[SCA-Dance] Tempo and culture

Mary Railing mrailing at kiva.net
Thu Feb 14 13:27:50 EST 2008

What an interesting thread!  So many topics have been raised by it.  
Unfortunately, I'm leaving town tomarrow for several days.  If our modern 
short attention spans can hold out that long, I'll try to get my resources 
together next week and reply at length.  In the mean time, some short 

Of course people other than Italians danced to dances of various tempi.  
The pairing of a slow, duple dance with a faster, triple dance was common 
all over Europe. See Pavan/Galliard, Bassedanse/Tourdion, etc.

There are no choreographies from Eastern Europe, but a great deal of 
renaissance dance music has survived from Hungary, Poland, and 
Chechoslovakia.  (I don't know about Romania.)  This music is mostly 
similar in name and style to the Pavans, Galliards, etc, found elsewhere, 
but there are also local (and therefore unknown to us) dances.

Renaissance musical culture was international and multipurpose.  It was 
common to find the same tune in Italy and England, as a song, a dance, 
and/or a Mass. It's ok to borrow any tune from the correct period for a 

There are period ways to liven up a pavan, but these mostly involve 
changing the steps, rather than adding figures.  However, masque dances 
seemed to involve a lot of processional dances with simple steps and 
complicated floor patterns.  This was not social dance, however.  An 
emphasis on floor patterns in social dance seems to be a Baroque 

More later--


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