The carole was the principal social dance in France and England from c. 1100 to c. 1400 and was frequently mentioned in French and English medieval literature. However, it has been widely misunderstood by contributors in recent citations in dictionaries and reference books, both linguistic and musical. The carole was performed by all classes of society - kings and nobles, shepherds and servant girls. It is described as taking place both indoors and outdoors. Its central position in the life of the people is underlined by references not only in what we might call fictional texts, but also in historical (or quasi-historical) writings, in moral treatises and even in a work on astronomy. Dr Robert Mullally's focus is very much on details relevant to the history, choreography and performance of the dance as revealed in the primary sources. This methodology involves attempting to isolate the term carole from other dance terms not only in French, but also in other languages. Mullally's groundbreaking study establishes all the characteristics of this dance: etymological, choreographical, lyrical, musical and iconographical.
A Yankee Book Peddler UK Core Title for 2011 'Robert Mullally’s book includes an excellent collection of primary material and new ways of interpretation. His theories and analyses are thought provoking and one hopes they will form the basis for continued dialogue about the details of early dance. The field of early dance is the richer for this contribution.' Music and Letters 'Mullally’s thoroughness in combing his material and his pragmatism in evaluating it will ensure it a promising shelf …' Speculum
Contents: Introduction; The history of the term carole since c.1400; The etymology of the word carole; The earliest citations of the term carole and the relationship of carole to chorus and chorea; Theories about the choreography; Reconstruction of the choreography; Carole, bal, danse, tresche; The lyrics; The music; The iconography; Carola in Italian; Carole in Middle English; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.