Belle Qui Tiens Ma Vie

Thoinot Arbeau (1519-1595)

"Thoinot Arbeau" is the pen name and an anagram of Jehan Tabourot, a Catholic priest and canon of Langres.

"Belle quit tiens ma vie" was first published in Tabourot's 1588 dance manuscript "Orchesography", which today is a major source of information about Renaissance dance.


David Samuel Barr has made an English translation of the lyrics.

The Music

Here are midi (computer music) files for you to download and listen to (If you're using Microsoft Windows, simply click on the link and they should play automatically. If you're not using Windows, I'm going out on a limb and assuming you're technically competent enough to figure things out for yourself....).

Also note that there are midi files of each individual voice part for each piece, so you can hear what each one sounds like - especially your own!

These midi files should give you a fair idea of what each piece - and each individual voice part - sounds like, especially if you're unfamiliar with reading music.

And for those that would like to dowload a viewable and/or printable copy of the score (HINT: most people will want the PDF file; don't try to view the Postscript file unless you know what you're doing):

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