is a medieval dance
Sources for an understanding of dance in Europe in the Middle Ages are limited and fragmentary, being composed of some depictions in paintings and illuminations, a few musical examples of what may be dances, and scattered allusions in literary texts...
and musical form
A music genre is a categorical and typological construct that identifies musical sounds as belonging to a particular category and type of music that can be distinguished from other types of music...
, it was a popular instrumental style of the 13th and 14th centuries.
The estampie consists of four to seven sections, called puncta
, each of which is repeated, in the form
- aa, bb, cc, etc..
Different endings (ouvert
(open) and clos
(closed)) are provided for the first and second statement of each punctum
, so that the structure can be
- a+x, a+y; b+w, b+z; etc..
Sometimes the same two endings are used for all the puncta
, producing the structure
- a+x, a+y; b+x, b+y, c+x, c+y, etc..
A similar structure was shared with the saltarello
The saltarello was a lively, merry dance first mentioned in Naples during the 13th century. The music survives, but no early instructions for the actual dance are known. It was played in a fast triple meter and is named for its peculiar leaping step, after the Italian verb saltare .-History:The...
, another medieval dance.
The earliest reported example of this musical form is the song "Kalenda Maya
", supposedly written by the troubadour
A troubadour was a composer and performer of Old Occitan lyric poetry during the High Middle Ages . Since the word "troubadour" is etymologically masculine, a female troubadour is usually called a trobairitz....
Raimbaut de Vaqueiras
Raimbaut de Vaqueiras was a Provençal troubadour and, later in his life, knight. His life was spent mainly in Italian courts until 1203, when he joined the Fourth Crusade....
(1180-1207) to the melody of an estampida played by French jongleurs.
All other known examples are purely instrumental pieces.
14th century examples include estampies
with subtitles such as Lamento di Tristano, La Manfredina, Salterello, Isabella, Tre fontane
Though the estampie is generally monophonic, there are also two-voice compositions in the form of an estampie, such as the three for keyboard in the Robertsbridge Fragment
The Robertsbridge Codex is a music manuscript of the 14th century. It contains the earliest surviving music written specifically for keyboard....
The idealized dance character of all these pieces suggests that the estampie
may have been a true dance but there are no surviving dance manuals describing the estampie
as a dance. Illuminations and paintings from the period seem to indicate that the estampie
involves fairly vigorous hopping. Some estampies
, such as the famous Tre fontane
("Three Fountains") estampie
, contain florid and virtuosic
A virtuoso is an individual who possesses outstanding technical ability in the fine arts, at singing or playing a musical instrument. The plural form is either virtuosi or the Anglicisation, virtuosos, and the feminine form sometimes used is virtuosa...
instrumental writing, signifying that they may have been intended as abstract performance music rather than actual dance music.
Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time.For languages with a long written history, etymologists make use of texts in these languages and texts about the languages to gather knowledge about how words were used during...
of the name is disputed; an alternative name of the dance is stantipes
, which suggests that one foot was stationary during the dance; but the more widely accepted etymology relates it to estamper
, to stamp the feet.