CSM Cantiga 190 Lyrics: Pouco devemos preçar Cantiga 190Scholarly opinion seems to be divided over what should be the correct structure for this Cantiga de Loor, so I present it here in its most basic form and outline a couple of options for performing it.

The first option is to treat the first stanza Pouco devemos preçar... as a regular refrain. This was the approach taken by Mettmann in his first edition (1959), and the manuscript version in [E] can certainly be interpreted that way, albeit with a couple of oddities. First, if Pouco devemos preçar... is a refrain, then there is no separate music written out for the stanzas, and so it has to be assumed that the refrain and stanzas have the same music—no great problem, though perhaps a bit dull. Second, in the [E] text, the reprise line Pouco devemos preçar is written again immediately before the first stanza and not after it, although the reprise does appear in normal fashion at the end of all subsequent stanzas. That much could easily be attributed to a bad day in the scriptorium.

Option two—which I think is perhaps better for singing—takes Pouco devemos preçar... as just a stanza like the rest, but then repeats the last two lines of each stanza as a kind of variable refrain. This structure seems to be intended in [T], since at the end of each stanza in that manuscript the third line is restated in red with a decorated capital, in the manner of a regular reprise (see the facsimile link on the Resources tab). That being so, it is plainly essential that the fourth line que nos caudela also be repeated, since otherwise the melody is left hanging and unresolved, rather than ending on the expected final note for the mode. Note that Mettmann's 1988 text, which only restates the third line, is quite clearly flawed from a musical standpoint.

Whichever option is chosen, there should be no problem using Elmes' edition of the music; just repeat lines in the pattern (1234|1234|...) or (1234|34|1234|34|...) as necessary.

Standard spelling
Pouco devemos preçar
Cantiga 190: Pouco devemos preçar
Please read the notes on using the texts and the IPA transcriptions Please read the notes on using the music transcriptions
   
Standard spelling
Epigraph  

Esta é de loor.

Line Stanza I  Metrics  
1 Pouco devemos preçar 7  a
2 o démo, se Déus m' ampar, 7  a
3 pois nos a Virgen guardar, 7  a
4 que nos caudéla. 4' b
 
  Stanza II     
5 Muito faremos mal sen 7  a
6 se o temermos de ren, 7  a
7 pois no-la Virgen mantên, 7  a
8 que nos caudéla. 4' b
 
  Stanza III     
9 Ca séu poder pouco val, 7  a
10 pois nos guarda de séu mal 7  a
11 a Virgen espirital, 7  a
12 que nos caudéla. 4' b
Cantigas de Santa Maria for Singers ©2013 by Andrew Casson
www.cantigasdesantamaria.com/csm/190
 
  Stanza IV     
13 Séu saber pouco nos nuz, 7  a
14 pois é nóssa lum' e luz 7  a
15 a que viu séu Fill' en cruz, 7  a
16 que nos caudéla. 4' b
 
  Stanza V     
17 Nono devemos creer 7  a
18 nen por ele mal fazer, 7  a
19 pois nos a Virgen valer, 7  a
20 que nos caudéla. 4' b
 
  Stanza VI     
21 Séu engano nada é, 7  a
22 pois por nós ante Déus sé 7  a
23 a en que ficou a fé, 7  a
24 que nos caudéla. 4' b
Cantigas de Santa Maria for Singers ©2013 by Andrew Casson
www.cantigasdesantamaria.com/csm/190
 

Footnotes

Scholarly opinion seems to be divided over what should be the correct structure for this Cantiga de Loor, so I present it here in its most basic form and outline a couple of options for performing it.

The first option is to treat the first stanza Pouco devemos preçar... as a regular refrain. This was the approach taken by Mettmann in his first edition (1959), and the manuscript version in [E] can certainly be interpreted that way, albeit with a couple of oddities. First, if Pouco devemos preçar... is a refrain, then there is no separate music written out for the stanzas, and so it has to be assumed that the refrain and stanzas have the same music—no great problem, though perhaps a bit dull. Second, in the [E] text, the reprise line Pouco devemos preçar is written again immediately before the first stanza and not after it, although the reprise does appear in normal fashion at the end of all subsequent stanzas. That much could easily be attributed to a bad day in the scriptorium.

Option two—which I think is perhaps better for singing—takes Pouco devemos preçar... as just a stanza like the rest, but then repeats the last two lines of each stanza as a kind of variable refrain. This structure seems to be intended in [T], since at the end of each stanza in that manuscript the third line is restated in red with a decorated capital, in the manner of a regular reprise (see the facsimile link on the Resources tab). That being so, it is plainly essential that the fourth line que nos caudela also be repeated, since otherwise the melody is left hanging and unresolved, rather than ending on the expected final note for the mode. Note that Mettmann's 1988 text, which only restates the third line, is quite clearly flawed from a musical standpoint.

Whichever option is chosen, there should be no problem using Elmes' edition of the music; just repeat lines in the pattern (1234|1234|...) or (1234|34|1234|34|...) as necessary.

Standard spelling  
Zoom

Footnotes

E1:

See the main note to the lyrics.

Manuscript references

External links marked are to facsimiles on Greg Lindahl's Cantigas de Santa Maria website.

[E]190viewhttp://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/cantigas/facsimiles/E/349small.htmlExternal link
[T]190viewhttp://www.cantigasdesantamaria.com/img/CSM190.jpg

Oxford CSM Database record

External link to poem data:  CSM 190http://csm.mml.ox.ac.uk/index.php?p=poemdata_view&rec=190

Links to the Oxford database are provided with the kind permission of the project team. When planning a concert or recording, I would recommend that you use (and credit) my more pragmatic texts and supporting materials in the preparation of your performance, but that you request permission from the Oxford database team to reproduce (and credit) their own critically edited texts in your programme or liner notes, as these adhere to stricter criteria that keep them closer to the original sources, and undoubtedly have the greater academic authority.

Metrical summary

Stanzas

7  7  7  4'

Rhyme

aaab
 IIIIIIIVVVI
aalɛ
bɛla

Estimated performance times

Average syllables / min. Time
Very slow503:07
Slow1001:33
Medium1501:02
Fast2000:46
Very fast2500:37

These are very approximate total times for a full sung (or spoken) performance of all stanzas with all repeats of the refrain. Note that the speed is in average syllables per minute, and no particular mensural interpretation is assumed. More ornamented music will reduce the syllabic speed considerably. Remember also to add time for instrumental preludes, interludes and postludes.

Total syllables: 156