The Silver Faulken

The Silver Falcon

The Silver Faulken or The Silver Falcon is an English Country Dance. It was published by John Playford (website) in 1652 in The Dancing Master, 2nd ed.. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2020. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. It is a multipart dance. The minor set lasts 120 bars.

Playford writes

Lead up forwards and back. Set and turn single That again First Cu. go the S. Hey between the 2. and on the outside of the 3. come back between them into 2.place turn As much with the next going on the outside first, do thus to the last, the rest following.

Sides all, set and turn single That again First Cu. change places, meet the 2. let them go between you, change with your own again ·: Do thus to the last, the rest following.
Arms all, set and turn single That again The 2. Cu. meet, while the first and 3. meet, the 2. meeting you, each three hands and go halfe round into each others places ·: Do thus to the last, the rest following.

This is the first triple minor in Playford (unless you consider Step Stately to be a triple minor). It is a three part dance with the customary USA introductions followed by progressive figures. The first and third figures are triple minors but the third appears to be a duple minor. For the sake of consistency I show it as a triple minor where the 3s do absolutely nothing, but you could dance it as a duple if you prefer. In Playford's day each figure would run until everyone was back where they started.

The first move in the first part is described as a S. Hey. But it's not a normal hey. The 1s need to end in the middle place, the 2s at the top and the 3s at the bottom. The only way I see to make that work is to have the 1s+2s do one change, and then the 1s loop the 3s who stand. Note in successive iterations of the dance, the 1s+2s alternate who goes inside. That means it's a mirror hey.

In the second part the figures described by Playford take up 6 bars of music, so I have changed the final change with your own again into a two hand turn once and a half.

In the third part the figures take up 4 bars, or half the phrase. I suppose it is possible that Playford intended each time through the tune to represent two progressions of the dance, but it seems unlikely, so I've added a set and made the half circle slow.

Now on the face of it Playford describes a double progression triple minor in the third part. The circle halfe takes the 1s to the bottom, the 3s to the top and leaves the 2s where they are. Double progression triple minors are awkward, they can only be made to work in unintuitive ways. Playford isn't too good about fractions though, If he actually means two thirds (instead of half) if people do mirror circles then it becomes a normal single progression dance. This also takes up a bit more time that we have in excess here.

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 dances of George Williams (including this one) are licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike: CC BY-NC-SA license.

Up a double
 
A11-4Up a Double, and back
5-8Partner set and turn single
A21-4That again: Up a Double, and back
5-8Set and turn single
Figure 1 repeats 3 times
 
I.A1-41s pass inside 2s to change places with them, then 1s loop 3s (four changes of hey for the 1s)
I.A1-41s pass outside 2s to change places with them, then 1s loop 3s (four changes of hey for the 1s)
5-81s two hand turn
Siding
 
A11-4Right Siding
5-8Partner set and turn single
A21-4Left Siding
5-8Partner set and turn single
Figure 2 repeats 3 times
 
II.A1-21s partner change
3-41s+2s mirror neighbor change, 2s in the middle
5-81s two hand turn once and a half to proper
Arming
 
A11-4Right Arming
5-8Partner set and turn single
A21-4Left Arming
5-8Partner set and turn single
Figure 3 repeats 3 times
 
1-22s meet in center as 1s meet 3s on the sides
3-4Set to the person you just met
5-8Circle three on the sides two thirds, men circle left, women right

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 copyright © 2020 by George Williams. And is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2022 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.