Bourrée: French folk dance from the Bach suite inspired prog-rock flute and the work of Sir Paul McCartney
La Camargo by Nicolas Lancret
Bourrée is a French folk dance typically danced with quick, skipping steps. The dancers sometimes wear wooden clogs to accentuate the sounds made by their feet. The bourrée was among the dances from which ballet derived its early movements.
Stylized bourrées have been composed as conceptual pieces since the 16th century. In suites of Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel, the bourrée often appears as one of the optional movements.
The fifth movement from Bach's Suite in E minor for Lute is arguably one of the most famous pieces among guitarists. It dates to Bach's mid-Weimar period (1708-1717).
Here is the Bourrèe played by Andrès Segovia:
Ask someone if they've heard of Jethro Tull and they will most likely say: "Yep, they had a flute Bourée-piece."
Ian Anderson's Bourée is really a variation of Johann Sebastian Bach's piece. It contains three movements: the Bach theme, an improvisational section introducing flute and bass, and a reprise of the classic theme performed by two flutes.
Paul McCartney has referenced Bach as his inspiration for Blackbird. Paul has forgotten the Bach piece's title, but it's definitely the Bourrée.
"The original inspiration was from a well-known piece by Bach, which I never know the title of, which George and I had learned to play at early age; he better than me actually. Part of its structure is a particular harmonic thing between the meldoy and the bass line which intrigued me. Bach was always one of our favourite composers; we felt we had a lot in common with him. For some reason we thought this music was very similar to ours and we latched on to him amazingly quickly. We also liked the stories of him being the church organist and wopping this stuff out weekly, which was rather similar to what we were doing. We were very pleased to hear that. I developed the melody on guitar based on the Bach piece and took it somewhere else, took it to another level, then I just fitted the words to it."
Here is Joanna Jordan plays harp version of Blackbird on SoundCloud.