Tomás de Santa Maria [Thomas de Sancta Maria]

(c.1510/20 - 1570)

Spanish organist, composer, and theorist. A Dominican friar, he was organist at St. Pablo monastery, Valladolid. He devoted most of his career to writing the Libro Ilamado Arte de tañer fantasia (Valladolid, 1565), an early practical keyboard treatise made in consultation with Antonio and Juan de Cabezón ; it is contemporary with Bermudo's Declaración. Santa Maria treats (in book 1) notation, keyboard technique, performance, and chant; (in book 2) harmony and counterpoint. His compositions, besides some illustrative fantasias in the treatise, include tientos, versos, and fabordones. It clearly demonstrates the advanced state of Spanish organ technique in the mid-sixteenth century; perhaps the work's chief interest as a historical record, however, may be found in the instructions for playing his contemporaries' 'fantasies' and variations, which required a quasi-improvisatory style of performance.

A Partial Tomás de Santa Maria Discography |  IVL: The Spanish Masters