Difference between revisions of "Branle"

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A '''branle''' (also ''bransle'', pronounced brawl) is a [[16th century]] [[France|French]] [[dance]] style which moves mainly from side to side, and is performed in either a line or a circle.
 
A '''branle''' (also ''bransle'', pronounced brawl) is a [[16th century]] [[France|French]] [[dance]] style which moves mainly from side to side, and is performed in either a line or a circle.
  
In [[Italy]] the branle became the ''Brando'', and in [[Spain]] the ''Bran''{{ref|Dolmetsch}}. [[Brando Alta Regina]] by [[Cesare Negri]] demonstrates how widely the French and Italian dances had diverged by the begining of the [[17th century]]. The Branle seems to have travelled to Scottland and survived for some time as the ''brail'', but in England it was rarely danced, and of over 2,000 [[lute]] pieces from England only ten were called Branle.
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In [[Italy]] the branle became the ''Brando'', and in [[Spain]] the ''Bran''{{ref|Dolmetsch}}. [[Brando Alta Regina]] by [[Cesare Negri]] demonstrates how widely the French and Italian dances had diverged by the begining of the [[17th century]]. The Branle seems to have travelled to [[Scotland]] and survived for some time as the ''brail'', but in [[England]] it was rarely danced, and of over 2,000 [[lute]] pieces from England only ten were called Branle.
  
The only extant source for the dance steps to the French branles is ''[[Orchesography]]'' by [[Thoinot Arbeau]], although [[Antonius de Arena]] also makes brief mention of them. Arbeau strongly implies that the branle was a dance mainly performed by commoners.
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The only extant source for the dance steps to the French branles is ''[[Orchesography]]'' by [[Thoinot Arbeau]], although [[Antonius de Arena]] also makes brief mention of them. Arbeau strongly implies that the branle was a dance mainly performed by [[commoner]]s.
  
 
==The Branles as Musical Forms==
 
==The Branles as Musical Forms==
  
According to Arbeau, every ball began with the same four branles. The [[Double Branle]], the [[Single Branle]], the [[Gay Branle]] and the [[Burgundian Branle]]. The Double Branle has a simple form involving two phrases of two bars each. This form was not sufficiently different to the [[pavan]] to be of interest to composers and so pieces with these names rarely occur in the instrumental books of the time unless they are specifically designed for dancers.
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According to Arbeau, every ball began with the same four branles. The [[Double Branle]], the [[Single Branle]], the [[Gay Branle]] and the [[Burgundian Branle]]. The Double Branle has a simple form involving two phrases of two bars each. This form was not sufficiently different to the [[pavan]] to be of interest to [[composer]]s and so pieces with these names rarely occur in the instrumental books of the time unless they are specifically designed for dancers.
  
 
The Single Branle, however, consists of a phrase of two bars, followed by a phrase of one bar and appears in numerous places. Likewise the Gay Branle consists of two phrases of two bars each, but in 3/4 time, and so was also widely used.
 
The Single Branle, however, consists of a phrase of two bars, followed by a phrase of one bar and appears in numerous places. Likewise the Gay Branle consists of two phrases of two bars each, but in 3/4 time, and so was also widely used.
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Although the Breton Branle is rarely mentioned outside Arbeau the other two dance styles seems to have provided a little more inspiration to composers.
 
Although the Breton Branle is rarely mentioned outside Arbeau the other two dance styles seems to have provided a little more inspiration to composers.
  
According to Mable Dolmetsch the Branle was referred to as the Brail in Scotland. As described by Arbeau it is in 4/4 time and is split into two repeated sections. The first with musical phrases of 2, 2, 1 and 1 bars, the second with phrases of 2, 1, 1 and 2. Two examples of music called the Scottish Branle by [[Estienne du Tertre]], however, appear in 3/4 time. Furthermore, despite a similarity in structure for one of these branles, the precise choreography given by Arbeau could not be danced to this music even if the music were in 4/4.
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According to Mable Dolmetsch the Branle was referred to as the Brail in [[Scotland]]. As described by Arbeau it is in 4/4 time and is split into two repeated sections. The first with musical phrases of 2, 2, 1 and 1 bars, the second with phrases of 2, 1, 1 and 2. Two examples of music called the Scottish Branle by [[Estienne du Tertre]], however, appear in 3/4 time. Furthermore, despite a similarity in structure for one of these branles, the precise choreography given by Arbeau could not be danced to this music even if the music were in 4/4.
  
 
The Poitou Branle usually has a 9/4 metre, although some settings use 6/4 or even alternate between 6/4 and 9/4. There is a variation called the [[Poitou double Branle]] (''Branle double de Poitou''), which appears exclusively in 6/4.
 
The Poitou Branle usually has a 9/4 metre, although some settings use 6/4 or even alternate between 6/4 and 9/4. There is a variation called the [[Poitou double Branle]] (''Branle double de Poitou''), which appears exclusively in 6/4.

Revision as of 11:14, 13 July 2005