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Museu Regional de Arte Sacra do Mosteiro de Arouca, Arouca, Portugal

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[by Ana Carvahlo]

"The Arouca Codex: Study and Transcription Ana Delfina Xavier de Paiva de Sá Carvalho KEYWORDS: Polyphony; Manuscripts; Arouca; Musical Editing The Arouca monastery became, especially after the first quarter of the 13th century, under the patronage of the Portuguese crown through the benefaction of D. Mafalda, one of the most important Cistercian feminine houses in Portugal. As a wealthy and renowned religious institution, music always played a fundamental role in this monastery’s liturgy. Its music books have since long caught the attention of several national and international musicologists, an interest which would reveal itself entirely justified in the discovery, by Manuel Pedro Ferreira, in 1992, of the most ancient polyphonic piece known so far in Portugal, an hymn to St. Bernard. In 1947 a choirbook was found, by Dom Mauro Fábregas, the only one in the convent’s collection containing exclusively polyphonic repertory from prominent Iberian composers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. One of Morales’s Magnificats, several Alleluias, by such names as Manuel Mendes, Francisco Velez, Simão dos Anjos or João Leite de Azevedo or a parody mass over the vernacular song «O gram senhora», by a mysterious ‘Brasil’ are among its several gems. A series of marginalia notes indicating instrumental execution enrich the book still further and shed some light on the musical interpretation practices in the context of the Arouca convent. Although already partly studied, the Arouca polyphonic codex is now for the first time the object of deeper investigation and full transcription, a relevant contribution to the study of the practice of sacred polyphony in 17th century Portugal".


How to cite

Andrea Puentes-Blanco, "Museu Regional de Arte Sacra do Mosteiro de Arouca, Arouca, Portugal", Books of Hispanic Polyphony, ed. E. Ros-Fábregas (accession date: 22 Oct 2021),