Madrigale—transcribed by Oscar Chilesotti

Classical guitar Madrigale is another lute piece from Da un Codice Lauten-Buch del Cinquecento.[1] It is one of the pieces with an asterisk next to its title in the table of contents. Asterisked pieces were considered especially noteworthy by Oscar Chilesotti. Although I cannot discern what attracted Chilesotti to this piece, it contains chord progressions and melodic elements that would not sound out of place in late 20th-century popular music. With a few changes, you can even play the piece with a pick on a steel-string guitar.

From the title we know the piece is a madrigal[2], which is itself a bit of a mystery given that madrigals were usually unaccompanied vocal works.[3] The piece may have been an adaptation of a short vocal work or it may have served as an accompaniment for madrigal singers. Without access to Chilesotti's original source material, we'll never know for sure.

I've added fingering and made slight changes to the music. Specifically, I split the last measure of the first repeated section into a first and second ending. The first time around the E major chord is played for its normal duration. The second time around it is to be held longer as indicated by the fermata. Chilesotti requires the fermata on both the first and second playing. Also, I changed the C in measure 8 from a quarter note to a dotted half note.

Sheet Music

[1] For more information, see the discussion at Dove son quei fieri occhi?.

[2] Or at least that Chilesotti had reason to believe it was a madrigal.

[3] It was, however, not unheard of for madrigals to be arranged for lute and singer.