David Buch's informative volume is the first modern study, edition, and commentary dealing with almost all of the surviving French five-part scores of dance music from the ballets de cour, 1575-1651. These full scores are especiall y important since most ballets from this time are preserved only in two-part readings (melody and bass). The exception here is a newly-created five-part score for the Ballet des Nations based on an original two-part setting. Also included are the six Allemandes from 1575 to ca. 1600, a Ballet à cheval of 1615, a selection of miscellaneous Entrées from several ballets prepared for the Concert à Louis XIII par les Viollons et lest 12 Grands hautbois of 1627, and Philidor's five-part reading of seventeen Entrées from the Ballet du Roy des Festes de Baccus of 1651.
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The work is scholarly as well as useful. ...[Buch] sees-for instance-the relevance of shared codes of etiquette and vocabulary, and illustrates these issues well in his analysis of Francois de Lauze's Apologie de la dance (1622) where there is so much concern for appropriateness of music and expression. --Margaret M. McGowan, Dance Research 14/1
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