A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Loure
LOURE. This word, whether derived from the Latin lura, a bag or purse, or the Danish luur, a shepherd's flute, or merely an alteration of the Old French word outre with the article prefixed, l'outre—signified originally a kind of bagpipe, common in many parts of France, but especially in Normandy. The peasants of Lower Normandy still call the stomach 'la loure,' just as those of Normandy and Poitou call an 'outre' or leathern wine-bottle, 'une vèze.' Again, the Old French words 'chèvre,' 'chevrie,' 'chevrette,' were derived from cabreta in dog-latin, and 'gogue' meant an inflated bag or bladder. These circumstances seem to point to the conclusion that the names of all these instruments, 'chèvre,' 'chevrette,' 'gogue,' 'loure,' 'vèze,' 'saccomuse,' etc., refer to the wind-bag, ordinarily made of goat-skin; an argument strengthened by the English 'bagpipe' and the German 'Sackpfeife,' 'Balgpfeife,' 'Dudelsack,' etc.
From its primary signification—a kind of bagpipe inflated from the mouth—the word 'loure' came to mean an old dance, in slower rhythm than the gigue, generally in 6–4 time. As this was danced to the nasal tones of the 'loure,' the term 'louré' was gradually applied to any passage meant to be played in the style of the old bagpipe airs. Thus 'lourer' is to play legato with a slight emphasis on the first note of each group. The 'louré' style is chiefly met with in pastoral, rustic, and mountaineer music.
As an example we give the first strain of a Loure from Schubert's 'Die Tanzmusik.'
[ G. C. ]