|Pf||passo falso||r_||ripresa under||s||scempio|
|Px||passo in traverso||R||reverenza||d||doppio|
The passo presents a basic problem for translation and reconstruction: It can be used as jargon, meaning a particular dance step called the passo, and it can be used as an ordinary term meaning just a "step". We have generally assumed rendered it as jargon unless it is clearly and obviously meant otherwise. This is, of course, one possible source of error, but we think our choice to render it this way minimizes the chance of such mistakes.
Other than this one caveat, there isn't much information in the source exactly what is meant by the dance term, "passo". Some information becomes apparent from an analysis of timing (below), but there is no information about the ornamentation or performance of this step in this manuscript.
Passetti are, obviously, smaller passi. They are usually done in sets of 4, and 4 passetti on the part of the lady can move her from in line with the men, to forming a triangle with them - tautologically true, but if we presume a somewhat equilateral triangle, we get some notion of the amount of space covered. For one example thereof, see la Primavera, leaf 8, page 15, lines 4-5
Other than being even smaller passi than passetti (obvious from the etymology>, there is no specific information about this step in the manuscript. We assume something like scorsi
This step appears only
and contains a pretty detailed description:
Then all together, they do a passo
falso, that is, a mezza ripresa
under the left foot, and a passo on
the right foot, which makes them turn their faces towards one
leaf 13, page 25, lines 7-10)
Also note that in section 4 of Baramatio, there are two passi falsi in a row, though there is no mention of which foot they are on that could aid the reconstruction.
Siena also has a passo falso, in Ginevra. Most
other versions of Gienvera have, at this point
They turn back with a sempio beginning with the left foot
[Smith, V. II, p. 131]
though NYp has
They turn back with two pasettini begining with the
[Our translation of Smith's transcription on the same
We have a fair bit of evidence for this step:
Then all three do three passi in traverso, and the lady goes through their midst,..., in Fl, the author has,
The lady passes through [his/its] middle and the men go to the side, they all go one against the other and they do three doppi della tangelosa through the side[Our translation of the original in Smith, Vol. II, p. 175].
Then all three move and do three passi in traverso, one by one., in NYp, Domenico and Giovano Ambroisio say,
They approache one another with three doppi portogallesi beginning with the left foot, the woman passing through the middle.[Smith, Vol. II, p. 297].
But be warned that when they do the said passi in traverso, and when in the passo they do that ripresa, in these passi, they must do two of them, that is, one on the left side, and one on the right side.This implies both that a passo intraverso normally contains a single ripresa, and that it can (and in this case does) contain more than one.
Then the lady alone moves, and does a passo in traverso forwards, and with three passi back, she returns whence she departed, and stops.This implies that a passo in traverso covers the same distance as three passi
An alternative interpretation of traverso might be "to the diagonal," or "to the side (but in the direction of travel)." Traverso = transvers.. [Smith, Vol. II, p. 144, note 2
In all, we take the passage from lo Dimostra as fairly definitive, and use a simple reconstruction similar to a saltarelo tedescho - three passi forwards, and a step to the side - a mezza ripresa This fits everything we have above - except that in lo Dimostra, of course, there is a second step back, making the step almost like a cha-cha.
The one counter-argument we would have against this
The woman then turns to him who is at her right
hand, and they give right hands to each other and do
three passi with
a ripresa; end each returns to his
place with another three passi..
In the same place, NYp says,
Then the woman takes the right
hand of that man who is on the right side and they circle with
two doppi gallopati beginning with the
left foot, each returning to one's place [Smith, Vol. II,
p. 296]. The timing with respect to the music and the parallel
with NYp both seem to imply that the
sequences takes a single measure - the same time as
a saltarello tedescho. Yet if one
takes all the correspondences as literal and exact, the fact
that NYp uses doppi gallopati instead
would imply a difference between the two. However, taking all
the correspondences as literal and exact would be a mistake -
there are certainly differences between the versions, and a
minor substitution of one double for another is certainly no
larger a difference than others we see between the two versions.
We get no specific direct information from this manuscript what a ripresa is. In fact, as we will discuss when we get to our timing discussion, we suspect it is used somewhat inconsistently.
We tend to perform this in much the same way as the riprese from the repertoire of Domenico and Ebreo: two steps to the same side, leaving the weight such that one is ready to then go back the other direction.
This step only shows up once, in Non mi parto. It means, literally, a "slow ripresa", and we know little else besides that. It might be an explicit reference to a full (two-step) ripresa (as opposed to a mezza ripresa), or it could be an otherwise normal ripresa that takes more time than usual.
This step only shows up in
All the source says is
the ripresa under the left foot.
The previous step ends with the weight on the let, so we perform
this by trying to end that previous step on the left toe, and
just stepping left, with the right foot, passing the toe of the
right foot under the heel of the left. It's a very small step,
and takes some practice to do with balance, and the evidence for
the specifics is purely etymylogical - so take it for what it is
... and a mezza ripresa on the right foot. Then they do two passi forwards facing one another with the left foot,...
And then he does a mezza ripresa on the right side. And then he does a doppio turning to the left hand and one to the right hand
We get no detail about these. We assume, given the existence of the paired reverenzette, that this is roughly like the earlier reverenza of Dominico and Ebreo.
These always come in pairs, one forwards, one back. We theorize that a pair of reverenzette is a mid-way point between the reverenza of the early Italian repertoire, and that of the later repertoire.
We get no detail on these. We perform them like the continenze of the earlier repertoire of Domenico and Ebreo.
We have a number of data points on trapassini:
Then follows the treccia of eight trapassini where each one returns to his place..., in NyP, Domenico da Ferrara and Giovanni Ambrosio say,
They perform a "snake," the one weaving around the other with eight tempi of piva such that each returns to one's place[author taken from: Smith, Vol. I, p. 197. Quote taken from: Smith, Vol. II, p. 298]
Then the two stop, and the lady alone does a trapassino, and stops., in Fl, the author says,
Then the woman alone performs a tempo of piva, approaching them[Smith, Vol. II p. 176]
Note that here it says "trapassi", not "trapassini" - though that probably makes little difference, it does leave our previous statement about the reference in Partita Crudele being the only one in this manuscript as literally true, if probably factually shaky.
However, in all other cases so far, we have taken a diminutive to indicate a shortened form of the full step - it seems, for arguments of intellectual consistency and honesty, we should take the non-diminutive form here as indicating a longer version. However, the other versions of this dance say to "circle with three tempi of piva" [Smith, Vol. II, also page 164]. This would seem to indicate that a trapassino would be a fast piva. But a piva is already the fastest step to begin with, so this is somewhat suspect.
We would instead argue a slightly different usage between the Siena and the Il Papa manuscripts, or perhaps simply inconsistent usage in the Siena manuscript - two slightly different forms of the word, both meaning the same thing.
Trapassini generally come in either even numbers, or in odd numbers followed by a passo. We take these two to be interchangable - when told to do an even number of trapassini, we will generally take the last to be simply a passo
We should note that Smith
Trapassini is probably a
variant term for contrapassi
[Smith, V. II, p. 203, note 4]. For all the above reasons, and
the fact that trapassini pretty clearly
change feet, we doubt this interpretation.
While it is much less clear, there is also some link between the trapassino and the spezzato from the later Italian repertoire:
Then they go in a circle backing away from the other two passi, one trapassino, and three passi.This looks very odd to us, in that it has a group of 2 passi and a group of 3, both in close proximity. Perhaps the music is just rather funky here, changing time signatures constantly. But more likely is that the two passi combine with the trapassino to fit one length of music, while the last three passi fit a second. This juxtaposition looks a lot like a seguito spezzato followed by a seguito ordinario.
Then all three do in a circle two passi and a trapassino, and they do this same thing together and in a circle, three times.- pretty clearly three seguiti spezzati in a row, and circling.
Then all three take one another by the hand, and do three and a half passi forwards, ....We are hard-pressed to come up with any legitimate interpretation for 3½ passi; sequito spezzato is the only viable interpretation we've come up with.
There is one other similar reference that we have found in the early repertoire: again in NyP, at the start of the section for which there is no corresponding text in PnA, it says, "chon dua passi di natura e uno tenpo di piva e tre pasi di natura" [Smith, V. II, p.10 - again, thanks to Vivian Stephens for pointing us to this reference] - "with two passi di natura and a tempo of piva and three passi di natura". So the Il Papa manuscript would not be the only instance of this step pattern, but it does appear much more commonly there.
Non of this indicates a close and clear tie between this manuscript and the dances of Carosso and Negri - at best, it's just a hint of a link. But it's an intriguing hint.
The volta suffers from the same problem as the passo, of being both a technical term, and a normal, everyday word. However, in the case of the volta, the choice matters more, as the timing of dances is altered based on which one chooses. We have, therefore, done our best to translate the term when we think it is not a specific step - and this is a possible source of error, both in our translations and our reconstructions.
We should also note that it is unclear if the volta turns 180° or 360°, or if it is even consistent. We have approached this question in our reconstructions on a case-by-case basis, without attempting a consistent interpretation across dances.
It seems generally that the volta is comprised of an even number of steps - either two or four, presumably, not three.
A Volta di Lasso seems to be two mezze riprese, one left, one right, followed by a volta 360° over the right shoulder in two steps, all done in a single measure - it's fast!
Question for ourselves: do we know this is one left, one right? Could it be two left? That would make a certain consistency with the volta di Tromboni, which has three quick meza riprese to the left at the start, and three more to the right at the end.
This always seems to be used as three riprese to one side, then a volta. It is always followed by three riprese to the other side, but it is unclear whether those later riprese are part of the step or not.
What makes a scempio differ from a passo? Sadly, we find few clues to this vital question in this manuscript. However (and see step timings, below), it is usual that scempi come in pairs, and passi tend to come in odd numbers (noting the exceptions that precede trapassini that we think indicate seguiti spezzati, above).
While one assumes a doppio means what it usually
does, it's nice to get some confirmation:
... and a doppio, that is,
(Baramatio, leaf 13, page 25, lines 12-13)
Of course, it's probably not so simple as all that. For instance, dances such as la Vita have both doppi and sequences of three passi, in this dance existing in the same figure. What is the difference between the two? Perhaps nothing - there are certainly instances in the manuscript of the author varying his choice of wording, seemingly solely for variety - or perhaps there is a difference in timing about which we are told nothing.
At several points in the text, different people are doing different things at the same time. This can, of course, be used to determine relative timing of steps (assuming they are used consistently). Below are the 13 timing juxtapositions we found in the manuscript:
|location||steps group 1||steps group 2|
|J1||Ippiter, 3:6:16-19||2 trapassini||
1 mezza ripresa
|J2||Ippiter, 3:6:27-30||2 doppi||
|J3||i Tromboni, 5:10:17-19||2 passo in traverso||
1 passo in traverso
|J4||la Traditora, 6:11:19-21||1 Volta di Lasso||4 passetti|
|J5||la Traditora, 6:12:14-15||1 volta||5 passettini|
|J6||che Faralla, 7:14:8-10||1 Volta di Lasso||5 passettini|
|J7||che Faralla, 7:14:20-23||
1 Volta di Lasso
|J8||la Primavera, 8:16:9-11||1 volta||4 passetti|
|J9||la Reale, 8:16:15-17||1 volta||4 passetti|
|J10||la Reale, 9:17:25-27||4 passetti||1 volta|
|J11||Baramattio, 13:25:26-28||1 volta||4 passetti|
|J12||Fiammetta, 13:26:8-11||1 volta||4 passetti|
|J13||Fiammetta, 13:26:20-23||4 passetti||1 volta|
We also have the following near-coincidences - not different people acting at the same time, but acting sequentially in such a fashion to imply that the same amount of time is taken by each.
|K1||la Villanella, 12:24:6-11||
Taken all together, this implies the following groups all take the same time: 2 trapassini, 1 doppio, 4 passetti, 5 passettini, 1 volta, 1 passo in traverso, 1 Volta di Lasso