Violin Online String Class: Medieval & Renaissance Music

PIECE: FANTASIA

SECTION 1.11
Fantasia (consort music)
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ferari painting
Fig. 1.11 Fresco of a Violin Consort, 1535-36

Fantasia is an example of instrumental consort music, and this piece was composed by Thomas Lupo (1571-1629), a member of the English royal violin consort from 1591 until his death in 1628. One of Thomas Lupo's titles was "composer to the violins." [20] It is interesting to note that four generations of the Lupo family served as court musicians in England, beginning with Thomas's grandfather who emigrated from Italy to serve in King Henry VIII's court in 1540. [21]

Fantasia was written for a four-part instrumental consort, and may have been played by either violin or viol consorts, or possibly a mixed chamber ensemble of viols and violins. [22] The musical form of this piece is a fantasia, defined as being: "A term adopted in the Renaissance for an instrumental composition whose form and invention spring 'solely from the fantasy and skill of the author who created it' (Luis de Milan, 1535)." [23]

TECHNIQUE TIPS: Fantasia includes slurs, ties, accidentals and dotted quarters. Although Lupo's original music indicates the melody should be exchanged between the different instruments in the consort, this arrangement has been simplified to feature the melody in the part you are playing.


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