This post will discuss approaches to writing a corrente/courante.
First of all, the corrente/courante is a dance commonly found in the Baroque era suite. The origin of the dance is French, but difference being is that the corrante is the Italian take on the dance with a more lively tempo at 3/4 or 3/8, while the courante is the original French version that is not as lively at a 3/2 meter. Dancers would be fast with their partners; jumping, running, and hopping between the steps while sliding to a new position. These factors should be considered for when witting an appropriate melody for the dance.
Here are some critical features that are characteristic of the dances:
- Meter: 3/8, 3/4, 3/2, 6/4, 6/8
- Tempo: lively
- Binary form of AB, with the B section usually longer than the A section
- If A section begins in a major key, it cadences in the dominant where the B section will start and return back to the home major key
- If the A section begins in a minor key, it cadences in the dominant/relative major where the B section will start and return back to the home minor key
- B section often begins with the transposition of the main theme
- Begins with an upbeat of an eighth/sixteenth-note
- Flowing eighth/sixteenth notes supported by a steady bass
- Can be divided into triplets if desired
- Homophonic texture
- Typically features a “hop” in the rhythmic motive or melody
- Hemiola before cadence
- Composed based on these rhythms for dance purposes:
Be sure to familiarize yourself with the style before attempting to compose one! Look into pieces of your favorite composers for inspiration and understanding or direction on how to approach a new work.
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