westdance: Shepherds' Holiday

Greg Lindahl lindahl at pbm.com
Fri Sep 25 14:13:03 PDT 2009

On Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 01:05:57PM -0700, Matthew Larsen wrote:

> The ones we did were kind of like Madame Socilia's Alman, where there
> was something extra and the music seemed fit.

Well, that music was composed to fit the steps by Joseph Cassazza, so
yes, it fits. (ba dum, ching!)

But more importantly, it's clear from the choreography that the dance
is odd: the first part is SSD forward, S back.

In Dafydd's class, he doesn't seem to talk about the choreography
fitting the music. He thinks that only one of the 3 dances in the
class has a non-divisible-by-4 length: The Whish.

In it, Dafydd interprests "set and fall back" to be setting followed
by a single step. Playford uses "fall back" to mean a double in many
dances, such as Faine I Would.  Occasionally Playford says "fall back
a D.", other times he just says "fall back", and in all the dances we
actually do, we interpret that to be a double. And, of course, the
particular wording "set and fall back" doesn't appear in any other
dances. Just to be confusing.

This transcription by Robert Keller:




which begins

lead set, lead set, end sub part

and Comments: L=41,S+18

which is Leading = Forward and Back, Siding = Fall.

I think this means Keller thinks it's even, even though the music he
prints (from a later edition) has bar lines (not in the 1651 edition)
which make it clear that the "A" music has 7 bars.

I wonder how many things people consider typos that Playford has in
the music? It is certainly the case that later editions don't correct
anything in dances: they're either the same, or disappear. The only
exception is a few titles like "Hide Park" changed to "Hyde Park".

-- Gregory

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