The Golden Dance Store offers high-quality handbell sheet music for solo and ensemble ringers at a reasonable cost, as well as Michèle's CDs, DVDs, instructional videos, & accompaniment tracks.
A Bransle (pronounced like brawl, and
sometimes spelled branle, brangle, brawle,
bralle, braule, or brantle) is a type of
Renaissance French dance popular in the early 16th century. It was
danced by a chain of dancers, in a line or circle, usually holding
hands. The bransle was distinctive for its pattern of several large
steps to the left, followed by the same number of smaller steps to the
right, so that the chain or circle moved gradually to the left.
Originally a country dance in which the music was passed on via rote
aural imitation, it was adopted into the aristocratic courts where it
was formally written down and has thus survived for us today.
This particular bransle was written by Michael Praetorius (1571-1621) who was a German composer, organist, and music theorist. He was a very versatile and prolific composer and developed many musical forms based on Protestant hymns. His most widely-known work was Terpsichore, Musarum Aoniarum, a collection of more than 300 instrumental dances, including this branle. Terpsichore is his only surviving secular work.
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