Sebastián Aguilera de Heredia

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Sebastian Aguilera de Heredia (born about 1565; died Saragossa, 16 December 1620) was a Spanish organist and composer.

We do not know much about his life. He described himself once as a "Saragossan priest", so he may have meant that he was born in Saragossa, or just that he worked there. In 1585 he became organist at Huesca Cathedral. In 1603 he became a priest and organist at the Cathedral of La Seo, Saragossa. He looked after the organ at the cathedral and often had work done to improve it. All his compositions were for the church: both his organ music and vocal music. His organ works show that he learned from composers such as Antonio de Cabezón, but he put new, modern ideas in his music which later influenced younger composers such as Correa de Arauxo.

A very important new technique which he used was the use of a divided keyboard (medio registro) which allowed different sounds in the upper half and the lower half of the keyboard (on today's organs one would need a two-manual organ to get the same effect). He wrote 36 settings of the Magnificat. His vocal work shows a skilful use of polyphony.

References[change | change source]

  • The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie; 1980,ISBN 1-56159-174-2