Reference Entry


Meredith Ellis Little

in Oxford Music Online

Published in print January 2001 |
Published online January 2001 | e-ISBN: 9781561592630 | DOI:

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[lur] (Fr.)

A French dance and instrumental air popular in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

The origins of the loure are obscure. The term referred to a kind of bagpipe known in Normandy during the 16th and 17th centuries, but it is not known if this use of the word has any bearing on the origin of the dance. The 18th-century loure was a slow, virtuoso French theatre dance of a noble, majestic but languid character, often associated with the pastoral tradition. The ten extant theatrical choreographies are difficult to perform even by modern standards, using complex movements such as the entrechât, battements, elegant turns of as much as one and a half times, and as many as six steps set to a 6/4 bar of music (see Little and Marsh). The loure was often described as a slow gigue or ‘Spanish gigue’, but it was also associated with the ...

Reference Entry.  722 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musical Form

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