Tune of the Day: Courante
Courante, corrente, coranto, corant: all these names refer to a family of triple meter dances from the late Renaissance and the Baroque era. While in the original sources spellings are often found to be inconsistent, Bach used both the different spellings courante and corrente to differentiate between the French and Italian styles, respectively.
Originally, the courante had the slowest tempo of all French court dances. While some writers of the time described the dance as “fast”, what they probably meant is that the notes moved quickly, and not that the tempo was rapid. But this was going to change. In fact, courante literally means “running”, and in the later Renaissance the courante was danced with moderately fast running and jumping steps.