Old Sources - McGauran

Richard Goss

Message 23038 · 4 Oct 2000 23:59:51 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Malcolm,

I have some hints for you which might give some clues.
1. Since the RSCDS "Rakes of Glasgow" is 1806, because it
has
an allemande it could not have come much before that time.
2. Since the historic allemande takes only 2 bars we should
question if it is the same as the RSCDS. I would suspect
that
the dance you cite would be ...
1- 8: 1s2s a. a reel of four in a circle, or ...
b. our rights & lefts (usu rt & lt hands).
9-16: 1s down & back to 2s place, allemande (w 2s above).
[Allemande would be a 2 bar turn under arm into pos
for the circle following]
17-24: hands round & back (prob 4 hds instead of 6).
3. Having verified this as the dance notes, check how the
music
is edited and fitted to the dance. Looking at the RSCDS
score
I find several problems:
a. to follow this score the music must be play the tune
"aaaabbcc" or 8x4 = 32 bars. I would suspect that the
original was edited "aabbcc" ot 6X4 = 24 which would fit
my suggested choreography,
b. the second hint that this was edited in the 20c is found
on RSCDS bars|beats: 1(9)|3, 5(13)|3, 17(21)|1,19(23)|1.
If you don't believe me give it the listen test. Tell your
test sample that you are going to play 4 bars of music
slowly. Have them I.D. which one of the 16 chords sounds
strange to them [they count to 16 as you play bars 1-4 2x
{break in between}]. Do the same for bars 17-20.
The reason for this "error" is that the tune is written in
the key of C major, where the most common chords are I,IV,
V (CEG, FAC, GBD), at this period of music, I would be very
unlikely to find a VI (ACE) chord which is more common to
A minor [chord I]. Harmonicly it is the the "A" note that
is causing the problem in 1|3 and 5|3, but it was common to
modulate into a relative minor [A minor, from C major] it
does sound a little less strange here because it declares
itself on the down beat of this phrase.
Another hint of improper editing indicating that the
choreography shown above is probably more accurate.
I suggest that the dance should have 3 (instead of 4) figs.
involving: 4 (RL), 2 (DN+A), 4 (CIRC) persons.
This corresponds to the tune as AABBCC or ...
C major, A minor, C major
maj for every body (1s&2s), min for actives (1s)
c. Since our allemande is an RSCDS created figure, I assume
that it was dead by 1923.
At the same time the historic allemande is a relitively
modern figure in its context.
Word means German.
[RULE: when a place name is used for dance term,
it is probably from somewhere else. In Poland,
they used to call the Polka, dancing. The
Schotische is from Germany, etc. & US Squares:
"alamand lt w yr lt hand."]
I would suspect that its source is in the Germanic folk
dances called laendlers <<spelling?>> where there are
many combinations of arm turnings and twisting
involving windows made w arms & boides
(e.g. "Das Finster").
So the possible time frame would be our first example of
an allemande and our last example of one.
4. Take all the figures in this book and match them with
known
figures in dances previously dated.
5. Check for historical references:
The first Duke of Bedford held the title from 1694 [as he
was 78 at the time his duchess was probably not worth
dancing about] to 1700.
I would think that she was wife to the 4th-6th Dukes
which would make the dates 1732-1839.
Balley could be a forename but could be a deviant spelling
of bailey meaning bailif [municipal officer].
Breadalbane, John Campbell, 1st Earl [1635-1717 ] was
responsible for the Glencoe massacre (acquitted
becauses he was "just following [the king's] orders").
Skiffington was a dance master, dates not handy.
When was the new bridge built across the Liffey, in Dublin?
Sligo became a county in Connaught in 1579, till then the
lordship alternated between o'Donnell and o'Dowds. Only
Sligo I can find is Marquess, E. Altamont, Vc Westport,
B Monteagle [Ire & UK].
In 1971, there was a Denis Edward Browne sitting in
Lords as Baron Monteagle [UK, Marquis of Sligo].
The title, Baron, dates from 1806.
Melville House, Fife is near Lethan (Ladies).
As of 1971 there was a Lord Melville sitting in Lords.
"Ofsian's [Ossian's] Hall" belongs to the period called the
"Celtic Twilight", a romanticized Scotland as depicted
by Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832, fl. 1799->). As part
of a pan-European movement of looking backwards to the
golden age of one's culture it provided much of the
material for the racism under the Nazi's (American
skinheads & white supremists love "Braveheart").
6. Check the form of the music.
Are there 4 or 5 lines to the staff?
Is the music in the "G" or "C" clefs?
Are the notes lozenge shaped or round?
Have the bars and/or tie bars been added later?
Are the notes pieces of type [G is D inverted]? Or ...
is the plate engraved?
7. Look for clues on the title page: costumes, coats of
arms,
musicians, mythical figures, architectural devices, etc.
8. Check addresses of other sellers/printers in London.
Several
have changed names but kept address as they were passed on
through partners. It is possibly that your "author" may
have nothing to do with music or dance by profession
(Playford was a printer who specialized in legal matters).

I would say between 1806 & 1810. UK too insecure under
Georges I or II, & after the war of 1812 (when dances refer
to people and events connected to the French Revolution and
its aftermath.

Happy hunting.

Goss
xxxxxxx.x.xxxx@xxx.xxx

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