The New Conceit

The Merry Conceit  ~ Playford, Sharp

The New Conceit or The Merry Conceit  ~ Playford, Sharp is an English Country Dance. It was published by John Playford in 1657 in The Dancing Master, 3rd ed.. It was interpreted by Cecil Sharp in 1912. It is a Facing Couples Becket dance. There is no progression in this dance. The dance lasts 72 bars.

This dance has a super-abundance of names in the various versions of the Dancing Master. It is called The Merry Conceit in the 3rd-7th editions, also The New Conceit or The Sparaguss Garden again in the 3rd edition, and The New Conceit or The Asparagus Garden in the 4th-6th. To make matters worse there three different Playford dances called Merry Conceit (without a "The") and a dance by Kynaston called The Merry Conceit.

Playford writes:
Meet, turn round inward · Fall back, turn round outward :Slip before your Wo. and back again behind her, arms with the Co. : That again slipping behind her first :

Left hands to your own and turning her quite round, give right hands to the Co. · Left hands to the Co. and right to your own :First Wo. walk round her man on the outside, then go through the 2. Cu. her man following her to their places, the the 2. Cu. the like :

Back to back with the Co. : Than your own :Men cast off to the left hand the We. following them and go round, stay in the Co. places, and the men being in the We. places, and the We. in the mens set each to his own : We. cast off in like manner, men folloing to your places, set to the Cu. :

The animation plays at 120 counts per minute. Men are drawn as rectangles, women as ellipses. Each couple is drawn in its own color.

The dance contains the following figures: hand turn (allemande), set, turn single, cast (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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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 © 2021 by George W. Williams V and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website is copyright © 2021 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.