Diego Pisador (c.1510-after 1557)

Pisador Libro de musica de vihuela
Libro de musica de vihuela

Like other vihuela composers, not much is known about Pisador. He was born in Salamanca, Spain in 1509 or 10. His father was majordomo (administrator) of the city, and, when he moved elsewhere in the early 1530’s, Diego inherited his position. Pisador also inherited his father’s responsibilities as the financial caretaker of his family.

After the death of his mother, Diego inherited much of the family wealth. His younger brother was not happy and contested the will, but their father sided, originally, with Diego. Upon returning to Salamanca in the early 1550’s, however, Diego’s father changed his mind and forced Pisador to leave the family home.

Pisador’s book, Libro de música de vihuela, was published in 1552. It contains 95 works, over half of which are for vihuela and voice. Like other contemporary vihuela books, many of the solo works inLibro de música are intabulations of vocal compositions by Josquin, Gombert, Willaert and others. Grove Music is rather critical of Pisador saying that some of his original works are good, but “many are flawed by defective counterpoint and harmonic blandness, though they are elegant in form.”

Free Diego Pisador Sheet Music

Diego Pisador Sheet Music for Sale

Notable Concert Works by Pisador

None of Pisador’s works have made it into the concert repertoire today, but the Pavana muy llana para tañer (Pavan that is very easy to play) is in several student repertoire books.

Renaissance Vihuela Composers