All ancient civilizations practiced dancing as a way of accompaniment and celebration of all kinds of social events. However, Greece was the first civilization that gave dance, included in music, a fundamental role in the education of citizens.
The Roman civilization did not give music the same importance. But, being the heir of Greece, they included singing and dancing in their theatrical spectacles and in every popular celebration and festivity.
The arrival of Christianism tried to eliminate dancing, associated with pagan rites (considered dangerous for the devoted). However, profane or even religious celebrations were still accompanied by dances.
Since the 12th century we find references to dancing. Some of them sung and others exclusively instrumental.
In many manuscripts, these dances appear with the generic name estampie. They use monodic textures and are structured in several phrases or «puncta» that are repeated: the first time, they are repeated with an open ending and the second time, with a closed ending.
There is a great variety of instruments, and there are a lot of names for them. The instrumental performance is improvised and it has two functions: to accompany songs, and the performance of dances and processions.
The most used instruments were string instruments (harp, lyre, psaltery, qanun, lute, viola, hurdy gurdy), wind instruments (horn, trumpet, dulzaina, chirimia, flutes, bagpipes, organ) and percussion instruments (hand drums, rattle drums, cymbals, triangle, bells, rattles).