academie: Dance speed

corun at corun at
Sun Apr 4 11:34:24 PDT 2004

Dear Dancers,

A friend of mine in the lute community is working on a piece by John 
Dowland called simply A Galliard (I really hate it when composers don't 
name anything beyond the kind of piece it is which always leads to half a 
dozen A Galliards, or thirty Pavans), etc.). This piece is in Cm if that 
helps anyone in identifying it.

Anyway, his question revolves around the complexity of the piece and he 
wonders if it should be played faster than a usual galliard. I could not 
tell him as I am A) unfamiliar with much of Downlands dance pieces, and B) 
I find that dancers often want a piece played faster than we in Harp and 
Drum usually practice it. I don't know if this is from actual knowledge on 
your part of how fast a given dance style should be played versus you just 
liking a faster, bouncier dance.

If someone can answer this question I'd appreciate it. If you can give me 
the answer as a quarter note = X that would be even more helpful.

Thank you,

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