Identical dances

Anselm Lingnau

Message 19853 · 20 Dec 1999 10:43:13 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Richard L Walker <xxxxxxxx@xxxxxx.xxx> writes:

> If the steps for every dance could be coded (for comparison purposes), =
I'll
> be you could find a LOT of duplication.

Suppose for the sake of argument that there are 25 different eight-bar
formations (or should that be, `ways to spend 8 bars of music') (why
does that remind me of Simon & Garfunkel?) in Scottish dancing. For a
32-bar dance, this makes 25^4, or 390625 possible dances, most of which
will be undanceable or indescribably dull. However, the current 9200
(which do include dances of length other than 32 bars, as well as 3- and
5-couple dances, dances in square sets and other odd shapes etc.) make
up only about 2 per cent of this, so even if we assume that 95% of the
390625 are undanceable we still have about as many dances as there are
now which may be worth looking into.

Back when there were still only a few dances around, Hugh Foss wrote a
short treatise on the subject. He compared the first two dozen or so of
RSCDS book (I forget the details) and found that while there were of
course basic figures such as `hands across' and `rights and lefts', a
very considerable portion of the dances included some formation that was
indeed peculiar to that particular dance. So I agree that there will
probably be *some* duplication, but I don't believe that there will be a
lot.

Anselm
-- =

Anselm Lingnau ......................... xxxxxxx@xx.xxxxxxxxxx.xxx-xxxxxx=
urt.de
Love sought is good, but given unsought, is better. -- William Shake=
speare

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