Ensaya a dança y prosigue: ethnicity and exoticism in the villancicos de negros of the Portuguese Royal Chapel, during the seventeenth century


  • Rui Cabral Lopes Universidad Complutense de Madrid




Portuguese baroque music, Lisbon Royal Chapel, musico-poetical forms, villancico, exoticism


The last decades have seen an increased growth and diversity of studies concerning the Iberian villancico of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, in different institutional contexts such as the Monasterio de Santa Cruz of Coimbra, the Salamanca Cathedral, the Royal Chapel of Madrid and the Royal Chapel of Lisbon. One relevant strand of this vast repertoire is the villancico de negro, a subgenre characterized by the dialects and cultural practices of the African slaves which proliferated both in Spain, Portugal and in Latin America. The present article provides a systematic approach to the repertoire of villancicos de negros from the Portuguese Royal Chapel, focusing on thematic, choreographic and musical lines and promoting connections with several studies already produced on the same subject.