[SCA-Dance] Maundering about "Glory of the West"

Tim McDaniel tmcd at panix.com
Sun Aug 22 23:46:13 EDT 2010

(Since I remembered the magic sigil in the Subject line, this should
escape moderation and may hit the list before my original question
from earlier.)

I did "Glory of the West" a few years ago at a kingdom dance
symposium, and I remember liking it, so I tried to dust it off.
I have little experience in interpreting and redacting, so I'm wrapped
around the axle on this.

I couldn't get the steps in the Terpsichore at the Tower booklet to
work as-is (<http://www.rendancedb.org/dance_detail.php?id=41> points
to the 14th ed., which matches the current 16th).  It shows Ch1 as 10
measures, Ch2 as 9, and Ch3 as 12 (with half of a handed square hey as
4 measures, about half speed).

I checked Playford (all these are linked to from that DB entry).
Dafydd's version looks closer to Playford and looks easier to dance to
me.  E.g., Playford doesn't say to repeat the first chorus, and if
done once it's a good speed.

What's now puzzling me are the verses.  Playford has

     Meet a D. fall back, open and close _._
     fall back a D. meet, open and close _:_

     Sides with the Co.We.set to them _._
     sides with your owne Wo. set to
     her _:_

     Armes as you sided _:_

Dafydd's version has "set and turn".  I notice that Playford has "set"
without "and turne".  Of the Playford dances that I'm really familiar
with that have set-and-turn, Rufty Tufty, Argeers, If All the World
Were Paper, Grimstock, Jenny Pluck Pears, all specify "set and turn".
I got corrected here when I asked about Halfe Hannikin and assumed
that "sides all" meant "side left, side right".

On the other hand, the three sets of sheet music linked to all have an
"A" section of 8 measures (4 measures repeated a total of twice).  If
1651 music notation is like modern, I think Playford has a 4-measure
"A" followed by ||.  (The recorded versions I have have 4-measure "A"s
both.)  If that's literally set without turn, that would require a
6-measure "A" -- or if 8 measures, it's a slow darned set, and
whatever "open and close" is would require 2 measures each time.
I'm no musician, but it's not obvious to me how to transmogrify the
music into a 6-measure version.

So I'm tentatively thinking "set and turn".  For "open and close", is
two bransle steps away from one's partner and back too un-English
Country Dance?  I can't think of any ECD that has bransle steps,
unless I justify them as slow slips, but Dafydd's notion of "take a
small double sideways away from your partner, still holding hands"
doesn't strike me as obviously right.

Danett de Lincoln
Tim McDaniel, tmcd at panix.com

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