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Esteban Daza


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Esteban Daza (or Estevan Daça) (b. Valladolid, c. 1537 - d. there, between 1591 and 1596) was a Spanish composer and vihuelist of the Renaissance. He was one of the last major vihuelists of the 16th century, as the instrument’s popularity was eclipsed by that of the guitar.

Daza came from a middle class family, and was the youngest of thirteen children. He studied law at the University of Valladolid, where he graduated in 1563. Instead of following a regular profession, he was able to survive from the profits from his investments.

El Parnaso (Parnassus) is the only known book of music published by Daza. It was printed in 1576 in Valladolid, and contains works for solo vihuela and for vihuela and voice. The full title of the work is Libro de música de cifras para vihuela, intitulado El Parnaso. It is divided into three parts and consists of fantasias and transcriptions for vihuela of polyphonic songs, motets, villancicos, villanescas and sonnets of other composers, such as Pedro Guerrero, Francisco Guerrero, Juan García de Basurto, Jean Maillard, Jean Richafort, Thomas Crecquillon, Simon Boyleau, Rodrigo de Ceballos, Juan de Navarro, Pedro Ordoñez and Clemens non Papa.

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