Dance Music and the <em>Cantigas de Santa Maria</em>
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AbstractThe Cantigas de Santa Maria are a Spanish Medieval collection of songs to the Virgin Mary. The manuscripts originated at the Castilian court of Alfonso X (called el sabio or “the wise”), who ruled Castile and Leon from 1252 until 1284. Alfonso compiled the songs between 1257 and 1283 after what was deemed a miraculous recovery from sickness. These manuscripts have become a valuable source for Medieval musicology, as it is one of the only sources of notated secular music from the period. The dance music of the Middle Ages was another important secular tradition which permeated all levels of Medieval life, including the church, the court, and the working class. The lyric and music of the Cantigas display many of the same societal elements that were impacted by dance. This paper explores the implications of the Medieval dance tradition on the music of the Cantigas de Santa Maria.