Dandrieu : Les Fifres

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Les Fifres

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Dandrieu, Jean-François (1682-1738)
Sheet music for : Piano

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Les Fifres

The Fifers - Rondo - Rondeau

This lively piece Les Fifres is part of Jean-François Dandrieu's Premier Livre de pièces de clavecin, first published in Paris in 1724.

This First Book of Harpsichord Pieces contains five suites of harpsichord pieces.

This piece Les Fifres is the seventh of nine pieces in the fourth suite.

In this light-hearted piece Les Fifres [The Fifers], Jean-François Dandrieu depicts joyful fifers marching down the road.

A fife is a small and high-pitched transverse flute which was used mainly to accompany drums in military marches.

Dandrieu's Les Fifres features a the musical form of the Rondeau [rondo] :
  • Refrain [Theme] : mm. 1-16, repeated
  • Couplet 1 [Verse 1] : mm. 17-32
  • Refrain [Theme] : mm. 1-16
  • Couplet 2 [Verse 2] : mm. 33-48
  • Refrain [Theme] : mm. 1-16
Please note that this score contains indications for performing the ornaments in accordance with the performance practice of the Baroque period.

The ornaments in this score are authentic and taken from a facsimile of the first printing.

During the Baroque period, every French composer had his own personal way of playing ornaments, which he would explain in detail in his works.

In the case of Jean-François Dandrieu, we have referred to his Premier Livre de pièces d'orgue, where Dandrieu includes a table explaining his use of ornaments .

This table is entitled Explication et expression des signes qui marquent les agrémens.

In this particular piece Les Fifres, the ornaments are :

  • Pincé simple [mordent] (as in measure 2) : a biting ornament played on the beat, very rapidly, beginning on the main note and biting the lower note

  • Tremblement simple [trill] (as in measure 3) : the trill is played on the beat, starting on the upper auxiliary note

  • Tremblement lié [trill slurred into from preceding note] (as in measure 7) : the first note of this trill is actually the preceding note, which is in fact its upper auxiliary note

  • Tremblement ouvert [trill with termination] (as in measure 31) : a special ending (or termination) is added to the end of the trill, leading into the next note

Duration : 01:52

Source : Jean-François Dandrieu, Premier Livre de pièces de clavecin (Paris, 1724).

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