Brando (It.: ‘branle’)
Generally, the 16th-century Italian equivalent for Branle. The word also designated a particular kind of social and theatrical set dance only tenuously related to it. Castiglione and G.B. Doni mentioned the brando as a social dance, agreeing that its most important distinguishing feature was that it was best performed in costume. Like the moresca, the brando was often part of a mascherata or intermedio.
The dancing-master Cesare Negri described both social and theatrical brandos in Le gratie d'amore (1602), including ‘la musica della sonata con l’intavolatura del liuto del brando’. Negri consistently referred to brandos together with ‘balletti’ and ‘balli’, all multi-sectional dances reminiscent of or directly incorporating individual dances such as the corrente, pavan or gagliarda; the musical accompaniments to his choreographies are not labelled, so that one must read the dance descriptions to ascertain which sections are thought to be ‘in corrente’, which ‘in gagliarda’ and so on. In addition to describing social brandos for sets consisting of two to four couples with four to nine musical sections, Negri mentioned three theatrical brandos he created. Two were part of a mascherata staged in ...