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A courante (Italian: corrente) is a dance that was popular in Baroque music in the 17th and early 18th centuries. The word comes from the French word for to "run".

The courante was a fast, running dance with 3 beats in a bar (the time signature was often 3/2, although sometimes it was 3/4). During the 17th century the French courante started to become slower than the Italian corrente, and it often had more counterpoint (imitating parts). However, this was not a strict rule, and the courantes that Bach wrote were both Italian and French in style, and sometimes he called them "courante" and sometimes "corrente". view more...