strathspey Archive: That Banquo Play

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That Banquo Play

Message 36628 · Fiona Grant · 30 Sep 2003 12:29:49 · Top

"There are many origins for this superstition. Old actors believe the
witches' song in Macbeth to possess the uncanny power of casting evil
spells. Many actors, especially in England, avoid Matthew Locke's music for
the play, quoting numerous stories of ill-fates befallen to those who have
played, sung, or hummed it within the theatre walls. The reasons for this
fear usually bring tales of accidents and ill-fortunes that have plagued
productions of the play through the world.

However, the ACTUAL reason for this fear is much more sensible . .. and
rarely known by theatre peoples. The superstition actually began in the old
days of stock companies, which would struggle at all times to remain in
business. Frequently, near the end of a season a stock company would
realise that it was not going to break even and, in an attempt to boost
ticket sales and attendance, would announce production of a crowd favourite
. . . Macbeth. If times were particularly bad, even 'the bard's play' would
not be enough to save the company, therefore, Macbeth often presaged the end
of a company's season, and would frequently be a portent of the company's
demise. Therefore, the fear of Macbeth was generally the fear of bad
business and of an entire company being put out of work. "

Sources of Macbeth information - New Penguin Shakespeare & Cambridge School
Shakespeare

Also:
What we do know of this horrible history time is that Scotland prospered
during his reign, and so he was A GOOD THING if not a good person, and was
subsequently given a bad press by his murderers who nicked the throne from
him.

But:
What we really want to know is: did he and the missus dance or was it only
the witches?

Fiona
Bristol

That Banquo Play

Message 36630 · Richard Goss · 1 Oct 2003 11:17:34 · Top

Shakespeare was a man of his time and his plays required the support of the Establishment in London. As a result the historical stories were often edited to the current politically correct.

In Scottish history, MacBeth is listed as one of the good kings. Where the Bard got it wrong is that MacBeth was the rightful king and Duncan the usurper since kingship in "Pictavia" was matrilineal, and did not become patrilineal until after the first union of Picts and Scots produced a king who inherited kingship from both parents. If you read between the lines, the reason there are a lot of evil uncles in Scottish history is because so many matrilinial descents went to minors with jealous uncles as regents.

Aside: several years ago I taught a high school summer class for kids who had failed English at some level. Because they were all in the same class, I used an old text for lit that contained no selections currently used in the four grades, MacBeth being one of them. A week later, in Scotland, heading toward St Andrews, I was crossing the Forth road bridge when I got an idea, got off at the Kirkcaldy/Dunfermline roundabout, drove down to Kinghorn, hired a boat, and headed for the base of the northernmost of the two towers supporting the Forth bridge. Standing at the base of the tower at the west end of the island, I took a photo of the ruins of Inchcolm Abbey at the eastern extremity of the island, scene of Act I, scene 1.
As I was to be in Scotland for the rest of the year, on my free time, I went to all of the sites mentioned in the play and photographed them. Shakespeare must not have had a very good map. He also played fast with the Scottish language to fit his rhyme and meter. While all the locals knew of "Birnam Wood" none had ever heard of |dun-sin-AIN|, until I discovere that, pardon Shakespeare, it is pronounced, |d´n-SI-nun|.

If you ever go to Glamis, don´t let the guide get away with any connection between MacBeth and the Castle, On the drive in, what is left of MacBeth´s castle is just some rocks on a hill to to your right about 2 miles from Glamis Castle. Like many Scottish Lairds, who did not like the peasants too close, the present village of Glamis was rebuilt by the landlord about a mile from the Castle, thus making three Glamiseseses.

That Banquo Play

Message 36631 · Richard Goss · 1 Oct 2003 11:20:32 · Top

Forgot to add, at Blair Atholl, there is a family tree of the Dukes which includes Banquo as one of their ancestors. Since the Duke (-3?) played an important role in the early Society, this makes Banquo one of our spiritual ancestors in the RSCDS.

That Banquo Play

Message 36632 · Fiona Grant · 1 Oct 2003 12:39:10 · Top

Just to add to the Macbeth trivia: he was killed at Lumphanan in
Aberdeenshire, and this had nothing to do with walking woods. And Banquo may
well have been a theatrical creation of Will Shakespeare's rather than a
real historic figure.

But I still want to know about dancing at the time.... and there is no
mention of this important social habit in any of the historical accounts.

For serious Macbeth bibliog and confusing Scottish genealogy:
http://www.uni-heidelberg.de/subject/hd/fak7/hist/o1/logs/mt/t6/940327-059/index.html

Fiona
Bristol
UK

That Banquo Play

Message 36636 · Richard Goss · 1 Oct 2003 15:08:52 · Top

I am afraid that I have been able to find anything that we do in SCD that is uniquely Scottish at any time in history. As a point of discussion, does anyone come up with any suggestions?

That Banquo Play

Message 36648 · Garth Martens · 1 Oct 2003 20:11:45 · Top

Shakespeare didn't just get the Scottish history boggled - it was all boggled. But who cares?!? What great stories! what great scope!

The eight plays from Richard II to Richard III are one big wealth of inaccuracy, part of the Tudor myth the contemporary Elizabeth R establishment encouraged as substantiating their claim to the throne. Still, Shakespeare wasn't doing it just as propoganda.... it was a good seller. There are also elements that don't necessarily coincide with the Tudor myth, which make him more than a poster boy.

I'd rather read about the sinister fictional Richard III than the incidental unremarkable "real" man.

Garth



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Strathspey & Reel Medley

Message 36655 · Garth Martens · 2 Oct 2003 23:43:52 · Top

Whoa,

I should clarify my latest message- I meant, 32 bars of strathspey, then 32 bars of reel, alternating to allow three couples, or at most 4, to dance twice. Recordings would be delightful if not attached to an RSCDS dance, however, stirring sheet music would be fine, too. I have found music appropriate in most ways, except it's the title recording for THE QUEEN'S SALUTE, an RSCDS dance. It will do to test the dance, but is only a temporary fix.

Again, the tunes I suggested in my last message share the flavour of what I desire.

-Gareth





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Strathspey & Reel Medley

Message 36656 · Alan Paterson · 3 Oct 2003 09:00:31 · Top

Garth Martens wrote:

> Whoa,
>
> I should clarify my latest message- I meant, 32 bars of strathspey, then 32
> bars of reel, alternating to allow three couples, or at most 4, to dance
> twice. Recordings would be delightful if not attached to an RSCDS dance,
> however, stirring sheet music would be fine, too. I have found music
> appropriate in most ways, except it's the title recording for THE QUEEN'S
> SALUTE, an RSCDS dance. It will do to test the dance, but is only a
> temporary fix.
>
> Again, the tunes I suggested in my last message share the flavour of what I
> desire.
>
> -Gareth

Gareth,

I find in the database the following recordings which are the structure you
require and NOT allocated to s dance. Of course, I have NO idea if they have any
of the other attributes you require:

The Laird and the Mason, Jim Johnstone, "The Sound of Jim Johnstone"
Medley, Rob Gordon, "Caledonian Ball - Vol 2"
Medley, Ian Powrie, "Ian Powrie's Farewell to Scotland"

The problems with these is that I do no know how many repetitions are on the
recording and, as far as I know, they are NOT on CD.

The only such medley on CD is one by Muriel Johnstone, but it is only played
once or twice through.

So this message is probably no help :-(

Alan

Strathspey & Reel Medley

Message 36658 · mlbrown · 3 Oct 2003 13:11:15 · Top

I am still not sure whether you are looking for and 8 x (32S 32R) or 4 x
(32S 32R).

I can find 3 recordings of 4 x (32S 32R)

The Pinewoods Medley recorded by The White Cockade on the CD Tartan Capers

Her Majesty is Welcome recorded by Bobby Crowe on the CD A Fife Fairing

And the Flag of St Andrew recorded by David Cunningham to go with the St
Andrews Branch Golden Jubilee Book (I think this is only on tape)

Malcolm

Malcolm & Helen Brown
York - UK

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Garth Martens [mailto:midnight_strathspey@yahoo.ca]
> Sent: 02 October 2003 22:43
> To: strathspey@strathspey.org
> Subject: Re: Strathspey & Reel Medley
>
> Whoa,
>
> I should clarify my latest message- I meant, 32 bars of strathspey, then
32 bars of
> reel, alternating to allow three couples, or at most 4, to dance twice.
Recordings
> would be delightful if not attached to an RSCDS dance, however, stirring
sheet
> music would be fine, too. I have found music appropriate in most ways,
except it's
> the title recording for THE QUEEN'S SALUTE, an RSCDS dance. It will do to
test
> the dance, but is only a temporary fix.
>
> Again, the tunes I suggested in my last message share the flavour of what
I desire.
>
> -Gareth
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ---------------------------------
> Post your free ad now! Yahoo! Canada Personals

Strathspey & Reel Medley

Message 36659 · Ian Brockbank · 3 Oct 2003 18:19:48 · Top

Hi Garth,

> I should clarify my latest message- I meant, 32 bars of
> strathspey, then 32 bars of reel, alternating to allow three
> couples, or at most 4, to dance twice. Recordings would be
> delightful if not attached to an RSCDS dance, however,
> stirring sheet music would be fine, too. I have found music
> appropriate in most ways, except it's the title recording for
> THE QUEEN'S SALUTE, an RSCDS dance. It will do to test the
> dance, but is only a temporary fix.
>
> Again, the tunes I suggested in my last message share the
> flavour of what I desire.

Reading between the lines (and tell me if I'm wrong) it seems like
you are wanting music to recommend for a new dance. Why do you feel
the need to specify an exact track? Why not just pick a nice
strathspey tune and a nice reel tune and say "it's 3x(32S+32R); these
are the recommended tunes". Then people can use The Queen's Salute if
that's what they've got, and if it gets done at a dance with a live
band,
the band can use the tunes you suggest for the first time through the
medley and then have the opportunity to show their arranging skill and
knowledge of the local audience for the rest of the dance.

Personally I prefer dances which specify tunes to dances which specify
specific recordings (and now we're drifting into previously covered
ground - oops!).

Ian Brockbank
Applications Software Engineer
e: ian.brockbank@wolfsonmicro.com / apps@wolfsonmicro.com
scd: ian@scottishdance.net
t: +44 131 272 7076
f: +44 131 272 7001

That Banquo Play

Message 36662 · Andrew Smith · 4 Oct 2003 16:49:29 · Top

Resent - server error
----- Original Message -----
From: "Andrew Smith" <afsmith@bristolbs94lx.freeserve.co.uk>
To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Saturday, October 04, 2003 3:08 PM
Subject: Re: That Banquo Play

> Later than Banquo et al by a couple of hundred years or so, but I believe
> that William Wallace is reputed to have said something to his troops
before
> one battle something to the effect that " I have brought you in to the
> ring - now let me see you dance."
> Andrew,
> Bristol, UK
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Fiona Grant" <fiona@freespiritfilms.co.uk>
> To: "Strathspey" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2003 11:40 AM
> Subject: Re: That Banquo Play
>
>
> > Just to add to the Macbeth trivia: he was killed at Lumphanan in
> > Aberdeenshire, and this had nothing to do with walking woods. And Banquo
> may
> > well have been a theatrical creation of Will Shakespeare's rather than a
> > real historic figure.
> >
> > But I still want to know about dancing at the time.... and there is no
> > mention of this important social habit in any of the historical
accounts.
> >
> > For serious Macbeth bibliog and confusing Scottish genealogy:
> >
>
http://www.uni-heidelberg.de/subject/hd/fak7/hist/o1/logs/mt/t6/940327-059/index.html
> >
> > Fiona
> > Bristol
> > UK
> >
> >
>

Strathspey & Reel Medley

Message 36653 · Garth Martens · 2 Oct 2003 00:55:30 · Top

Hey Folks,

I need either a 6x32 or 8x32 strathspey and reel medley.

The strath tune should have the sentiments of Muriel Johnstone's "Iain Stuart Robertson" [Dancing Fingers 1: Track 13, tune 4], on which I based it originally. Another tune of similar persuasion is Neil Gow's traditional tune, "Neil Gow's Second Wife," another strathspey. Something along those lines.

Whereas the strathspey tune should be an elegant, romantic courtship, the reel ought to sound jubilant, almost a confirmation of the success of said courtship.

Do you know of any suitable and readily available music, not attached to any RSCDS dances?

Thanks so much,

Garth Martens
University of Victoria, Canada
Scottish Country Dance Club



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Strathspey & Reel Medley

Message 36657 · George Meikle · 3 Oct 2003 09:59:52 · Top

Garth,

I have checked through my own dance and recording index and I think you will
be toiling to get the required recording. Other than the RSCDS recording you
have already mentioned, all the 32S+32R medleys I know of are only once or
twice through at most. A full 8x(32S+32R) would be around the 13 minute mark
and that is a lot of continuous playing!!

If you are really struggling, I could do a recording for you using my midi
accordion the next time I am doing some recording work. I occasionally do
this for people who require specific tunes that have not been previously
recorded. I could then have it sent over to you (perhaps as an MP3 file if
that is easier - but not sure of the file size).

Let me know if this would be of any use.

Kind regards
George Meikle
Lothian Scottish Dance Band
compiler of the
Sutton Coldfield Dance Index
george.meikle@btinternet.com

Strathspey & Reel Medley

Message 36706 · Garth Martens · 12 Oct 2003 12:06:00 · Top

George,

Sorry for my tardy response - but thanks for your comments and suggestions.

I wasn't very clear I think, in what I was looking for as far as music for this dance I've devised. What I am looking for is a 3S + 3R - so that every couple gets to dance once in either tempo. The sound for the strathspey portion that's hit the spot for me in recorded music available to me is always in a minor key. Romantic, wistful, a little sad. The reel portion could be jubilant, as though the courtship's over and both hearts are won. I know that's a wretchedly unhelpful description.

I wouldn't want to inconvenience you, but I am interested in your suggestion of the midi accordion file..... would there be a way to get hold of sheet music for said tune? It could be possible for me to find an existing tune for the dance, no doubt, so don't feel obligated in any way.

-Garth Martens
Victoria, BC Canada

George Meikle <george.meikle@btinternet.com> wrote:
Garth,

I have checked through my own dance and recording index and I think you will
be toiling to get the required recording. Other than the RSCDS recording you
have already mentioned, all the 32S+32R medleys I know of are only once or
twice through at most. A full 8x(32S+32R) would be around the 13 minute mark
and that is a lot of continuous playing!!

If you are really struggling, I could do a recording for you using my midi
accordion the next time I am doing some recording work. I occasionally do
this for people who require specific tunes that have not been previously
recorded. I could then have it sent over to you (perhaps as an MP3 file if
that is easier - but not sure of the file size).

Let me know if this would be of any use.

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sorry!

Message 36707 · Garth Martens · 12 Oct 2003 12:07:19 · Top

Sorry, I didn't mean for that last to be sent to everyone! My apologies...

Garth

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Thanks for your help; and oh, my birthday dance!

Message 36708 · Garth Martens · 12 Oct 2003 12:13:31 · Top

I do want to say thank you to everyone who provided me with some suggestions when I asked about music for the dance I've devised. They have been very helpful.

Oh, and Sunday night another dancer and I are having our joint birthday dance - we've hired a local musician and have a programme of our favourite dances! A couple months ago he and I thought we might hold a dance party with all our friends just for the heck of it, and why not for birthdays?

Friends from as far as Washington and California State are travelling to the Island to join in the fun... we even had a complimentary workshop class Saturday morning as a gift from Alan Twigg of California. I will be turning 21, and the other criminal whose birthday it soon is happens to be turning 29.

Wish you could all join us on the dance floor,

cheers and happy feet,

garth martens
victoria, bc

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