A lively couple dance in compound meter

The Forlane is a lively dance form that holds a distinctive place within Baroque dance suites. Originating in Italy, it became a popular addition to the suites, adding a touch of liveliness and merriment.

Key characteristics of the Forlane include:

  • Tempo and Style: The Forlane is known for its moderate to fast tempo and cheerful style. Its energetic and sprightly movements convey a sense of joy and liveliness.
  • Meter and Rhythm: Typically, the Forlane is in a compound meter, often 6/8 or 12/8, emphasizing a lively and syncopated rhythmic pattern. This rhythm contributes to its exuberant and playful character.
  • Structure: The Forlane follows a binary or ternary structure, divided into two or three sections, often with playful variations. Its structured form allows for rhythmic and melodic exploration.
  • Melody and Musical Traits: Forlanes are characterized by their lively and catchy melodies. The melodies often feature playful turns and ornaments, adding to its vivacious quality.
  • Expression: Forlanes exude a sense of festive celebration and buoyancy. They project an air of revelry and mirth, often reflecting the lighter side of Baroque music.

The presence of the Forlane within Baroque dance suites underscores its role in portraying dance forms and musical artistry of the era. Renowned composers, such as François Couperin, occasionally included Forlanes in their suites, showcasing their significance in reflecting the cultural and musical spirit of the Baroque era. This dance form captures the lively and cheerful qualities of Baroque music and dance.

Example of Forlane

François Couperin - Forlane - Rondeau