Tiento (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈtjento] , Portuguese : Tento [ˈtẽtu] ) is a musical genre originating in Spain in the mid-15th century. It is formally analogous to the fantasia (fantasy), found in England, Germany, and the Low Countries, and also the ricercare, first found in Italy. By the end of the 16th century the tiento was exclusively a keyboard form, especially of organ music. It continued to be the predominant form in the Spanish organ tradition through the time of Cabanilles, and developed many variants. Additionally, many 20th-century composers have written works entitled "tiento".
The word derives from the Spanish verb tentar (meaning either to touch, to tempt or to attempt), and was originally applied to music for various instruments. In the early eighteenth century, some composers also used the term obra, originally a more general term meaning "work", to refer to this genre.
The tiento is formally extraordinarily diverse, more a set of guidelines than a rigid structural model such as fugue or rondo. Nearly all tientos are imitative to some degree, though not as complex or developed as the fugue. This has led to their being associated with the other embryonic imitative forms cited above. Similarly, it is difficult to assign a single texture to the form, since it underwent a considerable amount of evolution from its inception to its decline in the late 18th century. The earliest tientos (such as those of Cabezón) were stylistically quite close to the ricercare in their extended use of the strict, motet-style counterpoint. Later (especially in the works of Cabanilles), tientos would frequently alternate between the older style of strict counterpoint, and virtuosic, affective figuration typical of the toccata and some fantasias. The evolution of the form was in part conditioned by the evolution of the Spanish organ, and it eventually came to include several variants or sub-forms, several of which are listed below:
In music, a fugue is a contrapuntal compositional technique in two or more voices, built on a subject that is introduced at the beginning in imitation and which recurs frequently in the course of the composition. It is not to be confused with a fuguing tune, which is a style of song popularized by and mostly limited to early American music and West Gallery music. A fugue usually has three main sections: an exposition, a development and a final entry that contains the return of the subject in the fugue's tonic key. Some fugues have a recapitulation.
Jean (Jehan) Titelouze was a French Catholic priest, composer, poet and organist of the early Baroque period. He was a canon and organist at Rouen Cathedral. His style was firmly rooted in the Renaissance vocal tradition, and as such was far removed from the distinctly French style of organ music that developed during the mid-17th century. However, his hymns and Magnificat settings are the earliest known published French organ collections, and he is regarded as the first composer of the French organ school.
Antonio de Cabezón was a Spanish Renaissance composer and organist. Blind from childhood, he quickly rose to prominence as a performer and was eventually employed by the royal family. He was among the most important composers of his time and the first major Iberian keyboard composer.
Johann Caspar Kerll was a German baroque composer and organist. He is also known as Kerl, Gherl, Giovanni Gasparo Cherll and Gaspard Kerle.
The year 1695 in music involved some significant events.
Alessandro Poglietti was a Baroque organist and composer of unknown origin. In the second half of the 17th century Poglietti settled in Vienna, where he attained an extremely high reputation, becoming one of Leopold I's favorite composers. Poglietti held the post of court organist for 22 years from 1661 until his death during the Turkish siege that led into the Battle of Vienna.
Manuel Rodrigues Coelho was a Portuguese organist and composer. He is the first important Iberian keyboard composer since Cabezón.
Juan Bautista José Cabanilles was a Spanish organist and composer at Valencia Cathedral. He is considered by many to have been the greatest Spanish Baroque composer, and has been called the Spanish Bach.
Pablo Bruna was a Spanish composer and organist notable for his blindness, which resulted in his being known as "El ciego de Daroca". It is not known how Bruna received his musical training, but in 1631 he was appointed organist of the collegiate church of St. María in his hometown of Daroca, later rising to choirmaster in 1674. He remained there until his death in 1679.
Sebastian Aguilera de Heredia was a Spanish monk, musician and composer.
Peeter Cornet was a Flemish composer and organist of the early Baroque period. Although few of his compositions survive, he is widely considered one of the best keyboard composers of the early 17th century.
Musica ricercata is a set of eleven pieces for piano by György Ligeti. The work was composed from 1951 to 1953, shortly after the composer began lecturing at the Budapest Academy of Music. The work premiered on 18 November 1969 in Sundsvall, Sweden. Although the ricercata is an established contrapuntal style, Ligeti's title should probably be interpreted literally as "researched music" or "sought music". This work captures the essence of Ligeti's search to construct his own compositional style ex nihilo, and as such presages many of the more radical directions Ligeti would take in the future.
Johann Krieger was a German composer and organist, younger brother of Johann Philipp Krieger. Born in Nuremberg, he worked at Bayreuth, Zeitz, and Greiz before settling in Zittau. He was one of the most important keyboard composers of his day, highly esteemed by, among others, George Frideric Handel. A prolific composer of church and secular music, he published several dozen of his works, and others survive in manuscript. However, hundreds more were lost when Zittau was destroyed by fire in 1757, during the Seven Years' War.
Francisco Correa de Araujo (1584–1654) was a Spanish organist, composer, and theorist of the late Renaissance.
In music a voluntary is a piece of music, usually for an organ, that is played as part of a church service. In English-speaking countries, the music played before and after the service is often called a 'voluntary', whether or not it is titled so.
The following is a chronological list of classical music composers who have lived in, worked in, or been citizens of Spain.
Montserrat Torrent i Serra is a Spanish organist.
Francis Chapelet the son of painter Roger Chapelet, is a French classical organist.
Bernardo Clavijo del Castillo was a Spanish composer, organist, harpsichordist, and teacher.