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date: 06 December 2019


  • Daniel Heartz,
  • Patricia Rader
  •  and Patrick O’Brien


A 16th-century dance. The derivation of the term is obscure, but could be from a region in Transylvanian Romania; from the Italian calare (‘descend’, to ‘lower’, to ‘fall’); from the Spanish calado, referring to figures of the Spanish church dances, in which rows of dancers interweave or intersect each other; from the Italian callota (calotta) (‘skull cap’); or from the Italian calle (‘path’, ‘way’ or ‘narrow street’ in Venice; cf the German Gassenhauer and Spanish passacalle). In a poem of about 1420 Prudenzani cited the playing of ‘calate de maritima et compagnia’, interpreted by Debenedetti as referring to dance-songs of these regions. Solerti mentioned that the calata was danced at the court of Florence as late as 1615. Few musical examples are still extant. They extend in time from the manuscript F-Pn Rés.Vm 27 (c1505; facs. (Geneva, 1981) with introduction by F. Lesure) and Dalza's lutebook of ...

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Harburg (nr Donauwörth), Fürstlich Oettingen-Wallerstein'sche Bibliothek Schloss Harburg [in D-Au]
A. Solerti: Musica, ballo e drammatica alla corte medicea dal 1600 al 1637 (Florence, 1905/R)
Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France
H.M. Brown: Instrumental Music Printed Before 1600: a Bibliography (Cambridge, MA, 1965)