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Copy of the "Songs of Santa Maria"

  • Songs of Santa María © Biblioteca Nacional de España

    Songs of Santa María © Biblioteca Nacional de España





13th century

Cultural background


Original title

Cantigas de Santa María
Spanish National Library

A collection of songs for one voice in Galician mensural notation. Their traditional and simple nature and their expressionism are the main features.

These songs were sung in the festivities to honour the Virgin Mary, and they talk about her virtues and miracles. Recent studies have proven that the copy displayed is from the old writing from the end of the 13th century or beginning of the 14th century. The notation has been modernised and is more advanced than the codices from El Escorial made by copyists with the best musical notation skills.

The manuscript has 122 songs and has no miniatures. There are another three manuscripts of the Songs of Santa María, as well as this one.

Details of the work

Toledo Cathedral

32 cm x 22 cm; 160 pp.


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