[SCA-Dance] Black Almain question/speculation

Jeff Suzuki jeff_suzuki at yahoo.com
Fri Mar 14 11:22:48 EDT 2008

I'm trying to wrap my mind around something, and the
questions about ECD evolution suggest some of you
folks might have some insight into this...and it might
have some connection with the ECD evolution.

The Black Almain is one of the many pieces of music
that have contrafacts written for them.  The
difficulty is that the contrafacts don't quite match
the music.

The one I'm looking at in particular is the one from

Yahoo! Mail - jeff_suzuki at yahoo.comhtml#n71

(but "Maid, Will You Marry" from "Handful of Pleasant
Delights" has the same pattern).

The ballad is dated 1571, and works for the first part
of the music (up to and including the first set and
turn), and if the dance ended there, it would be fine.

It seems there are one of two possibilities:

1)  The dance Black Almain (which is documented ca.
1600) is an "extended" version of a dance extant in
the 1570s (alternatively, it is two dances, welded
together), or

2)  The author of the contrafact ignored 1/3 of the
music, or

In support of #1, it seems to me that Black Almain has
certain features not present in other almains, but (to
relate this to the ECD discussion) present in ECD: in
particular, the set and turn, and the skipping down
the hall.    



Never miss a thing.  Make Yahoo your home page. 

More information about the Sca-dance mailing list