The Cherping of the Nightingall ~ Lovelace

Chirping of the Nightingale ~ Playford The Cherping of the Nightingall ~ Lovelace

The Cherping of the Nightingall ~ Lovelace is an English Country Dance. It was found in the Lovelace Manuscript (written somewhere around the 1640s) . It was interpreted by in about 0. It is a proper 3 Couple Longways dance. It is a mixer. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

There is a Playford dance with this name (ignoring differences in spelling) but it has a completely different figure — for one thing it starts in a circle for as many as will, while Lovelace implies a longways set for either 3 or 4 couples.

Lovelace writes:

Leade up twice, and sett twice, then all the rest standing still the first man doesh set to his owne woman, and then turneth the third, and then the 4: and if there be but six, then having sett to the 2 first woemen, he shall turne the third, and leade her up softly to top, & there turne her agayne, and then leade up againe, but if 8 as above sayd, he shall leade up the 4th woman as fast as he can and then leade up agayne, and sett 2 times, and soe sett to the 2 first, and turne the other, or to the 2 last if there be 4: and that soe oft till he comes to his place againe, and then leade of, and the rest may doe the like if they please

Leade up twice, and sett twice Pretty standard introductory sequence: Up a double, and back, set and turn single, and set and turn single again.

I've decided to display a 3 couple set, so I shall ignore the instructions for a 4 couple set. It looks as though M1 sets to his partner and then to W2, and then he turns W3. All pretty clear (once the 4 couple stuff is removed).

Then he leads W3 up to the top and turns her again.

What does it mean and then leade up againe? I suspect that means the minor set has ended and we start on another repetition beginning with up a double/set and turn single.

I think this means that the original W3 is now in W1's place, and I guess that means the other two women each moved down one place.

I think M1 is still in his original place, yet, when describing the progression, Lovelace says and that soe oft till he comes to his place againe which implies that he has moved somewhere. But I don't see how the dance can work if the active man is not in 1st place... And M1 does not stop being active until "he comes to his place againe".

So instead I shall assume that what is meant is that M1 does this same little dance until W1 comes into her place again, and then he casts down to the bottom and the dance continues with M2 in the first place.

That's probably not what Lovelace intended, but is the best I can come up with.

The animation plays at 120 counts per minute normally, but the first time through the set the dance is slowed down so people can learn the moves more readily. Men are drawn as rectangles, women as ellipses. Each couple is drawn in its own color, however the border of each dancer indicates what role they currently play so the border color may change each time through the minor set.

The dance contains the following figures: hand turn (allemande), set, turn single, cast, lead (and probably others).

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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I do not have a publication date for the dance and not know whether it is under copyright or not. I do not have a date for the interpretation, so it may be under copyright. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2021 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.