The villancicos (which comes from the word “villano”) is a musical and poetic form in Castilian and Portuguese, traditional of Spain, Latin America and Portugal, very popular between XV and XVII centuries. The villancicos were originally profane songs with refrain, of popular origin and harmonized to several voices. Later they began to sing in the churches and to associate specifically with Christmas. Notable composers of villancicos were: Juan del Enzina, Pedro de Escobar, Francisco Guerrero, Gaspar Fernandes and Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla.

Nowadays, after the decline of the old form of the carol, the term happened to denominate simply a sort of song its letter refers to Christmas and that is sung traditionally in those dates.

The structure of the villancico comes from the Mozarabic tradition.The villancico also has two parts: chorus, which is always the same, and coplas, which change along the song. The couplets, have one or more parts with different music, called changes, and a final part with the same music of the chorus, called turn.


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