Complete dances with music.

These four dances have both music and a full description of the dance steps in the manuscript.

Esperans, a dance for 3. (Other dances Prenes on gre, Northumberland, Temperans)

Subtitled 'Brestow is a mery town'.

"3 Trace: Al the 6 singlis with a trett. Then the fyrst man goo compas till he come behend, whil the medyll retrett thre, and the last 3 singlis, and the medil 3 singlis, leyng the last on the left hand, and the last 3 retretts. Thus the medill endyth before the last in the meddist and the ferst gehynd. Thus daunce 3 tymes, callyng every man as he standdith.
3 After the trace, the ferst 3 furth outward turnyng ayen his face. Then the last contur hym, and the medill to the fyrste; and then the first to his place. Then the last to the medyll and the medyll to the last mans place.
1 The first and last change place whil the medyll tornyth.
1 Al at onys retrett 3 bake. Bak al at ons.
1 Then the first turne whill the last turne in (in) his own place.
1 Then al togeder thre furth."
DF p7

This dance starts off with a intricate pattern and gets simpler as the dance progresses, although you have to be in the right place to be able to do a couple of latter sequences. I have grouped the 6 musical sections into it into 3 dance parts.

Music is available in NoteWorthy Composer and MIDI formats. (Tenor line only.)
Diagram of the music.

Notes on how I came to this interpretation.

Trace:

This figure is repeated 3 times and consists of 6 singles and a trett (5 steps and a close). If you agree with the idea that a left always follows a right then a left occurs, then the second repeat will be on the right foot.

The Trace
Bars Pattern Steps
A 1-6 Esperans figure 1
In the first six singles
The person in first place casts out to fourth place,
While second and third change places in an anti-clockwise circle,
second place does 3 singles backward to third place and then 3 singles forward to place,
Then third place does 3 singles forward to second place and then 3 singles backwards to place.
A 7-9 Then all do a trett forwards.
A 10-15 Esperans figure 2 In the second repeat every one starts on the right,
First casts to the right
and the other two circle clockwise.
A 16-18 Then all do a trett forwards.
A 19-24 Esperans figure 1 The third repeat is the same as the first with every one starting on the left,
First casts to the left
and the other two circle anti-clockwise.
A 25-27 Then all do a trett forwards.

Part 2:

This figure consists of 3 repeats 4 singles (all RLRL) followed by a double to get back into "proper" order. It starts on the right foot.

The pattern:

Part 2
Bars Pattern Steps
B 1-4 Esperans figure 2

Person A goes in a circle to their place casting left.
While the other two cast right and change places.
All end facing the back.

The middle person should move into first place with the first single.

B 5-8 Esperans figure 3

Person B, in third place, now goes in a circle left
while the other two cast right and change places.
All end facing the front.

B 9-12 Esperans figure 4 Person C, in first place, casts in a circle ending facing second place,
while the other two cast right and change places ending with B facing the front and A facing B. (It is important for the formation to be very tight here.)
C 1-2 Esperans figure 5 Person C and A change places with a double while B does a turn single.
Everyone ends up facing up the dance floor.

Part 3:

The pattern:
Back and Forward a trett with first person ending facing second.
First turns second with a double while third does a turn single.
All do 3 singles forward.

Prenes on gre, for 2 dancers. (Updated Jan 2001)(Other dances Esperans, Northumberland, Temperans)

Subtitled 'Alas the herd whill that i coth dans'.

"Trace forthright 6 singlis; ather torne other aboute, and forthright 6 singles agen.
After the end of the trace, rak both togeder and torne.
3 Then face to face 6 singlis, eithir contrary oder, and 3 retrettes ayen.
2 Then a flowrdilice of both at oyns.
r Then change places and torne face to face. Then a flowrdelice and come togeder."
DF p8

Music is available in NoteWorthy Composer and MIDI formats. (Now in 3 parts.)
Diagram of the music.

I gave a talk at a dance weekend on the problems with interpreting these dances and we came up with two possible interpretations for this dance. (Summary of the talk.)

Since then we have tried a few variations and come to this "final" interpretation. The main breakthrough came when the dancers did the doubles in the time of four singles instead of two as is more normal. Suddenly the foluredelice fit the repeats in the music rather than going over the phrases.

Start at opposite ends of the room, ie about 8 singles apart. Note a single is the step-pause style (passo) rather than the step-close style.

The Trace

Bars

Pattern

Steps

A 1-4

Prenes on gre figure 1
(front)

Forward 4 singles (LRLR),

A 5-8

Prenes on gre figure 2

Turn each other with 4 singles (LRLR),

If you do a half turn you go back to your place with the next four singles. If you do a full turn you end in the other persons place.

We usually do a half turn here.

A 9-12

Prenes on gre figure 3

Forward 4 singles (LRLR).



Part 2

Bars

Pattern

Steps

B 1-2

Prenes on gre figure 4


Set (SL SR )

B 3-4

Prenes on gre figure 5

and a half turn to face each other with two singles (SL, SR).

C 1-6

Prenes on gre figure 6

6 singles forward passing left shoulder, (LRLRLR),

D 1-4

Prenes on gre figure 7

3 singles turning left back the way you came end facing each other (LRL).

The fourth bar is only half the length of the other bars. We use it for a pause or a close.



Part 3 - Two flourdelice.
The first flourdelice.

Bars

Pattern

Steps

E 1-4

Prenes on gre figure 9
(front)

Facing, change places ending side by side facing the same way ie the front. DL (a double grave, a slow double, or may be three singles and a close.)

E 5-8

(back)
Prenes on gre figure 10

Both go forward 3 singles (SR, SL, SR) turning out to face the back.

Leap in one bar (LL) - a cadence

E 9-12

Prenes on gre figure 10a

Then do a double to cast out ending face to face. Slow DR



Part 3 - Two flourdelice.
Between the flourdelice

E 13-16

Prenes on gre figure 11

Change places with a slow double left.

E 17-20

Prenes on gre figure 12

Turn or cast with a double right to end facing.



Part 3 - Two flourdelice.
Second flourdelice

Bars

Pattern

Steps

E 21-24

Prenes on gre figure 9

Facing, change places ending side by side facing the same way (the front). DL (a double grave, a slow double, or may be three singles and a close.)

E 25-28

(back)
Prenes on gre figure 10

Both go forward 3 singles (SR, SL, SR) turning out to face the back.
Leap in one bar (LL) - a cadence

E 29-32

Prenes on gre figure 10a
(front)

Then do a double to cast out ending facing the front. Slow DR


Northumberland, for 3 dancers. (Other dances Esperans, Prenes on gre, Temperans)

Subtitled 'Trobyll me the bordon'.

"trace
Togedder three singlis with a stop; trett and retrett. Then the first man torne in his own place while the last torn the meddyll abowytt.
Togedder agayn with three singlis with a stop; trett and retrett. Then half a torn and tron agayn and togedder.
Then agayn with three singlis with a stop; trett and retrett. Then the first torn the meddyll abowt whilt the last man torn in his own place. Then every man a mevyng. then the first and the last torn owtward going forth 6 singlis; the 2nd forthright.
Torn all face to face and the thred brayll. The tother two cum to hym and goo to the place agayn.
Then the 3rd and 2d brayll; the meddyl cum to them and go to his awn place agayn.
Then the first and last lepe togedder; the meddyl lepe alone. Then the meddyll throw while other two [blank space in MS] hym turnying all face to face. All at onys a flourdelice. The first and meddyl rak tell they mett whill the last retrett. A flourdilice. At onys the meddell and the last rake whil thay meet the first retrett. Than all cum togedder."
DF p12

Notes on how I came to this interpretation.
Trace Start side by side.
Trett and retrett.
First turn single while second and third turn each other with a double.
Trett and retrett.
All turn single.
Trett and retrett.
Third turn single while first and second turn each other with a double.
Part 2 Steps are now double time, ie 2 singles to the bar.
Six singles forward with the outside moving away from the middle. Turn to face in the last single.
The third branle while the other two approach and retreat from him (S?, S?)
The first and third branle while the second approach and retreat from them (S?, S?)

Dance part 3

Then the first and last lepe togedder; the meddyl lepe alone.

Leap = single = 1 bar? Implies 2 bars in this section.

Dance part 4

Then the meddyll throw while other two [blank space in MS] hym turnying all face to face. All at onys a flourdelice. The first and meddyl rak tell they mett whill the last retrett. A flourdilice. At onys the meddell and the last rake whil thay meet the first retrett. Than all cum togedder.

This looks like 3 repeats of similar pattern.

Again "throw" = cast.

Guess all cast with 1 and 3 going counter to 2 (2-3 bars). A flourdelice (8 bars).
1 & 2 meet (with raks - 3 single raks), third retreats (3 singles?). A flourdelice (8 bars).
2 and 3 meet while first retreats (3 bars). All come together.

Part 6 & 7 of the music with repeats is 48 bars. The dance needs between 24-26 bars.


Temperans, for 3 dancers. (Other dances Esperans, Prenes on gre, Northumberland)

Subtitled 'Ly hartt is an old hors and may no langer drawe etc'.

"trace
All trett and retrett thre singlis with a stop. Then first and the medyll togedder retrett while the last goth forth and cum togedder agayn in the same forme saving in the end wher the laste departytt the second shall the thred the first shall. Then every man togedder two dubles on the left fott and halfe a torn. Then every man the same contrary wyse agayn. Then all togedder trett, retrett and rakkes. Then all togedder a flourdelice. Then the first man throw while the tothir two change places. Then the first 3 forth with a torn, the 2d the same, the 3 the same without a torn. Then the first lepe, the second lepe, the last lepe. Then all torn with a rest in the meddys."
DF p12

Music is available in NoteWorthy Composer and MIDI formats. (Tenor line only.)
Diagram of the music.

Part 1. The Trace
First and second man zigzag (back with retrett then forward with trett) one place to the left while third man zigzags (forward with trett and back with retrett) to first man's place. L, R.
Repeat until everyone is back in place.
Part 2
Two doubles forward ending facing the way you came, ie DL, DR.

Repeat back to place.
Part 3
Forward and back a trett. (L, R)
Part 4
Two sideways singles. (SL, SR)
Part 5 - a flourdelice
Person 1 casts left for a double while the other two change places
All forward 3 singles (SR, SL, SR) with first and second (ie the outside couple) turning outward and ending facing the way they came. All leap in one bar (LL).

Then the outside men cast out with a double so all end facing the same way side by side. DR


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