The Corporation
My Interpretations

The Bath La Belle Frêne Blew Cap for Me Blue Breeches The Carnival of Venice Cast a Bell The Cherping of the Lark Cheshire Rounds - Wilson #2 Cheshire Rounds - Wilson #1 Cheshire Rounds - Wilson #1 Cuckolds all a Row Ding Dong Bell Dunrobin Castle Ecossoise #2 Edinburgh Castle Every Lad His Lass The Fair Emigrant Fairy Queen The Festival The Firr Tree The French Ambassador The French Ambassador French Four George's Maggot #1 George's Maggot #2 George's Maggot #2 The Gloucester - Chivers Grant's Reel Green Grow the Rushes O? Green Grow the Rushes O? The Hamiltonian The Hamiltonian Hamstead Heath #2 Hamstead Heath #2 Hamstead Heath #2 Haste to the Wedding Have at thy Coat, Old Woman Hunt the Squirrel Jack Pudding Jackey Tarr Lady George Murray's Reel Lady George Murray's Reel Lady Jean Murray's Dance Lady Lye near Me The Lassie in the Yellow Coatie Linnen Hall Linnen Hall The Machine without Horses The Maid in the Mill Mall Peatly Margravine's Waltz Masquerade Royal Masquerade Royal Maxwill's Rant Maxwill's Rant The Milk-maid's Bob Millison's Jigg The Monckton The Monckton Mountain Hornpipe Mrs. Lt. Colonel Johnson's Reel Nonesuch An Old Man, a Bed Full of Bones Paddy Whack Paston's Maggot Peace and Plenty Pop Goes The Weasel Portland Fancy Pretty Nun The Princess 1721 Sicilian The Siege of Belgrade Siege of Buda The Silver Faulken Roger de Coverley Roger of Coverly Sir Roger de Coverley Softly Robin A Soldier's Life The Sword Dance, 1702 A Trip to Aberdeen A Trip to Bengall A Trip to Pancridge A Trip to Pancridge The Triumph The Lady's Triumph The Walton Well's Humour Well's Humour What You Please - Skillern What You Please - Skillern/Duple Ye Social Powers The Young Widow

Why are interpretations needed?

Playford (Young, Walsh, Thompson, etc.) did not write for modern readers, he wrote for his contemporaries and he used technical dance terms which made sense to them but whose meanings are lost in the mists of time to us.

What, for instance, does All Sides mean? When Cecil Sharp came across the term he had no idea. So he made a guess. Later he made a different guess. Is either one right? We have no idea. Dances work with either interpretation of the phrase, but what Restoration era dancers actually were dancing will remain a mystery.

Even worse than that Playford seems to have assumed that his readers just needed hints. In the dance Row Well Ye Mariners he describes the dance thusly:

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.

So anyone attempting to interpret this dance will have to make up 12 bars of filler including some sort of progression.

Playford does not seem to have employed a proof reader. He makes errors. Some of his descriptions simply don't make sense. If you follow his directions you end in the wrong place, or get there too late, or too early. Sometimes someone will look at what seems like nonsense and realize that there is a valid interpretation we just haven't understood it, but frequently Playford is just wrong and the interpreter must figure out what to throw out and what to retain and what to change.

Why should I make interpretations?

Colin Hume points out that there are thousands of uninterpreted dances from the past and most aren't worth dancing.

I do not claim to be a particularly good interpreter, and it is perhaps presumptuous to try. So feel free to ignore this page and go on to better things.

I have chosen to interpret dances for several reasons:

I should add that, as I write, none of these interpretations has actually been danced by a living person (I am doing this during COVID). The fact that I can animate the dance is no proof that a person could actually dance it, nor that they would want to.

Copyrights and such

The originals for these dances are out of copyright. My interpretations are under copyright, but I release them under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which means that you are free to use them, but should mention my name if you do so.


The Bath

The Bath is an English Country Dance. It was published by John Playford (website) in 1651 in The English Dancing Master. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. It is a multipart dance. The minor set lasts 24 bars. It is in the key: G Major.

Playford writes:

Lead up all forwards and back, set and turn S. That again First cu. back a D. slip into the 2. place on the outside, hands all four, and go round Do thus to the last.
Sides all, set and turn S. That again The first four meet and cross over, go half round to the right hand into each others places ·: Do thus to the last.
Arms all, set and turn S. That again The two first men meet and change places, the we. as much, then the second slip down and the first up, then the first down and the second up ·: Do thus to the last.

In Playford's day each of these sub-dances would run until everyone was back in their original place. I shall simply do them in succession.

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.


La Belle Frêne

La Belle Frêne is an American Country Dance. It was devised by Hezekiah Cantelo in 1785 and published in Twenty Four American Country Dances danced by the British during their Winter Quarters at Philadelphia, New York, & Charles Town. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 40 bars.

Cantelo writes:

Hands across & back again — lead down the middle up again and cast off — set 3. & 3. Top & Bottom & hand 4. round at top — set 3. & 3. sideways — and hands round 4 at Bottom swing Partners swing Corners —

There are 4 strains of music with 8,8,16 and 8 bars each. Each is marked with repeats. I think there is a slight misprint and set 3. & 3. sideways — and hands round 4 at Bottom should be set 3. & 3. sideways and hands round 4 at Bottom —. I also assume that swing Partners swing Corners is the same as Wilson's Swing Corners because that begins with turning the partner right.

That gives up five 8 bar chunks in terms of figures, which suggests that the strains are not repeated.

La Belle Frêne translates to "The Beautiful Ash(tree)"

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.


Blew Cap for Me

Blue Cap for Me

Blew Cap

Blew Cap for Me or Blue Cap for Me is an English Country Dance. It was published by John Playford (website) in 1651 in The English Dancing Master. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper 3 Couple Longways dance. There is no progression in this dance. It is a USA dance. The dance lasts 72 bars. It is in the key: F Major.

The name is spelled variously: "Blew Cap", "Blew Cap for me", "Blew Clap for me" and "Blue-Cap for me".

Playford writes:
Lead up all a D. forwards and back That again First man set to his own, the last man to his own, the 2. man salute his own, and turn her That again, the last man beginning

Sides all That again First man set to his wo. the 2. man as much, 3. man salute his own, and turn her That again, the last man beginning

Arms all That again First man and last wo. change places, first wo. and last man change places, middle man salute, and turn his own All this again, to your places

Sharp usually turns a "salute" into an "honour", but the Lovelace Manuscript uses salute where Playford says "kiss", which, I suppose is a form of saluting.

In this dance the women do nothing. I have changed it so that when a men sets to a woman, she sets back.

In parts 1&2, B2 Playford says "That again, the last man beginning". Now this could mean start with man 3, or it could mean start with the last man who did something and produce a mirror image of the dance.

I have choosen the latter approach because it is has a more consistent effect in both parts.

I have also reversed B2 of part 3 even though Playford does not say so, again to be consistent.

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


Blue Breeches

I'le love no more

I Loved Thee once, I Love no More/Blew Breeches

Blue Breeches or I'le love no more 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 2022. It is a proper 4 Couple Longways dance. There is no progression in this dance. It is a USA dance. The dance lasts 216 bars.

Playford writes:

Lead up all forwards and back That again Men turn S. we. as much, men go about your we. to your places We. turn S. men turn S. we go about your men and to your places

Sides all That again First man set to the 2. wo. and fall back, while your wo. turns the 2. man, as much to the 3. as much to the 4. turn your own below

Arms all That again First cu. being below take both hands, slip up between the 4. cu. cross and turn each one of them with your right hands; as much to the 3. as much with the 2. turn your own above

Playford says the dance is Longways for as many as will., but the instructions indicate a 4 couple dance with the 1s active, so we just assume he made a mistake. Or perhaps Playford meant that if you had more than 4 couples you'd play the B part a third time? That would make parts 2 and 3 longer than part 1... so probably not.

It's a standard USA dance in three parts.

The first part is fairly straight forward, everyone interacts with their own partner and no one else.

Now the second part is confusing. The 1s must move down the set because they end at the bottom.

I'm going to call the movement from one couple to the next a mini-progression. Presumably each mini-progression takes 4 bars. (that gives us a standard AABB tune)

But how do they get there? If M1 set to the 2. wo. and fall back you'd assume he'd end where he started. And how can W1 be turning M2 at the same time? If they are proper they both need to be in the middle of the minor set.

The only thing that makes sense to me is that the 1s somehow become improper. Do they start improper? In the few early Playford dances which are improper the 1s cross over the first time through the dance (see A Soldier's Life from 1651). So I'm going to assume they don't start improper.

Do they go back to being proper at the end of the mini-progression? I don't think there is time. Perhaps they alternate between proper and improper? I find the idea attractive, but I doubt it is what Playford did. I'm guessing that the first mini-progression is different than the others.

Hmm. Could the 1s become improper in the siding? (while everyone else does a normal side) That would break the symmetry of the dance, so I doubt it.

Let's look at W1, she might be easier. She has to: (cross the set), turn M2 and progress. Presumably she only turns him halfway, which takes 2 bars and progresses leaving her 2 bars to cross the set.

M1 has to: (cross the set), set, fall back and progress, which looks like 8 bars. Suppose M1 has his back to W2, then "fall back" and progress could be the same move.

For the third part... Again we have 4 bars for each mini-progression. Playford says slip up between the 4. cu. cross and turn each one of them with your right hands. At least this time he indicates that the 1s do become improper, which is consoling. But we have three things: "slip up", "cross", and "turn" each of which takes at least 2 bars. Perhaps the cross happens the first time and the slip the next two?


This dance is only for the 1s, but there is no progression so no way for other couples to dance. However if you do the second part four times and the third part four then everyone gets a chance. It isn't what Playford described though.

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 Carnival of Venice ~ Old Style Progression

The Carnival of Venice ~ Old Style Progression is an English Country Dance. It was devised by G.M.S. Chivers in 1821 and published in The Dancer's Guide. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a Three Face Three dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

When I learned to Contra Dance, and later when I learned English Country Dancing, the whole set would begin dancing at once. But that's not how Playford expected people to dance. In his day only the top two couples of a duple minor set (three for a triple minor, of course) would start. After they had danced once the top couple would go down to the next couple(s) below and dance with them. No one started until the top couple reached them.

When the original top couple reached the bottom they would start up the set as 2s. When they reached the top they would stop. But the dance would not. Now the top couple would wait, and the dance would end when each couple had reached its original place. (if there are n couples then this takes 3*n-3 repetitions of the dance in a duple minor, and 4*n-4 in a triple minor).

In part this was because the top couple would choose the dance, and would teach it to each couple below by dancing it with them. They did not have walk-throughs beforehand to teach the dance.

There is still a vestige of this style of dancing in Scottish Country's 2 couple dance in a 4 couple set, where only the top two couples dance the first time through.

Unfortunately, Playford never says this specifically, he just assumed everyone knew, however if you read his directions they make more sense if they are directed only to the top two (or three) couples rather than the entire set. Here's an example that I was working on last week so it is fresh in my mind, but there are others: "The first Cu. turns single, then lead down thro' the 2d Cu. and cast up again · The 2d Cu. do the same : Then the three first Cu. go the Hey · The first Cu. cast off and turn Hands ··" from "Masquerade Royal", John Young (Playford's son in law), 1718: Now, why say "the three first Cu." when you mean "all the couples" unless those first three were the only ones dancing at the start?

The first indisputable evidence I can give comes from "The Dancer's Guide", London, Chivers, 1821: In his description of an improper duple minor (Ecossoises, page 45), he has a diagram of the initial layout of the dance and only the top couple is improper, all the others are proper. This only works if the top foursome is the only one active at the start. He says: "Any number of persons can join, observing that the first couple exchange places (each couple doing the same as they regain the top), and when they get to the bottom, they take their own sides"

The first evidence I have found for the modern way of starting is in The Complete Ball-Room Hand-Book, Elias Howe, Boston, 1858 says In forming for Contra Dances, let there be space enough between the ladies' and gentlemen's lines to pass down and up the centre. It is usual for those at the foot of the set to wait until the first couple has passed down, and they have arrived at the head of the set; but there is no good reason why they should so wait, as every fourth couple should commence with the first couple. In other words he is saying that traditional dancers would only begin with the top couple, but there is no reason why the whole line couldn't start at once.

Finally we come to Cecil Sharp and his description of a minor-set dance in The Country Dance Book, Part 1 (1909):

The top minor-set, headed by the leading couple, opens the dance by performing the complete figure, the rest of the couples being neutral. This results in the exchange of positions between the leading and second couple.

The second round is now danced by the minor-set composed of the second and third couples, of which the second one is the leading couple. The rest of the dancers, including the top one, remain neutral. This brings the leading couple down to third place from the top of the General Set.

In the third round two minor-sets will now participate, namely those consisting, respectively, of the two couples at the top (the second and third of the original set), and of the the third and fourth couples (originally the first and fourth).

However, at the end of the section Sharp adds the comment:

Expert dancers will sometimes constitute themselves into minor-sets for the performance of the first round, and thus avoid the gradual and somewhat tedious opening as above described; that is to say, they will omit the first six rounds in our first illustration and begin with the seventh round.

As far as I can tell, later parts of the The Country Dance Book omit this entirely. So perhaps Sharp changed his mind. And that may mark where this style of starting a dance was lost.


Chivers writes:

Advance and retire in two lines — set and pass under the arm — hands three your own lines — back again — hey your own sides The two lines lead round and exchange places (four parts or thirty-two bars) this figure can be dance by an equal number of ladies and gentlemen or a majority of either.

N.B. This (—) denotes four bars, and this ( ) eight bars.

Chivers uses terms I am unfamiliar with, he says he explains them in another publication, but unfortunately I do not have a copy of it. So here are my guesses...

I am not entirely sure what Chivers means by set and pass under the arm. I assume it is something like "right hand high, left hand low" where a line of three abreast changes direction and the end people change sides. The way I learned to do it leaves everyone facing the wrong way but that rotation isn't necessary.

Nor am I sure what he means by The two lines lead round and exchange places. My best guess is that the two lines take hands on the side (but not across) and the leftmost dancer, leading the others, circle halfway round the set. They are facing the wrong way, so I expect exchange places means something like "wheel around" to face the next trio.

I call this type of dance "three face three" or "trios", Chivers calls it a "Swedish Dance".

He points out that a duple minor dance demands an equal number of ladies and gentlemen but this style of dance may be used when one sex is in the majority - the sex in the majority taking the two outside positions while the one in the minority takes the center. In the case of equal numbers then the lines should alternate: so a line with a woman in the center will be followed by a line with a man in the center.

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.


Cast a Bell

Cast a Bell is an English Country Dance. It was published by John Playford (website) in 1651 in The English Dancing Master. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. It is a USA dance. The minor set lasts 72 bars.

Playford writes:
Lead up all a D. forward and back, set and turn S That again First cu. change places, set and turn S. First man lead you own and the 2. wo. forward and back, bring the 2. wo. under your arms, leave her and turn your own Do thus to the last, the rest following and doing the like

Sides all, set and turn S That again First cu. change places, set and turn S. First cu. meet the 2. cu. lead each other's wo. to each Wall, meet your own and turn them, Do thus to the last, the rest following.

Arms all, set and turn S That again First cu. take both hands, slip down between the 2. cu. cross and turn each one of them with your right-hands, fall to your own side in the 2. place Do thus to the last, the rest following.

This dance has three sections each of which is divided into a standard introduction and a progressive sequence. Presumably in Playford's day each introduction was done once, then its figure was done until all dancers we back in their original places, then then next introduction once followed by its figure many times, and the last introduction, with its figure done many times. In my animation I only show each figure twice.

The introductions are the standard up a double/siding/arming with some sets and turn single added for good measure. No difficulty in understanding Playford here.

The first figure is pretty clear too. The only thing I've added to Playford is having the line of three be on the diagonal. Playford doesn't specify. I suppose it could form facing down the set - that would be a little awkward for W2 but it could be done. I prefer having the forward and back being directed at M2 rather than the bottom of the hall.

The partner change has 8 counts which is rather a lot for just crossing the set. I've turned it into a "cross the set and loop right".

The second figure doesn't specify how progression happens. I suppose you could have the couples two hand turning around each other, but I think it makes more sense for. Playford doesn't say "fall back" after the lead out, only "meet your own". "Meet your own" usually involves going forward to meet, so I'm going to assume there is an implied "turn as a couple" after "lead each other's wo. to each Wall". That progresses and leaves you facing your partner, ready to "meet" them.

In the third figure First cu. ... slip down between the 2. cu. cross and turn each one of them with your right hands. I was initially a little confused by "with your right hands" - if you are doing a mirror image, as is usually the case, then surely one couple will use left hands? But then I realized that if the 1s cross when they are between the 2s, then they will pass right shoulder. They can just continue on and they will be right shoulder to the 2s. Not a mirror image, but a 180 degree rotation.

Hmm. Should the 2s slip up outside when the 1s slip down inside, so they meet in the middle? I think not in this case.

There are 32 counts of music in each part. But the third part only has about 20 counts of movement: slip down: 4, cross: 4, turn: 8, fall back: 4. Scott Pfitzinger throws in having the 1s left turn partner as part of the fall back. That would be awkward the way I envision things.

Playford says slip down between the 2. cu. cross and turn each one of them with your right-hands. My first thought was that each 1 would turn a 2. But perhaps he means that both 1s should sequentially turn both 2s.


The image shows the interior of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, a company which cast bells from 1570 until 2017. They might be what Playford had in mind...

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 Cherping of the Lark

The Chirping of the Lark

The Cherping of the Lark or The Chirping of the Lark is an English Country Dance. It was published by John Playford (website) in 1651 in The English Dancing Master. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper 4 Couple Longways dance. In this dance the men are permuted by: 1234 and the women by: 2341. It is a mixer. The minor set lasts 32 bars. It is in the key: F Major - D Minor.

The name is spelled variously: "The Cherping of the Lark", "Chirping of the Lark", "The Chirping of the Larke" and "Chirping of the Larke".

Playford writes:
Lead up all a D. forwards and back That again Set and turn S. That again

First man sides with your own wo. sides with the Co. Turn the third wo. Bring up the last

Lead up as at the first time As at the first time

This as the second time As second time

Lead up as at the first time As at the first time

This as the second time As second time

Lead up as at the first time As at the first time

This as the second time As second time

Playford shows this as an eight part dance, but it's really just a 32 bar dance repeated four times.

I presume that "Bring up the last" means the bottom woman is brought to the top as the other women shift down. In other words, the women progress, but the men do not. Indeed the other men do absolutely nothing, except the up a double.

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.


Cheshire Rounds - Wilson #2

Cheshire Rounds - Wilson #2 is an English Country Dance. It was devised by Thomas Wilson in 1809 and published in The Treasures of Terpsichore, 1st edition. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Wilson writes:

Half figure of your own sides and lead up to the top hands across and back again , down the middle, up again, allemande , set three across, and three in you places .

According to Wilson's An Analysis of Country Dancing", 1808 a "half figure of your own sides" is like half a mirror hey, with only the 1s moving. The 1s lead through the 2s, go outside the 3s and meet below them at the bottom of the set.

Sadly Wilson does not describe "down the middle, up again" which is where I think the progression happens.

Wilson's description of "Allemade" sounds very like a gypsy: The Lady at A, and Gentleman at B, bass round each other, the Lady in the circle C, and the Gentleman in the circle D, returning to their situations a A B. Wilson usually mentions which hand to take when hands are taken, so I assume that here no hands are taken as there is not such mention.

Wilson does not provide music for this dance, and I don't think Playford's music works.

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.


Cheshire Rounds - Wilson #1

Cheshire Rounds - Wilson #1 is an English Country Dance. It was devised by Thomas Wilson in 1809 and published in The Treasures of Terpsichore, 1st edition. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Wilson writes:

Hands across and back again cast off two couple, up again , down the middle, up again, foot to the top couple , and swing corners .

According to Wilson's An Analysis of Country Dancing", 1808, (page 33) "Swing Corners" means "the 1s right turn, then they left turn 1s corners, then right turn, then left turn 2nd corners, and return to progressed places". Basically, "Contra Corners".

Wilson does not provide music for this dance, and I don't think Playford's music works.

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.


Cheshire Rounds - Wilson #1 ~ Duple

Cheshire Rounds - Wilson #1 ~ Duple is an English Country Dance. It was devised by Thomas Wilson in 1809 and published in The Treasures of Terpsichore, 1st edition. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. Originally a Triple Minor this version is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Wilson writes:

Hands across and back again cast off two couple, up again , down the middle, up again, foot to the top couple , and swing corners .

According to Wilson's An Analysis of Country Dancing", 1808, (page 33) "Swing Corners" means "the 1s right turn, then they left turn 1s corners, then right turn, then left turn 2nd corners, and return to progressed places". Basically, "Contra Corners".

The 3s do nothing until the contra-corners, and contra corners fits nicely into a duple minor set. So this is the duple minor version of the dance.

Wilson does not provide music for this dance, and I don't think Playford's music works.

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.


Cuckolds all a Row ~ Lovelace

Cuckles all a Row

Cuckolds all a Row ~ Lovelace or Cuckles all a Row is an English Country Dance. It was found in the Lovelace Manuscript (written somewhere around the 1640s) and later published in The English Dancing Master. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a Facing Couples dance. There is no progression in this dance. It is a USA dance. The dance lasts 72 bars. It is in the key: C major.

This is one of the few dances for which we have a description before Playford. The Lovelace Manuscript in the Houghton Library at Harvard University, filed as MS Eng. 1356 contains descriptions of 20 country dances (of which this is one). The manuscript is undated but was probably written between 1621~1649.

The dance also appears in Playford (starting in the first edition of 1651 and continuing until 1728)

Cecil Sharp interpreted the Plavford version in 1911 (and bowdlerized the title to Hey, boys, up go we and changed the music). I shall try here to interpret what the Lovelace Manuscript says to do.

The Playford Ball quotes Samuel Pepys in 1662 as quoting Charles II "Then to country dances; the King leading the first, which he called for, which was, says he 'Cuckolds all awry.' The old dance of England."

Lovelace description (transcription by Dafydd Cyhoeddwr:

Both couple shall stand 4 square, and leade up to one another, and downe agayne twice; then each man shall goe round about his owne woeman, then the last parte of the tune is to be playd againe, after that he hath gone round about his owne woman, first, and then about the woman, that is opposite against him, and then hee shall goe round the woeman that was opposite to him first, and his own last;
Sides all twice, first with his owne woeman, and then with her, that is opposite to him, then the 2 men shall change places, the woemen also allmost at the same time, then joyne all hands, and goe round, till you come to your places, then the woemen shall crosse over first; and then the men and joyne hands like before, and turne round the other way till you come to your places
Armes all twice, once with your owne woemen, and once with the other, but if you please you shall armes with your owne last, then each man shall take the woeman, that is right over against him, and the one shall draw her upwards and the other downwards; and presently draw them againe close together in theire places holding hands; then one couple shall pass through the other, first and then presently the other shall passe through, then the last part of the tune being played againe, they shall draw them contrary to that as they did before like as he that drawes his woeman upward before, shall now draw her downward, and the other upward, and then passe through agayne, contrary to what was done before.

Playford (1651) describes it thus:

Meet all forward and backe That again Turn back to back with the Co. We. faces again, goe about the Co. We. not turning your faces Turn back to back to your owne, faces againe, goe about your owne not turning faces

Sides all with your owne sides all with the Co. Men change places, We. change places, hands all goe round We. change places, Men change places, hands all and goe round to your places

Armes all with your owne armes all with the Co. Men put the Co. We. back by both hands, fall even on the Co. side men cast off to the right hand, your We. following, come to the same place again put them back again, fall on your owne side, men cast off to the left hand and come to your places the We. following

Lovelace says each man shall goe round about his owne woeman. First question: Does the woman also go about the man? Lovelace doesn't say she should. Neither does Playford for that matter. Sharp has the woman active also. There are plenty of Playford dances which start with M1 setting to someone who doesn't set back, so it is certainly possible that only the man is involved.

In Wallingford-House (Playford, 1670) The first man goes round his own wo the second wo. follows makes it pretty clear that the 1st woman is not moving.

Then what does "go about" mean? If it's only the man active then presumabley he just loops around the woman and returns to place. Playford says not turning your faces. Faces is plural. Does that include the women? or just the two men?

Sharp thinks "not turning your faces" means a gypsy, you keep your face toward your partner. But that's an odd interpretation. A back to back seems much more likely. I've never heard someone say "don't turn your face" when describing a gypsy, but it is exactly what someone would say when describing a back to back.

I suspect Lovelace did not intend for the women to move here. But modern dancers would not stand for that, so I shall have people doing back to backs. Not that Lovelace has the back to back start with partner (which is unnatural as you are facing your neighbor), then with neighbor, then neighbor again (presumably in the opposite direction) and then partner again. This ordering is different from Playford's.

Looking back at Playford we see something quite different: Turn back to back with the Co. We. faces again, goe about the Co. We. not turning your faces. Playford, pretty clearly intends two different moves, though Sharp interprets both as gypsies. John Sweeney has an interesting take on this, he says that Turn back to back just means turning your back to someone, probably while doing fancy steps so as to show off your body from all angles. (To my mind this argues against the women doing it, because why show off if the person you are showing off to also has her (his) back to you.) There is an interesting interpretation of this done by the Newcastle Country Dancers in 2012 where people turn their back and then bump rumps.


The second part seems the same in Lovelace and Playford, except that in Lovelace the second circle goes in the opposite direction from the first, while Playford doesn't specify a direction. And Sharp's interpretation of that seems fine (except that I would use inline sideing rather than swirly siding, and make the second circle be to the right — like Playford Sharp doesn't specify a direction).


The third part begins with arming. Lovelace suggests that you could arm with your partner last, rather than first. Clearly everyone must agree to this before the dance or there will be massive confusion. I'm not going to take him up on this alternative, the siding starts with partner, and so should arming, in my opinion.

Then we have the half poussette. If I read it correctly, Playford has the men pushing (he says "men put the Co. We. back") while Lovelace has the men pulling (he says "shall draw her"). Micheal Barraclough points out, in his interpretation, that Playford's description of the second half of this move isn't like a poussette. However Lovelace's description is like a poussette.

Playford follows the poussette with a chase; Lovelace does not, he describes something which sounds like matchboxes, with couples passing first inside and then outside each other. I'm assuming they retain hands from the poussette so this is actually a dip and dive figure. Lovelace doesn't say which couple goes first, but I assume it's the one containing M1.

Note that this breaks the symmetry of the dance. Up to this point the 2s have done exactly the same as the 1s (rotated 180 degrees), suddenly they are different.

Lovelace's second poussette now goes in the opposite direction (Playford doesn't really specify a direction, he says "put them back again" which I would think meant continue in the same clockwise fashion).

The dance, Cuckolds All A Row, originally used its own tune, but Sharp decided to use that of Hey Boys, up we go instead. It was published by Playford with that dance. It was performed by Bare Necessities (Earl Gaddis, Mary Lea, Peter Barnes, and Jacqueline Schwab) on the album A Playford Ball. The music is used with permission from the Country Dance Society, Boston Centre, Inc.

The animation plays at 125 counts per minute. Men are drawn as rectangles, women as ellipses. Each couple is drawn in its own color.


Ding Dong Bell

Ding Dong Bell is an English Country Dance. It was published by Thompson in 1791 in Twenty Four Country Dances for the Year 1791. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Thompson writes:

1st. & 2d. Cu: change sides & back again hands 4 across & back again lead down the middle up again and cast off then Allemande

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.


Dunrobin Castle ~ Triple Minor

Dunrobin Castle ~ Triple Minor is an English Country Dance. It was devised by a Person of Quality in 1718 and published in Twenty Four New Country Dances Compos'd by a Person of Quality. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 16 bars.

Walsh writes:

Note: The first Strain twice over, and the last but once.

The 1st. man go down the middle turn the 3d. wo. then the 2d. man half round the 1st. wo. do the same contrary sides the 1st. cu. figure through the 2d. and 3d. wo. then through the 2d. and 3d. man take hands with the contrary couples fall back the 1st. man cast up, the 1st. wo. at the same time cast off proper

The B part only makes sense if M1 is between the 3s and W1 is between the 2s. But how do the A parts get them there?

If M1 turns W3 and ends in the center of square containing the 2s+3s, and then turns M2 and returns to that center then he can easily fall back between the 3s (and later W1 can fall back between the 2s). I know Walsh says to turn M2 half, but that I can't make any sense of that and shall assume it a misprint. For another thing a half turn only takes 4 counts but we've probably got 8 to use up.

Or... If we want to do a left turn half then M2 needs to be where M1 wants to end up, so we could have M2 cast left to between the 3s. Now a left hand turn half takes 4 counts, and a cast 4 more, so that does use up our 8 counts, but it leaves M1 idle for 4 of them. Which feels wrong. I suppose he could set to W3... but this path just seems to involve more and more inventions beyond what Walsh wrote and is probably wrong.

Then there is the problem that I have lines across where the 2s and 3s are and I want those lines to fall back so that the 2s end in 1st postion, and the 3s in 3rd. But the 3s are already in 3rd position. What I want is for the two lines to be symmetrical about the middle couple. If they do this early on then the 1s don't have as far to go to reach the 3s when they turn them. (There is no hint of this in Walsh, of course, but then there wouldn't be as the 2s+3s are rarely given instructions they just need to be in the right place.

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.


Ecossoise #2 ~ Chivers, Old Style Progression

Ecossoise #2 ~ Chivers, Old Style Progression is an English Country Dance. It was devised by G.M.S. Chivers in 1821 and published in The Dancer's Guide. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is an improper duple minor longways dance. The minor set lasts 16 bars.

When I learned to Contra Dance, and later when I learned English Country Dancing, the whole set would begin dancing at once. But that's not how Playford expected people to dance. In his day only the top two couples of a duple minor set (three for a triple minor, of course) would start. After they had danced once the top couple would go down to the next couple(s) below and dance with them. No one started until the top couple reached them.

When the original top couple reached the bottom they would start up the set as 2s. When they reached the top they would stop. But the dance would not. Now the top couple would wait, and the dance would end when each couple had reached its original place. (if there are n couples then this takes 3*n-3 repetitions of the dance in a duple minor, and 4*n-4 in a triple minor (because the 3s do not progress)).

In part this was because the top couple would choose the dance, and would teach it to each couple below by dancing it with them. They did not have walk-throughs beforehand to teach the dance.

There is still a vestige of this style of dancing in Scottish Country's 2 couple dance in a 4 couple set, where only the top two couples dance the first time through.

See Colin Hume's interpretation of Jamaica for a description of how progression worked.

In Playford's day the top couple would have started the dance with the next couple, then they would have progressed to the next, and so on all the way down the set as ones and all the way back up as twos. They would then started the second figure (while other people were still doing the first figure), and again gone all the way down and back, when they would have waited until all the other couples were back to their original places.

I have simplified things here and have no "second figure" (though the full version of this dance does have one) so once they reach the top, they simply wait until everyone else has reached their original places. The progression is rather like a progressive hey or progressive progression.

Unfortunately, Playford never says this specifically, he just assumed everyone knew, however if you read his directions they make more sense if they are directed only to the top two (or three) couples rather than the entire set. Here's an example that I was working on last week so it is fresh in my mind, but there are others: "The first Cu. turns single, then lead down thro' the 2d Cu. and cast up again · The 2d Cu. do the same : Then the three first Cu. go the Hey · The first Cu. cast off and turn Hands ··" from "Masquerade Royal", John Young (Playford's son in law), 1718: Now, why say "the three first Cu." when you mean "all the couples" unless those first three were the only ones dancing at the start?

Another bit of circumstantial evidence: "Pride and Prejudice", Chapter 18, Mr. Darcy + Elizabeth at the Netherfield Ball: "When the dancing recommenced, however, ... They stood for some time without speaking a word" The dancing has started, but they are standing and not dancing. Even if you are out at the bottom you are out for less than a minute (well in almost all dances Fandango might take a bit more), not long enough for standing without talking to be uncomfortable. I suggest they are waiting for the dance to work its way down the set until it gets to them.

The first indisputable evidence I can give comes from "The Dancer's Guide", London, Chivers, 1821: In his description of an improper duple minor (Ecossoises, page 45), he has a diagram of the initial layout of the dance and only the top couple is improper, all the others are proper. This only works if the top foursome is the only one active at the start. He says: "Any number of persons can join, observing that the first couple exchange places (each couple doing the same as they regain the top), and when they get to the bottom, they take their own sides"

In 1857, Thomas Hillgrove in The scholars' companion and ball-room vade mecum (New York) is still specifying this form of progression: This is performed in the same manner as the Country Dance, the ladies and gentlemen being placed in lines opposite to each other. The couple at the top begin the figure.

However, in The Complete Ball-Room Hand-Book, Elias Howe, Boston, 1858 says In forming for Contra Dances, let there be space enough between the ladies' and gentlemen's lines to pass down and up the centre. It is usual for those at the foot of the set to wait until the first couple has passed down, and they have arrived at the head of the set; but there is no good reason why they should so wait, as every fourth couple should commence with the first couple. In other words he is saying that traditional dancers would only begin with the top couple, but there is no reason why the whole line couldn't start at once.

This may reflect a difference in behavior between New York and Boston, (Hillgrove distinguishes between Country Dances and Contra Dances, while Howe says they are two names for the same thing), or just a difference between traditional and innovative behavior.

Finally we get to Cecil Sharp and his description of a minor-set dance in The Country Dance Book, Part 1 (1909):

The top minor-set, headed by the leading couple, opens the dance by performing the complete figure, the rest of the couples being neutral. This results in the exchange of positions between the leading and second couple.

The second round is now danced by the minor-set composed of the second and third couples, of which the second one is the leading couple. The rest of the dancers, including the top one, remain neutral. This brings the leading couple down to third place from the top of the General Set.

In the third round two minor-sets will now participate, namely those consisting, respectively, of the two couples at the top (the second and third of the original set), and of the the third and fourth couples (originally the first and fourth).

However, at the end of the section Sharp adds the comment:

Expert dancers will sometimes constitute themselves into minor-sets for the performance of the first round, and thus avoid the gradual and somewhat tedious opening as above described; that is to say, they will omit the first six rounds in our first illustration and begin with the seventh round.

As far as I can tell, later parts of the The Country Dance Book omit this entirely. So perhaps Sharp changed his mind. And that may mark where this style of starting a dance was lost.


Chivers does not give this dance a name, it is the second dance in his list of Ecossoise dances. Écossaise is a French style of contredanse which means "Scottish", though it is unlike any Scottish Country dance I've ever danced (but I don't know what the Scots were doing in 1780). For one thing all Ecossoise are improper dances, but no modern Scottish Country dance is.

This dance is not particularly interesting in itself. It's major advantage is that it is a 16 bar improper duple minor so going though all the many iterations of the progression takes as little time as possible.

Chivers writes:

Hands across — back again — cross over one couple — turn your partner to places —

I suspect that turn your partner to places originally refered only to the 1s, but the dance is fairly even and I think it won't hurt to have the 2s turning as well.

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.


Edinburgh Castle ~ Williams

Albion's Queen ~ Playford+Williams

Edinborough Castle ~ Williams

Edinburgh Castle ~ Williams or Albion's Queen ~ Playford+Williams is an English Country Dance. It was published by Henry Playford (website) in about 1698 in The Second Part of the Dancing Master, 2nd ed.. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 16 bars.

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.


Every Lad His Lass ~ Duple

Every Lad His Lass ~ Duple is an English Country Dance. It was published by Playford (John Young) (website) in 1710 in The Dancing Master, Vol. the Second. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 20 bars.

Playford writes:

Note: Each Strain is to be Play'd twice over.

The first Couple Sett and cast off. This to the first Strain play'd once The second Couple do the same. This to the first Strain play'd twice The first Man and second Woman meet and give a little Jump, the second Man and first Woman do the same, and turn single all four. This to the second Strain play'd once The first Couple cross over and FIgure in between the thrid Couple into the second Couple's Place This to the second Strain play'd twice

I find Sharp's interpretation of B2 odd. Why not just do what Playford says and use a figure eight? Perhaps there's something in the music to make this difficult?

Also the threes do nothig. This dance should be a duple minor.

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 Fair Emigrant

Mrs. Dawson's Delight

The Fair Emigrant or Mrs. Dawson's Delight is an American Country Dance. It was devised by Hezekiah Cantelo in 1785 and published in Twenty Four American Country Dances danced by the British during their Winter Quarters at Philadelphia, New York, & Charles Town. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 64 bars.

Cantelo writes:

First Lady foot it & turn the 2d. Gen: — First Gen: Ditto with the 2d. Lady — Gallop down two Couple & foot it — Go up one Cu: — & turn — foot it & half turn with the right hand — Ditto with the left hand — foot it 6 in hand — go the compleat round to the Right —

I make no attempt to match the music to the instructions. The music has four 4 bar strains, all repeated. The instructions are for 64 bars.

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.


Fairy Queen

Fairy Queen is an English Country Dance. It was published by Playford (John Young) (website) in 1726 in The Dancing Master, The Third Volume, 2nd ed.. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper 4 Couple Longways dance. There is no progression in this dance. It is a USA dance. The dance lasts 132 bars.

Playford writes:

First all lead up forward and back That again Turn all Back to back, Faces again, then each Man go about his Wo. not turning your Faces, that again the other way Then first and last cu. meet a double, back again, turn all Back to Back, Faces again, go about each other not turning your Faces, the other way as much Then the other 4, as much ·:
Sides all That again Turn Back to Back, Faces again, go about your own as before First and last cu. meet and go back, turn Back to Back, Faces again; take Hands and go round, back again Then the other 4 as much ·:
Arms all That again Turn Back to Back, Faces again, go about your own as before First and last cu. meet back again; then Back to Back, Faces again; Right-hands across and go round, then Left round The other 4 as much ·:

This dance is an anachronism. It's a USA dance, and the Playfords stopped printing new USA dances in the 4th edition in 1670. It also uses terms which were out of date in 1726: Turn all Back to back, Faces again probably has nothing to do with the back to back figure we all know but seems closer to The Gypsyes out of Lovelace in the 1640s: then they all turne theire backes, both men, and woemen, towards one another, and then turne themselves as they were before, all their faces together. One performance of Cuckolds All A'Row has dancers coming forward to bump rumps.

The Faerie Qveene is an epic poem written by Spencer and presented to Queen Elizabeth in 1589. There was also an opera of the same name, composed by Purcell which opened in 1692. 1692 seems too late for the terminology of the dance, and 1589 too early.


The first problem with this is fitting the music to the dance. The music is a 12 bar repeat.

It's a USA dance. Every section begins with 8 bars of either up a double, siding or arming. You could stretch that out to 12 bars. Maybe. "Up a triple"? But you can't stretch out siding or arming. Perhaps throw in an honour to the presence? or a set and turn single?.

Each USA section shows the same format, two 4 bar strains of music. If it were only done once it might be a misprint, but it is consistent across all three, so did Playford fail to print 4 bars of music? Did he mean to put a repeat after the first 4 bars?

Let's look at the rest of the dance for hints.

After each USA section we have: Turn all Back to back, Faces again, then each Man go about his Wo. not turning your Faces, that again the other way (I'll go into what I think this means later, for now I'm only interested in timing). My guess is that this will fit nicely into 12 bars.

Then: Then first and last cu. meet a double, back again, turn all Back to Back, Faces again, go about each other not turning your Faces, the other way as much On the face of it this looks like 16 bars rather than 8 or 12. I'm going to guess that the "meet a double" and "turn all Back to Back" are actually part of the same move (coming forward turning your backs). And that would bring it down to 12.

So I think the music should be a (missing) 4 bar A section, and the 12 bar B section we have printed. It should be played 3 x AABBB for the dance.


Playford says the dance is "Longways for as many as will." I think this is another missprint, and it is actually Longways for 4 couples.

There are 8 dancers mentioned in the text "the first and last cu." and "the other 4", (and both are mentioned several times) so I think it is pretty clear that a 4 couple dance is intended.

Because he says "first and last cu." I think a longways formation is likely. If a square he'd say "first and third".


Turn all Back to back, Faces again, then each Man go about his Wo. not turning your Faces, that again the other way. The article at contrafusion on gypsies goes into great detail about this phrase. It sounds to me that "all Back to back, Faces again" was like "foot it", a chance to show off your steps while turning so people could see them at the best angle. It was not a simple turn your back and then finish turning.

While the "not turning your Faces" bit sounds like what we now call "back to back" (except that only the man is going around while the woman stands).

Then: Then first and last cu. meet a double, back again, turn all Back to Back, Faces again, go about each other not turning your Faces, the other way as much As I mentioned before, the only way to fit this into 12 bars is to fold the "meet a double" and "turn Back to Back" into one move, where they all come forward (women too, it seems here) doing a facing step, and in the process turn their backs and then go back.


There is an asymmetry in the description: The women don't go around their partners, but they do go around their neighbors. That seems odd and would annoy me if I were dancing it. So I'm going to have the women go about their partners too.

There's another asymmetry: the bit after the USA with your partner is always the same, even though the bit with your neighbor is slightly different each time through the dance. Even if you restrict yourself to your partner you could do a two hand turn to match the circle, and a right hand turn to match the right-hands across. Or better yet work in foursomes and use the same sequence.


Is this what people danced? Almost certainly not.

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 Festival

The Festival is an English Country Dance. It was devised by Longman & Broderip in 1790 and published in Twenty-Four Country Dances for the year 1790. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Longman & Broderip write:

The 1st. Gent set to the 2d. Lady and hands three round then Lady do the same lead down the middle, up again and cast off and Allemand

The only vexing question is: Whom does M1 circle three with? Presumably W2 is involved, but is the third W1 or M2? Since W1 has her own turn comeing up I presume it is M2.

A slighter niggle is: Which of the many different "Allemand"s do they mean. It needs to fit into 8 bars, while the standard Regency Allemand takes 4. But if you go back with the left, then it fits in 8.

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 Firr Tree

The Firr Tree is an English Country Dance. It was published by Rutherford in about 1756 in Rutherford's compleat Collection of 200 of the most celebrated Country Dances both Old and New, Vol. 1. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Rutherford writes:

The first Man Cast off & turn the third Woman & stand in the 2d Man's Place The first Woman Does the same Hands round four at Bottom Right Hand & Left at Top

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 French Ambassador ~ Duple

French Embassader

The French Ambassador ~ Duple or French Embassader is an English Country Dance. It was published by Henry Playford (website) in 1701 in The Dancing Master, 11th ed.. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Playford titled the dance in two ways: "French Embassader" and "The French Embassader"

Playford writes:

The 1. cu. cross over and turn below the 2. cu. Then cross over below the third cu. and turn The 1. man turns the 3. wo. and the 1. wo. the 2. man, then turn your Partner with your left-hand, then lead thorow the 3. cu. and cast up and turn, Figure thorow the 2. cu. and turn your Partner.

The first thing I note is that there is no indication of a second B part. Scott Pfitzinger's interpretation has a second B and stretches the figures out (4 bars for a turn half) to make them fit. I shall take Playford at his word here.

The next oddity is that the 1st man turns the 3rd woman, but the 1st woman turns the 2nd man. It seems much more likely that they both turn 3s.

The start of the B section: "The 1. man turns the 3. wo. and the 1. wo. the 2. man then...", I read the "and" (as opposed to "then") here as suggesting that the 1s should turn simultaneously rather than sequentially. Now we've already decided there is one misprint here, I suggest there are two and that the ones turn the same sex 3. (this also solves the problem of how to get the 3s back to proper, they never become improper)

Another posibility is to have the 3s become improper during A, this breaks the symmetry of the two A parts though.

Note: the 2s+3s are never active together, so this can be compressed into a duple minor dance.

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 French Ambassador ~ Williams

French Embassader

The French Ambassador ~ Williams or French Embassader is an English Country Dance. It was published by Henry Playford (website) in 1701 in The Dancing Master, 11th ed.. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Playford titled the dance in two ways: "French Embassader" and "The French Embassader"

Playford writes:

The 1. cu. cross over and turn below the 2. cu. Then cross over below the third cu. and turn The 1. man turns the 3. wo. and the 1. wo. the 2. man, then turn your Partner with your left-hand, then lead thorow the 3. cu. and cast up and turn, Figure thorow the 2. cu. and turn your Partner.

The first thing I note is that there is no indication of a second B part. Scott Pfitzinger's interpretation has a second B and stretches the figures out (4 bars for a turn half) to make them fit. I shall take Playford at his word here.

The next oddity is that the 1st man turns the 3rd woman, but the 1st woman turns the 2nd man. It seems much more likely that they both turn 3s.

The start of the B section: "The 1. man turns the 3. wo. and the 1. wo. the 2. man then...", I read the "and" (as opposed to "then") here as suggesting that the 1s should turn simultaneously rather than sequentially. Now we've already decided there is one misprint here, I suggest there are two and that the ones turn the same sex 3. (this also solves the problem of how to get the 3s back to proper, they never become improper)

Another posibility is to have the 3s become improper during A, this breaks the symmetry of the two A parts though.

Note: the 2s+3s are never active together, so this can be compressed into a duple minor dance.

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.


French Four ~ Howe

French Four ~ Howe is an American Country Dance. It was published by Elias Howe in 1858 in Complete Ball-Room Hand Book. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Howe writes:

First couple balance and cross over (go below one couple), balance again and cross back to places, 1st couple down the centre, back, cast off, right and left 4.

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.


George's Maggot #1

George's Maggot #1 is an English Country Dance. It was published by Henry Playford (website) in 1701 in The Dancing Master, 11th ed.. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. There is no progression in this dance. Originally this was a single progression dance. The dance lasts 40 bars.

Playford has two dances named "George's Maggot" (or "Magott"), they have different tunes and different choreographies. The first first appeared in 1701, and the second in 1710.

Playford writes:
First man and wo. lead down the 2. cu. and cast up to the top, then cross over and turn one another in their proper places, then 1. man go round the 2. wo. the 1. wo. doing the same round the 2. man at the same time, the cross over to the top as they were at first.
Then 1. and 2. wo. and 1.man turn once round, and 1. man and wo. cast off below the 2. cu. then lead up through the 2. cu. and turn S then 1. and 2. man and 1. wo. turn once round, and 1. man and wo. cast off below the 2. cu. then lead up through the 2. cu. and cast below them again, and so on.

The only thing that confused me here was "then cross over and turn one another in their proper places,". At first I wanted this to mean "partner change and half two hand turn", but usually when Playford says cross over for a couple he means cross and cast, and the rest of the A section makes more sense if the 1s are in second place for A2.

So I figure that when Playford says "their proper places" the word "their" is modifying "proper" rather than "places". That is they don't go home, they got to their proper side of the line.

Thanks to Colin Hume's interpretations page for helping me figure this out.

(This looks like a dull dance for the 2s. I only interpreted it because I'm named George and felt I had to. I think Playford's other "George's Maggot" is more interesting.)

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


George's Maggot #2 ~ Duple

George's Maggot #2 ~ Duple is an English Country Dance. It was published by Playford (John Young) (website) in 1710 in The Dancing Master, Vol. the Second. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Playford has two dances named "George's Maggot" (or "Magott"), they have different tunes and different choreographies. The first first appeared in 1701, and the second in 1710.

Playford writes:

Note: The first Strain is to be play'd twice, and the last but once.

The first Couple lead between the second Couple and turn, Improper, then Figure thro' the third Couple The second Couple do the same The first Man slips within the second Couple, and takes the second Woman, and leads her thro' the third Couple, and cast up, the first Woman and second Man take Hands and turn quite round at the same Time, the the first Woman takes her Partner by both his Hands and brings him to his Place, and Sett and cast off

The only difficulty I see in interpetting this dance is that there are 32 bars of music, but Playford's movements only account for about 28. I have dealt with this be having the final cast loop below the 3s (or in this case well below the 2s) and come back up.

The next issue is that the 3s do absolutely nothing, so the modern world would prefer this to be a duple minor, and nothing really needs to change for that to happen. (Though it might be nice to have the half figure 8s be up rather than down so they stay in the same minor set.)

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.


George's Maggot #2 ~ Triple

George's Maggot #2 ~ Triple is an English Country Dance. It was published by Playford (John Young) (website) in 1710 in The Dancing Master, Vol. the Second. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Playford has two dances named "George's Maggot" (or "Magott"), they have different tunes and different choreographies. The first first appeared in 1701, and the second in 1710.

Playford writes:

Note: The first Strain is to be play'd twice, and the last but once.

The first Couple lead between the second Couple and turn, Improper, then Figure thro' the third Couple The second Couple do the same The first Man slips within the second Couple, and takes the second Woman, and leads her thro' the third Couple, and cast up, the first Woman and second Man take Hands and turn quite round at the same Time, the the first Woman takes her Partner by both his Hands and brings him to his Place, and Sett and cast off

The only difficulty I see in interpetting this dance is that there are 32 bars of music, but Playford's movements only account for about 28. I have dealt with this be having the final cast loop below the 3s and come back up.

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 Gloucester - Chivers

The Gloucester - Chivers is an English Country Dance. It was devised by G.M.S. Chivers in 1821 and published in The Dancer's Guide. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a Four Face Four dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Chivers writes:
Advance and retire in two lines — all set to partnes — chain figure of eight, to places, and turn partners the two lines lead round and exchange places (four parts or thirty-two bars).

Most of this is fairly self-explanatory, but I'm not sure what he means by "the two lines lead round and exchange places". The obvious thing is for each line across to join hands and loop clockwise around the set. More problematic, it puts people facing the wrong way, and in the wrong place (men in women's places, and vice versa) so I've added a two hand turn half to fix that.

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.


Grant's Reel ~ Williams

Grant's Reel ~ Williams is an English Country Dance. It was devised by David Rutherford in 1756 and published in Rutherford's compleat Collection of 200 of the most celebrated Country Dances both Old and New, Vol. 1. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 24 bars.

Rutherford writes:

The first Man sets to the 2d. Wo. & turn her His Partner does the same with the 2d. Man Cross over 2 Cu. Lead up to the Top foot it & cast off · Back to Back with your Partner Right Hand and Left Quite round with the 2d. Couple ··

The instructions as printed by Rutherford do not work, they end with the 1s improper.

To avoid this I have changed the cast off at the end of B1 to a cross and cast.

The threes are idle. And the "cross 2 couple, lead to top" seems too much to fit in four bars. The dance cries out to be a duple minor (as is done in the Scottish interpretation).

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.


Green Grow the Rushes O?

Green Grow the Rushes O? is an English Country Dance. It was devised by Thomas Wilson in 1809 and published in The Treasures of Terpsichore, 1st edition. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Wilson writes:

Cast off two couple, up again , hey of your own sides , down the middle, up again, foot to the top couple , and swing corners .

According to Wilson's An Analysis of Country Dancing", 1808, (page 33) "Swing Corners" means "the 1s right turn, then they left turn 1s corners, then right turn, then left turn 2nd corners, and return to progressed places". Basically, "Contra Corners".

Oddly, Wilson does not define "hey of your own sides" (though he does describe "Hey Contrary Sides"). I think it's pretty safe to assume it is a standard mirror hey.

Wilson does not provide music for this dance, however in A Companion to the Ball Room, 1816, page 67 he has a different figure to this name and provides music for that.

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.


Green Grow the Rushes O? ~ Duple

Green Grow the Rushes O? ~ Duple is an English Country Dance. It was devised by Thomas Wilson in 1809 and published in The Treasures of Terpsichore, 1st edition. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. Originally a Triple Minor this version is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Wilson writes:

Cast off two couple, up again , hey of your own sides , down the middle, up again, foot to the top couple , and swing corners .

According to Wilson's An Analysis of Country Dancing", 1808, (page 33) "Swing Corners" means "the 1s right turn, then they left turn 1s corners, then right turn, then left turn 2nd corners, and return to progressed places". Basically, "Contra Corners".

Oddly, Wilson does not define "hey of your own sides" (though he does describe "Hey Contrary Sides"). I think it's pretty safe to assume it is a standard mirror hey.

Wilson does not provide music for this dance, however in A Companion to the Ball Room, 1816, page 67 he has a different figure to this name and provides music for that.

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 Hamiltonian

Lady Amelia Murray's Choice

The Hamiltonian or Lady Amelia Murray's Choice is an American Country Dance. It was devised by Hezekiah Cantelo in 1785 and published in Twenty Four American Country Dances danced by the British during their Winter Quarters at Philadelphia, New York, & Charles Town. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 48 bars.

Cantelo writes:

First Lady foots it with the 2d. Gen: and turns · 1st. Gen: Ditto with the 2d. Lady Gallop down two Couple, up again, and cast off · foot it and go the Allemande round to the right foot it and turn four hands the round to the right with the 3d. couple · Right and Left with the first couple

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 Hamiltonian ~ Duple

Lady Amelia Murray's Choice ~ Duple

The Hamiltonian ~ Duple or Lady Amelia Murray's Choice ~ Duple is an American Country Dance. It was devised by Hezekiah Cantelo in 1785 and published in Twenty Four American Country Dances danced by the British during their Winter Quarters at Philadelphia, New York, & Charles Town. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. Originally a Triple Minor this version is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 48 bars.

Cantelo writes:

First Lady foots it with the 2d. Gen: and turns · 1st. Gen: Ditto with the 2d. Lady Gallop down two Couple, up again, and cast off · foot it and go the Allemande round to the right foot it and turn four hands the round to the right with the 3d. couple · Right and Left with the first couple

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.


Hamstead Heath #2

Hamstead Heath #2 is an English Country Dance. It was published by Playford (John Young) (website) in 1726 in The Dancing Master, The Third Volume, 2nd ed.. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a Quadruple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 48 bars.

Playford writes:

Note: Each Strain is be play'd twice over.

The first Cu. lead down to the 4th Cu. the first Man turn the 4th Wo. and the first Wo. turn the 4th Man with her Right-hand and her Partner with her Left Then turn the 3d Cu. and your Partners as before; then the 2d Cu. and your Partner Then cross over every Cu. below the 4th. and take your Partner by both Hands, and draw quite round every Cu. 'till you come to the Top Change Places with the 2d Cu. and cast off, Right and Left quite round, and turn your Partner

Scott Pfitzinger's interpretation is very different from mine.

This dance is very quick, there's a lot of distance to cover in a short amount of time. Just a warning.

The first Cu. lead down to the 4th Cu. the first Man turn the 4th Wo. and the first Wo. turn the 4th Man with her Right-hand and her Partner with her Left Somehow the 1s must cross if M1 is to get to W4 and W1 to M4. Playford doesn't mention this, but presumably it's either at the top, before the lead, or at the bottom, after it. I arbetrarily picked the top.

Playford doesn't tell us which hand the 1st man should use. If he's just lead down then turning by the left makes sense, giving us mirror turns, but then the left hand turn partner doesn't work well. So I have M1 doing a u turn after the lead to face up, and then giving his right hand to W4.

Then we do the same thing with the other two couples, except that after turning the 2s the 1s only need to do a half turn to get proper.

Then cross over every Cu. below the 4th. and take your Partner by both Hands, and draw quite round every Cu. 'till you come to the Top. These instructions are probably directed to the 1s, and "cross over every Cu." means that the 1s should do lots of crosses between the couples, rather than all the couples should cross over.

The second half seems clearer and directed unambiguously at the 1s.

Change Places with the 2d Cu. and cast off, Right and Left quite round, and turn your Partner. Usually Playford uses "cast off" to mean "cast down". It is possible that the 1s should chnage on the sides with the 2s, and then cast down with the 3s. That gives us a double progression dance, which seems unlikely for Playford. Well... the rights and lefts might be three times around, and if done with the 3s would return us to a single progression.

Or, more likely, the 1s change with the 2s, and then cast back to the top, and then do three (slow) changes of rights and lefts in 8 bars of music. It seems odd for the first 2/3rds of the dance to be so fast and this last bit so slow...

Or... the rights and lefts could be five changes and if done facing neighbor instead of partner would again get progression right. I like the logic of it, but it fits the music even worse.

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.


Hamstead Heath #2 ~ 4 Couple

Hamstead Heath #2 ~ 4 Couple is an English Country Dance. It was published by Playford (John Young) (website) in 1726 in The Dancing Master, The Third Volume, 2nd ed.. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. Originally a Quadruple Minor this version is a proper 4 Couple Longways dance. In this dance the couples are permuted by: 4123. The minor set lasts 48 bars.

Playford writes:

Note: Each Strain is be play'd twice over.

The first Cu. lead down to the 4th Cu. the first Man turn the 4th Wo. and the first Wo. turn the 4th Man with her Right-hand and her Partner with her Left Then turn the 3d Cu. and your Partners as before; then the 2d Cu. and your Partner Then cross over every Cu. below the 4th. and take your Partner by both Hands, and draw quite round every Cu. 'till you come to the Top Change Places with the 2d Cu. and cast off, Right and Left quite round, and turn your Partner

Scott Pfitzinger's interpretation is very different from mine.

This dance is very quick, there's a lot of distance to cover in a short amount of time. Just a warning.

The first Cu. lead down to the 4th Cu. the first Man turn the 4th Wo. and the first Wo. turn the 4th Man with her Right-hand and her Partner with her Left Somehow the 1s must cross if M1 is to get to W4 and W1 to M4. Playford doesn't mention this, but presumably it's either at the top, before the lead, or at the bottom, after it. I arbetrarily picked the top.

Playford doesn't tell us which hand the 1st man should use. If he's just lead down then turning by the left makes sense, giving us mirror turns, but then the left hand turn partner doesn't work well. So I have M1 doing a u turn after the lead to face up, and then giving his right hand to W4.

Then we do the same thing with the other two couples, except that after turning the 2s the 1s only need to do a half turn to get proper.

Then cross over every Cu. below the 4th. and take your Partner by both Hands, and draw quite round every Cu. 'till you come to the Top. These instructions are probably directed to the 1s, and "cross over every Cu." means that the 1s should do lots of crosses between the couples, rather than all the couples should cross over.

The second half seems clearer and directed unambiguously at the 1s.

Change Places with the 2d Cu. and cast off, Right and Left quite round, and turn your Partner. Usually Playford uses "cast off" to mean "cast down". It is possible that the 1s should chnage on the sides with the 2s, and then cast down with the 3s. That gives us a double progression dance, which seems unlikely for Playford. Well... the rights and lefts might be three times around, and if done with the 3s would return us to a single progression.

Or, more likely, the 1s change with the 2s, and then cast back to the top, and then do three (slow) changes of rights and lefts in 8 bars of music. It seems odd for the first 2/3rds of the dance to be so fast and this last bit so slow...

Or... the rights and lefts could be five changes and if done facing neighbor instead of partner would again get progression right. I like the logic of it, but it fits the music even worse.


But who wants to do a single progression quadruple minor anyway, especially one where the 2s,3s, and 4s do almost nothing. Better to make it a four couple longways dance.

The 1s change with the 2s, then long cast down as the 3s move up, then do three changes of rights and lefts with the 4s.

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.


Hamstead Heath #2 ~ Quadruple Progression

Hamstead Heath #2 ~ Quadruple Progression is an English Country Dance. It was published by Playford (John Young) (website) in 1726 in The Dancing Master, The Third Volume, 2nd ed.. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a Quadruple Minor dance. It is a quadruple progression dance. Originally this was a single progression dance. The minor set lasts 48 bars.

Playford writes:

Note: Each Strain is be play'd twice over.

The first Cu. lead down to the 4th Cu. the first Man turn the 4th Wo. and the first Wo. turn the 4th Man with her Right-hand and her Partner with her Left Then turn the 3d Cu. and your Partners as before; then the 2d Cu. and your Partner Then cross over every Cu. below the 4th. and take your Partner by both Hands, and draw quite round every Cu. 'till you come to the Top Change Places with the 2d Cu. and cast off, Right and Left quite round, and turn your Partner

Scott Pfitzinger's interpretation is very different from mine.

This dance is very quick, there's a lot of distance to cover in a short amount of time. Just a warning.

The first Cu. lead down to the 4th Cu. the first Man turn the 4th Wo. and the first Wo. turn the 4th Man with her Right-hand and her Partner with her Left Somehow the 1s must cross if M1 is to get to W4 and W1 to M4. Playford doesn't mention this, but presumably it's either at the top, before the lead, or at the bottom, after it. I arbetrarily picked the top.

Playford doesn't tell us which hand the 1st man should use. If he's just lead down then turning by the left makes sense, giving us mirror turns, but then the left hand turn partner doesn't work well. So I have M1 doing a u turn after the lead to face up, and then giving his right hand to W4.

Then we do the same thing with the other two couples, except that after turning the 2s the 1s only need to do a half turn to get proper.

Then cross over every Cu. below the 4th. and take your Partner by both Hands, and draw quite round every Cu. 'till you come to the Top. These instructions are probably directed to the 1s, and "cross over every Cu." means that the 1s should do lots of crosses between the couples, rather than all the couples should cross over.

The second half seems clearer and directed unambiguously at the 1s.

Change Places with the 2d Cu. and cast off, Right and Left quite round, and turn your Partner. Usually Playford uses "cast off" to mean "cast down". It is possible that the 1s should chnage on the sides with the 2s, and then cast down with the 3s. That gives us a double progression dance, which seems unlikely for Playford. Well... the rights and lefts might be three times around, and if done with the 3s would return us to a single progression.

Or, more likely, the 1s change with the 2s, and then cast back to the top, and then do three (slow) changes of rights and lefts in 8 bars of music. It seems odd for the first 2/3rds of the dance to be so fast and this last bit so slow...

Or... the rights and lefts could be five changes and if done facing neighbor instead of partner would again get progression right. I like the logic of it, but it fits the music even worse.


But who wants to do a single progression quadruple minor anyway, especially one where the 2s,3s, and 4s do almost nothing. Better to make it quadruple progression, and with this dance it is quite easy, indeed some of the timing problems vanish.

The 1s change with the 2s, then cast down as the 3s move up, then do three changes of rights and lefts with the 4s, and one more change with the 2s below.

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.


Haste to the Wedding ~ Chivers

Haste to the Wedding ~ Chivers is an English Country Dance. It was devised by G.M.S. Chivers in 1821 and published in The Dancer's Guide. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 16 bars.

When I learned to Contra Dance, and later when I learned English Country Dancing, the whole set would begin dancing at once. But that's not how Playford expected people to dance. In his day only the top two couples of a duple minor set (three for a triple minor, of course) would start. After they had danced once the top couple would go down to the next couple(s) below and dance with them. No one started until the top couple reached them.

When the original top couple reached the bottom they would start up the set as 2s. When they reached the top they would stop. But the dance would not. Now the top couple would wait, and the dance would end when each couple had reached its original place. (if there are n couples then this takes 3*n-3 repetitions of the dance in a duple minor, and 4*n-4 in a triple minor (because the 3s do not progress)).

In part this was because the top couple would choose the dance, and would teach it to each couple below by dancing it with them. They did not have walk-throughs beforehand to teach the dance.

There is still a vestige of this style of dancing in Scottish Country's 2 couple dance in a 4 couple set, where only the top two couples dance the first time through.

See Colin Hume's interpretation of Jamaica for a description of how progression worked.

In Playford's day the top couple would have started the dance with the next couple, then they would have progressed to the next, and so on all the way down the set as ones and all the way back up as twos. They would then started the second figure (while other people were still doing the first figure), and again gone all the way down and back, when they would have waited until all the other couples were back to their original places.

I have simplified things here and have no "second figure" (though the full version of this dance does have one) so once they reach the top, they simply wait until everyone else has reached their original places. The progression is rather like a progressive hey or progressive progression.

Unfortunately, Playford never says this specifically, he just assumed everyone knew, however if you read his directions they make more sense if they are directed only to the top two (or three) couples rather than the entire set. Here's an example that I was working on last week so it is fresh in my mind, but there are others: "The first Cu. turns single, then lead down thro' the 2d Cu. and cast up again · The 2d Cu. do the same : Then the three first Cu. go the Hey · The first Cu. cast off and turn Hands ··" from "Masquerade Royal", John Young (Playford's son in law), 1718: Now, why say "the three first Cu." when you mean "all the couples" unless those first three were the only ones dancing at the start?

Another bit of circumstantial evidence: "Pride and Prejudice", Chapter 18, Mr. Darcy + Elizabeth at the Netherfield Ball: "When the dancing recommenced, however, ... They stood for some time without speaking a word" The dancing has started, but they are standing and not dancing. Even if you are out at the bottom you are out for less than a minute (well in almost all dances Fandango might take a bit more), not long enough for standing without talking to be uncomfortable. I suggest they are waiting for the dance to work its way down the set until it gets to them.

The first indisputable evidence I can give comes from "The Dancer's Guide", London, Chivers, 1821: In his description of an improper duple minor (Ecossoises, page 45), he has a diagram of the initial layout of the dance and only the top couple is improper, all the others are proper. This only works if the top foursome is the only one active at the start. He says: "Any number of persons can join, observing that the first couple exchange places (each couple doing the same as they regain the top), and when they get to the bottom, they take their own sides"

In 1857, Thomas Hillgrove in The scholars' companion and ball-room vade mecum (New York) is still specifying this form of progression: This is performed in the same manner as the Country Dance, the ladies and gentlemen being placed in lines opposite to each other. The couple at the top begin the figure.

However, in The Complete Ball-Room Hand-Book, Elias Howe, Boston, 1858 says In forming for Contra Dances, let there be space enough between the ladies' and gentlemen's lines to pass down and up the centre. It is usual for those at the foot of the set to wait until the first couple has passed down, and they have arrived at the head of the set; but there is no good reason why they should so wait, as every fourth couple should commence with the first couple. In other words he is saying that traditional dancers would only begin with the top couple, but there is no reason why the whole line couldn't start at once.

This may reflect a difference in behavior between New York and Boston, (Hillgrove distinguishes between Country Dances and Contra Dances, while Howe says they are two names for the same thing), or just a difference between traditional and innovative behavior.

Finally we get to Cecil Sharp and his description of a minor-set dance in The Country Dance Book, Part 1 (1909):

The top minor-set, headed by the leading couple, opens the dance by performing the complete figure, the rest of the couples being neutral. This results in the exchange of positions between the leading and second couple.

The second round is now danced by the minor-set composed of the second and third couples, of which the second one is the leading couple. The rest of the dancers, including the top one, remain neutral. This brings the leading couple down to third place from the top of the General Set.

In the third round two minor-sets will now participate, namely those consisting, respectively, of the two couples at the top (the second and third of the original set), and of the the third and fourth couples (originally the first and fourth).

However, at the end of the section Sharp adds the comment:

Expert dancers will sometimes constitute themselves into minor-sets for the performance of the first round, and thus avoid the gradual and somewhat tedious opening as above described; that is to say, they will omit the first six rounds in our first illustration and begin with the seventh round.

As far as I can tell, later parts of the The Country Dance Book omit this entirely. So perhaps Sharp changed his mind. And that may mark where this style of starting a dance was lost.


This dance is not particularly interesting in itself. It's major advantage is that it is a 16 bar triple minor so going though all the many iterations of the progression takes as little time as possible. Also because Sharp recorded two different variants of a dance with this name a century later and I wondered what the original might have looked like.

Chivers writes:

Set and change sides — back again — cross over two couple, and lead up one

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.


Have at thy Coat, Old Woman

Have at thy Coat, Old Woman is an English Country Dance. It was published by John Playford (website) in 1651 in The English Dancing Master. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. It is a USA dance. The minor set lasts 24 bars. It is in the key: G Major.

Playford writes:
Lead up forward and back, set and turn S That again First cu. lead a D. forward and back to the 2. cross, and turn each the 2. then turn your own in the 2. place ·: Do this Change to the last, the rest following and doing the like.
Sides all, set and turn S. That again First cu. cross over, and go each behind the 2. and peep three times, then then turn your own in the 2. place ·: Do this Change to the last, the rest following and doing the like.
Arms all, set and turn S. That again First cu. cross over and go between the 2. then cross over again like the Figure of 8, falling into the 2. place ·: Do this to the last, the rest following and doing the like.

I am confused by Playford's music here. He says it is in 6/4 time, but everyone else says cut time. Each strain is 4 bars, and Playford gives 8 bars to do "arm right, set and turn single, arm left, set and turn single". I just don't believe it. I think it is more likely the standard sequence takes 16 bars as it always does, and Playford simply didn't notice that the A strain was only 4 bars.

I have organized this dance differently than Playford did. The dance consists of the standard three introductions (up a double, siding, and arming) each followed by set and turn single, and then a progressive sequence. In Playford's day the introduction would be done and then the progressive sequence would run until everyone was back where s/he started, then the next introduction and the next sequence. I treat the introduction and subsequent progressive figure as a unit, and I cycle through the three parts instead of letting each part run to completion.

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.


Hunt the Squirrel ~ Duple

Hunt the Squirrel ~ Duple is an English Country Dance. It was published by Playford (John Young) (website) in 1709 in The Dancing Master, 14th ed.. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2020. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 64 bars.

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

The animation plays at 113 counts per minute normally, but the first time through the set the dance is slowed down so people can learn the moves more readily (no music plays during this slow set). 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.


Jack Pudding ~ Lovelace

The Merry Andrew ~ Lovelace

Jack Pudding ~ Lovelace or The Merry Andrew ~ Lovelace is an English Country Dance. It was found in the Lovelace Manuscript (written somewhere around the 1640s) and later published in The English Dancing Master. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a Custom dance. In this dance the couples are permuted by: 312. It is a USA dance. The minor set lasts 72 bars.

Lovelace has a little diagram of how the couples should stand: (1s top left, 2s top right, 3s below and between) and describes the dance as:

In this posture here at the side you shall leade up, and falle backe twice, and the two lowest(?) shall leade the dance, then the lowermost couple shall quitt hands, and goe up a pace to the top the woemen towards the right hand, and the men towards the left and each on his side shall goe round him, that stands uppermost, and come in betweene them and soe both into their places, and there turne round, then the 2 couple at the top shall joyne hands, and goe round, then backe againe into their places;

In the same posture, every man shall side with his woeman, twice, then the woemen standing still, all the men shall fall backe, and come into the midle, and the 3 hold hands all on high, then the woemen shall goe under their armes every woeman about his ----man, and soe all fall backe into their places, then the woemen doe fall backe, and coming into the midle, and the men goe under them as before;

Armes all every one with his mate standing yett in this posture, like before, then the couple that leade shall goe up to the top apace, and the man shall leade his woeman towards his left hand, higher, then that couple that stands towards the left, and then leade her in betweene them both, and then all 4 joyne hands, and goe round once and that couple being left goe, they shall goe into the place, of the couple, that leade the dance, and then doe the like to the other couple; and put them in the place which is on the left hand, and your selfs on the right, and then the other couple doe the like for his part; doing the very same thing putting himself on the right hand, and the couple that leade the dance on the left, and the other couple at the bottome, and then that couple doe the like, soe that att last they shall come all in theire places in doing after this manner;

Playford has his normal diagram for a 3 couple longways set , but that is probably an error on Playford's part. He describes the dance:

First and 2. cu. lead up a D. and fall back, whilest the 3. cu lead up to the top between the other, first and 2. cu. lead up again and back whilst the 3. lead down. Third cu. lead up between the other, and casting off, go on the outside under their arms, cross over and under their arms, and fall to the bottom as at first, then the first four hands and round, and sit whilst the third do as much.

Sides all That again Men round and hold up their hands, we. under their arms and turn their own, we. go round, and each man turn his own.

Arms all That again The 3. cu. lead under the 1. cu. arms and come face to the we. hands you four and round, the 1. cu. fall into the 2(3?). place, the 3. cu. lead under the 2. cu. arms, and hands round, the 3. cu. fall into the 2. and the 2. into the first place

Colin Hume was unaware of the Lovelace Manuscript when he did his interpretation in 1998, so he has dancers start in a standard 3 couple longways formation. I want to see what happens when paying attention to both Playford and Lovelace. Lovelace is even harder (for me) to understand than Playford so I figure I'd better look at Playford too.

The A part of Part 1 is fairly obvious, there is no need to drop hands with people starting in this triangle formation.

Lovelace says "...then the lowermost couple shall quitt hands and goe up a pace to the top, the woemen towards the right hand, and the men towards the left and each on his side shall goe round him, that stands uppermost", this is clearly the same as Playford's "Third cu. lead up between the other, and casting off", but it poses a problem: The "up a double" figure left the 1s+2s in a line across the set, but Lovelace expects one on each side to be uppermost. So while the 3s lead up, the 1s+2s must turn to be parallel to the normal sidelines. Since they are going to be circling soon then need to face in, so that suggests that M1 should move forward and W1 back up while M2 backs up and W2 moves forwards (ending in becket formation).

Playford has the 1s+2s make arches for the 3s. Lovelace doesn't mention this but why not? Playford has the 3s cross and go under both sets of arches, leaving the 3s improper. Lovelace has the 3s go under one arch and fall back to places.

Playford has the top couples circle followed by the bottom couple two hand turning, while Lovelace seems to want these actions to happen simultaneously. It looks as though Lovelace provides movement for 1 B, while Playford gives movement enough for 2. Let's look at the rest of the dance to see what happens in the other parts.

One more thing though, Playford says the top couples "sit" after circling (which presumably means stand still), while Lovelace says that every sub-part should start "In the same posture", or in the same triangular formation. So somehow the top couples must get out of their becket formation after the circle and back into a line across.


The siding is fairly standard.

Playford has the men circling. Lovelace has them fall back and come forward. I presume they fall back a double and come forward the same, so it comes to the same number of bars. Playford says "we. under their arms and turn their own" while Lovelace: "then the woemen shall goe under their armes every woeman about his man, and soe all fall backe into their places". Perhaps Playford's "turn" simply means "turn around their own" rather than a two hand turn.

Then the Women do the same.

So that looks like enough for 2 Bs. I'm going to assume that means the first part also has 2 Bs, and follow Playford's description of it more closely than Lovelace's


The arming is fairly standard.

Playford says the 3s go under the 1s arms, but Lovelace has the 3s lead up between the 1s+2s and then veer left to face the 1s. Everyone agrees that they circle four.

Now Playford says that the 1s fall back into the 2 place (which is currently occupied, so they can't) while Lovelace says the fall back into the place of those that led the dance (the 3s). Colin Hume in his interpretation says that in the English Dancing Master the number might well be a badly printed 3 which subsequent editions misread. Anyway I shall assume that the 1s go to where the 3s started.

Then the 3s go over to the 2s and circle with them, the 3s staying there and the 2s moving to where the 1s were.

And so progression has happened and the dance starts anew.


I know that other people have made interpretations based on Lovelace, I simply haven't found them, so I present my own.

The tune was published by Playford with the dance.

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 (no music plays during this slow set). 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.


Jackey Tarr ~ Duple

Jackey Tarr ~ Duple is an English Country Dance. It was devised by Thomas Wilson in 1816 and published in A Companion to the Ballroom. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021 and published in Colin Hume's Website. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Wilson writes:
DOUBLE FIGURE (Each strain repeated)
Hey contrary side Hey on your own side The top Cu: cast off at the same time the 3d. Cu: set & lead up then the top Cu: set & lead up 3d. Cu: cast off to places lead down the middle up again & allemande

When I looked at this I thought it could be a duple, using Gary Roodman's interwoven heys. I'm not sure it there is time for a set before the lead up (in B1), if not that may be omitted. (I write this during COVID and have not had a chance to test the dance). Based on Colin Hume's website, though he does not take credit for it.

The tune was published with the dance.

The animation plays at 97 counts per minute normally, but the first time through the set the dance is slowed down so people can learn the moves more readily (no music plays during this slow set). 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.


Lady George Murray's Reel

Lady George Murray's Reel is an American Country Dance. It was devised by Hezekiah Cantelo in 1785 and published in Twenty Four American Country Dances danced by the British during their Winter Quarters at Philadelphia, New York, & Charles Town. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Cantelo writes:

Hands across the round to the left · Ditto to the Right Gallop down two Couple and foot it · up again & cast off set cross corners and turn · Ditto Hey on opposite sides · and turn to place or lead outsides and turn proper

I'm a little perplexed at the timing on this dance. The music is in 4 bar strains (rather than the usual 8), but the figures for the B music: Gallop down two Couple and foot it · up again & cast off each took 8 bars in The Monckton. So I'm going to assume that the gallop down is actually only 1 couple, not 2, and the foot it is only 2 bars, not 4.

Similarly I shall assume that the hey on opposite sides actually takes six bars and cuts across the D music, rather than the 4 bars the instructions give it.

I think set cross corners and turn means that the 1s should end on opposite sides after the corners set and turn. This means they don't need to cross over for the hey (whose timing is already tight).

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.


Lady George Murray's Reel ~ 3 Couple

Lady George Murray's Reel ~ 3 Couple is an American Country Dance. It was devised by Hezekiah Cantelo in 1785 and published in Twenty Four American Country Dances danced by the British during their Winter Quarters at Philadelphia, New York, & Charles Town. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. Originally a Triple Minor this version is a proper 3 Couple Longways dance. In this dance the couples are permuted by: 312. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Cantelo writes:

Hands across the round to the left · Ditto to the Right Gallop down two Couple and foot it · up again & cast off set cross corners and turn · Ditto Hey on opposite sides · and turn to place or lead outsides and turn proper

I'm a little perplexed at the timing on this dance. The music is in 4 bar strains (rather than the usual 8), but the figures for the B music: Gallop down two Couple and foot it · up again & cast off each took 8 bars in The Monckton. So I'm going to assume that the gallop down is actually only 1 couple, not 2, and the foot it is only 2 bars, not 4.

Similarly I shall assume that the hey on opposite sides actually takes six bars and cuts across the D music, rather than the 4 bars the instructions give it.

I think set cross corners and turn means that the 1s should end on opposite sides after the corners set and turn. This means they don't need to cross over for the hey (whose timing is already tight).

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.


Lady Jean Murray's Dance

La Buona Figuiliola

Lady Jean Murray's Dance or La Buona Figuiliola is an American Country Dance. It was devised by Hezekiah Cantelo in 1785 and published in Twenty Four American Country Dances danced by the British during their Winter Quarters at Philadelphia, New York, & Charles Town. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 64 bars.

Cantelo writes:

First Cu: foot it with the 2d. Lady & turn — Ditto with the 2d. Gent. — Gallop down two Couple and foot it — Go up one Cu: Allemande & turn round to the right — foot it 6 in hand — go the compleat round to the right — foot it to your partner and turn with the right hand half round — Ditto and turn with the left —

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.


Lady Lye near Me

Lady Lye near Me is an English Country Dance. It was published by John Playford (website) in 1651 in The English Dancing Master. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. It is a USA dance. The minor set lasts 24 bars. It is in the key: F Major.

Spelled variously: "Lady lye near me" and "Lady lye neare mee".

Playford writes:
Lead up forwards and back That again Set and turn S. That again

First two on each side hands and go back, meet again Go each behind the 2 and turn your own in the 2. place; Do thus to the last, &c.

Sides all, that again Set and turn S. That again

First man and 2. wo. meet and take right hands The other as much Go have round, change places with your own in the co. place Thus to the last

Arms all That again Set and turn S. That again

First cu. meet, turn back to back Go from each other, faces again Meet again, take both hands, slip between the 2. cu. and fall back; Do this to the last, the rest following

I have organized this dance differently than Playford did. The dance consists of the standard three introductions (up a double, siding, and arming) each followed by set and turn single, and then a progressive sequence. In Playford's day the introduction would be done once and then the progressive sequence would run until everyone was back where s/he started, then the next introduction and the next sequence. I treat the introduction and subsequent progressive figure as a unit, and I cycle through the three parts instead of letting each part run to completion.

The tune is a little odd, it is AAB for the introductory figures, and AA (or one B) for the progressive figures (Scott Pfitzinger says AB for the progressive figure, but there is usually only 8 bars of movement in those figures, not 12, Playford also implies a both an A and B here, but there just isn't enough movement to fill it up).

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 Lassie in the Yellow Coatie

The Lassie in the Yellow Coatie is an English Country Dance. It was devised by David Rutherford in 1756 and published in Rutherford's compleat Collection of 200 of the most celebrated Country Dances both Old and New, Vol. 1. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Rutherford writes:
The first Couple casts of two Couple cast up again Cross over & half figure right hand and Left quite round with the second Couple foot it Corners and turn foot it the other Corners and turn Lead through the Mens side and turn your Partner Lead through the Womens side and turn it out

Rutherford's description seems clear, the only qualms I have are that he is trying to pack too much movement into too little time. Each strain is only 4 bars, and doing a cross, cast down, half figure eight all in four bars sounds a little tight to me.

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.


Linnen Hall

Linnen Hall is an English Country Dance. It was published by Thompson in 1779. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 40 bars.

Thompson writes:

Right hands across Left hands back again lead down two Cu up again and cast off turn your Partner with your right hand the same with your Left hand Lead thro' the bottom come up one Cu lead thro' the top & cast off lead outsides

I am confused by the music. The music printed with the dance is a 32 bar AABB jig. But the dance instructions seem to call for AABBCC.

I am not sure how to interpret the final instruction: "lead outsides". Given that it is followed by both I assume it is supposed to take 16 bars (twice through the unprinted C music). Wilson prints a description of "lead outsides" in An Analysis of Country Dancing on page 51. I'm not sure I fully understands what he describes, but I don't see how it can be stretched out to 16 bars. So I'm going to assume the unprinted C section of the music is only 4 bars.

Even so there seems an excessive amount of music. So rather than use what I think Wilson describes, I shall use the description for "Lead out at sides" found in American Country Dances of the Revolutionary Era by Keller & Sweet, 1976, published by CDSS.

The 3s do nothing and the 2s very little. Modern dancers would probably prefer a three couple version.

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.


Linnen Hall ~ 3 Couple

Linnen Hall ~ 3 Couple is an English Country Dance. It was published by Thompson in 1779. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper 3 Couple Longways dance. In this dance the couples are permuted by: 231. The minor set lasts 40 bars.

Thompson writes:

Right hands across Left hands back again lead down two Cu up again and cast off turn your Partner with your right hand the same with your Left hand Lead thro' the bottom come up one Cu lead thro' the top & cast off lead outsides

I am confused by the music. The music printed with the dance is a 32 bar AABB jig. But the dance instructions seem to call for AABBCC.

I am not sure how to interpret the final instruction: "lead outsides". Given that it is followed by both I assume it is supposed to take 16 bars (twice through the unprinted C music). Wilson prints a description of "lead outsides" in An Analysis of Country Dancing on page 51. I'm not sure I fully understands what he describes, but I don't see how it can be stretched out to 16 bars. So I'm going to assume the unprinted C section of the music is only 4 bars.

Even so there seems an excessive amount of music. So rather than use what I think Wilson describes, I shall use the description for "Lead out at sides" found in American Country Dances of the Revolutionary Era by Keller & Sweet, 1976, published by CDSS.

The 3s do nothing and the 2s very little. Modern dancers would probably prefer a three couple version.

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 Machine without Horses ~ Rutherford

The Machine without Horses ~ Rutherford is an English Country Dance. It was devised by John Rutherford in 1772 and published in Twelve Selected Country Dances for the Year 1772. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Rutherford writes:
The 1st. Cu. cast off one Cu. right hands across with the 3d. Cu cast up and left hands across with the 2d. Cu. lead down between the 3d. Cu. the 2d. Cu. follows cast up into your own places cross over one Cu. right & left

Everything except B2 is pretty clear: cross over one Cu. right & left, everyone starts B2 in their proper places, when the 1s cross and go below they become improper, to become proper again they must face their neighbors and do three changes of R+L. But this means the 2s must also be improper after the cross go below, and Rutherford doesn't suggest any way for them to get there. So I have inserted a two hand turn half. Putting in a cross after the lead up would work as well.

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 Maid in the Mill

The Maid in the Mill is an English Country Dance. It was published by Henry Playford (website) in 1698 in The Dancing Master, 10th ed.. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 16 bars.

Playford writes:
The 1. cu. cast off below the 2. cu. lead up all four hands a Breast; then all four hands half round, then right and left with your Partners till the 1. cu. come into the 2. cu. place.

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.


Mall Peatly ~ Williams

Moll Peatly

Moll Peatley

Mall Peatly ~ Williams or Moll Peatly is an English Country Dance. It was found in the Lovelace Manuscript (written somewhere around the 1640s) and later published in The Dancing Master, 4th ed.. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper 4 Couple Longways dance. In this dance the couples are permuted by: 4123. The minor set lasts 74 bars.

Playford writes:
Lead up all a D. forward and back That again First man set to the first wo. then to the second, and Hey with the two last we. and stay in the last place, the last man at the same time setting to the two last we. Hey with the two first, and stay in first place This back to your places

Sides all That again This as before, the first and last we. doing it as the men did before

Arms all That again The first man and wo. do this as before, and stay in the last place Or do this back again, cast off and meet below

Lovelace writes:

You must first lead up twice, and then the first man, and last man set to theire owne woemen, and then to theire next; (as with the first man to the 2 woemen; and the last man to the 3rd woeman,) and then the first man dances the Heyes with the 2 lowest woemen, and the lowest man with the 2 uppermost woemen; and then the first man shall be last, and the last first, and then (by?) setting againe, and dancing the Hay, theye shall come both backe againe in their owne places:

And then all sides twice; and then the first, and last woeman doing as the men did aforesayd, that after having set to 1 and 3 at both ends, then dance that hay above, and below, at both ends as afforesayd, and then back again, like as the men have d(xxx) before, them, (like as the last men have before xxx), did dance the hey with the 2 up xxx irst woemmen, set the last woemen or foremost man xx (shall?) xxxxxxxxxxxxx the latter:

All doe arme, or halfe turne, and then the man doe like as he did att first, and soe on as you please:

The first two parts are the same as Sharp's interpretation. In the third part I try to follow Playford more closely, making that part progressive. Note that Lovelace's third part is not progressive, it is simply a copy of the first.

This dance is unusual for Playford, he actually gives options. I'm following the first one.

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.


Margravine's Waltz

Margravine's Waltz is an English Country Dance. It was published by Preston in 1799 in Twenty four Country Dances for the Year 1799. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 24 bars.

Preston says:

Turn your Partner with the Right hand quite round turn back with your Left hand lead down two Cus & foot it lead back again to the 2d Cus place Hands 6 half round Hands 6 back again

The music gives three 8 bar strains, A, B, and C. The description above shows a 48 bar (AABBCC) dance. But 8 bars to do a hand turn? That seems very slow, especially in a waltz. Bare Necessities performs this for Drapers' Gardens and plays 32 bars (AABC), but even that seems too long. I see figures which account for 24 bars (and even that will be slow as this is a waltz).

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

The animation plays at 115 counts per minute normally, but the first time through the set the dance is slowed down so people can learn the moves more readily (no music plays during this slow set). 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.


Masquerade Royal ~ 3 Couple, Williams

Temple Barr ~ Williams

Masquerade Royal ~ 3 Couple, Williams or Temple Barr ~ Williams is an English Country Dance. It was published by Playford (John Young) (website) in 1718 in The Dancing Master, Vol. the Second, 3rd ed.. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. Originally a Triple Minor this version is a proper 3 Couple Longways dance. In this dance the couples are permuted by: 231. The minor set lasts 30 bars.

Playford writes:

Note: The first Strain twice, and the last but once.

First four Hands half found and Foot it, then the other half round and Foot it, then lead to the Wall and back again, then all four turn fingle, then lead up and back again, then the first Couple slippig down into the second Couples Place, turn Hands round.

Or thus: The first Cu. turns single, then lead down thro' the 2d Cu. and cast up again The 2d Cu. do the same Then the three first Cu. go the Hey The first Cu. cast off and turn Hands

Playford rarely gives choices but he (well, John Young) does here - providing both a duple and triple minor choreography. Bolton and the Kennedies ignored the triple minor, so I throught I'd present it.

Published in 1718 as Masquerade Royal, the plate was duplicated in 1726 under the name Temple Barr.

In the A section Young provides 6 bars of movement to fill 8 bars of music.

Now setting and turning single will eat up 2 bars of music but leave the dancer in the same place. Setting would break up the flow of the dance, in my opinion, and Young already has a turn single in the movements

Or instead of inserting an extra figure, could we make the lead and cast take longer? Suppose the 1s led down through the 3s rather than turning after the 2s. Of course when the 2s do the mirror pattern they are leading up through the 3s in another minor set, so that's unlikely to be something Young would suggest.

Throwing in something like "partner two hand turn half" could be done but seems far too great a change to make.

So the least worst option, it seems to me is to make the 1s lead through the 3s.

Now in a 3 couple dance having the 2s zoom out of the set seems a bad idea, why not make the 3s active instead? And if the 3s have finished A2 by moving it makes sense for them to start the mirror hey, not the 1s. Which means they should do the cast...

(I had not found Andrew Shaw's interpretation when I originally made this. I see he felt the best option was adding a turn single.)

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.


Masquerade Royal ~ Triple, Williams

Temple Barr ~ Williams

Masquerade Royal ~ Triple, Williams or Temple Barr ~ Williams is an English Country Dance. It was published by Playford (John Young) (website) in 1718 in The Dancing Master, Vol. the Second, 3rd ed.. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 30 bars.

Playford writes:

Note: The first Strain twice, and the last but once.

First four Hands half found and Foot it, then the other half round and Foot it, then lead to the Wall and back again, then all four turn fingle, then lead up and back again, then the first Couple slippig down into the second Couples Place, turn Hands round.

Or thus: The first Cu. turns single, then lead down thro' the 2d Cu. and cast up again The 2d Cu. do the same Then the three first Cu. go the Hey The first Cu. cast off and turn Hands

Playford rarely gives choices but he (well, John Young) does here - providing both a duple and triple minor choreography. Bolton and the Kennedies ignored the triple minor, so I throught I'd present it.

Published in 1718 as Masquerade Royal, the plate was duplicated in 1726 under the name Temple Barr.

In the A section Young provides 6 bars of movement to fill 8 bars of music.

Now setting and turning single will eat up 2 bars of music but leave the dancer in the same place. Setting would break up the flow of the dance, in my opinion, and Young already has a turn single in the movements

Or instead of inserting an extra figure, could we make the lead and cast take longer? Suppose the 1s led down through the 3s rather than turning after the 2s. Of course when the 2s do the mirror pattern they are leading up through the 3s in another minor set, so that's unlikely to be something Young would suggest.

Throwing in something like "partner two hand turn half" could be done but seems far too great a change to make.

So the least worst option, it seems to me is to make the 1s lead through the 3s.

(I had not found Andrew Shaw's interpretation when I originally made this. I see he felt the best option was adding a turn single.)

After that, since the 2s are in motion at the end of A2 it seems a morris hey is more appropriate than a grimstock hey.

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.


Maxwill's Rant

Maxwell's Rant ~ ECD

Maxwill's Rant or Maxwell's Rant ~ ECD is an English Country Dance. It was devised by David Rutherford in 1756 and published in Rutherford's compleat Collection of 200 of the most celebrated Country Dances both Old and New, Vol. 1. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Rutherford writes:

Hey Contrary sides Hey on your own sides Cross over and half figure Lead through the 3d. and Cast up into the 2d. Couple's place and turn it out

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.


Maxwill's Rant ~ Duple

Maxwill's Rant ~ Duple is an English Country Dance. It was devised by David Rutherford in 1756 and published in Rutherford's compleat Collection of 200 of the most celebrated Country Dances both Old and New, Vol. 1. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. Originally a Triple Minor this version is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Rutherford writes:

Hey Contrary sides Hey on your own sides Cross over and half figure Lead through the 3d. and Cast up into the 2d. Couple's place and turn it out

Aside from the heys the 2s&3s do very little. Making it a duple minor means they spend half as much time doing little. The only problem is that mirror heys seem to require at least three couples in the minor set, but Gary Roodman's interwoven heys provide a solution to that.

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 Milk-maid's Bob

The Milke-Mayds Bobb

The Milk-maid's Bob or The Milke-Mayds Bobb is an English Country Dance. It was published by John Playford (website) in 1651 in The English Dancing Master. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. It is a USA dance. The minor set lasts 48 bars.

Spelled variously: "The Milke-Mayds Bobb", "The Milk Maids Bob", "The Milk-Maid's Bob" and "The Milk-maid's Bob".

Playford writes:
Lead up all a D. forwards and back That again First four the S. Hey, while the last four do the like

Sides all, that again First cu. slip between the 2. while the 3. do the like with the last, change places with your own That again

Arms all That again First man change places with the 2. wo. taking by the right hand, change places with the 2. man, the 3. man doing the like, then the other four as much That again

In the first part First four the S. Hey, what is meant by "S. Hey"? Playford's index of abbreviations says that "S." means "Single" but that doesn't seem meaningful in this context. In other places S. Hey is usually converted into a straight hey. Scott Pfitzinger suggests that it means a "circular hey", but I think Playford would call that "rights and lefts" instead, as far as I know Sharp invented the term "circular hey" to describe "rights and lefts", I don't think Playford would consider that a hey. So I think it probably means a linear hey for four people.

Now who starts it and how is it oriented? Playford provides no help.

I'm going to suggest that the hey be on the second corner diagonal and that 1st corners start it by passing left shoulders. Merely because I like the idea.

The second part is pretty straight forward.

The third part is progressive, but it's not well described. The first corners change, then M1+M2 change. Then the other four as much. OK, I'd expect that to be W1+M2 change on the 2nd diagonal. But M2 isn't on the that diagonal, M1 is. We can't change W1+M1, then the progression fails. So I guess W1+M2 change on the side? Then we'd expect W1 to change with M1, except their already proper while the 2s are improper. So here's what I think:

It would be cleaner to say:

But that's not what Playford said.

Playford says this dance is Longways for eight, but this progression isn't a good progression for 4 couples. If you do it again you get hack where you started. For 4 couples you want a progression that takes 4 interations to get back where you started.

On the other hand the dance looks like a duple minor dance, and the progression is a duple minor progression. Playford, never uses the term "duple minor", that was another of Sharp's inventions, and it is different from duple minors of Playford's day in that both minorsets start at once, while Playford would only have the top minorset active.

I'm going to treat this as a duple minor dance for four couples. Nothing in Playford's description contradicts that.

Another approach might be to alter the progression so that it works as a standard 4 couple progression...

Which works... but the last instruction looks too confusing to me.

I'm not sure what the word bob means in the title. Perhaps it is related to the "bob" in changeringing where the permutation is altered slightly to ring all the changes.

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.


Millison's Jigg ~ Williams

Millison's Jigg ~ Williams is an English Country Dance. It was published by John Playford (website) in 1651 in The English Dancing Master. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper 3 Couple Longways dance. In this dance the couples are permuted by: 312. It is a USA dance. The minor set lasts 72 bars. It is in the key: D Major.

Playford writes:
Lead up all a D. forwards and back That again First man take his wo. by both hands and four slips up, and stand, the 2. as much, the 3. as much, turn all S Third Cu. four slips down, the 2. as much, first as much turn all single

Sides all That again First Cu. change places, the 2. as much, 3. as much, turn S. Third Cu. change places, the 2. as much, first as much turn all single

Arms all That again First man change places with the 2. wo. first wo. change with 2. the last change with his own, turn S. First man change with the last wo. first wo. change with the last man, tother change turn single

The tune was published with the dance.

The animation plays at 113 counts per minute normally, but the first time through the set the dance is slowed down so people can learn the moves more readily (no music plays during this slow set). 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 Monckton

British white Feathers

The Monckton or British white Feathers is an American Country Dance. It was devised by Hezekiah Cantelo in 1785 and published in Twenty Four American Country Dances danced by the British during their Winter Quarters at Philadelphia, New York, & Charles Town. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 48 bars.

Cantelo writes:

First Lady foots it with the 2d. Gen: and turns him to the Right · 1st. Gen: Ditto with the 2d. Lady Gallop down two Couple and foot it · Gallop up and cast off Four hands the round with the 3d. Couple · Right and Left at the top

The only difficulty in interpretation is in C1 which consists of a circle four that is supposed to take 8 bars. I presume this means a circle left followed by a circle right.

Monckton is a city in the Maritime Provinces. Or a place in Yorkshire.

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 Monckton ~ Duple

British white Feathers ~ Duple

The Monckton ~ Duple or British white Feathers ~ Duple is an American Country Dance. It was devised by Hezekiah Cantelo in 1785 and published in Twenty Four American Country Dances danced by the British during their Winter Quarters at Philadelphia, New York, & Charles Town. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. Originally a Triple Minor this version is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 48 bars.

Cantelo writes:

First Lady foots it with the 2d. Gen: and turns him to the Right · 1st. Gen: Ditto with the 2d. Lady Gallop down two Couple and foot it · Gallop up and cast off Four hands the round with the 3d. Couple · Right and Left at the top

The only difficulty in interpretation is in C1 which consists of a circle four that is supposed to take 8 bars. I presume this means a circle left followed by a circle right.

Monckton is a city in the Maritime Provinces. Or a place in Yorkshire.

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.


Mountain Hornpipe

Mountain Hornpipe is an American Country Dance. It was published by Elias Howe in 1862 in American Dancing Master. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Howe uses the word "swing" in A1, but when he says "swing" in other places he means turn. If he doesn't specify right or left he means two hand. I think.

Howe writes:

1st and 2d couples balance, swing partners, both couples down the centre, back, 1st couple cast off, cross right hands with 2d couple, left hands back, right and left with 3d couple.

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.


Mrs. Lt. Colonel Johnson's Reel

Mrs. Lt. Colonel Johnson's Reel is an American Country Dance. It was devised by Hezekiah Cantelo in 1785 and published in Twenty Four American Country Dances danced by the British during their Winter Quarters at Philadelphia, New York, & Charles Town. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Cantelo writes:

Right hands across to the Right round · Left hands Do. to the Left Gallop down two Couple and foot it · up again and Cast off set opposite corners and turn · Do. Foot it and turn half round with right hand · Do. & with the left hand or Hey opposite sides & turn to place.

The music comes in four bar chunks, and I don't think there is time to Gallop down two Couple and foot it in 4 bars so I'm changing it to a gallop down one couple.

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.


Nonesuch ~ Williams

À la Mode de France ~ Williams

Nonesuch ~ Williams or À la Mode de France ~ Williams is an English Country Dance. It was published by John Playford (website) in 1651 in The English Dancing Master. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper 4 Couple Longways dance. It is a multipart dance. The minor set lasts 224 bars. It is in the key: D Major.

Playford writes (for Nonesuch):

Lead up forwards and back That again, set and turn single, that again First Cu. slip just between the 2. Cu. turn your faces to them, put them back by both hands, and halfe turn them, put them back, and set them as they were, turn your own in the 1. place Do thus to the last.
Sides all that again, set and turn S. that again First man slip before, and stand with his face downwards, the Wo. slip before him and stand faces to your own, the 2. Cu. as much, the third Cu. as much, the last Cu. as much
Arms all as you stand, that again, slip all to the left hand, and back to your places, then as much to the right hand First man slip to the left hand and stand, the wo. as much to her left hand, the 2. Cu. as much third as much, fourth as much Then the single Hey all handing down, and come up on your own side.

Playford writes (for À la Mode de France):

Lead up all a D. and back, this again Set and turn S. This again
First Cu. meet, take both hands and fall in between the 2. cu. each of you turn your faces toward them and put them back, you meet the two men and we all four back and turn your we. So to All.
Sides all to the right and left and turn S. This again Then fall all into one File, each wo. behind her own man thus, . Then arms all with your own by the right and left and remain in the same Figure, then men fall off to the right hand and we. to the left, fall back into the same Figure, then men to the left and we. to the right, and back again into the same Figure, then the 1. man fall into his 1. place, and his wo. the like, so the rest one after another; then the 1. man take his wo. by the hand, his left hand to the 2. wo. the right to the 3. wo. and so forward, his wo doing the like on the other side until you all meet again in your places.

I am perplexed that everyone seems to follow Sharp's rather odd interpretation of the siding. Playford clearly says: Sides all that again, set and turn S. that again, a fairly conventional siding on both sides followed by two set and turn singles, in parallel to the "up a double" section earlier. Yet Sharp has everyone crossing the set and doing a turn single, the crossing back with another turn single. I'm going to take Playford at his word here.

In A la mode de France Playford lumps the set-up for the arming, the arming, and all the stuff that comes after the arming into one figure. Again I will take him at his word, as it makes the music come out right.

I have also let the progressive figure run until everyone is back where they started.

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.


An Old Man, a Bed Full of Bones

The Old Man with a Bed Full of Bones

An Old Man is a Bed Full of Bones

An Old Man, a Bed Full of Bones or The Old Man with a Bed Full of Bones is an English Country Dance. It was found in the Lovelace Manuscript (written somewhere around the 1640s) and later published in The English Dancing Master. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper 3 Couple Longways dance. There is no progression in this dance. It is a USA dance. The dance lasts 144 bars.

Playford says this is for "as many as will, but I think 3 couples probably best, it's very dull for the middle couples who just stand with the top and bottom couples show off.

Hmm. It might work even better with only 2 couples.

Lovelace writes:

Leade up once, & sett once, then that agayne, then the first man shall take his woeman by both hands and shall leade her down side long, allmost to ye bottome, very quickly, and then half way up agayne, and then leade her downe agayne; and turne her quite round, and leave her there, and then take up that woeman, in her steade, that was last before, after the same manner, that he carryed down the other; and then the last man shall bring up that woeman, and fetch downe his owne, just after the same manner, as it was done before, and doe you are all in your places;

Sides all 2, and sett twice, then the last man shall begin, and leade up his woeman to the top, and fetch downe the other as before was done, and then the first man shall carry her downe agayne, and fetch up his owne, all after the same manor just as it was done before;

Doe the first part over agayne, after halfe tune, just like as is described before, only at this, if you please, you may turne her arme over her head, and salute her, if you like your mate, when you turne her above, and below;

Playford writes:

Lead up all a D. forward and back , set and turn S. That again First man lead down his wo. between the rest a D. forward and back, then lead her to the lower end and turn her and leave her Bring up the last wo. in the same manner Then the last man do the like to fetch his own.

Sides all, set and turn S. That again This as before, only crossing both hands in the middle

Arms all, set and turn S. That again This as before, holding your wo. by one hand, and let her turn under your arm, and kiss her

There are a number of differences between Playford and Lovelace, and I'm going to pick an choose as suits my fancy.

In the introductory figures, Playford consistently says "set and turn single" while Lovelace says "set once" after "up a double" and "set twice" after "sides all". I'm not sure why "set once". It doesn't fit the timing. I prefer "set ans turn single" to "set twice" so I will follow Playford on that.

Lovelace says the third part should be the same as the first, but I presume he intends it to begin with arming rather than another round of "up a double". Anyway, I'm going to use arming for the third part.

Playford wants the 1s to lead down a double, come back, and lead to bottom. While Lovelace wants the 1s to lead to bottom, lead up and then back down. It's a small difference, but Lovelace is freer with the timing which I think works better.

Playford says the second figure is just like the first except the dancers cross both hands (promenade position?) in the middle. Lovelace, on the other hand, says the figure begins with the last man rather than the first (and doesn't mention crossed hands). I like having the last man start.

Both agree that the third figure is the same as the first except that instead of a two hand turn, the woman turns under the arm and then Playford says "kiss" and Lovelace "salute". (Sharp interprets both kiss and salute as "honour", but he was a bit of a prude).

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


Paddy Whack ~ Rutherford/Williams

Paddy Whack ~ Rutherford/Williams is an English Country Dance. It was devised by David Rutherford in about 1760 and published in Rutherford's compleat Collection of 200 of the most celebrated Country Dances both Old and New, Vol. 3. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Rutherford writes:

Turn your Partner with your Right Hand & cast off 1 Cu. turn with your Left hand & lead thro' the top and cast off Hands six round Right and Left at top

There is a slightly different version of this in Thompson's Annual of 1772, and that appears to be what Pat Shaw based his interpretation on.

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.


Paston's Maggot ~ Williams

Paston's Maggot ~ Williams is an English Country Dance. It was published by Playford (John Young) (website) in 1710 in The Dancing Master, Vol. the Second. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Playford writes:

Note: Each Strain is to be play'd twice over.

The first and 2d Cu. take Hands a-cross, and go half round, then the first Cu. Right and Left with the 3d Cu Then first Cu. cross up above the 3d Cu. they change Places at the same Time, then Right and Left with the 2d Cu The first and 2d Men clap Hands with their Partners; then clap Sides and turn Then the first Cu. Figure thro' the 2d Cu. and turn down the middle into the 2d Cu's Place

I think Bentley missed some of the dance's symmetry, and offer this as an alternative.

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.


Peace and Plenty ~ Playford

Old Oxford

Peace and Plenty ~ Playford or Old Oxford is an English Country Dance. It was published by Playford (John Young) (website) in 1718 in The Dancing Master, Vol. the Second, 3rd ed.. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. Originally a Triple Minor this version is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Playford writes:

Note: Each Strain is to be play'd twice over.

The first Cu. cast off behind the 2d Cu. and Jump, then cast off into the 2d Cu. Place, and Jump, then lead thro' the 3d Cu. and cast up into the 2d Cu. Place Then first and 2d Cu. lead to the Wall and back again, then the 2d Cu. lead thro' the first Cu. and cast up into the first Cu. Place Then the first Cu. being in the 2d Cu. Place, the first Man change Places with the 2d Wo. and the 2d Man with the first Wo. then turn Hands half round Then Right and Left all round, then all four turn single

In the original, the third couple only acted as posts while the 1s led through and cast around them. So I've made it a duple minor.

The tune, also called Peace and Plenty published in Playford's Dancing Master Vol. 2 of 1728. It was performed by Bare Necessities (Earl Gaddis, Mary Lea, Peter Barnes, and Jacqueline Schwab) on the album Fast Friends. A copy of the album was given to me by Mr. Roodman and is used with his permission.

The animation plays at 111 counts per minute normally, but the first time through the set the dance is slowed down so people can learn the moves more readily (no music plays during this slow set). 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.


Pop Goes The Weasel ~ Porter

Pop Goes The Weasel ~ Porter is an English Country Dance. It was devised by Jas. W. Porter in 1853 and published in Pop Goes The Weasel, monograph. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2020. Originally a 5 Couple Longways this version is a proper Longways as many as will dance. In this dance the couples are permuted by: 51234. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

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.


Portland Fancy ~ Howe

Portland Fancy ~ Howe is an American Country Dance. It was published by Elias Howe in 1862 in American Dancing Master. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a Four Face Four dance. It is a double progression dance. The minor set lasts 48 bars.

Howe writes

Join hands and swing eight — head couple (gentleman opposite lady) down the middle, foot couple up the outside (at the same time), back to places — head couple down the outside, and foot couple up the middle — back to places — ladies chain at the head, right and left at foot, right and left at head and ladies chain at foot — all forward, forward and cross by opposite couples to face the next four.

In this context the "head couple" is defined to be the leftmost gentleman with his back to the band and his opposite (who is not his partner) in each minor set. While the foot couple is the leftmost gentleman facine the band and the woman opposite him. Similarly "heads" means the foursome stage left, and "feet" the foursome stage right.

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.


Pretty Nun ~ Williams

Pretty Nun ~ Williams is an English Country Dance. It was published by Playford (John Young) (website) in 1726 in The Dancing Master, The Third Volume, 2nd ed.. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 20 bars.

Playford writes:

Note: The each Strain is to be play'd twice over.

The first Couple take both Hands, the second do the same and go round into each others Place The same back again Then the first Man change Places with the second Woman, then the second Man with the first Woman, and all four turn Single Then Hands across and turn quite round, then the first Couple turn Proper

I think Playford is describing a poussette in the A part. (the Kennedies disagree on this).

The only other difficulty in interpreting the original is then the first Couple turn Proper at the end. Both couples are improper at this point, so both couples must turn proper, not just the 1s. (the Kennedies agree with me on this).

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 Princess 1721

The Princess 1721 is an English Country Dance. It was published by Playford (John Young) (website) in 1721 in The Dancing Master, Vol. the first, 17th ed.. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2020. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars. It is in the key: G minor.

There are two dances called The Princess in Playford (with the same music though). One is found from 1701 to 1716 and the other from 1721 to 1728. The version from 1701 is more commonly danced now-a-days, but this is the other one.

The beginning of B1, where the 1s cross and circle the 2s is very quick. If the dancers need extra time they could omit the following set.

Playford writes
The first Couple lead through the second Couple, then cast up and cast off Then the second Couple do the same Then the first Couple cross over quite round the second Couple into their own Places, and sett and cast off Then Right-hands and Left quite round, and turn your Partner.

The tune, also called The Princess, appeared in Playford with the dance. It was performed by Bare Necessities (Earl Gaddis, Mary Lea, Peter Barnes, and Jacqueline Schwab) on the album By Choice. The music is used with permission from the Country Dance Society, Boston Centre, Inc.

The animation plays at 113 counts per minute normally, but the first time through the set the dance is slowed down so people can learn the moves more readily (no music plays during this slow set). 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.


Sicilian

Sicilian is an English Country Dance. It was devised by G.M.S. Chivers in 1821 and published in A Pocket Companion to the French and English Country Dancing. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Chivers writes:
Chain figure of 6 .. promenade 3 couple .. cross over two couple, lead up one .. whole figure top and bottom .. (4 parts)

The Regency Dance site says this book dates from 1818, Google books claims 1821.

Cou

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 Siege of Belgrade

The Siege of Belgrade is an English Country Dance. It was published by Thompson in 1792 in Thompson's Twenty Four Country Dances for the Year 1792. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Thompson writes:

Change sides and back again Right hands across and Left hands back again lead Down & up Cast off Right and Left

All of the sections look as if they take 8 bars of music - except the first. I would normally expect Change sides to mean "Change places with your partner" - but that only takes 2 bars. So what could be done instead?

A "hole-in-the-wall" change sometimes takes four bars. A "half figure eight" takes four, and while it does change sides, I've never heard it called simply that. "1s cross, go below" or "two changes of rights and lefts" will also change sides.

Probably the simplest way to do it is to add a "fall back with neighbor" before the "change sides".

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.


Siege of Buda

Siege of Buda is an English Country Dance. It was published by John Playford (website) in 1689 in A new Addition to the Dancing Master. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 24 bars.

Playford writes:

The 1. cu. back to back, and the 2. cu. at the same time do the like, then 1. and 2. man back to back, the we. doing the like at the same time.
The 1. and 2. man take hands, the we. doing the like, and change over, then fall back and cross over with their Partners, then all four take hands and go quite round, and the 1. cu. to their Partners, and so cast off.

I think this would work well with the 1s improper.

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 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.


Roger de Coverley

Roger de Coverley is an English Country Dance. It was devised by Thomas Wilson in 1809 and published in Treasures of Terpsichore, 1st edition. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Presumably this is an early version of Sir Roger de Coverley/Viginia Reel.

Wilson writes:
Cast off two couple and up again ··, down the middle, up again, right and left ··, and swing corners ··.

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.


Roger of Coverly

Roger of Coverly is an English Country Dance. It was published by Henry Playford (website) in 1695 in The Dancing Master, 9th ed.. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 16 bars.

Playford writes:
The 1. Man go below the 2. Wo. then round her, and so below the 2. Man, into his own Place; then 1. Wo. go below the 2. Man, then round him, and so below the 2. Wo. into her own Place The 1. cu. cross over below the 2. cu. and take Hands and turn round twice, then lead up thro' and cast off into 2. cu. Place.

Hmm. Playford wants the 1s to cross and go down to 2nd place and then two hand turn twice all in 4 bars? There just isn't time, not even in a slip-jig. Anyway the 1s need to become proper here. I think a two hand turn half is much more likely.

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.


Sir Roger de Coverley ~ Wilson

Sir Roger de Coverley ~ Wilson is an English Country Dance. It was devised by Thomas Wilson in 1808 and published in An Analysis of Country Dancing. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. Originally a 5 Couple Longways this version is a proper Longways as many as will dance. In this dance the couples are permuted by: 51234. The minor set lasts 64 bars.

Sometimes called the Finishing Dance as it was often the last dance of the evening (See Fezziwig's ball in Dicken's A Christmas Carol). This later evolved into The Virginia Reel

Like the Virginia Reel there are many variants. This one, is, as best as I can make it, the dance that Wilson described in 1820.

Like the Virginia Reel the dance is a longways set for a variable number of couples, usually between 4 and 8.

Wilson writes in 1820:

The top Lady at A and bottom Gentleman at B advance, meet at F, Courtesy and Bow to each other, and then retire to places at A D; then the Lady at C and top Gentleman at B do the same: the top Lady and bottom Gentleman advance to the same Situation and swing with right Hands; the top Gentleman and bottom Lady do the same: then the top Lady and bottom Gentleman swing with left Hands; the top Gentleman and bottom Lady do the same: the top Gentleman and bottom Lady meet and turn with both Hands; the top Gentleman and bottom Lady do the same: then the top Lady and bottom Gentleman meet and Allemande round each other; the top Gentleman and bottom Lady do the same.

The top Couple at A B, pass each other at E, and cross over every Couple till they come to the Bottome, the Lady moving in Direction C D, and the Gentleman in the Line little c and d.* (Should the set be very long, they may cross over every other Couple, missing a Couple ever time; in crossing, the Lady passes in front of the Gentleman, that is, always passing the Gentleman on her Right Hand.)

The top Couple, by crossing over, will now be at the Bottom; they Cross Hands and Promenade up the middle, in the Lines c d; all the Couples follow them, beginning from the Bottom: the Ladies all follow the Lady that commenced the Dance in Line G; and the Gentlemen follow her Partner in the Direction H, by which means they all regain their Situations, except the Couple that begun the Dance, who will now be at the Bottom of the Room.

N.B. This Dance may be performed by any Number of Persons.

In another publication (1809) Wilson describes a dance called "Roger de Coverley", and Playford published "Roger of Coverly" in 1695. Neither dance is much like this one.

(For a long time the first description of the dance that I could find was from 1820, and that is the source of the quote. Later I found the version from 1808. The figure is the same, though the words are slightly different.

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.


Softly Robin ~ Williams

Softly Robin ~ Williams is an English Country Dance. It was published by Playford (John Young) (website) in 1726 in The Dancing Master, The Third Volume, 2nd ed.. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021 and published in Country Dance Book, New Series. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 24 bars.

Playford writes:

Note: Each Strain twice.

The first Man turn his Partner half round, then making a little stop turn her into her own place The two Men and the two Women turn one another half round, making a little stop, and turn into your own places The first and 2d Man double Figure on the Womens side, and turn one another 'till in your own places; then the first Man cast off Then the Women double Figure on the Men's side, and turn 'till in your own places; then first Woman cast down.

The Kennedies have interpretted Men double Figure on the Women's side as having the men lead through the women and cast back. Now "Figure" in every other case I've seen means a "figure of eight" (sometimes half sometimes full), and I would assume in this context it means that both men half figure eight through the women. This means the turn is only half which is more appropriate for the 2 bars that are allotted to it.

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.


A Soldier's Life

A Soldier's Life is an English Country Dance. It was published by John Playford (website) in 1651 in The English Dancing Master. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is an improper duple minor longways dance. It is a multipart dance. The minor set lasts 216 bars. It is in the key: D Major.

Playford writes

Lead up all a D. forward and back, set and turn S. That again First man set to his own wo. then set to the 2. man, turn the 2. wo. ·: Set to the 2. wo. then to the 3. man, turn the 3. wo. Set to the 3. wo. then to the 4. man, turn the 4. wo. Do thus to the last, your wo. following you in the same manner. Every cu. do thus.
First man lead down his wo. a D. then give his right hand to the 2 wo. while his wo. does the like to the 2. man, turn them, and turn your own with your left hand; the same forward till you come to the bottom.
First man go about the 2. wo. while his wo. do the like to the 2. man; they meet, and go about one another and turn taking hands. The same again till they come to the bottom.

First I'm going to assume that the "up a double" sequence is introductory and not part of the following progressive part. After all, all the other progressive sequences are 8 bars.

After the "up a double" sequence, the first part confuses me, in several ways.

your wo. following you in the same mannor Are the men and women supposed to do the same thing at the same time, or does the man do it, and then the woman? I think it should be at the same time because the progression becomes simpler if that is so.

Note that when the top couple starts the instructions are different than they are on the subsequent times through the minor set. And the instructions for the second and subsequent times make more sense if the active couple is improper. So I'm guessing that somewhere in the first minor set the active couple becomes improper. If the active couple changes sides after setting to the 2s, and then turns them half-way then everything falls into place. The 1s are now improper, and we've got 8 bars of movement.

However that leaves subsequent iterations at only 6 bars of movement. So I have thrown in a set to partner after the set to the 2. wo.

In other words, this sequence demands an old-style progression, and, when a couple reaches the top it does one set of figures, and after that the other set. Then when it reaches the bottom it crosses over.


In the second progressive part how are the 1s supposed to give their contraries hands? Again everything would be a lot easier if they had crossed over (either before or after leading down, crossing before probably feels better), then the partner left hand turn will be only left hand half-way to get everyone proper again.

This sequence does not have special instructions for the top, so presumably the actives will end each minor set proper.


First man go about the 2. wo. while his wo. do the like to the 2. man That sounds remarkably like a half figure 8.

Then the 1s will two hand turn to proper, as they spiral down to 2nd place and the 2s will move up somehow. Might as well do a long cast.

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 Sword Dance, 1702

The Sword Dance, 1702 is an English Country Dance. It was published by Henry Playford (website) in 1702 in Twenty Four New Country Dances. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 16 bars.

Playford writes:

The 1. man casts off and the wo. slips down between the 2. cu. then slips in their own places Then your Partner casts off, and the 1. man meets her below and slips up as before Then clap hands and cast off Then half Figure and turn

John Young published another dance with this name in 1710, with a different figure and different music.

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.


A Trip to Aberdeen ~ ECD

A Trip to Aberdeen ~ ECD is an English Country Dance. It was devised by David Rutherford in 1759 and published in Rutherford's compleat Collection of 200 of the most celebrated Country Dances both Old and New, Vol. 2. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Rutherford writes:

First Man cast off and turn the 3d. Wo: First Woman cast off and turn the 3d. Man Hands round 6 that back again foot it corners and turn Lead out sides and turn

The big problem I have with interpreting this dance is what to make of the strain markers ( , , and . Given the variety of the markers I would expect the tune to have three strains, each to be played twice. But Rutherford prints a rather standard jig with an A and B strain both repeated. Is one of the strains to be repeated four times? AAAABB? but if so why not use , and for the third and fourth markers? I suppose AABBAA could be intended but that doesn't seem likely to me either.

AAABBB really doesn't match the markers.

The RSCDS interpretation suggests that first four marks should each represent half a strain, and in other dances Rutherford seems to take a relaxed approach to what the marks mean. And it does seem likely this is a normal 32 bar jig given how the music is printed.

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.


A Trip to Bengall

A Trip to Bengall is an English Country Dance. It was devised by Thomas Straight in 1784. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Straight writes:

The 1st. Man Sets to the second Wo: and turns her The 1st. Wo: Set to the second Man and turns The 1st. Cu: cross over and half Figure Foot and right hand and left

According to Charles Learthart in Kentish Hops, the term "foot it" meant "... it is thought to have consisted of jumping and kicking out one's right leg eighter sideways or to the front, another jump and kicking with the left leg." I interpret it as a simple set, but if you wish to try the other, go for it.

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.


A Trip to Pancridge

A Trip to Pancridge is an English Country Dance. It was published by Playford (John Young) (website) in 1726 in The Dancing Master, The Third Volume, 2nd ed.. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a Quadruple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 64 bars.

Playford writes:

Note: Each Strain is to be Play'd twice, and the Tune twice through.

The first Man Sett to the 2d Woman and turn Single, then turn her The first Woman do the same Then all Four Hands half round, and Right and Left half round Then cross over and half Figure at top, and turn
Then lead thro' the top and cast off Two Couple, then lead thro' the 4th Couple and cast up Two Couple and turn at top, then fall back sides, and all Four turn Single, then turn your Partner and Right and Left quite round into the 2d Couples Place.

Playford has the 1s doing the setting and turning single, but in a modern dance I think the 2s should join in...

The major difficulty I have in interpretting this is that it appears to have enough movement for only 58 bars of music, instead of the 64 it has. I have taken the liberty of inserting a neighbor two hand turn after the partner two hand turn, and the further liberty of turning the circle left half into a circle half, balance in and fall back. This makes the timing right.

Then there is the phrase "turn at top". From context this is directed to the 1s. But the 1s aren't at the top, they are in second place. Does Playford really mean the 2s? or does he just mean that the 1s should turn when they get to the top of their cast? Or does he want the 1s to cast up 3 couples rather than the 2 he calls for (and symmetry suggests). I'm going to assume he means the 1s should turn in second place. What kind of turn? they turn again in a few bars and it would be dull of all the turns were two hand turns.

then fall back sides, and all Four turn Single I assume that means, fall back, and come forward turning single. But Playford says "all Four". I think he just means the 1s+2s. I don't see why the 3s+4s can't join in.

then turn your Partner Does this refer to just the 1st couple? or just the top two? Usually directions are to the 1s, but the 2s have also been active in the previous phrase, so it might mean them two. I'm going to extend it even further to the 3s+4s.

For that matter, why shouldn't the 3s+4s do their own rights and lefts, or even do all of the first part of the dance... and that, basically turns the dance into a duple minor which seems a much better idea.


I'm not sure where Pancridge is. There's a Penkridge north of Birmingham that might be what is intended.

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.


A Trip to Pancridge ~ Duple

A Trip to Pancridge ~ Duple is an English Country Dance. It was published by Playford (John Young) (website) in 1726 in The Dancing Master, The Third Volume, 2nd ed.. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. Originally a Quadruple Minor this version is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 64 bars.

Playford writes:

Note: Each Strain is to be Play'd twice, and the Tune twice through.

The first Man Sett to the 2d Woman and turn Single, then turn her The first Woman do the same Then all Four Hands half round, and Right and Left half round Then cross over and half Figure at top, and turn
Then lead thro' the top and cast off Two Couple, then lead thro' the 4th Couple and cast up Two Couple and turn at top, then fall back sides, and all Four turn Single, then turn your Partner and Right and Left quite round into the 2d Couples Place.

Playford has the 1s doing the setting and turning single, but in a modern dance I think the 2s should join in...

The major difficulty I have in interpretting this is that it appears to have enough movement for only 58 bars of music, instead of the 64 it has. I have taken the liberty of inserting a neighbor two hand turn after the partner two hand turn, and the further liberty of turning the circle left half into a circle half, balance in and fall back. This makes the timing right.

Then there is the phrase "turn at top". From context this is directed to the 1s. But the 1s aren't at the top, they are in second place. Does Playford really mean the 2s? or does he just mean that the 1s should turn when they get to the top of their cast? Or does he want the 1s to cast up 3 couples rather than the 2 he calls for (and symmetry suggests). I'm going to assume he means the 1s should turn in second place. What kind of turn? they turn again in a few bars and it would be dull of all the turns were two hand turns.

then fall back sides, and all Four turn Single I assume that means, fall back, and come forward turning single. But Playford says "all Four". I think he just means the 1s+2s. I don't see why the 3s+4s can't join in.

then turn your Partner Does this refer to just the 1st couple? or just the top two? Usually directions are to the 1s, but the 2s have also been active in the previous phrase, so it might mean them two. I'm going to extend it even further to the 3s+4s.

For that matter, why shouldn't the 3s+4s do their own rights and lefts, or even do all of the first part of the dance... and that, basically turns the dance into a duple minor which seems a much better idea.


I'm not sure where Pancridge is. There's a Penkridge north of Birmingham that might be what is intended.

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 Triumph ~ Preston

The Triumph ~ Preston is an English Country Dance. It was published by Preston in 1793 in Preston's Twenty four Country Dances for the Year 1793. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 24 bars.

This is an early version of The Triumph but without the final triumphal arch.

Preston wrote in 1793:

The 1st. Lady set to the 2d. Gentn. & turn The 1st. Gentn. set to the 2d. Lady & turn The 1st. Lady take the 2d. Gentn. by the right hand & lead him down to the 3d. Cus. place · The 1st. Gentn. cast off & his Partr. all 3 lead up to the top together ·· the 1st. Cu lead down the middle up again & cast off ··

Graham Christian, in The Playford Assembly says there is an even earlier version in Thompson's annual of 1790 (called La Triomphe), but, as yet, I have not found a copy of that work.

I have changed this from a triple minor to a duple. The 3s did nothing.

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 Lady's Triumph ~ Walsh

The Lady's Triumph ~ Walsh is an English Country Dance. It was published by Walsh in 1740 in The Compleat Country Dancing-Master, Book 2, 4th ed. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 24 bars.

An early version of The Triumph.

I only have access to the 4th edition of Walsh's Compleat. This dance probably appeared earlier.

Walsh writes:

Each strain twice

The 1st Cu. set and cast off into the 2d. Cu. Place The same back again Then go thro the 2d and 3d Cu. and turn your Partner in the 2d Cu. Place Figure through the 2d Cu. and turn your Partner

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 Walton

The Walton is an American Country Dance. It was devised by Hezekiah Cantelo in 1785 and published in Twenty Four American Country Dances danced by the British during their Winter Quarters at Philadelphia, New York, & Charles Town. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Cantelo writes:

1st. and 2d. couple lead round each: lead down the middle, up again, and cast off, right and left with the top couple: Allemande right and left hand

I make no attempt to match the music to the instructions. The music shows an 8 bar A strain, an 8 bar B strain and a 16 bar C strain, all strains repeated. The instructions give a 32 bar dance.

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.


Well's Humour

Well's Humour is an English Country Dance. It was published by Henry Playford (website) in 1701 in The Dancing Master, 11th ed.. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 16 bars.

Playford writes:

The 1. cu. cross over behind the 2. cu. and lead through the 3. cu. then cross again into their Places above and turn single; then 1. Man change Places with the 2. Wo. and the 1. Wo. with the 2. Man, Hands half round, then Right and Left till you come into the 2. cu. Place.

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.


Well's Humour ~ Duple

Well's Humour ~ Duple is an English Country Dance. It was published by Henry Playford (website) in 1701 in The Dancing Master, 11th ed.. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 16 bars.

Playford writes:

The 1. cu. cross over behind the 2. cu. and lead through the 3. cu. then cross again into their Places above and turn single; then 1. Man change Places with the 2. Wo. and the 1. Wo. with the 2. Man, Hands half round, then Right and Left till you come into the 2. cu. Place.

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.


What You Please - Skillern

What You Please - Skillern is an English Country Dance. It was devised by T. Skillern in 1780 and published in Skillern's Twenty Four Country Dances for the Year 1780. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Skillern writes:
First and 2d. Cu Set change & Right hands across The same back again & Left hands across lead down the middle up again and cast off Hands 4 at bottom Right and Left at top

Skillern's instructions call for Rights and Lefts but only allow 4 bars for 4 changes - which usually take 8 bars. I have substituted a circular hey without hands as a faster way to do the same thing.

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.


What You Please - Skillern/Duple

What You Please - Skillern/Duple is an English Country Dance. It was devised by T. Skillern in 1780 and published in Skillern's Twenty Four Country Dances for the Year 1780. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Skillern writes:
First and 2d. Cu Set change & Right hands across The same back again & Left hands across lead down the middle up again and cast off Hands 4 at bottom Right and Left at top

Skillern's instructions call for Rights and Lefts but only allow 4 bars for 4 changes - which usually take 8 bars. I have substituted a circular hey without hands as a faster way to do the same thing.

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.


Ye Social Powers

Ye Social Powers is an English Country Dance. It was published by Thompson in 1778 in Twenty four Country Dances for the Year 1778. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 40 bars.

Thompson writes:

Cast off 2d Cu: & set, cast off 3d Cu: & set same up again cross over two Cu: lead up to the top, cast off and hands 4 round at bottom set contrary Corners Right and Left at top

The A music has 8 bars, and the B 16. However Bare Necessities (album At Home, dance "Once a Night", says this music is AABBC for 40 bars, so I'm going to assume there should be a repeat mark 8 bars into the B section, and the rest is a C section. Therefore there should also be a " " mark after "lead up to the top".

While the first part of the B section takes 16 bars, but the second part looks to take 10 bars which can probably be squeezed into 8.

I'm a little confused by "cross over two Cu: lead up to top", "cross over" usually means cross and go below, here it probably means go below two couples. The only difficulty is there is no way mentioned for the 1s to get back to proper.

They could cross again at the bottom of the set (and lead up proper), or lead up improper and have the man assist the woman into a cross-over cast.

Then there is "set contrary corners right and left at top". I'm going to insert a comma after "corners" and assume that the 1s set, and then do rights and lefts (rather than that they set right and then left.

But "set contrary corners" isn't something I'm familiar with. I assume it means set to the corner on the right, then to the corner on the left. But that's 4 bars of setting, leaving 4 bars for the rights and lefts. Which is rather fast for rights and lefts.

If, however, the 1s are still improper, then three changes of rights and lefts (starting with neighbor) would make them proper and could be done in 4 bars.

So they probably shouldn't do a cross over cast (at the start of B2) after all.

But now the 2s are improper at the end, so have them two hand turn half after they lead up in B2.

The tune was published 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 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 (no music plays during this slow set). 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 Young Widow ~ Fentum

The Young Widow ~ Fentum is an English Country Dance. It was devised by Fentum in 1803 and published in A Favorite Collection of Country Dances for the Year 1803. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Fentum writes:

Left and Hands 3 on the Ladys side, the same on the Gents, down the middle up again, right hand and left.

What does "Left and Hands 3 on the Ladys side" mean. Perhaps the 1st+2nd lady left hand turn followed by a circle three? Or more likely three hands across?

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.