Very interesting discussion about music and the necessity to keep a strict
beat when dancers are dancing -- or risk having them ignore you (at best).
At a master class in Innsbruch (I think in the 70s), Alan Curtis asked
Shirley Wynn to try dancing to Bull's Piper's Galliard played by Arthur
Haas. As I recall, even Arthur could not comfortably manage a tempo that
allowed Shirley to stay in the air long enough to land on the next beat.
Point is that when dances were transformed into art music, there were not
necessarily dancers in evidence and rubato/ritards may well have been
employed, even while the character of the dance was retained.
On the other hand, I have been known to grab volumes of Bach and Froberger
and head out to accompany dancers in a beginner's workshop for which I had
not been given any music. Worked reasonbly well...I just had to keep the
Sandra Mangsen, PhD
Department of Music Performance Studies
Don Wright Faculty of Music
University of Western Ontario
London, ON N6A 3K7
(519) 661-2111 X87716
On 3/2/08 0:00, "HPSCHD-L automatic digest system"
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Date: Sat, 2 Feb 2008 21:19:10 +0100
> From: Thomas Dent <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Dance and music
> I'm sure it has been said a thousand times already, but most keyboard
> 'dances' (and particularly by the Bachs) are not literally dances,
> rather pieces containing some element of dance rhythm... the
> relationship between real dance rhythms and their use in keyboard
> music is somewhat complicated.
> I wonder if people ever danced to Byrd's Pavans and Galliards.