Other French Dances


Although most of the dances in Orchesography are bransles, Arbeau describes a number of dances that are not bransles.

These include the following types of dance:

  • Pavanes

  • Galliards and Tourdions

  • Basse Danses

  • Courante


Music and Choreography

Arbeau in most cases does not give music for these dances (beyond a single line, or part of a single line), and in other cases does not give much in the way of choreography. For example, his description of the pavan only states that the dance has “two singles and a double forwards, and two singles and a double backwards”, while his description of the courante only gives the step types, and not any specific choreography.

Modern day reconstructors of these dances have tended to embellish these dance descriptions and invent choreographies for them. These choreographies are what have tended to become danced as common dances in the SCA, and these are described in this book.


Other Music

There are also many pieces of pavan, basse danse, courante, and galliard music published in period in various arrangements. There are a lot of choreographies that have been written specifically to match one or another piece of music. The books of Pierre Attaignant, Susato, and Praetorius are good sources to find music to fit such dances to – Praetorius in particular published an almost ridiculous number of arrangements of courante, galliard, and volte music that can be used for creating choreographies in period style.



Galliards and Tourdions

La Volta


French Basse Danse