The Middle Eastern Influence on Late Medieval Italian Dances: Origins of the 29987 Istampittas

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Winner of the 2002 Jose Rollins de La Torre Bueno Prize in Dance Literature from the Dance Prespective Foundation
This work focuses on eight of the dances, the ‘istampittas,’ linked etymologically to the ‘estampie,’ a French dance, whose origins are here examined with an eye toward Italian and French music and civilization, as well as the music and society of the Arabs.


“In her lean little study, an exemplary report of academic scholarship and historical imagination, she relates her research with narrative tension, humility, and economy. Although the material is remote and the details are technical, her book reads like mystery story, and the implications of her theory are huge and relevant. Her findings also provocatively color the way certain contemporary dances appear today. . . . A stunning performance.” – Dance Perspectives Foundation

Table of Contents

Table of contents (main headings):
Introduction (the istampittas and the role of Arabic culture in European history)
1. Medieval Instrumental Music
2. Instrumental Music in Trecento Italy
3. The ‘Lo’ Manuscript
4. The ‘Lo’ Dances
5. The Istampittas – An Analysis
6. The ‘Lo’ Istampittas as Arabic Artifacts
Appendices: Sources, Estampies, Istampittas, Arabic Scales; Arabic Music; “Tre fontane” Facsimile
Bibliography; Index

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