Difference between revisions of "Branle"

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A '''branle''' (also ''bransle'', pronounced brawl) is a [[16th century]] French [[dance]] style which moves mainly from side to side, and is performed in either a line or a circle. The [[Italian]] form of the word is ''Brando'', and the [[Spanish]] in ''Bran''{{ref|Dolmetsch}}.
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A '''branle''' (also ''bransle'', pronounced brawl) is a [[16th century]] 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 only source for the dance steps to 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 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.
  
 
==The Branles as Musical Forms==
 
==The Branles as Musical Forms==
  
Accoring 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 composers 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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The Burgundian Branle as described by Arbeau is of the same structure as the Double Branle, but played with a lighter feel. Musical sources however often give an irregular structure for this dance.
  
 
==Regional Branles==
 
==Regional Branles==
  
Arbeau gives choreographies for four Branles which are associated with specific regions, the [[Breton Branle]], the [[Burgundian Branle]], the [[Poitou Branle]] and the [[Scottish Branle]]. Each of these dances seem to have a genuine connection to the region, particularly the Breton Branle. Some [[16th century]] books also contain music entitled Champagne Branle, which Arbeau tells us is another name for Burgundian.
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Arbeau gives choreographies for four Branles which are associated with specific regions, the [[Breton Branle]], the [[Burgundian Branle]] (see above), the [[Poitou Branle]] and the [[Scottish Branle]]. Aside from the Burgundian Branle each of these dances seem to have a genuine connection to the region, particularly the Breton Branle. Some [[16th century]] books also contain music entitled Champagne Branle, which Arbeau tells us is another name for Burgundian.
  
===Musical Structure===
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===Musical Charcteristics of the Regional Branles===
  
 
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.
  
The Burgundian Branle as described by Arbeau is of the same structure as the Double Branle, but played with a lighter feel. Musical sources however often give an irregular structure for this dance.
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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 Scottish Branle as described by Arbeau 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. The music for the Scottish Branle by [[Estienne du Tertre]], however, appears in 3/4 time. In addition, despite a similarity in structure for one branle, the precise choreography given by Arbeau could not be danced to this music even if the music were in 4/4. According to Mable Dolmetsch the Branle was referred to as the Brail.
 
  
 
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.
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<small>
 
<small>
#{{Note|Dolmetsch}}{{Book reference | Author=Mabel Dolmetsch| Title=Dances of France and England | Publisher=Lund Humphries | Year=1959 | ID=ISBN 030670725X}}<br>
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#{{Note|name=Dolmetsch}}{{Book reference | Author=Mabel Dolmetsch| Title=Dances of France and England | Publisher=Lund Humphries | Year=1959 | ID=ISBN 030670725X}}<br>
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#{{Note|name=Expert}}{{Book reference | Author = Henry Expert| Title=Les Maitres Musiciend de la Renaissance Francaise, XXIII | Publisher=Broude Brothers| Year=1969| ID=.}}
 
</small>
 
</small>
  
 
[[Category: Dance]]
 
[[Category: Dance]]

Revision as of 00:45, 30 June 2005