Dancing in the Middle ages was one of the most popular pastimes. There are some medieval and Renaissance dances that have come down to us. Unfortunately quite a few of the popular dances were not written down because it was assumed that everybody knew them. On this Continuum you’ll hear some of the 45 or so dances that we do have available from early written sources. Recordings used are: A Dance in the Garden of Mirth (The Dufay Collective) - Chandos CHAN 9320, and Istanpitta II (New York’s Ensemble for Early Music) - Lyrichord LEMS 8022.

Continuum presents a program devoted to the music of Guillaume Dufay  (1397-1474), who was a Franco-Flemish composer and music theorist of the early Renaissance and the most important composer of his time. He belonged to the group of composers known as the Burgundian School. Dufay had more influence on music in Europe than any other composer of the 15th century and is considered the first major composer of the beginning of the Renaissance period.

Continuum presents a program of early music performed by the 38 year old Ensemble Gilles Binchois, named after the Netherlandish composer who was one of the earliest members of the Burgundian school and one of the three most famous composers of the early 15th century. The French ensemble was founded in 1979 by Dominique Vellard. A quite varied program will be heard including the famous Mass of Notre Dame by Guillaume de Machaut (1300-1377), the first mass composed by a known composer.