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Thoinot Arbeau

Thoinot Arbeau is the pen name (and an anagram!) of Jehan Tabourot, who was born in Dijon in 1519. He was a Catholic priest, a canon of Langres.

A dance manuscript written by him was published in 1589 and reprinted after his death in 1596. This manual contains detailed instructions for numerous styles of dance (branle[?], galliard, pavane), as well as short sections about military music, drumming, and marching, and a few details about dance forms such as Morris dance, the Canary, the Almain[?], Couranto[?], and Bassadance[?].

This manual, Orchesography, is a major source of information about Renaissance Dance. It is available online in facsimile and in plain text, and there is an English translation by Mary Stewart Evans, edited by Julia Sutton, which is in print with Dover. It contains numerous woodcuts of dancing and musicians.

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