Folk & Traditional Music of the Western Continents

The folk & traditional music of Europe, Africa & the Americas explored.

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which consists of a series of repeated musical lines with first and second endings, like that of the branle in Example 6-1). But recently, folklorists have also uncovered enclaves in which folk music seems to have developed with much less influence from the cities, and they have found interesting and unexpected styles.
Some aspects of French folk music
In France, the main areas preserving old traditions are in the South, near the Pyrenees, and Brittany. On the whole, the French folk songs have the same kinds of functions as those in England, Germany, and the Low Countries. Ballads are perhaps not so promi­nent, while lyrical love songs, humorous songs, and dance music are among the most numerous types.
A large number of dances—whether they were used in the peas­ant culture, in the towns, or at the courts we don't always know-are described already in sources dating from the Renaissance, notably in Thoinot Arbeau's Orchesographie (1589); and a number of these dances are still alive in folklore today. Notable among them is the branle, performed either as a round dance or by two lines of dancers facing each other, in moderately quick duple meter. Example 6-1 is
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example 6-1. French instrumental piece, "Branle carre," played on hurdy-gurdy; melody only, transcribed by Bruno Nettl from the recording, Folk Music of France (New York; Folkways Record P414A), band 1.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III