[Ansteorra] Why aren't we doing this?

Tim McDaniel tmcd at panix.com
Thu Nov 4 23:08:47 PDT 2010

On Thu, 4 Nov 2010, Jeffrey <jmclark85 at gmail.com> wrote:
> The year I mentioned [1651] wasn't random, it was the year that the
> book the SCA uses for nearly all of its English country dance was
> published. ECD (1651), Hole in the Wall (1695), and much of the
> other music heard at events is post-1600 in style, but few complain
> about that.
> If we can accept a composition that prost-dates our stated time
> frame by nearly 100 years, mutate it into a form that the composer
> would never have intended, and play it in a style that would not
> have been done in period; what is wrong with a cell phone or camera
> here and there?

I am not well versed (snrk) in the history of music and dance.  I'd
like to know more about how the music and dance of Playford are not
period in style.  Dances were often kept in editions of Playford for
many years.
(<http://www.izaak.unh.edu/nhltmd/indexes/dancingmaster/>, for each
dance, lists all of the editions they were in.)

Nicole Salomone / Lady Jane Milford did
<http://www.originsofplayforddance.com/english_country_dances.htm> and
its links.  There are citations of earlier (often pre-1600) references
to dance names and occasionally tunes or lyrics related to dances in
Playford 1st ed.  She has citations for her assertions.  There is not
a lot of proof that the dances or tunes were identical -- but many
stayed identical or very similar in many editions of Playford later,
so I think it less likely that they mutated radically early yet
stayed with the same name.

And so on.

I need to go to bed soon, so I have to wrap up more sloppily than I'd

He says that Purcell composed the tune for "Hole in the Wall" in 1695.
In the Bryn Gwlad dance group, it has been considered something of a
"guilty pleasure" and taught because you'll run into it at wars and
such, though often we just haven't had enough people to dance it.  The
more out of period Korabushka, John Tallow's Canon, and Mad Robin are
close to dead here.

That premised: so far as I know, there *are* no published English
dance manuals before Playford.  I'd love for someone to decode the
Gresley manuscript, in the same way that the Inns of Court dances
(from the late 1500s) were cross-correlated from manuscripts.  I'd
love to learn more than the 6 or so Italian dances I know -- but there
are lots of obstacles, firstly a lack of Ansteorran teachers with time
to teach.

So I think things are not so bad as you suggest, and are improving,
but there's a harder row to hoe than in many other arts.

Danihel de Lindo
Tim McDaniel, tmcd at panix.com

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