Publishing commented editions

John Chambers

Message 57801 · 20 Dec 2009 20:41:29 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Robert Lambie wrote:
| I think that the idea of commented editions is very good, but would
| suggest that, for the old dances (19th century or earlier), the
| original be aslo shewn. This seems to be now the normal way in the
| Country Dance publications that I see, published in GB or USA. It
| gives the reader some chance to see how "modernised" the dance has
| been.

That practice is occasionally seen back in the 19th century and
earlier. I've seen (facsimilies of) a number of dance descriptions
from back then that quoted earlier publishers such as Playford, along
with a translation into "modern" English. So doing this is following
a well-established tradition, as it were. It is probably most
interesting when the older instructions make no sense to (what we now
call) modern readers. In a few cases, they were really translating,
as the original descriptions were in some variety of Gaelic or French
or Dutch.

OTOH, the true "norm" was to publish everything without any history
at all, giving the impression that it was your own composition. This
practice hasn't died out. A friend recently sent me this link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5d9GA160ms
I expect that most readers of this list will instantly recognize the
tune, if not the words. Note that, although it is identified in the
listeners' comments, the person who posted it to youtube merely
called it a "Mandarin Song". Yeah, right.

(But Shao Han, aka Angela, is a lovely singer. ;-)

--
There are three kinds of people in this world,
those who count and those who don't.

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