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Henri IV - An unfinished reign

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Branles doubles

P.-F. Caroubel

Source : ‘Michael Praetorius: Terpsichore musarum (1612)’; Ricercar Consort & La Fenice; dir. Philippe Pierlot & Jean Tubéry; Ricercar 139124 (1994).

Caption

"…the branle is danced by moving sideways and not forward. To begin with, in what is called the double branle you will perform one double to the left and then one double to the right; you are well aware that a double consists of three steps and a pieds joints. To perform these sideways, you will assume a proper bearing after the révérence of salutation, and, while keeping the right foot firmly in position, throw your left foot out to the side which will make a pieds largis for the first bar. Then for the second bar, keep the left foot firmly in position, bringing the right foot near to the left which will make a pieds largis that is almost a pieds joints. For the third bar, keep the right foot firm and throw the left foot out to the side which will make a pieds largis, and for the fourth bar keep the left foot firm and bring the right foot close to it which will make a pieds joints. These four steps, made in four bars or tabor rhythms, we shall call a double à gauche, and you will do the same in the opposite direction for a double à droite. Namely, while keeping the left foot firmly in position you will throw the right foot out to the side, which will make a pieds largis for the fifth bar. Then for the sixth bar keep the right foot firm and bring the left foot near to the right, which will make a pieds largis that is almost a pieds joints. For the seventh bar, while keeping the left foot fast, you will throw the right foot out to the side, which will make a pieds largis. Finally, for the eighth bar, you will keep the right foot fast and bring the left foot close to it, which will make a pieds joints, and these last four steps we call double à droite. And thus, in these eight steps and bars the double branle will be accomplished, as you will see in the tabulation, and you will repeat from the beginning making a double à gauche and then a double à droite." (Thoinot Arbeau, Orchésographie, 1589).

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