Actually, it's not bransle. Well, not exactly.
Sauer, Michael F. wrote:
> Well in French its actually branSle, so that might make a difference ;)
This can be somewhat confusing. Bransle is not in my modern French dictionary,
and a quick check in an on-line dictionary did not find it, either. I did find
branler (to shake), which therefor seems to be the modern form (I do not claim
that my inexpensive resources are complete, merely those convenient to me).
Randle Cotgrave (1611) lists both spellings for the same word, however, so
bransle may simply be an archaic spelling. More likely, given that English
spelling in period was not standardized, this may be an alternate French
spelling that was used interchangeably with branle in period. The meaning in
Cotgrave is "A totter, swing, ... a shake, ... also a brawle or daunce..." For
the verb form branler / bransler he gives "To brandle; totter; shake ... moue
uncertainely, or inconstantly, from side to side ..."
Arbeau uses bransle in the opening of Orchesography (p 4 verso) where he
mentions some of the dances to be taught. In the section describing branles,
however, he consistently uses branle (or just B.).
Since Arbeau uses branle within all of the dance descriptions themselves, I
always use branle in my own writing. 20th c. folk seem to prefer standardized
spelling and sometimes complayne when I vse alternates.
Keith / Guillaume S:}>
Denver / Outlands