The basic problem is that the dance doesn't match the music. This can be solved in one of two ways – by changing the music to match the dance, or changing the dance to match the music. There are arguments for and against each solution.



The music has two sections, A and B. A is 16 bars long and B is 4 bars long in the lute tabulature.

The repeat structure of each reconstruction will be different. Etienne's reconstruction is (AABBB) x 7. Adina's reconstruction is AABBB ABABAB AAAAABB.

Note that another reconstruction by Diana Cruickshank evidently exists, based on her postings to the mailing lists, however I haven't seen it. The music for her reconstruction is AA BBB, AAAA BBB, AAA BBB, AA BBB.


Regularising the dance to match the music – Etienne's solution

The dance music as given is in two parts, A and B. The instructions with the music say to play the dance as AA BBB.

Note that it is fairly unusual for Caroso to give detailed instructions on how to play the music. For example, in his lute tabulature sections he often gives us the tune in multiple sections, with dividing lines between each section, however with no instructions as to how many times each section should be played. In this dance, the instructions above the lute tabulature clearly read “farassi duoi Tempi senza li Rotornelli” and in the second section “Questo ritonello farassi tre volte.” meaning play the first section twice and the second section three times. This is significant – especially because it is out of the ordinary for Caroso to do this.

The other argument in favour of changing the dance is that all of the two person cascarde are regular – in that they repeat the same piece of music some number of times with no changes in the way that it is played. We have about 30 or so cascarde of this type, and so there is sufficient evidence to say that all of them did.

The problem with the argument is that there are only 3 cascarde for three people in Il Ballarino. The other two are also regular, but the rules for a 2 person cascarda do not necessarily apply to a 3 person one. Having 2 regular and one irregular cascarda doesn't necessarily give us enough evidence to prove this argument.


Changing the dance music to match the step descriptions – Adina's solution.

There are no obvious typographic errors in this dance, and Caroso does not list it in his errata section at the back of Il Ballarino, therefore there is no specific reason to believe that this dance wasn't done as per the text.

Adina Hamilton's solution is that we should be applying the minimum number of changes to the text of a dance in order to make it match the music, and so we have to play the music in an irregular manner to match the dance description.

Of course, all of the arguments in favour of changing the dance are also arguments against not changing it, and vice-versa.

Neither solution can be proven – nobody has a time machine.