Search for the following phrase within a dance name

Search for dances devised (or at least published) between the two years

Search for all dances devised or interpreted by

Search for all dances within a certain publication

Search for all dances of a given style

Search for all dances of a given level of difficulty
Warning: the level of difficulty is subjective, you may not agree, worse, most dances have yet to be evaluated.









Search for all dances with a certain starting formation
Search for all dances with the following figures:

Search for the following phrase within a dance's notes

Up a double, Siding, Arming
Country Dances, Ancient and Modern

Dances in The Country Dance Book (Part 3) (Cecil Sharp, 1912)

Table of Contents

A B C F H I L M N O P R S T U W

A

Adson's SarabandJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912 Playford Ball
Brett Larsen3 Couple Longways
AltheaJohn Playford 1657
Cecil Sharp 1912
no musicFacing Couples Becket
Aniseseed Water RobinJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912
no musicDuple Minor
ArgeersJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912 Playford Ball
At Home
Bare Necessities
Facing Couples
ArgeresJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912 Playford Ball
At Home
Bare Necessities
Facing Couples
The Asparagus GardenJohn Playford 1657
Cecil Sharp 1912
no musicFacing Couples Becket

B

Bobbing JoeLovelace Manuscript ~1649
Cecil Sharp 1912
no musicDuple Minor
Broom, The Bonny, Bonny Broom ~ SharpJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912 Playford Ball
At Home
Bare Necessities
4 Couple Longways
Buckingham House 1657John Playford 1657
Cecil Sharp 1912 Playford Ball
At Home
Bare Necessities
Square

C

Catching of FleasJohn Playford 1670
Cecil Sharp 1912
no musicDuple Minor
Catching of QuailsJohn Playford 1670
Cecil Sharp 1912
no musicSquare
Chelsea Reach ~ SharpJohn Playford 1657
Cecil Sharp 1912 Playford Ball
At Home
Bare Necessities
Square
Confesse, his Tune ~ Cecil SharpJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912
no musicCustom3 permutation: 121
The Court Lady ~ Cecil SharpJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912
no musicCustom3 permutation: 121

F

Fain I Would ~ SharpJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912 Playford Ball
At Home
Bare Necessities
Square
The Friar and the NunJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912
no musicDuple Minor
The Fryar and the NunJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912
no musicDuple Minor

H

Hide ParkeJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912 Playford Ball
At Home
Bare Necessities
Square
Hunsdon HouseJohn Playford 1657
Cecil Sharp 1912 Playford Ball
At Home
Bare Necessities
Square
Hyde ParkJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912 Playford Ball
At Home
Bare Necessities
Square

I

If all the World were Paper ~ SharpJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912 Playford Assembly
no musicSquare
The Irish LadyJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912
no musicDuple Minor
Irish TrotJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912
no musicDuple Minor

L

Labour in VainJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912 Playford Ball
A Playford Ball
Bare Necessities
3 Couple Longways
Lady in the Dark ~ SharpJohn Playford 1657
Cecil Sharp 1912
no musicFacing Couples Becket
Lady SpellorJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912
no music4 Couple Longways
Lady SpillersJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912
no music4 Couple Longways
Lord of Carnarvon's Jigg ~ SharpJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912
no music4 Couple Longways permutation: 3412
Lull Me Beyond TheeJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912 Playford Ball
At Home
Bare Necessities
4 Couple Longways

M

Maiden LaneJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp (mod) 1912 Playford Assembly
no music3 Couple Longways permutation: 312
The Merry Conceit  ~ Playford, SharpJohn Playford 1657
Cecil Sharp 1912
no musicFacing Couples Becket
The Merry, Merry MilkmaidsJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912 Playford Ball
At Home
Bare Necessities
4 Couple Longways

N

The New ConceitJohn Playford 1657
Cecil Sharp 1912
no musicFacing Couples Becket
The New FigaryJohn Playford 1670
Cecil Sharp 1912
no musicDuple Minor

O

The Old MoleJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912 Playford Ball
no music3 Couple Longways
Open the Door to ThreeJohn Playford 1652
Cecil Sharp 1912
no musicCircle as many as will

P

Parthenia ~ SharpJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912 Playford Ball
At Home
Bare Necessities
Square
The PhoenixJohn Playford 1670
Cecil Sharp 1912 Playford Ball
no music4 Couple Longways

R

Row Well, Ye Mariners ~ SharpJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912
Strong Roots
Bare Necessities
7 Couple Longways

S

Shepherd's Holiday ~ SharpJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912 Playford Ball
A Playford Ball
Bare Necessities
3 Couple Longways
The Sparaguss GardenJohn Playford 1657
Cecil Sharp 1912
no musicFacing Couples Becket
Spring Garden ~ SharpJohn Playford 1657
Cecil Sharp 1912 Playford Ball
no music4 Couple Longways
Sweet KateJohn Playford 1670
Cecil Sharp 1912
no musicDuple Minor

T

Touch and TakeJohn Playford 1652
Cecil Sharp 1912
no musicDuple Minor

U

Up Tails AllJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912
no musicCircle as many as will
Up Tayles AllJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912
no musicCircle as many as will
Upon a Summer's DayJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912 Playford Ball
no music3 Couple Longways

W

The Wedding NightJohn Playford 1651
Cecil Sharp 1912 Playford Ball
At Home
Bare Necessities
Facing Couples
Winifred's KnotJohn Playford 1652
Cecil Sharp 1912
no musicCircle as many as will
Number
of dances
Number
of interpretations
Number
with music
343411

SELECT htmlNotes FROM publications WHERE pub="The Country Dance Book (Part 3)";

After being disappointed by the country dances which he could find still extant in England Sharp turned his attention to the various editions of The Dancing Master — and only them, he did not publish interpretations of any later works.

Sharp clearly felt that Country Dancing fell into a decline after about 1670:

A critical examination of these successive editions (of Playford) shows that the dance degenerated very rapidly during the period covered by them, and the large number of dance-manuals subsequently issued by Walsh, Thompson, Waylett, and others furthermore proves that this decline continued during the two following centuries...
—Cecil Sharp, The Country Dance Book part 5, 1918, p. 9

I'm not sure what his metrics were for this decline, but he was convinced of it. Perhaps he just didn't like duple or triple minor dances?

Dealing with Playford's text presents challenges which do not arise when you record a living tradition. Playford is sometimes consise to the point of obscurity, he did not seem to employ a proof reader and there are mistakes in his text (in that the figures he describe don't work together, or don't fit the music, etc.), and finally he used words whose meanings have now been lost.

Sharp had to do his best to figure out what was meant from these descriptions. And he did an amazingly good job of it too. Not always perfect. Now with 100 years of hindsight we know things he didn't, but if he hadn't started we won't have that hindsight.

Playford frequently says "Sides all". What does that mean? The concept of siding had died out in the Country Dance tradition around 1700 (the last Playford dance that used it was in 1670) and no one in England in 1900 knew. Sharp came up with an interpretation, and later in his life a different interpretation. We don't know if either is correct.

Or take the word "salute" Sharp interprets that as "honour" — which certainly fits the modern meaning of the word (a respectful greeting). But the Lovelace Manuscript makes it clear that "salute" meant "kiss" on the dance floor.

Look at Row well ye mariners, Playford describes the dance as:

Lead up a D. forwards and back · That again : First man two slips cross the Room one way, the woman the other · Back again to your places : Fall back both · Meet again : Clap both your own hands, then clap each other's right-hands against one another's; clap both your own hands again, then clap left-hands, then clap both hands again, then clap your breasts, then meet both your hands against one-another · The same again, only clap left-hands first :

First man sides with the next wo. and his wo. with the next man, doing the like till you come to your own places, the rest following and doing the same.
The dance consists of two 16 bar parts. The first is well defined, but for the second we have only that people should "side" (whatever that is) with their neighbors and then (somehow) progress. Now siding is a move which takes 4 bars and leaves one where one started. It does not progress and it leaves 12 bars of music unaccounted for.

Sharp faced all these challenges and presented us with well over 100 danceable reinterpretations of Playford.

The various parts of the Country Dance Book are:

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.