Mercantia, by Domenico. Three men and one woman. Difficulty = Level 3

Steps:Sempio (in 6), Doppio (in 6), Saltarello (in 4 and 6), Continenza (in 6), Ripresa (in 4), Meza Ripresa (in 4), Reverenza, Mezavolta, Volta del Gioioso.

Starting Position
Start: Man 1 and Woman are in front, holding hands, Woman on the right. Man 2 and Man 3 are four steps behind them, also holding hands, Man 3 on the right. Everyone is facing up the hall.
Section 1 (4 bars in 6/8, played 3 times)

Bars 5-7, Bar 8, and Bars 9-11
(3 times)
One-bar introduction (no step) and 11 Saltarelli, starting on inside foot (Man 1 and Man 2 on Right, Woman and Man 3 on Left).
Section II (3 bars in 4/4, played twice)
(2 times)
Man 2 does 6 Meze Riprese Left, and Man 3 does 6 Meze Riprese Right.
Section III (4 bars in 6/4)

Bars 12-13 and Bars 14-15 (1st time)
8 Woman Mezavolta (Doppio Left, counterclockwise).
9-11 Man 1 Doppio Left, Doppio Right, Doppio Left. (Men are now in a triangle, all facing up the hall, while Woman is in the center, facing down the hall.)
Section IV (4 bars in 6/4, twice)
12-13 Man 2 goes to Woman with Sempio Left, Sempio Right, Doppio Left, touching her right hand, and ending with a Mezavolta Left.

Bars 17-18
14-15 Man 2 Sempio Right, Sempio Left, Doppio Right ending with a Mezavolta Right,
as Woman Volta del Gioioso.
(Man 2 is facing up the hall, where he started Section IV.)
(2nd time)
Man 3 repeats what Man 2 did, Woman repeating the Volta del Gioioso.

Bars 19-20
Section V (1 bar 3/4)
16 Man 1 Mezavolta Right (pivot on right foot).
Section VI (2 bars 6/4)
17-18Man 2 and Man 3 Saltarello Left, Saltarello Right, taking right hands, and switching places, Man 2 ending with a Mezavolta Right. (These saltarelli are quite slow.)
(Man 2 and 3 are side by side, facing up the hall, Man 3 on the left.)
Section VII (2 bars 4/4)

Bar 21
19-20 Man 1 Saltarello Left, Saltarello Right, ending behind and to the left of Woman.
He switches his weight to the left foot.
Section VIII (1 bar 3/4)
21 Woman Mezavolta Right (pivot on right foot) to face Man 1,
as Man 1 Ripresa Right. (This is done as a ripresa in 4/4, but without the final pause.) (Woman and Man 1 are facing each other.)

Bars 24-25
Section IX (4 bars 6/4)
22 Man 1 and Woman Reverenza Left, but ending with weight on the left foot.
23 All Continenza Right, Continenza Left.
24-25Man 1 and Man 3 Sempio Right, Sempio Left, Doppio Right, passing right sides, Man 1 ending with a Mezavolta Right in Man 3's place, and Man 3 ending beside Woman,
asMan 2 and Woman Volta del Gioioso. (The dancers are as they started the dance, except the men have rotated positions, Man 3 being in front and the other two men behind, Man 1 on the left.)
Man 1 is now Man 2, Man 2 is Man 3, and Man 3 is Man 1. Repeat the dance twice more. For Section I do 12 Saltarelli, starting on the outside feet, instead of a pause and 11 Saltarelli, as an introduction isn't needed in the middle of the dance.


Between: Works with this reconstruction. Played three times, as required.

Cour - The beginning sounds like an introduction, but isn't, so start on the second bar, as usual. Section II is quite fast. Works with this reconstruction. The dance is played three times, as required.

Dances Courts 2 - Works with this reconstruction. Bars 16 and 21 are quite long, being two drawn-out notes. Played three times, as required.

Mesura - Works with this reconstruction. Section VI is played faster, at the usual saltarello speed. Played three times, as required.

Dance Notes

This dance is related to Sobria, which exhibits the soberness and chasteness of the woman in only dancing with her partner, as opposed to Mercantia, where the woman dances with every man available. The two have very similar figures.

Bar 1: PnD says to start with a movimento, but none of the other sources include this. It has been left out as it is presumably part of the saltarello step that follows, and not the distinct movimento step.

Only one source gives a foot to start with, being the left. This has been changed to the inside foot, in order to put Man 2 and 3 on the correct foot for Section II.

Bars 5-7: PnD is somewhat unclear here, as it says that "l'homo disopra" goes to the right, but that the man to his left goes left. Since disopra seems to be used to describe the person on the left this may be a mistake, or it may indicate that disopra means something else. As well, some of the sources say that the two men come together, rather than separate. We did consider that they might first pass each other before separating to end in a triangle with the woman, but we rejected this hypothesis because it would mean that the three men wouldn't rotate through the three positions as the dance is repeated.

Bar 8: The sources do not say how the woman does her mezavolta, except to note that it takes one bar and that it is done on or from the left. A doppio leaves the woman free to use her right foot the next time she moves, in Bar 14. This isn't too important, however, as in the intervening measures she presumably stands with her weight on both feet. Other possibilities include a turn with two sempii, a mezavolta followed by a ripresa, or a simple pivot.

Bar 14: None of the sources specify a mezavolta here, but as they do have one at the end of Bar 15, Man 2 must be walking forward to his place, not backward. Most of the sources do say that he turns to the right, and Rvat specifies that it is done without loosing time, so a pivoting mezavolta seems clear.

Bars 16 and 21: As in Bar 8, no step is given for these mezevolte, though they are specified as being on the right. A pivot was chosen because of the shortness of the music, and in order to leave the left foot free for the next step.

Bar 18: Man 2's mezavolta is not in the sources, and was added to ensure that he ends facing up the hall. He might instead turn at some later point, as he only needs to be facing up the hall for the last two bars of the dance.

Section VI: PnD says that these are two tempi of saltarello. Because no change of tempo was indicated in the music we decided that it is two tempi of saltarello in bassadanza time, but changing the music to saltarello time is another viable solution.

Bar 20: PnD says that Man 1, when he has arrived at the woman's back "facendo vista di guardarla chome per schirco". He is looking at her jokingly, but what the joke is supposed to be is unclear. Perhaps he is amused at having caught her with two other men ....

Bar 24-25: Which side Man 1 and 3 pass by isn't specified in the original sources.

Music Notes

No changes were made to the music. (Note that in the arrangement, Section II is expanded from three bars repeated to six bars to allow variation in the arrangement.)

Note, in the scores, that this is the only arrangement in this book with a bass-range line. The bass line in this arrangement is expendable; if your consort does not have an instrument that can play low enough, you can simply omit the line. (This arrangement was an experiment that we feel came out well but was a lot of work.) In pulling this off, we sometimes moved elements of the melody between the upper lines.