Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands

Les in Chorlton 04 Mar 12 - 02:57 PM
GUEST 04 Mar 12 - 04:08 PM
Tootler 04 Mar 12 - 05:31 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 04 Mar 12 - 08:07 PM
Les in Chorlton 05 Mar 12 - 04:19 AM
GUEST 05 Mar 12 - 04:42 AM
Les in Chorlton 05 Mar 12 - 05:18 AM
Jack Campin 05 Mar 12 - 08:10 AM
Les in Chorlton 05 Mar 12 - 08:47 AM
Mo the caller 05 Mar 12 - 09:39 AM
Les in Chorlton 05 Mar 12 - 10:00 AM
GUEST 05 Mar 12 - 10:07 AM
Les in Chorlton 05 Mar 12 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,Pete Sumner 05 Mar 12 - 09:44 PM
Les in Chorlton 06 Mar 12 - 04:15 AM
Mitch the Bass 06 Mar 12 - 04:31 AM
Les in Chorlton 06 Mar 12 - 04:34 AM
GUEST,Pete Sumner 06 Mar 12 - 10:37 AM
Les in Chorlton 06 Mar 12 - 12:16 PM
GUEST 07 Mar 12 - 11:37 AM
Tootler 07 Mar 12 - 12:22 PM
Les in Chorlton 07 Mar 12 - 12:54 PM
GUEST,Brian Peters 08 Mar 12 - 06:19 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 08 Mar 12 - 06:21 AM
Tootler 08 Mar 12 - 11:40 AM
Les in Chorlton 08 Mar 12 - 12:01 PM
Tootler 08 Mar 12 - 02:26 PM
Rozza 08 Mar 12 - 06:23 PM
Jack Campin 08 Mar 12 - 06:34 PM
Les in Chorlton 09 Mar 12 - 03:21 AM
Les in Chorlton 10 Mar 12 - 02:44 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 10 Mar 12 - 06:07 AM
Les in Chorlton 10 Mar 12 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 10 Mar 12 - 09:28 AM
Mo the caller 10 Mar 12 - 09:59 AM
Desert Dancer 10 Mar 12 - 12:01 PM
Rozza 06 Apr 12 - 04:15 PM
GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler 06 Apr 12 - 05:45 PM
Les in Chorlton 07 Apr 12 - 04:03 AM
Jack Campin 07 Apr 12 - 08:27 AM
Les in Chorlton 07 Apr 12 - 09:27 AM
greg stephens 07 Apr 12 - 09:42 AM
Les in Chorlton 07 Apr 12 - 09:51 AM
Mo the caller 07 Apr 12 - 12:29 PM
Les in Chorlton 08 Apr 12 - 04:41 AM
Tootler 08 Apr 12 - 05:52 PM
Les in Chorlton 09 Apr 12 - 04:05 AM
Jack Campin 09 Apr 12 - 05:54 AM
Les in Chorlton 09 Apr 12 - 06:03 AM
Les in Chorlton 24 Sep 12 - 05:28 AM
Brakn 25 Sep 12 - 04:47 AM
Les in Chorlton 25 Sep 12 - 04:57 AM
Rozza 25 Sep 12 - 12:07 PM
Jack Campin 25 Sep 12 - 03:36 PM
Rozza 25 Sep 12 - 05:34 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 Mar 12 - 02:57 PM

As I understand it Sharp and other Victorian/Edwardian scholars collected loads of country dance tunes. Loads have been unearthed from old tune books going back to the 17 & 18C by The Village Music Project and similar.

Does much evidence exist as to the type of counntry dance bands, if that is the right name, that played these tunes?

L in C#


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Mar 12 - 04:08 PM

Thomas Hardy played for dances with his father and uncle end 19th beginning 20th century. His writings and history gives a fair picture of what happened in the Dorset/Somerset area during that period.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Tootler
Date: 04 Mar 12 - 05:31 PM

As anonymous Guest above says, Hardy is a good source.

He mentions strings - fiddle and cello, flute and clarinet with tambourine for percussion in Under the Greenwood tree I can't remember if he also mentions oboe, but oboe would be likely.

I once saw a picture of a band from 19th Century Lancashire somewhere - can't remember where now but the mix was pretty much as above plus a trumpet. Serpents were also used as bass instruments.

Squeeze boxes of various kinds would have appeared during the second half of the century. Dan Worrall on C.net has done a lot of work on the anglo concertina which was probably the first readily affordable box.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 04 Mar 12 - 08:07 PM

Les should have seen the Under the Greenwood Tree stuff; there's a long quote on a site he linked in his another thread of his (Tech: Photos of old dance bands): The Winders of Wyresdale under the heading The Village Band.


Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 04:19 AM

Thanks to all so far. The only thing about Hardy is he wrote fiction. That doesn't mean his descriptions of musicians and bands is untrue but I think it's right to remember that.

Thanks Mick the link is is exactly what I was looking for. I had found it some weeks ago when I started this search.

It might, in fact be a mistake to look for "19C English Country Dance Bands" because so many people had moved to industrial towns by then.

Does anybody know of research in the EFDSS Folk Music Jounal?

Cheers

L in C#


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 04:42 AM

The Mellstock Band are great 19C village band!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 05:18 AM

They are indeed a great band. Part of the reason for my enquiry is that people put together bands for country dancing based on various collections of instruments. Since some of the tunes we play go back to the 16C to the 19C I am curious to know what instruments were used during those times.

Best wishes

L in C#


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 08:10 AM

The Village Music Project has lots of manuscripts by working musicians of the period.

Most are for fiddle, some for flute. There are also manuscript piano (or melody/bass) scores of the period - not always clear whether they were for salon or danceband use.

Squeezeboxes didn't leave any paper trail that I know of.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 08:47 AM

Thanks Jack - one more step along the way?

Did Sharp and those others collect from actual musicians or from printed sources?

L in C#


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Mo the caller
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 09:39 AM

'The Whitchurch Hornpipe' Tunes from the Shropshire / Cheshire border.
Neil Brooks and Tony Weatherall recorded tunes found in local fiddlers manuscript books.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 10:00 AM

The impression I get, from all the tune collections that have recently been discovered, is that some individuals - often fiddlers created their own tune books containing the tunes they would play at dances or whatever.

What we don't seem to have is much information on the bands that played the tunes.

L in C#


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 10:07 AM

Many of the bands playing for country dancing were also church bands. One example, at Winterton in North Lincolnshire, consisted of flute, bass fiddle, bassoon and clarinet. The instruments are, as far as I know, still there. The rise of the church organ, as referred to in Hardy's "Under the Greenwood Tree" would have impacted on country dancing as well as church music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 10:11 AM

Thnaks Guest. I sort of assumed that church bands, town bands, dance bands, wedding bands even military bands were fluid - that musicians would play where ever they might be paid. And so the line up in a 'country dance band' might be equally fluid. Any evidence for this?

Another related question: When did 'country dance bands' start using amplification?

L in C#


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: GUEST,Pete Sumner
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 09:44 PM

As I happen to be in the UK at the moment I hope you don't mind me shedding a little light....as I stumbled over this thread during a 'wide awake jet lag moment' at 2am....aghhhhhhh.....
When I was doing the research for the Joshua Gibbons project I went to Winterton and saw the instruments in a glass case...this was back in 1997 I think....
Also in the case was an original tune book by Eliza Tennyson, the contents of which would have been published as part of an on-going series that I intended to produce. My departure for pastures new in California in 1998 scuppered those plans.
Liam Robinson should now be in possession of most, if not all of the material I collected and collated, and maybe he can be alerted regarding this thread to see if he can help delve into the questions raised.
Cheers
Pete


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 04:15 AM

Thanks Pete, that's fascinating. Sorry, where is Winterton and what did Eliza Tennyson do? Where is Liam Robinson at present?

Are you in the UK now and if so how long are you here for?

Best wishes

Les Jones


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Mitch the Bass
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 04:31 AM

"The impression I get, from all the tune collections that have recently been discovered, is that some individuals - often fiddlers created their own tune books containing the tunes they would play at dances or whatever.

What we don't seem to have is much information on the bands that played the tunes.

L in C# "

I've seen a number of tune books from this period which were from militia bands. Many towns and villages in England in the early 1800s had a militia (the French were coming).

Two particular books that I've transposed contain the notation for dances in the margin and the tunes are a mixture of dance tunes and miitary tunes. Some of the tunes are copied from publications of the same period, in fact a couple of "Country Dances for the year XXXX" were with the manuscrips along with a tutor book and some of these tunes appear in the manuscripts.

The tunes are transcribed for Clarinet (the tutor was for this instrument) but also mention fife and bugle. Perhaps Keyed bugle from the notes required of it.

Mitch


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 04:34 AM

Thanks a lot Mitch. Do you think the tune books were for the military band, a country dance band or possibly both?

Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: GUEST,Pete Sumner
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 10:37 AM

Hey Les
Winterton is in between Scunthorpe and Barton on Humber on the A1077...
Eliza Tennyson was Alfred Lord Tennyson's mother...don't know what else she did, but I think she played the flute, and probably said "Alfred, don't do that", a lot.
Don't know where Liam hangs these days but I know he is heavily into the Lincolnshire tradition and has a country dance band....great squeeze box player and all around good bloke...perhaps you can do the google thing and make contact.
I seem to remember a sort of bassoon in the case at Winterton church....but my brain cobwebs are getting in the way .

I head back to San Francisco in a week...but have a four day trip to Hamburg in the middle...sort of working vacation...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 12:16 PM

Thanks Peter

Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Mar 12 - 11:37 AM

Hiya all.....I'm in Lincoln and can point anybody interested in the direction of copies or originals of stuff in Lincolnshire and any other existing info....

you can get in touch with me at liam@minimorris.co.uk

All the best LIAM ROBINSON :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Tootler
Date: 07 Mar 12 - 12:22 PM

LiC wrote: The only thing about Hardy is he wrote fiction.

True, but the Hardy Family were also village band members so what he wrote about the make up of these bands in his fiction is likely to be accurate or at least within the range of actuality.

There was an interesting discussion in Under The Greenwood Tree about the virtues of strings and wind which came down in favour of strings (surprise, surprise, the Hardys were string players) because the keys on clarinets and flutes were liable to freeze up in the winter, rendering the instruments unplayable. I got the feeling that this discussion, fictional as it was, was based on real life experience.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 07 Mar 12 - 12:54 PM

True enough Ms/Mr Tootler sounds very convincing too.

I am just very warry because of the way people confuse fact / fiction / folklore / opinion on here.

I wanted to see what we could drag up about the peopel an the instruments that played in 19C Bands

Best wishes

L in C#


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 08 Mar 12 - 06:19 AM

Hi Les,
I suspect the photograph that Tootler mentioned might be that of the Winders of Wyresdale, Lancs. Lots of information about them here. If I remember rightly, the upper photo is of the Winder band in the early 20th century. I'm not sure about the lower band photo - on a brief perusal I can't find anything that identifies it, so maybe it's just a generic village band? Your session at the Beech would benefit greatly from the Winder collection - and it's fairly local, too!

The (as yet unpublished) Thomas Watts MS from the Peak District includes dance music, church music and one or two classical pieces. A few are captioned 'for the German flute' (which might suggest that the remainder were written out for a different instrument?), another few are in two- or three-part harmony, and one is the cello part for Handel's 'Judas Maccabeus'! A separate book of bass parts that corresponds to some of the Watts repertoire has also turned up. Like others on this thread, I believe that village dance / church bands were made up of whatever instruments people had to hand, and very likely included militia / ex-military musicians.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 08 Mar 12 - 06:21 AM

Sorry, I now realise that Mick pearce had already linked the Winders.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Tootler
Date: 08 Mar 12 - 11:40 AM

Yes, the photo I had seen was of the Winder Band. The two photos on the page linked by Mick Pearce and Brian Peters are interesting for the mix of instruments.

The lower photo is particularly interesting as it has what looks like archaic instruments for the period. The "trombone" in the back row looks more like a sackbut with its shallow flair to the bell and in the front row the man between the two seated fiddlers is holding what looks like a recorder - of particular interest to me as a recorder player. Although the recorder went out of use in the professional orchestra in the early eighteenth century, they continued to be made almost to the end of that century. The V & A has an example dating from about 1790 which I remember seeing on a visit a few years ago. It's probably no longer on display as a new curator decided the musical instrument gallery did not "fit" with what the V & A was about. That aside the two photographs display an interesting mix of instruments and very much reinforces the view that village musicians would play whatever instruments they could get hold of. Also instruments would be handed on through the generations.

btw, LinC, it's Mr Tootler.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 08 Mar 12 - 12:01 PM

Hi Ms/Mr Tootler

"and very much reinforces the view that village musicians would play whatever instruments they could get hold of."

I guess what a lot of us suspected. Which raises the question - what should we play today - in the spirit of that 'tradition'?

Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Tootler
Date: 08 Mar 12 - 02:26 PM

Hi Ms/Mr Tootler

Mr Tootler - elswhere TootlinGeoff (because someone else had already pinched Tootler)

I assume you did see what I added to the end of my last post and are just trying to wind me up!!!!!

My answer to the question is whatever you happen to play. I have at various times seen clarinet, alto sax and electronic keyboard in sessions. Alto sax is a little loud but otherwise why not. I play recorder and you periodically see posts in forums about recorder not being suitable for folk music because it's "not traditional". Well if that instrument I saw in the photograph on the Winder Page is a recorder then it gives the lie to that one. I'm sure others can list other "non-traditional" instruments.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Rozza
Date: 08 Mar 12 - 06:23 PM

Eliza Tennyson's Music Book is my current project for Village Music website. It's a fairly small MS, with 20 - 30 tunes, some that we would call "folk-tunes", some that we would label "Classical". She was born in Louth, her maiden name was Fytche. I'm currently trying to transcribe Rossini's overture to "Il Tancredi."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Mar 12 - 06:34 PM

The (as yet unpublished) Thomas Watts MS from the Peak District includes dance music, church music and one or two classical pieces. A few are captioned 'for the German flute' (which might suggest that the remainder were written out for a different instrument?)

In every source I've seen (and that means a lot) "for the German flute" means the tune has been transposed up a fifth from a version primarily intended for the fiddle, where it had a range that took it down onto the G string. Usually the result is that the flute version goes above where first position on the fiddle will take you; typically these flute arrangements go to D above the treble staff. Nobody would have played the flute and violin versions together, and usually the flute-specific version was intended for solo performance.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Mar 12 - 03:21 AM

Sorry Geoff, I was doing what I often complain about on here - I didn't read the other posts carefully enough.

I am all for everybody playing what ever they can lay hands on. This was us last time out for a Ceilidh:

The Beech Band: Squeezers, Ged Gaskell, John Jocys, Rob Phillips, Fiddels, Ishbel Saxton, Mary Rose Rochford Merritt, Mickey Van Gelder, Whistles, Jenn Stanley, Janet Sims, Andrew Marchant, Phil Edwards, Ursula Harries, Steve Saxton, Assorted strings, Glynne Davies, Michael Bracken, Julie Bryce, Chris Muriel, Phil Robinson, Ken Deeks, Percussion, Gordon Whitelock, Brian Cillinan, Mark Abraham, Saxaphone Wes Van Gelder, and clarinet Richard Robinson -

On this occasion we used a PA but at the previous 5 or 6 it has worked without.

Back to bands of the 19C - I guess the had no PA and largely played in small venues?

And further when did the country dance band line up settle down to squeezers and fiddles?

L in C#


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Mar 12 - 02:44 AM

Does anybody which was the first EFDSS dance band

L in C#


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 10 Mar 12 - 06:07 AM

Les
well.... The Square Dance Band of Nan and Brian Fleming Williams (fiddle and guitar) and Helen and Douglas Kennedy (English concertina and drum/caller) was the first band in that sort of configuration/size. They rehearsed during the war and started playing in 1945ish.
But ... Douglas got the idea (and the idea of the dance caller)from his pre-war visits to USA where he saw square dancing.
And, by this stage there was the Northumbrian Minstrels, led by Will Atkinson (on accordeon), fiddle, drums, piano. They started late 1930s, were a dance band and paved the way for the Cheviot Ranters. There must have been a precedence for this formation - Jack Armstrong's Barnstormers started in the mid 1940s - 2 fiddles, double bass, drums - again in the NE.
Then there's Jimmy Shand ... and Irish bands....

So ... I would say the band formed by Kennedy was not in isolation - there was a US impetus, as well as verious UK and Irish outfits. All were no doubt influenced by general dance bands (not "folk").

The Sq Dance band led to many imitators, especially through the radio folk dance programmes - Haymakers, Jolly Waggonners etc.

Pre-war, EFDS/EFDS used brass bands, military bands etc for big events (only way to get the volume) and this style was also used for recordings. Solo musicians - fiddle or piano - were used for dance classes and no doubt for some social dance events. But only for small-scale events.

Some of this was touched upon in articles in English Dance & Song magazine over the last 12 months.

Derek


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Mar 12 - 07:08 AM

Thanks Derek that's most informative and really interesting. Does any achive material exist that concerning 19C dance bands - did Sharp et al come across many - did he get tunes from bands or just individuals?

Best wishes

Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 10 Mar 12 - 09:28 AM

Les
to the best of my knowledge, Sharp only noted tunes from individuals. But I may not be the best person to ask! And the few traditional dances he collected (all in Country Dance Book vol 1) - if there was a musician mentioned, it was only a solo musician. That doesn't mean there were no bands of musicians - just that Sharp didn't note from any.
Sharp's 'noble savage' view of unlettered rural dwellers, would not have been compatible, necessarily, with music-reading musicians who played in church on Sunday after playing for the local dance the night before ... this may suggest the music being in parts, which was not what Sharp etc imagined rural music-making to be.
There were the Hardy stories with this in - okay, fiction - but it probably had some basis in fact.... but Sharp didn't follow this up and Hardy disagreed with the Sharp-EFDS view of folk dance....
Derek


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Mo the caller
Date: 10 Mar 12 - 09:59 AM

There was an interesting article (letter?) by Thomas Hardy on a website somewhere about 'traditional' and 'present day' dance (which I think refered to the 'present' of the early years of EFDSS). Wish I could remember where I saw it. (Some Yorkshire site, possibly).
Article about music and the Hardys


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 10 Mar 12 - 12:01 PM

That link is great, Mo.

Here is Hardy's short story, Absent-Mindedness in a Parish Choir, a very short tale of a popular local band that during the Christmas season had "been out to one rattling randy after another every night, and had got next to no sleep at all." In the freezing church gallery Sunday afternoon after Christmas, they warm themselves with "a gallon of hot brandy and beer, ready mixed", with the inevitable result that during the long sermon, "they fell asleep, every man jack of 'em". Upon being awoken in the dark late afternoon, they mistakenly break into "The Devil Among the Tailors" instead of the required hymn, and the leader "shouted out as he scraped (in his usual commanding way at dances when the folk didn't know the figures), 'Top couples cross hands! And when I make the fiddle squeak at the end, every man kiss his pardner under the mistletow!'"

The offended squire "That very week he sent for a barrel-organ that would play two-and-twenty new psalm tunes, so exact and particular that, however sinful inclined you was, you could play nothing but psalm tunes whatsomever. He had a really respectable man to turn the winch, and the old players played no more."

More to the point for this thread, in the opening paragraph it says:

There was Nicholas Puddingcome, the leader, with the first fiddle; there was Timothy Thomas, the bass-viol man; John Biles, the tenor fiddler; Dan'l Hornhead, with the serpent; Robert Dowdle, with the clarionet; and Mr. Nicks, with the oboe—all sound and powerful musicians, and strong-winded men—they that blowed.


~ Becky in Tucson


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Rozza
Date: 06 Apr 12 - 04:15 PM

Chapter 7 of "Wuthering Heights" includes this description of a contemporary local band in Yorkshire:

We got rid of all gloom in the excitement of the exercise, and our pleasure was increased by the arrival of the Gimmerton band, mustering fifteen strong: a trumpet, a trombone, clarionets, bassoons, French horns, and a bass viol, besides singers. They go the rounds of all the respectable houses, and receive contributions every Christmas, and we esteemed it a first-rate treat to hear them. After the usual carols had been sung, we set them to songs and glees. Mrs. Earnshaw loved the music, and so they gave us plenty.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler
Date: 06 Apr 12 - 05:45 PM

My Granddad played the "clarionet", as he still pronounced it, though this was in a military band, which also played ragtime!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 04:03 AM

I ask this question again because I think it is important in understanding the bands that played the tunes we play for dancing:

Back to bands of the 19C - I guess the had no PA and largely played in small venues?

And further when did the country dance band line up settle down to squeezers and fiddles? - this seems like a very modern invention!

L in C#


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 08:27 AM

The squeezer/fiddle lineup was popularized, if not outright invented, by Jimmy Shand.

Band sizes have always varied by venue and other economic factors. A band the size of the one described in Wuthering Heights would have had to be sponsored by a local mill.

From a different part of the world, the only thorough attempt I have seen at documenting traditional bands on paper was a book by, I think, Laszlo Lajtha, with a couple of hundred pages of four-part transcriptions of village string bands from Hungary and the Hungarian areas of Romania.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 09:27 AM

Are we re-building a dance tradition with fiddle & squeezers from the 19 C or biulding it from scratch?

L in C#


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: greg stephens
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 09:42 AM

one or more fiddles with a cello doing a bass line was pretty standard in the 19th century I think, pre-concertina and melodeon invention.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 09:51 AM

Thanks Greg,

did the 'country dance band' exist as a coherent idea in the 18 & 19C? Or were 'dance bands' simply collections of musicians who played mostly for dancing where ever it happened in social situations that were mostly middle or upper class (if that has any clear meaning)?

Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Mo the caller
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 12:29 PM

Then there were the Dancing Masters who made a living by touring the villages teaching dances and steps.(Sounds a bit like ballet classes today) They played fiddle for dancing (and used the bow to keep order).

Efdss published a book in 1979 by JF & TM Flett "Traditional Step Dancing in Lakeland"
It doesn't seem to be in print now. (I'll bring it to Have-a-Go on the 19th to tantalise you with Les, but I've just read the thread about lending CDs, so no-one can borrow it!)

It says that after a session of lessons where children were taught step dances, country dances and ballroom dances they held a ball. The first part for the children to display what they had learnt and then (from 12.30 - 4am) general dancing for the older children and the adults.

I get the impression that a solo fiddle was often used for dance.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 08 Apr 12 - 04:41 AM

Thanks Mo, The Dancing Master - after Playford seem quite well recorded - although I have no information myself.

I am most interested in bands - did they exists and what did they play. Somebody was playing all the amazing tunes we play today - can we track down the evidence?

Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Tootler
Date: 08 Apr 12 - 05:52 PM

The musicians who played for local dances would almost certainly have been the same ones who played in Church on Sundays. So to find out more about the instruments played, so you need also to investigate "West Gallery Music"

Paraphrasing what I have read and found out for myself over the past few years:

For about 150 years from roughly 1700 to 1850 music in the Parish Churches in England was provided by mixed groups of singers and instrumentalists. The name West Gallery arose because the singers and musicians were accommodated in galleries erected for the purpose at the west end of the church. The instruments were often provided and usually maintained out of parish funds. The parishes generally could not afford sets of hymn books so the parish would buy one or two copies of the hymnals and provide the musicians with manuscript books (which they usually had to rule themselves). The musicians would copy their parts into their manuscript books. They then used the back of the book to copy out dance tunes. Many surviving manuscript books are of this form.

This link provides an introduction to West Gallery Music

The link mentions fiddle, bass viol, cello, serpent, bassoon, clarinet oboe and flute. Trombone is also hinted at. Other brass would have been highly unlikely during the West Gallery period as valved brass was not invented until the end of the 18th century so brass instruments of that period were limited in what they could play.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Apr 12 - 04:05 AM

Thanks Tootler - it certainly looks as if a musician was a musician and most would play in a range if situations.

One question is - how significant was the social dance that we still dance today? Was it just for the well off or was it part of the social life of working people?

thanks again

Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Apr 12 - 05:54 AM

I doubt large bands playing dance music were a very significant phenomenon.

There was lots of published dance music for the fiddle, flute or keyboard. And a huge number of manuscript collections for solo instrument. But given how much more can go wrong playing in a group like the ones Bronte and Hardy describe, you'd have a much greater use for notation.

But there isn't a significant amount of that notation surviving. I've seen a set of tune arrangements for 8-part military band by J.G.C. Schetky around 1790, but nothing like that from later. If there was mass movement of playing bands like that, somebody would have seen a market opportunity to publish for it.

The absence of any significant paper trail suggests to me that this kind of band was no more than an isolated phenomenon, and never very long-lived.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Apr 12 - 06:03 AM

Thanks Jack - good point but what about bands of 4 or 5 - 2 or 3 playing the tune, a bit of bass and soem kind of percussion?

Thats often what we do today isn't it? The survival of thousands of "country dance" tunes and the dances themselves points to musicians playing for dancing.

As a number of people hav pointed out Dancing Masters were up to something, West Gallery was alive and well and Greg has descibed bands with a couple of fiddles and a 'cello.

Any more hard evidence?

L in C#


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 05:28 AM

I thought I would resurrect this thread - it relates to my current threads on country musicians using notation and the origin of 20C sessions

Loads of really interesting information here

L in C#


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Brakn
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 04:47 AM

Did you hear this Les?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01mvzll

The Dance of Old England


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 04:57 AM

Just listening now

Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Rozza
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 12:07 PM

The Joshua Gibbons manuscript contains quite a number of tunes in two or three parts. the only instruments mentioned in the manuscript are the clarinet and recorda.

Complete Gibbons MS in .abc


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 03:36 PM

Okay, going through the Gibbons MS and looking at the multi-part pieces. Very few of them are anything like band arrangements of dance music. There are a lot of duets for two flutes, mostly marches, transposed to fit (I think) the clarinet - these are a military idiom going back to the 18th century. There are some duets for two fiddles, mostly slow tunes. "St Patricks Day in the Morning" and "Duke of Wellington" are dance tunes with a bass, but could be meant for piano. At the end of the MS, starting with "Calder Fair", there are a few dance-ish tunes for two melody instruments (clarinets?) and bass, but not what you'd want for a village hop.

This is an interesting document, but it isn't from the stereotypical church band gone secular. My guess is that was compiled by and for a few ex-soldier friends who got together privately to play current music and tunes they'd learned in the service.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: 19C English Country Dance Bands
From: Rozza
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 05:34 PM

Interesting ideas. There is some evidence of a band connection. Two pieces mention "Raisin Band" by name; "Grand Slow March for Raisin Band" JGi.070 and "Persion" JGi.170 . "Raisin" is presumably, Market Rasen, near Tealby where Gibbons lived.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 20 October 12:20 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.