[SCA-Dance] Article for Dance Musicians

White,John john.white at drexel.edu
Thu Feb 20 10:50:54 EST 2014

> From: Yves
> I would really like to have slower versions of these three uncommon pieces
> from Playford. The recordings I use are in parentheses.
> Boat-Man (The New York Renaissance Band, Country Capers) Kettle Drum
> (same) The Merry Merry Milk Maids (same)
> Also would be nice to have...
> Gathering Peascods (same as above)
> Goddesses (Ansteorran Dance Symposium A.S. XXVII) If All the World Were
> Paper (Ansteorran Dance Symposium A.S. XXVII) Millisons Jegge (Wandering
> Hands, Shepheards Holyday) New Boe Peep (Musica Subterranea, Incantare)
> Newcastle (Bryn Gwlad Music Guild; Tape of Dance, Volume 3) Sellengers
> Round (Ansteorran Dance Symposium A.S. XXVII)
> Cordially,
> Yves
There is a free piece of software that is very easy to use (Audacity - completely
freeware) that allows you to slow the tempo of a piece of music without changing
its pitch.  I've done it many times.  To accomplish this takes no special knowledge or
fiddling around with cutting and pasting (which I have also done reasonably well
with the tool, to turn those pieces of music that are only in medleys, like June Tabor
does frequently, into danceable pieces) - just select the whole piece, pull down the 
menu, select "change tempo", and adjust the slider for slower or even faster (if
you don't want your dancers going to sleep during Shepheard's Holiday, for example).

While this means that every dance teacher would need to fiddle with the music on
their own (since the music is not public domain), it might be a simpler method of
getting practice music that making musicians play slowly.

I could also list alternate sources for every dance you've listed, but I don't have my
iPod with me at work, so I don't know which ones might be slower than the source
you have listed.  I do know that Shepheards Holyday (the CD, not the dance) was
created with the help of some dancers that I know, with the intention of producing
danceable music, but there were a few occasions where the musicians got carried
away with the tempo a little.

What *I'd* like to have, though, are recordings of the handful of 1st edition Playford
ECDs for which no recorded music currently exists:

The Bath
The Country Coll
The Gun
Have at thy Coat, Old Woman
Irish Trot
The London Gentlewoman (The Hemp-Dresser)
The Saraband
The Spanyard
Tom Tinker

Ten dances out of 105 without music of some sort somewhere ... I'd really like to complete the set.

             \\Dafydd C

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