This article is about the dance loure. For the bowed-instrument technique louré, see Playing the violin. For the bagpipe loure, see Loure (bagpipe).

The loure, also known as the gigue lente or slow gigue, is a slow French Baroque dance, probably originating in Normandy and named after the sound of the instrument of the same name (a type of musette).

The loure is a dance of slow or moderate tempo, sometimes in simple triple meter, more often in compound duple meter. The weight is on the first beat, which is further emphasised by the preceding anacrusis that begins the traditional loure. One of its features is a lilting dotted rhythm.

In his Musicalisches Lexicon (Leipzig, 1732), Johann Gottfried Walther wrote that the loure "is slow and ceremonious; the first note of each half-measure is dotted which should be well observed".[1]

Examples of loures are found in the works of Lully (e.g., Alceste) and of Bach (e.g.: French Suite No. 5[2] and the Partita No. 3 for violin solo).


  1. Bach. The French Suites: Embellished version. Barenreiter Urtext
  2. N. B., however, that in the Bach-Gesellschaft edition of Bach, reprinted by Dover, the Loure is incorrectly called "Bourée II."

External links

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxQaWbKkATM Bach's Partita No. 3 In E major, Hilary Hahn,

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