References and bibliography


  1. Facsimiles and transcriptions
  2. Translations
  3. Discussions of textual matters
  4. Pronunciation
  5. Musical notation

1.   Facsimiles and transcriptions

‘Anglés’ La Música de las Cantigas de Alfonso X el Sábio
Higinio Anglés, 4 volumes
Barcelona, 1943–1964.
‘Mettmann I’ Afonso X, o Sábio: Cantigas de Santa Maria
Walter Mettmann, 4 volumes
Coimbra, 1959–1972.
‘Mettmann II’ Alfonso X, el Sabio: Cantigas de Santa María
Walter Mettmann, 3 volumes
Castalia, Madrid, 1986–1989.
Unless otherwise specified, references to ‘Mettmann’ mean ‘Mettmann II’, the Castalia edition.
‘Elmes’ Cantigas de Santa Maria of Alfonso X el Sabio: A Performing Edition
Chris Elmes, 4 volumes
Gaïta Medieval Music, Edinburgh 2004–2013.
[CLXG] As Cantigas de Loor de Santa María (PDF)
Elvira Fidalgo (coordinadora), Centro Ramó Piñeiro para a Investigación en Humanidades
Xunta de Galicia, 2003.
[JMMS] 189 cantigas de Santa Maria
José-Martinho Montero Santalha,
University of Vigo, 2004.
This incomplete edition—formerly a set of pages on the website of AGAL (Associaçom Galega da Lingua)—uses an orthography that is both Portuguese-based (with lh, nh and word-final m) and etymologizing (writing e.g. hoje and houve but ũa). Although only 189 cantigas are included, it is extremely useful to have alternative readings for these, and there is some interesting and enlightening background information.
[MGC] Alfonso X el Sabio: Cantigas de Loor
Martin G. Cunningham
University College Dublin Press, Dublin, 2000.
[MGC2017] Sixteen Cantigas de Santa Maria with dotted rhythm
Martin G. Cunningham
Carysfort Press, Dublin, 2017.
A pronunciation guide is to be found in each of Cunningham's musical editions. The earlier [MGC] has a more comprehensive treatment, whilst the later work [MGC2017] includes just a shorter summary of pronunciation and is kind enough to cite this website as a resource for ‘performers who wish to strive for accuracy’. Unfortunately, the esteemed author seems not to have striven greatly for accuracy in regard to my name, calling me ‘Stephen Casson’.
[ToCCG] Afonso X o Sabio, Cantigas de Santa María: Edición Facsímile do Códice de Toledo
Edición ao coidado de Henrique Monteagudo
Consello da Cultura Galega, Santiago de Compostela, 2003.
A Notação das Cantigas de Santa Maria: Edição Diplomática / The Notation of the Cantigas de Santa Maria: Diplomatic Edition
Manuel Pedro Ferreira (dir.), Rui Araújo, Ana Gaunt, Mariana Lima
CESEM, Lisbon, 2017 (e-book)
The one we've all been waiting for. A complete new diplomatic transcription of the music from all three manuscripts with notation.

2.   Translations

[JFV] Alfonso X, el Sabio: Cantigas de Santa María
José Filgueira Valverde
Editorial Castalia ‘Odres Nuevos’, Madrid, 1985.
[KKH] Songs of Holy Mary of Alfonso X, the Wise: A translation of the Cantigas de Santa María
Kathleen Kulp-Hill
Tempe, Arizona, 2000. Reprinted August 2012.

3.   Discussions of textual matters

In order to download some of these papers, you'll need access to JSTOR or Project MUSE, so if you don't have accounts with these services you'll probably have to go to an academic library.

[SP2012] Cut and Shut: The Hybridity of Cantiga 173 (PDF)
Stephen Parkinson (University of Oxford)
in eHumanista, Vol. 22, 2012.
[SP1987] False Refrains in the Cantigas de Santa Maria
Stephen Parkinson (University of Oxford)
in Portuguese Studies, Vol. 3, 1987.
[SP2006] Rules of Elision and Hiatus in the Galician-Portuguese Lyric: the View from the Cantigas de Santa Maria (PDF)
Stephen Parkinson (University of Oxford)
in La corónica: A Journal of Medieval Hispanic Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Vol. 24, No. 2, Spring 2006.
[SP2007] The Evolution of Cantiga 113: Composition, Recomposition, and Emendation in the Cantigas de Santa Maria (PDF)
Stephen Parkinson (University of Oxford)
in La corónica: A Journal of Medieval Hispanic Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Vol. 35, No. 2, Spring 2007.

4.   Pronunciation

[PT1993] História da Língua Portuguesa
Paul Teyssier (transl. Celso Cunha)
Livraria Sá da Costa Editora, Lisbon, 5th edition, 1993.
Although this slim but indispensible volume is not Teyssier's original (1980) book, which was written in French, but rather its later (1982) translation into Portuguese, Teyssier himself recognized the translated edition as the superior work: it gave him the opportunity to add footnotes, extend the bibliography, and completely revise the text, all with the invaluable input of the translator Celso Ferreira da Cunha, himself a renowned authority on the history of the Portuguese language. So if you can read Portuguese at least as comfortably as French, I would heartily recommended seeking out this translation, not the original Histoire de la langue portugaise.
Sketch of the Historical Phonology of Galician-Portuguese
Rip Cohen, 2010
[DDGM] Dicionario de dicionarios do galego medieval
Instituto da Lingua Galega, University of Santiago de Compostela.
Not directly related to pronunciation, but an excellent first stop when looking up word etymologies and variants, as well as meanings.
[JMMS2002] Existe rima de vogal aberta com vogal fechada na poesia trovadoresca galego-portuguesa? (PDF)
José-Martinho Montero Santalha
in Revista Galega de Filoloxía, 2002, 3: 107-143, Universidade da Coruña, ISSN 1576-2661
[NOMIG] Normas Ortográficas e Morfolóxicas do Idioma Galego (PDF)
Instituto da Lingua Galega,
20th edition, February 2005.
An etymological wordlist for the Cantigas d'Amigo
Rip Cohen
Virtual Center for the Study of Galician-Portuguese Lyric, 2010, revised 2013
Uma anomalia na língua trovadoresca galego-portuguesa: sobre os casos de conservação de -L- intervocálico
Manuel Ferreiro
Virtual Center for the Study of Galician-Portuguese Lyric, 2013
[JML1975] On the velarization of n in Galician (PDF)
John M. Lipski
in Neuphilologische Mitteilungen, 2 LXXVI, Helsinki, 1975.
Portuguese vinho: diachronic evidence for biphonemic nasal vowels
John M. Lipski
Newark State College, 1975
Vowel Harmony and Metaphony in Iberia: A Revised Analysis
Ralph Penny
in Estudos de Lingüística Galega 1, 2009, ISSN 1989-578X
Sobre o catálogo das rimas trovadorescas
José-Martinho Montero Santalha
in Agália, núms 67–68 (2º semestre de 2001), pp. 225–237
A interface música e linguística como instrumental metodológico para o estudo da prosódia do português arcaico
Daniel Soares da Costa
Universidade Estadual Paulista, Faculdade de Ciências e Letras, Campus de Araraquara, 2010

I've made a lot of use of the following book, which provides a broad and accessible overview of the phonetic history of the language:

  Romance Languages: A Historical Introduction
Ti Alkire and Carol Rosen
Cambridge University Press, 2010

It is, however, infuriatingly brief at times, and the majority of examples given leap from Latin to modern standard Portuguese in a single bound, with little or no hints even to the relative chronology of changes. Modern Galician suffers almost total neglect.

This next book has also been useful for its excellent chapter Portuguese by Stephen Parkinson:

  The Major Languages of Western Europe
Bernard Comrie (ed.)
Routledge, 1987

Reading about related languages, and especially their history, is always useful for this kind of project, so I have kept the following books handy:

  Gramática histórica del español
Ralph Penny
Ariel Lingüística translation into Spanish, 1993
Original English title A History of the Spanish Language, 1991
  Vulgar Latin
József Herman
The Pennsylvania University Press translation into English by Roger Wright, 2000
Original French title Le latin vulgaire, 1967.

I've also frequently dipped into my collection of well-thumbed old editions of Teach Yourself books from the days when formal grammar was still their main focus, including TY Italian (Speight, 1954), TY Catalan (Yates, 1975), TY Portuguese (Barker, 1969) and TY Latin (Kinchin-Smith, 1948).

For a much broader context, not to mention a useful reality check, I've found this book to be very good:

  Companion to Medieval and Renaissance Music
Tess Knighton, David Fallows (eds.)
Oxford University Press, 1997

Of particular interest are the chapters Restored Pronunciation by Alison Wray and Framing the life of words by Paul Hillier, which both address the rather fundamental question of whether it's actually important to strive for an authentic period pronunciation. Both (I'm glad to say) conclude that it is, although of course a balance must be struck with all of the other considerations that feed a good performance. I think Paul Hillier hits the nail on the head though when he says, in regard to deviations from historical accuracy, that “You need a reason for changing things and, more specifically, you need a frame of reference beyond personal intuition”. In other words, any departures that the performer makes from the original medieval pronunciation should always be conscious and informed, not the result of ignorance or mere lack of regard.

Finally, a word about the following volume:

  Singing Early Music
Timothy J. McGee, Ed. 1996
Indiana University Press

I own this book and I dearly wish that I could love it, as the concept—a guide to the pronunciation of European languages in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance—is quite wonderful. Alas, the reality is sorely disappointing. A large range of languages are covered, one per chapter, but the quality and reliability of the individual chapters varies drastically, indeed to a quite baffling extent. One day I'd like to write a detailed review of the book, but here I'll just say that if you're thinking of applying the chapter on Galician-Portuguese to the Cantigas de Santa Maria, then considerable caution is warranted. The main problem seems to be that it attempts to cover the six centuries from 1100 to 1700 all in one go, with little or no regard for the sweeping phonetic changes over the course of that period that turned the medieval language into modern Portuguese. The transcription given there of CSM 167 Quen quer que na virgen fia is, as a result, a dreadful mess.

5.   Musical notation

As well as the musical editions of Anglés, Cunningham and Elmes cited at the top of this page, the following books have provided useful background reading:

  The Notation of Medieval Music
Carl Parrish
Faber & Faber, London, 1958
A recent reprint of this book is available, but take note that the reproductions of the excellent facsimile plates in the original are reportedly of very poor quality in the reprint.
  The Notation of Polyphonic Music 900–1600
Willi Apel
4th edition, 1949, reprinted by Oxford City Press, 2010.
The Cantigas de Santa Maria are not polyphonic, of course, but Apel's book is nonetheless a classic work that contains a vast amount of information relevant to their notation. You can download the whole thing from The PDF version is recommended; I have tried the native Kindle format and found it to be next to useless.
  The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Music
Mark Everist (ed.)
Cambridge University Press, 2011
  La música de las Cantigas: Estudio sobre su origen y naturaleza con reproducciones fotográficas del texto y transcripción moderna
Julián Ribera y Tarragó
Real Academia Española, Madrid 1922
Reprinted 1989. Translated and abridged as Music in Ancient Arabia and Spain, Stanford University Press, 1929
See under Where's the modern musical notation? on the ‘Questions & answers’ page for more about Ribera's classic work.
  Interpretando la música medieval del siglo XIII: Las Cantigas de Santa María
Pedro López Elum
PUV Publicacions, Universitat de València, 2005. Reprinted 2010.
Only useful as an example of how not to interpret the notation of the Cantigas. The author's transcriptions will leave any sensitive musician aghast. See Manuel Pedro Ferreira's deservedly scathing review of this book, linked below.

Also the Oxford Companion to Medieval & Renaissance Music already cited above.

The following are some of the online papers that I have found most useful in studying the musical notation of the Cantigas. As you'll gather from the list, Manuel Pedro Ferreira is by far the most prolific and authoritative writer on the music of the Cantigas, and I'd recommend all of his work. You can find more on his page at

  Understanding the Cantigas: Preliminary steps
Manuel Pedro Ferreira
in Analizar, interpretar, hacer música: de las Cantigas de Santa María a la organología. Escritos in memoriam Gerardo V. Huseby, Melanie Plesch (ed.), Buenos Aires Gourmet Musical Ediciones, 2013
  A música no Códice Rico: formas e notação
Manuel Pedro Ferreira
in Alfonso X El Sabio (1221-1284), Las Cantigas de Santa María: Códice Rico, Vol. II (coord. L. Fernández Fernández & J. Carlos Ruiz Souza), Madrid: Testimonio, 2011, pp. 189-204
  A propósito de una nueva lectura de la música de las Cantigas de Santa María
Manuel Pedro Ferreira
in Alcanate: Revista de Estudios Alfonsíes V, 2006-2007
A review of Pedro López Elum's book, cited above. Note that despite the Spanish title, the article is in Portuguese.
  Alfonso X, compositor
Manuel Pedro Ferreira
in Alcanate: Revista de Estudios Alfonsíes V, 2006-2007
  A Case of Cross-Fertilization: The Mediaeval Andalus, Islamic Music, and The Cantigas de Santa Maria
Manuel Pedro Ferreira
in Pol-e Firuzeh, No. 12, Summer 2004
  Afinidades musicais: as Cantigas de Loor e a lírica profana galego-portuguesa
Manuel Pedro Ferreira
in Memória dos Afectos - Homenagem da Cultura Portuguesa ao Prof. Giuseppe Tavani, Lisboa, Edições Colibri, 2001
  Andalusian Music and the Cantigas de Santa Maria
Manuel Pedro Ferreira
in Cobras e Son: Papers on the Text, Music and Manuscripts of the ‘Cantigas de Santa Maria’, Stephen Parkinson (ed.), Legenda, 2000
  The layout of the Cantigas: a musicological overview
Manuel Pedro Ferreira
in Galician Review, vol. 2, 1998
  The Stemma of the Marian Cantigas: Philological and Musical Evidence
Manuel Pedro Ferreira
in Bulletin of the Cantigueiros de Santa Maria, Vol. VI, Spring 1994
  Bases for transcription: Gregorian chant and the notation of the Cantigas de Santa María
Manuel Pedro Ferreira
in Los instrumentos del Pórtico de la Gloria. Su reconstrucción y la música de su tiempo, Vol II., La Coruña, 1993
  Some remarks on the Cantigas
Manuel Pedro Ferreira
in Revista de Musicología, Vol. X n.º 1, Madrid, 1987
  Musical Analysis and Poetic Structure in the ‘Cantigas de Santa Maria’
Gerardo V. Huseby
in Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies, Madison, WI, 1983, pp. 81-101