[SCA-Dance] Sca-dance Digest, Vol 44, Issue 1

Barbara Webb bwebb at inf.ed.ac.uk
Wed Jun 3 12:25:30 EDT 2009

>   1. Re:  Spanish or Iberian dances? (Ben Cogan)
> No actual dances, but tons of great music for dancing, the Saltarellos
> (I believe Saltarello #3 is the tune we use for Satarello la Regina)
> as well as the Cantigas of Alphonso X (one of which is the music for
> Quen Quer Que)  But alas no actual dances to my knowledge.

The salterellos (specifically, the four instrumental tunes notated in the 
14th century, of which "#3" is one; and more generally, the dance/step 
referred to in many sources) come from Italy, not Spain. An oddity is that 
that the four tunes are not all in the same rhythm which one might expect 
if they are tunes for a certain type of dance.

The cantigas (late 13th century) indeed contain a number of tunes that 
seem very 'danceable'. There are a few illustrations from the cantigas 
showing dancing. The LLibre Vermell of Montserrat, from a little later and 
rather similar in style, also has some very danceable tunes and I think 
even refers to some of the songs as dances. But unfortunately that seem to 
be all we have to go on (till the later sources already mentioned by 


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