the piece in Nahuatl, also known as the language of Aztecs and Native Americans who resided in New Spain. One interesting thing I learned about this piece has to do with its translation. Before the text “Caomiz huihui joco in angelos me” (Fernandes) was translated to “The angels already rocked you”, other had different interpretations of the meaning. Contemporary author David Leedom Shaul wrote that some suggestions for the translated line were, “”Cry no more, for angel are here,” and “surely angels will carry you on your…

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