How To Compose – a Gavotte

This post will discuss approaches to writing a gavotte.

First of all, a gavotte is a dance commonly found in the Baroque era suite.  The origin of the dance is French and features dance partners facing each other in a line or circle with everyone taking alternative steps to either side.  In addition, there is account of men kissing all the women at the end and reciprocated with the women to all the men.  Regardless of if this is true or not, the motions of how the dancer move are factors should be considered for when witting an appropriate melody for the gavotte.

Here are some critical features that are characteristic of a gavotte:

  • Meter: 4/4,
  • Tempo: fast
  • Phrase-period structure
  • Begins with an upbeat on the third beat.
  • Flowing pastoral melody; fun and light-hearted
  • Often followed by a musette with a drone bass, that then proceeds to a da capo repetition
  • Polyphonic; however, can be written for a solo instrument
  • Composed based on these rhythm:

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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How To Compose – a Galliard

This post will discuss approaches to writing a galliard.

First of all, a galliard is a dance of the Renaissance era that was developed and now commonly found in the Baroque era suite structure.  The origin of the dance is French and features dance partners doing a fashion of leaps, jumps, and kicks in an alternating left-right pattern.  These factors should be considered for when witting an appropriate melody for the galliard.

Here are some critical features that are characteristic of a galliard:

  • Meter: 3/4 or 6/4, but strong pulse pattern of 3 regardless
  • Tempo: moderate, but happily brisk
  • Theme and variation form of AA’BB’CC’
  • Jumpy, dotted, and syncopated rhythms.
  • Begins on the beat
  • Linear, stepwise motion with occasional leaps
  • Varies between homophonic and polyphonic
  • Composed based on this rhythm:

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.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

How To Compose – a Corrente/Courante

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.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

How To Compose – a Bourrée

This post will discuss approaches to writing a bourrée.

First of all, a bourrée is a dance commonly found in the Baroque era suite.  The origin of the dance is French. To dance a bourrée, you follow these steps:
bend-rise-step-step, bend-rise-step-step, bend-leap-hold-step, bend-rise-glide

These factors should be considered for when witting an appropriate melody for the bourrée.

Here are some critical features that are characteristic of a bourrée:

  • Meter: 2/2, cut-time
  • Tempo: lively and fast
  • Binary form of AB, containing a phrase-period structure within
  • May be followed by a second bourrée, creating a ternary form
  • 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
  • Starts on the fourth quarter-note of the measure for each iteration of the phrase
  • Motifs usually have a 3 note pairing cell
  • Polyphonic; however, can be written for a solo instrument
  • Composed based on these rhythms:

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.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

How To Compose – an Allemande

This post will discuss approaches to writing an allemande.

First of all, an allemande is a dance commonly found in the Baroque era suite. The origin of the dance is believed to be German from historic records and features dance partners facing each other, interweaving arms, turning, and adding slight hops to their steps. These factors should be considered for when witting an appropriate melody for the allemande.

Here are some critical features that are characteristic of an allemande:

  • Meter: 4/4, with strong duple pulse
  • Tempo: moderate, but can vary slightly between relaxed and fast
  • 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
  • Flowing eighth/sixteenth notes supported by a steady bass
  • Polyphonic; however, can be written for a solo instrument
  • Composed based on this rhythm:

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.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.