Juan de Triana

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Born: Unknown

Died: Unknown


Iberian composer that flourished between 1477–1490. A papal bull dated 9 February 1478, which he presented to the chapter of Seville Cathedral, confirmed his title as a prebendary, a position he had held from at least a year previously. At some time before 1483 he transferred to Toledo Cathedral where he was Master of the Boy Choristers, responsible for their welfare and for teaching them polyphony. He may have held his position at Toledo until 1490 when he would have been succeeded by Pedro de Lagarto.

Of the 20 pieces attributed to Triana in the Cancionero de la Colombina, five are sacred pieces and three of these can be described as song motets, a form not commonly encountered in the surviving polyphonic sources from the Iberian peninsula. One of the Spanish-texted pieces, Juysio fuerte será dado, is a setting of the Song of the Sibyl, traditionally sung on Christmas Eve in some churches in the peninsula: it was part of the duties of the choirmaster at Toledo to provide the music for this occasion.

Triana’s setting of courtly love poems are in canción form. His melodies are melismatic and the lower voices rhythmically active in the song idiom characteristic of Iberian composers of the generation before Juan del Encina. Among various settings of popular texts is a villancico, Aquella buena muger, which has an estribillo with canon-like imitation at the octave between tenor and superius. In ¿Querer vieja yo?/Non puedo dexar/Que non sé filar, each part has a different text. The superius, perhaps freely composed, is combined with a popular tenor and a quodlibet contra.

View the Wikipedia article on Juan de Triana.

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