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Traditional Latin American and Sephardic Music

Arrangements by Lynn Gumert

A la Nanita Nana

Tres Estampas Navideñas

Ale pún is a traditional villancico from Andalucia, Spain. It combines verses that tell a story about the baby Jesus with a refrain that onomatopoeically represents the sounds of the bells on the donkey, or of footfalls on the journey.


Camina la virgen pura, a traditional villancico from León, Spain, is in the form of a romanza, that is, it is a ballad that tells a story.


The lullaby, A la nanita nana, is well-known throughout Spain and Latin America. While the song is dedicated to the baby Jesus, it looks ahead to his future sacrificial death by describing him as the Eucharist, the bread given for all. The change from minor to major mode is common in Spanish songs.


La Marimorena, from Castille, combines rhythmically free rhapsodic verses with a march-like refrain. There are multiple versions of this song, some of which vary greatly.


Other Traditional Pieces

Incan Flute Tune

This is a transcription of an Incan flute tune as performed by Scott Reiss of the Hesperus Ensemble on their recording ”Spain in the New World,” which has been re-released on Koch International Classics #3-7451-2H1. The original performer of the piece is unknown; it was published on a Nonesuch Explorer Series LP called “Kingdom of the Sun.” The original instrument was a notch-flute called the queña.

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