westdance: Thoughts on 15c Italian for KWDS?

Matthew Larsen matt1.larsen at gmail.com
Wed May 9 09:39:58 PDT 2007

On 5/8/07, Greg Lindahl <lindahl at pbm.com> wrote:
> On Tue, May 08, 2007 at 05:50:17PM -0700, Matthew Larsen wrote:
> > I'm not sure I would class the 15th c. information as a weath of
> > evidence in comparison to the "bit more" evidence for galliard
> > variations.  If you just counted the number of words in the various
> > descriptions, I think the galliard information will outstrip the 15th
> > c. information by several orders of magnitude.  Not sure that's a good
> > measure, but...
> The galliard has a ton of info on different steps, and little about
> how you string them together, or how you move around the floor. Given
> the two gaping holes in the info, I wouldn't count it as several
> orders of magnitude more information.

But by your own argument (at least as I understand it), the steps are
what are being improvised in galliards, while for the 15th c. stuff,
it's the pattern that's being improvised.  As you note, I'm not as
familiar with the 15th c. sources as perhaps I ought to be, but I'm
pretty sure that the volume of information in them on patterns for
saltarello and piva isn't anywhere near the volume of information on
galliard variations.

> > I'm not convinced yet that the level of information in the 15th
> > c. sources is what I would call reasonably good.
> There are a ton of new primary and secondary sources available about
> 15c Italian dancing. You own some of them, but as our offline
> discussion of the volta del gioioso showed, it takes some study to be
> familiar with them. You probably reall this is one of my pet peeves
> ;-)

:-) It's a fair cop; I really should spend more time with the 15th c.
sources.  But while I may not know them at the level of detail I'd
like (or perhaps that you'd like :-) ), I do feel that I can gauge at
some level how much information is there...  Are you really arguing
that there's as much information available to us on improvising
salterellos and pivas as there is on galliards?  I just can't agree
with that, sorry...  Or am I misunderstanding your point?


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