Definition of courante in English:



  • 1A 16th-century court dance consisting of short advances and retreats.

    • ‘This is done using courante steps – hopping before each step of the single and the double’
    • ‘The Courante or Coranto was danced with light springing.’
    • ‘It supplies descriptions of numerous dances, including the galliarde, volte, and courante, plus musical notation, with the steps and positions clearly defined.’
    1. 1.1 A piece of music written for or in the style of a courante, typically one forming a movement of a suite.
      • ‘Similarly, we can discover all different kinds of allemandes, courantes, sarabandes and ‘Galanterien’, although our knowledge of the subtleties of Bach's local subgenres of dances is still very limited.’
      • ‘The suites mostly have four short movements, a prelude or allemande, courante, sarabande and gigue, with some variants.’
      • ‘Although many late Renaissance dances comprised three strains, binary form came to be used in nearly all dance movements (allemandes, courantes, sarabandes, gigues, etc.) in 17th and 18th-century dance suites.’
      • ‘Much of it is in dance forms, such as the sarabande, the courante, the menuet, and the gigue - another innovation in French chamber music of that era.’
      • ‘To the traditional form of the suite - allemande, courante, sarabande, and gigue - Bach added an introductory Prélude with a pair of fashionable modern dances.’


Late 16th century: French, literally ‘running’, feminine present participle of courir.