Martin Codax

Biography

Born: 12??   Died: 1230   Country: Spain  
Martin (or Martim) Codax (or Codaz) is the name of the author and composer of a set of seven poems (six with music) written on a leaf of parchment that was found in 1914 inside the binding of an old book. The poems are written in the Portuguese-Galician language. They are the only Galician-Portuguese music, aside from the Cantigas de Santa Maria, to survive from the Middle Ages and represent the oldest surviving written Spanish Read more music.

Each of the six songs with music comprises four or six stanzas, made of a couplet followed by an unchanging refrain. In form, the composition appears to be a song cycle, concerning the feelings of a woman awaiting her lover by the sea in the coastal city of Vigo, in the west of Spain.

Commentators have tried to discover or deduce details of the composer's life, but have achieved no more than speculation. Because the work is love poetry, some have found a connection with courtly music of the time and speculate Codax was a member of the court of Ferdinand III. Others have suggested that he was a troubadour. They are not even certain whether he was Portuguese or Galician Spanish. The music itself has more connections with Galician folk music than with either Spanish court or troubadour music of the time. Read less