Dancing through the Barlines: An Analysis and Performance of a Renaissance Collection of Dances

05/07/2019 ore 11:00, Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, Basel


The Intabolatura nova di varie sorte de balli da sonare per arpichordi, clavicembali, spinette e manacordi (Antonio Gardane, Venezia 1551) is a collection of Pass’e mezi (new and old), Saltarelli, Pavane, Gagliarde. Especially in the galliards, mensuration signs and barlines do not coincide with the specific rhythmic pattern associated with the dance type.

Although reading from a photographic reproduction could be relatively easy for well-trained performers, the conflict between the barlines and the dance meter may be misleading. The counter-intuitive grouping of the notes into patterns of four notes per measure, the resulting need for frequent ties, the false impression of syncopations, etc., needlessly complicate the task of performing these dances from the original notation.

Each of the three modern editions (Heartz, AIM 1965; Dart/Oxenbury, Stainer & Bell 1965; Cerha, Doblinger 1975) is unsatisfactory in different ways.

The paper illustrates the rationale for a new practical edition that, while retaining the original note values, allocates the notes into the proper rhythmic patterns for each dance. With this goal in mind, the pieces have been analyzed with regard to chordal progressions and related cadences, meter signatures, note values and accentuation, asymmetrical upbeats, hemiolas, etc. In some cases, the metrical interpretation has been facilitated by concordances in other sources (ms. Vnm, It. IV, 1227; lute tablatures by Abondante 1546 and Bianchini 1546).

The resulting transcription provides a rhythmic interpretation of the dances that reminds readers of the original notation, while allowing a performance of the pieces as they were likely intended to sound.


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Giorno(i): 05/07/2019
Ora: 11:00 - 13:00

Schola Cantorum Basiliensis
Leonhardsstrasse 6