Galician-Portuguese contrafacta: Occitan and French models

The practice of contrafactum , that is, the use of earlier melodies in new compositions, is extensively documented in medieval lyric. Within the Galician-Portuguese lyric (of which only thirteen original melodies survived), many of the models that were followed, not only literary but also musical, seem to have been extra-peninsular compositions, with emphasis on previous (and generally well known) Provençal or French melodies.

During the extensive scientific work that led to the Galician-Portuguese Medieval Songs database (, this issue was marginally noted down. The present database, resulting from the project «Models and variations: the medieval Iberian lyric in the troubadour Europe», supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, aims to systematize all these cases of contrafacta, using either the data that have been collected by previous researchers, or the new data collected by the team of this project.


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Contrafacta    Contrafacta

Presentation and criteria

The current database offers, to researchers as well as the broader public, all the Cantigas (songs) contained in the medieval Galician-Portuguese 'Cancioneiros' (songbooks), the manuscripts' images and also the music (either medieval or the contemporary versions or original compositions which take the texts of medieval songs as a starting point).

Last updated: 19-02-2020