This charming dance tune was written by John Banister “The Younger” (1662-1736). Banister, like his father John Banister, was a violinist in the British royal band, serving several successions of monarchs. He was also a recorder player, and this particular bourrée is for two alto recorders.
A bourrée is a type of French dance tune, typically in cut-time (two beats per measure), with a pick-up quarter note (or two eighth notes) to start the tune off. Originally a folk dance, it evolved into a more formal performance dance for the upper classes.
In this piece, you may want to add baroque-style trills to the penultimate beats in both the A and the B part. Otherwise, for stylistic ideas, here’s what Johann Mattheson, a music theorist who lived around the time of Banister, wrote of the bourrée: "Its distinguishing feature resides in contentment and a pleasant demeanor, at the same time it is somewhat carefree and relaxed, a little indolent and easygoing, though not disagreeable"!
(Easy; half note=64)
-- Miriam Rosenblum
Play-along files recorded by Miriam Rosenblum, supported by a grant from the Recorder Artist Relief Fund.