[SCA-Dance] The latest (from me) on the Pattricke mms stuff

White, John white at drexel.edu
Fri Jun 4 14:03:46 EDT 2010

I'd like to announce some updates to my website related to the
Pattricke mms project.

First, I've made some small changes to the transliterations of the
manuscript itself as I'm doing the work that has resulted in the
stuff below.  This is the link:


Second, I've started to turn the manuscript dances into dance
instructions.  I've done the first 10 dances, which has resulted
in 9 pretty interesting examples of pre-Playford ECDs.  You can
find them here:


Of these 10 first dances, 6 have versions (more or less) in
Playford - 4 from the 1st edition (on), and the other two
from the 4th.  Both Moll Peatlye and Goddisses are nearly
exact matches, barring some minor variations.  Ladyes Piller
is nearly as close a match - just some positioning differences.
The Gipsyes turns out to be a sibling dance of The Spanish
Jeepses from Playford - essentially a version 0 of the very
popular dance, with some essential differences but very much
having the same bones (and I won't even crow about how it
proves that "back to back, faces again" isn't a do-si-do move,
even if it does sidestep the "gypsy turn" debate by having 
the men circling the standing-still women).

The last two dances, however, prove something quite different.
While Tenn Pounde may never have been a match to Ten Pound
Lass (despite Ms Marsh's conclusion), the much more exact
name match of Cherping of the Nightingall to the Playford
dance, combined with the totally different dances they both
are, shows that name commonality does not equal dance
commonality - there isn't even a passing similarity between
the dances.

Nightingall does, however, reveal a consequence of the common
"for 6 or 8" participants - it actually has different chorus
choreography depending on whether there are 3 or 4 couples 
doing the dance.  The other dances within these first 10 that
share that phrase for participants have a structure such that
it doesn't really matter how many people are doing the dance,
but Nightingall does, and it resolves the matter quite well.

Also, there's a new entrant in the "standard verse element"
list - the half turn.  Moll Peatlye indicates that the third
verse consists of either arming, or "halfe turne", while The
Milking Payle omits the choice, stating that the third verse
simply is the half turn.

As I said earlier, the first 10 dances resulted in 9 danceable
creations.  That's because in the manuscript, the entry for
Tenn Pounde has a gap at the bottom of the page, and the
instructions abruptly stop with "and then they", resuming
with the next verse's instructions.  On the scan, it seems as
if there was another piece of paper covering the bottom of the 
page and the author just kept writing, losing the rest of the
first chorus' instructions completely.  It's not a faulty
scan - you can see the bleed-through from the other side of
that page in the blank area.  I guess we'll have to use another
manuscript to see exactly what the chorus of Tenn Pounde (Lass
or not) really is.

So, I'll be working on this until all 32 are done.  As soon as
possible, I'll start teaching some of these as well - I'd very
much like to do some at KWDS next year.  This stuff is fascinating,
and we can learn a lot about both the English Country Dance style
as a whole from it, as well as what kind of influence John Playford
had on the style post-Civil War by making each dance absolute,
and removing the choices the dancers of a specific dance could take
to change the dance as they were doing it.

I welcome feedback and/or questions.  Enjoy!

       \\Arglwydd Dafydd Cyhoeddwr 

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