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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » M » Milan, Luys



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Luys Milan (1500 - 1560)

Contradictory evidence still obscures Luys Milán’s exact identity. He was probably born in the first decade of the sixteenth century into a Valencian noble family who had been the lords of Massalavés since the Middle Ages. Most of the biographical information about Milán comes from both his vihuela book and two other books written by him. The most illuminating is El Cortesano, a book written in the shadow of Castiglione’s book of the same name, and not published until 1561 even though it describes Milán’s life in Valencia at the court of Ferdinand, Duke of Calabria, and Germaine de Foix in the 1530s. From the autobiographical descriptions in El Cortesano, a portrait emerges of Milán not as an employee, but a noble member of the court entrusted with the entertainment of the ladies who resided in it. From Milán’s own testimony we learn that this included storytelling, singing songs to the accompaniment of the vihuela, and playing court games, perhaps of the kind that are depicted in another little book that he authored for the purpose and that was printed under the title of Libro de motes de Damas y Caballeros in 1535.

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