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Short Communication Open Access
The first decade of the new millennium witnessed the publication of three studies on El grillo, generally considered to be Josquin’s most popular song. These are, in chronological order, by David Fallows, What happened to El grillo, in EM 31 ; by Marianne Hund, Fresh light on Josquin Dascanio’s enigmatic El grillo, in TVNM 56 ; and by Grantley McDonald, Josquin’s musical cricket: El grillo as humanist parody, in AcM 81 . While Fallows’ article was intended as a preparatory study for his edition of the song in vol. 28 (Secular Works for four voices) of the New Josquin Edition, my contribution made some serious critical comments on both of Fallows’ editions, the one in Early Music and that in the NJE, offered a new transcription of the piece, and tried, at the same time, to propose a new interpretation of the song’s meaning, suggesting among other things that the Italian verb ‘bere’ (to drink) should be read as ‘breve’ (short). Three years later, rejecting my argumentation, McDonald went into some detail to show influences of ancient Greek poetry that would prove that crickets indeed do drink, and that the piece should be understood as ‘a parody of the seriousness of humanist scholarship’ (p. 42). However, as I will show below, his arguments do not convince, and it is therefore my intention to once more argue in favor of my own interpretation, passing over, this time, the question of the best transcription of the music itself.
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