Sã qui Turo Zente Pleta is a negrillo or guineo (also called villancicos de negros), a sort of villancico which were intended to portrait African slaves taken to the New World, imitating their music as also as their way of speaking. The monastery of Santa Cruz in Coimbra was one of the most active music centres in Portugal during the 17th and 18th centuries. It was a community in which the monks themselves were singers, instrumentalists, maestros de musica, composers and instrument builders. During the five years of the noviciado, each monk studied music and organ, although all of them played other instruments used in the religious services.
The anonymous villancico Sã qui turo zente pleta (Here we are all black people), is a fine example of the exchanges resulting from the evagelization of the Portuguese colonies. The text is an imitation of the portuguese spoken by the black people: a mixture of portuguese, spanish, criollo and other local languages. This villancico pictures the birth of Jesus, an event that everyone celebrates their joy with songs and dances.
I prepared an edition of this work (without the coplas), which is available at MusicaNeo.