I have been trying to understand a little bit more of the Pavanas of Luys Milán. That raised a lot of questions. Some questions were solved, but I would appreciate some help with other questions.
This is what I found until now. Let’s take the first Pavana as an example. Originally it’s called “Pavana del primero y segundo tono”. That means the Dorian and Hypodorian scales are used.
Regarding the Dorian scale (D-E-F-G-A-B-C-D), this means – to put it very simple! - that the melody notes vary between d and d’ (ambitus), the tonic is d and the dominant is a. When we look at the score made by professor Delcamp (download/file.php?id=41573
) we must realize that the original tablature was translated to a modern guitar tuning, while the vihuela has another tuning. So we have to relate the notes from the first table to the tuning in the Delcamp score:
When we look at the melody notes in the score, the lowest is a and the highest note is a’, which is exactly Dorian ambitus. Also we see in the score that the A functions as tonic (begin and end are A(m)-chords; and the E could be interpreted as dominant note.
This table also shows that it’s likely that Milán wrote for/played on a vihuela in A-tuning. This is the smaller version of the 16th century instrument, what makes some nasty extensions on the modern guitar (i.e. in measure 25) a lot easier to play.
What I don’t understand, is this:
• The Dorian part of the story seems clear, but Milán talks about 2 tonos! What does that mean: are there one or more sections in the Pavana where the 1th tono (Dorian) is replaced by the 2nd tono (Hypodorian)?
• When I transpone the Dorian scale to fit into the score, I get: A-B-C-D-E-F#-G-A. But I see a lot of C#’s and G#’s. How about that?
• There’s a F# in the basic scale (Dorian, transponed). And yes, there are more F#’s than F’s, so why is the score not in the key of G?
Some help would be appreciated!
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