“The American Dance (popularly known as ‘the Dance of the Vassals’), is a dance where the male leads the dance and the female leads the dance. The dance’s name originally referred to the French style of French dance, but is now commonly used as a term for all forms of dance.”
The “Old American Ballroom Dance”
The first time I heard of this music was in a class given at the Royal Colleges of Music in the 1960s. As I had the opportunity to listen to the work of many composers and artists of the time, I knew that it was the music of my childhood.
There were three groups that I was fascinated with:
The Chicago Group: The bandleader and the band are all very feminine and the music is heavily dominated by the vocals, but very rhythmic, and very romantic.
The New York Group: A more classical group, with more instrumentation at some parts, more instrumental and vocal playing at other parts.
The London Group: A group that was much more complex in its composition, as the music was mostly from 1650-1660. Its songs often are melodic, and some of the pieces are longer than a standard dance such as “The American Dance (popularly known as ‘the Dance of the Vassals’), is a dance where the male leads the dance and the female leads the dance. The dance’s name originally referred to the French style of French dance, but is now commonly used as a term for all forms of dance.
What does it sound like? The second song I heard was “The Dance of the Queen”, written by a composer by the name of Louis Fauchon.
The rhythm seems to have a very similar look to the music of the “Old American Ballroom Dance”. The difference is that the music seems to be more rhythmic and some of the pieces have longer structures. The tempo seems to be closer to a concert hall dance, than a regular dance. The tempo for this song differs from each piece that I have listened to it, but it seems to be slower than the rest. It is hard to determine which way the tempo is from the video.
The words that Fauchon used to write this song are very similar to those in the “Old American Ballroom Dance”. At around 13-14 minutes, the entire song is sung, so I have listed the full lyrics below.
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