Terpsichorean Dances - Jodie Blackshaw (Grade 3)
MANHATTAN BEACH MUSIC
Raising the Standards of the American Concert Band and BANDS all Over the WORLD
Exclusive Australian Distribution by Future Music
Michael Praetorius (1571-1621), German composer and archivist, was fanatical about recording the details of the many countries he visited, with a focus on the kind of music and musical instruments he encountered. The culmination of this fascination was his three-volume treatise, Syntagma Musicum, a compendium of in- on German music, musical instruments, and performance practice. But much more well-known today is Praetorius' 1612 collection of 312 dances from the royal courts of France, known as Terpsichore, named for the Greek Muse of dance. These dances were not composed by Praetorius; instead, he recorded and harmonized the melodies into three, four, five, and sometimes even six parts in order to avoid their imminent extinction. In my setting for concert band, three dances from the collection are featured; Springtanz, Leaping Dance; Der Lautenspieler, the Lute Player; and Der Schutzenkonig; the Archer King.
To favour Praetorius' infatuation with different musical instruments, this setting for band employs a variety of colours, and features the soloist and section alike. Performers are invited to play in a most animated nature to reinforce the strong sense of pulse required in all dance music. And though we are sure the lagerphone was unknown to Praetorius, we are equally sure he would have delighted in its joyous jangle!
Performance by Castle Hill RSL North West Wind Ensemble; James Brice, musical director (Australia)