Francisco Correa de Arauxo

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Francisco Correa de Arauxo (or Araujo) (b. Seville, 1584; d. Segovia, 1654) was an important Spanish organist, composer, and theorist in the last years of the Renaissance and early years of the Baroque period.

Life[change | change source]

We do not know very much about Correa de Araujo. He was probably born in 1584. He may have been of Portugese origin. In 1599 he got a job as organist in Seville. It must have been an important job because he earned a lot of money. Many years later he seems to have become a priest. He may have been made a priest because he was a good organist. In 1630 he organized a protest when priests were made to work harder wothout being paid more money. Because he argued about this he was sent to prison for a time. By 1635 his health was very bad. In spite of earning a high salary he often had no money.

After 37 years in Seville he took a job as organist in Jaén Cathedral. He was there until 1640 when he went to Segovia Cathedral. He worked there until 1653, by which time he was too ill to work. When he died the following year he was very poor.

His music[change | change source]

Correa only seems to have published one collection of organ works. It was called Libro de tientos y discursos de música practica, y theorica de organo intitulado Facultad organica (1626). This was a collection of organ music, as well as a discussion about music theory. It is one of the few books we have which shows us what musical composition was like in Spain at that time. His organ music uses a divided keyboard (medio registro), so that the upper and lower parts of the keyboard (high notes and low notes) can use different stops (making different sounds). The organ pieces in the collection are arranged in order of difficulty. The pieces at the end are very hard indeed. He uses a lot of dissonances, and he expects the performer to put in lots of ornaments, even if they are not shown in the music. He uses glosa (ornamental figuration), although he also uses counterpoint. His harmony shows the influence of composers such as Cabezon and Aguilera de Heredia.

References[change | change source]

  • The New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie; 1980; ISBN 1561-59174-2