The Music of Arbeau's Orchésographie
By (author) G. Yvonne Kendall
Publication date:20 June 2013
Length of book:290 pages
In this innovative study, G. Yvonne Kendall situates Orchesographie, the most widely-known dance manual of Renaissance Europe among contemporary sources from France, Italy, England, and Spain. This manual, penned under the pseudonym Thoinot Arbeau, contains 47 choreographies. Kendall places Orchesographie in the cultural context of sixteenth-century France by examining Arbeau's life and training,and the lives of many influential men and women who supported dance during the religious struggles of the Reformation. Dr. Kendall calls attention to many details of culture and performance in Orchesographie that have never before been sufficiently acknowledged. She uses her extensive skills as a musicologist, dance history scholar, dance reconstructor, and performer of both historical dance and instruments to explain the extremely diverse dance genres Arbeau preserved. A major portion of the book comprises a comprehensive group of music concordances based on tunes that Arbeau presented. Solo, partsong, and instrumental consort musical settings for eighty percent of Orchesographie's tunes have been identified and transcribed into modern notation. The commentary includes text translations and supplemental historical data. This engaging book serves the needs of scholars, dancers, and musicians by making available, for the first time, a detailed yet far-reaching analysis of a major source.