AD - What to count as dance?

Katriana katriana at
Sat Apr 10 07:09:23 PDT 1999

At 01:52 AM 4/10/99 EDT, you wrote:
>I forgot to mention, I'm all in favor of limiting it to playford's 1st.  

Ok, I now feel the need to offer an opinion.  Please bear with me, as I
have had a headache now for the last day and a half.  

The arguments for including Playford are twofold.

1)  There are many mentions of the dances and tunes at the end of our
period.  Unfortunately the choreography was not recorded until 1651.

2) "Playford" is not just one book.  There were a series of 13? editions
published over almost 100 years (please forgive any errors in numbers, my
sources are in the car and weigh a lot)  The dances in each edition changed
as dances came and went in popularity.  The first edition is full of dances
of the form "walking, siding, arming", the later editions are entirely of
the "duple minor" (Hole in the Wall) form.  I have seen (although I
couldn't find them quickly) articles which analyze Playford like an
archeological dig.

I am very uncomfortable with limiting ECD to Playford's first for 2 main
1. This would eliminate a few dances (such Sellinger's Round, 7th ed. I
think) that didn't appear until later editions. And not all the dances in
the 1st edition are appropriate for the SCA.
2.  Since the one of the goals of organizing should be to encourage
research, this (limiting ECD to 1st edition) eliminates thinking about what
is and isn't appropriate for the SCA time period.  I refuse to believe that
SCA people are unwilling to understand the difference between styles of
music and dance.

How about "Elizabethan-style" English Country Dance, or ECD appropriate to
the SCA time period.

There are other organizations that do English Country dance, but we are the
only group I know of (in America) that should have a serious interest in
doing ONLY the earlier forms of ECD.


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