Courantes and Voltas

Courante by Monsieur Saman, and a related Volta.

René Saman (fl. 1610-31), lutenist to Louis XIII, is known to us only from a few courantes in publications by Robert Dowland, Robert Ballard, Jean-Baptiste Besard, and Lord Herbert of Cherbury’s lute book.  This is perhaps his best known piece, as it appeared in Robert Dowland’s Varietie of Lute Lessons (1610). Altogether it appears in 13 sources*, in one of which it is attributed to Mercure d’Orléans (fl.1600).  I have taken my version from the ML lute book (BL add. 38539, f.25).  Its wide currency is attested by the second piece presented here, a Volta from Michelagnolo Galilei’s Il primo libro d’intavolatura di Liuto, published in Munich in 1620, which is clearly related to Saman’s courante.


Courante by Monsieur Saman:      PDF

Volta by Michelagnolo Galilei:      PDF


*I am grateful to Rainer aus dem Spring for this list: Schele, 64/1: Corante Mercurij A[nn]o 1615; Schele, 87/2: Courante; Aegidius, 99r: Courante; Basel, F.IX.53, 11r-12r: Courante; 4022, 11v/3: [Cou]rant; Aegidius,122v-123r: Courante; Fuhrmann,162/2: COurante 2.; M.L., 25r/2: Corant; 33748 I, 29v:  Corandt; Turin, 5v-6r: Courente; Herbert, 65r/1: Courante Saman; Werl, 91r: [no title]; Varietie, Q2v: Mounsier Saman his Coranto. / Coranto. 4; Moy 1631,  R2v: Courante
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