Hunsdon House

Hunsdon House is an English Country Dance. It was published by John Playford (website) in 1657 in The Dancing Master, 3rd ed.. It was interpreted by Cecil Sharp (website) in 1912 and published in The Country Dance Book (Part 3). Found in The Playford Ball. It is a Square dance. There is no progression in this dance. The dance lasts 120 bars. It is in the key: C major.

Playford writes:

First and 3. cu. meet and taking the cu. wo. fall back into the 2. and 4. place, whilst the 2. and 4. fall back each from their own, and meet the co. wo. in the 1. and 3. place As much again First and 3. cu. meet and turn S. Men cross over, then we. cross over The other four doing as much Then all this back again to your places ·:

This as before First and 3. cu. meet turning back to back, and hands inward and go half round The other four as much All this again, to your places ·:

This as before Meet and honour to your own, right hand to the co. and left to your own The other four as much All this again, honouring to the co. wo.

Early example (probably the earliest) of the grand square, well, half the modern grand square. Playford doesn't use the term "grand square", he says:

Firſt and 3. Cu. meet, and taking the co. wo. fall back into the 2. and 4. place, whilſt the 2. and 4. fall back each from his own, and meet the co. wo. in the firſt and third place. As much again.

The tune was published by Playford with the dance. It was performed by Bare Necessities (Earl Gaddis, Mary Lea, Peter Barnes, and Jacqueline Schwab) on the album At Home. The music is used with permission from the Country Dance Society, Boston Centre, Inc.

The animation plays at 85 counts per minute. Men are drawn as rectangles, women as ellipses. Each couple is drawn in its own color.

I.A11-2Sides face, half a Grand Square Heads lead up, face partner while sides face, back up, face opposite
3-4Heads fall back to side positions, face opposite as sides approach opposite, face partner
I.A21-2Heads back up, face partner as sides approach partner, face opposite
3-4Heads approach partner and original positions, sides fall back with partner to original positions
I.B11-4Heads forward a double to meet, turn single right, back to place
5-6Head men chnage places
7-8Head women chnage places
9-12Sides (the same) forward a double to meet, turn single right, back to place
13-14Side men chnage places
15-16Side women chnage places
I.B21-4That again, heads forward a double to meet, turn single right, back to place
5-6Head men chnage places
7-8Head women chnage places
9-12Sides (the same) forward a double to meet, turn single right, back to place
13-14Side men chnage places
15-16Side women chnage places
II.A1-8Sides face, half a Grand Square
II.B11-4Heads meet, turn half right to stand back to back, take hands
5-6Circle four right half (clockwise, facing out)
7-8Heads lead out to opposite side
9-16Sides, the same
II.B21-4Heads meet, turn half right to stand back to back, take hands
5-6Circle four right half (clockwise, facing out)
7-8Heads lead out to opposite side
9-16Sides, the same
III.A1-8Sides face, half a Grand Square
III.B11-2Heads forward a double to meet, face partner
3-4Heads set right and honour
5-8Heads face opposite, two changes of rights and lefts beginning with opposite ending on opposite side
9-16Sides, the same
III.B21-2Heads forward a double to meet, keep facing opposite
3-4Heads set right and honour
5-8Heads face partner, two changes of rights and lefts beginning with partner ending home
9-16Sides, the same

If you find what you believe to be a mistake in this animation, please leave a comment on youtube explaining what you believe to be wrong. If I agree with you I shall do my best to fix it.

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The dance itself is out of copyright, and is in the public domain. The interpretation is out of copyright, and is in the public domain. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2019 by George W. Williams V and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website is copyright © 2021,2022 by George W. Williams V
Creative Commons License My work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Most of the dances have more restrictive licensing, see my notes on copyright, the individual dance pages should mention when some rights are waived.