AskDefine | Define allemande

Dictionary Definition

allemande n : egg-thickened veloute [syn: allemande sauce]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Allemande



From French allemand "German".


  1. A popular instrumental dance form in Baroque music, and a standard element of a suite, generally the first or second movement.

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Extensive Definition

An allemande (also spelled allemanda, almain, or alman) (from the French word for "German") is one of the most popular instrumental dance forms in Baroque music, and a standard element of a suite. Originally, the allemande formed the first movement of the suite, before the courante, but, later, it was generally preceded by an introductory movement, such as a prelude.
The allemande originated in the 16th century (Renaissance) as a duple metre dance of moderate tempo, derived from dances supposed to be favoured in Germany at the time. No German dance instructions from this era survive, but 16th century French (Arbeau) and British (Inns of Court) dance manuals for the Almain do survive. In general the dancers formed a line of couples, extended their paired hands forward, and paraded back and forth the length of the room, walking three steps, then balancing on one foot; a livelier version used three springing steps and a hop.
French composers of the 17th century experimented with the allemande, shifting to quadruple meter and ranging more widely in tempo. The form of the allemande was used for the tombeau. Other identifying features are its absence of syncopation, its combination of short motivic scraps into larger units, and its tonal and motivic contrasts. German composers like Froberger and Bach followed suit in their allemandes for keyboard instruments, although ensemble allemandes tended to stay in a more traditional form. Italian and English composers were more free with the allemande, writing in counterpoint and using a variety of tempi (Corelli wrote allemandes ranging from largo to presto).
Late in the 18th century, "allemande" came to be used for a new type of dance in triple meter; Weber's Douze allemande op. 4 of 1801 anticipates the waltz. Additionally some of the close embraces and turns of the original Allemande were carried over to Square Dance and Contra Dance, with the moves "Allemande left" and "Allemande right", (often spelled "Alamand") in which couples hold hands and turn around each other.


allemande in German: Allemande
allemande in Estonian: Allemande
allemande in Spanish: Alemanda
allemande in Esperanto: Alemando
allemande in Persian: آلماند
allemande in French: Allemande (danse)
allemande in Italian: Allemanda
allemande in Hungarian: Allemande
allemande in Dutch: Allemande
allemande in Japanese: アルマンド
allemande in Polish: Allemande
allemande in Russian: Аллеманда
allemande in Simple English: Allemande
allemande in Slovenian: Allemanda
allemande in Finnish: Allemande
allemande in Ukrainian: Алеманда
allemande in Chinese: 阿勒芒德
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