is of course not the particular name of that tune, but the 16th/17th century dance, ancestor of the modern waltz. It’s not unusual that these dances don’t have a name (delivered, at least). But as it is recorded on "Morning on a distant shore" by The Arthur Brothers and Davey Furey as "La Volta", I think that’s better than Gan Ainm.
This is more or less the basic melody line, without Finbar’s variations and all. A nice variant of that pickup phrase would be B2 B/A/ A/G/.
The Volta is related to the galliard, and is in 6/4 time (not 3/4). Many of these tunes are commonly called after the names of their dances (ie simply A Gavotte, La Volta, Volta, Corrente and so on). A famous ‘La Volta’ being from Michael Praetorius’s Terpsichore in 1612.
(For those not familiar with the galliard its another renaissance dance - the rhythm is that of the British Royal Family’s anthem, God Save the Queen. The first line reveals the rhythm: Da Da Da Dah DeDa. 🙂
AFAIK its not an ancestor to the waltz. The dance figures are not related and neither is the rhythmic structure.
Waltes developed from around 1750 in Bavaria/Vienna.
T: La Volta
||: GA Bc de | d2-dc B2 | d2 c2 A2 | B6 | GA Bc de | d2-dc B2 | A2-AG F2 | G6 :||
||: B2 A2 G2 | B2-Bc B2 | B2 A2 G2 | d6 | BA GA Bc | d2-dc B2 | cB A2 F2 | G6 :||
||: GA B2 c2 | d2 cd e2 | c2 A2 d2 | B2-BA G2 | FG AB cA | B2 AB cB | AG FG AF | G6 :||
Attributed to Michael Pretorius 1571 – 1621 Renaissance dance tune.
Rhythmically I treat this as 6 beats over 2 bars with an emphasis on beats 1 & 4.
Possibly 6/4 might illustrate it better. Seeing it in ¾ might to some be prescriptive and by association be played at first glance at a general tempo of a waltz which of course it isn’t.
T: La Volta
||: GA Bc de d2-dc B2 | d2 c2 A2 B6 | GA Bc de d2-dc B2 | A2-AG F2 G6 :||
||: B2 A2 G2 B2-Bc B2 | B2 A2 G2 d6 | BA GA Bc d2-dc B2 | cB A2 F2 G6 :||
||: GA B2 c2 d2 cd e2 | c2 A2 d2 B2-BA G2 | FG AB cA B2 AB cB | AG FG AF G6 :||
For me the placing of the bar line is crucial and I hope this setting is much clearer to read.
I’ve not seen the original notation so this is my interpretation.
T: La Volta
||: B2 A2 G2 | B6 | B2 A2 G2 | d6 | cB A2 G2 | B2 cB AG | AG FG AF | G2 EF G2 |
B2 A2 G2 | B6 | B2 A2 G2 | d6 | cB AB cd | BG AB cB | AG FG AF |1 G2 EF G2 :||2 G6 ||
||: GA B2 c2 | d4 e2 | c2 A2 d2 | B2 AB G2 | G2 B2 c2 | d2 DE FG | AG FG AF | G2 EF G2 :||
Transcribed by myself from the playing of David Munrow on “The Mediaeval Sound”
Here is William Byrd’s version of “La Volta”, which is definitely not an ancestor to the waltz (as Barry Pearce mentioned : see https://thesession.org/tunes/12551); that’s why this tune is put here, as a jig. La Volta was indeed written in “3”, which means that every beat is divided in 3. Modern transcriptions are usually written in 12/4 or 6/4.
William Byrd (1539 or 1540 - 1623) was one of the (if not THE) most famous English Virginalists. This version, written for the virginal (a kind of small harpsichord with only one keyboard) comes from The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book (New York, 1979), vol. 2, p. 180-181. I don’t deliver the 4 last bars which are to be played (on the virginal) by the left hand.
Years ago, I used to play this lovely piece on the harpsichord.
Hm, not related to the waltz then. Many (belated) thanks everyone for your info and additional settings! I have to admit that I’ve just read about that waltz thing on a rather speculative wikipedia article, so d’oh on me! :~)
Oh, and I’ve shifted the repeats of my setting; on the aforementioned recording the guitar comes in @ bar 2 (or after half the first bar for that matter), so I had mistaken the first three notes as an anacrusis.