This article by Andrea Valentino originally appeared in BBC
La Folia has a long history. Its distinctive chords first developed out of the folk music of late 15th-Century Portugal, where it was used in popular festivals. Its name – ‘folly’ or ‘madness’ in Italian – refers to the frenzied way peasants twirled to the music. In Santiago de Murcia’s Codice Saldivar No 4, Renaissance writer Covarrubias describes La Folia as ‘very noisy’ while another highlights its ‘vivacity and fire’, its dancers ‘making gestures that awaken voluptuousness’.
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