The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162192   Message #3859541
Posted By: Will Fly
08-Jun-17 - 04:07 AM
Thread Name: tune names - may I vent?
Subject: RE: tune names - may I vent?
The variations in practice for different sorts of dances in different countries is fascinating.

Our 5-piece band (fiddle, mandolin/guitar, guitar/tenor guitar, bass & drums) uses either of two callers, depending on availability. So we have two dance lists - one for each caller - with dances which may or may not be on each list, i.e. there is some overlap. However, the same dance may have a different tune set, according to the arrangements we have with each of the callers! And we always have sets in reserve, for playing to a dance or for listening in between dances.

Our band plays mainly for private functions - weddings, birthday parties and PTAs and the occasional charity function. On the night, the caller will see who gets up to dance and assesses on the fly, as the evening goes on, the ability and enthusiasm of the dancers. In the main, the dancers are of mixed age and very varied ability, so the caller has to be able to get it right for the majority of the people. Many will never have danced at a ceilidh before - some (usually Scottish) will be more experienced and ask for a particular dance to be called. Dancing involving Strip The Willow is always a good one. The caller checks out the dancers and sets the agenda for the evening - always bearing in mind the wishes of the client.

So, the dance names might be titles like "Clopton Bridge", "Wringing Out The Washing" or "The Severn Bore" - and the tune sets to match them are ones we've agreed beforehand with the caller(s).

At our last gig (Saturday last) we played for the Anthony Nolan Bone Cancer charity and the dancers were predominantly in their 20s and 30s and fit as fleas, A very energetic evening!