strathspey Archive: another Muirland WIllie question

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another Muirland WIllie question

Message 39325 · Herbold.Bruce · 28 Sep 2004 19:29:57 · Top

I would venture to say that there are more versions of this dance than
any other and decided to compile a catalogue of variants so I can warn
my dancers everything they might encounter on the dance floor. I am
aware of:
1. 1s set twice alone on sidelines on bars 21-24, 2s step in on 24
2. 1s stay in middle to set twice, 2s step in on 24
3. 2s pdB in with 1s from sidelines on 23&24
4. 1s and 2s both set twice, coming in together on 23&24
5. 1s and 2s both set, men starting on left foot to begin so that no
foot change is needed for poussette

6. 1s open up poussette at end to dance to bottom at end of second time
through
7. 1s step in and down at end of second time through while 4s cast to
top
8. 4s join for a 3-couple poussette at end of second time through

9. on the set and cross overs (bars 5-8 and 9-16) all set advancing at
start
10 on set and cross overs all set in place on right and advance on left
11. couple in 3rd place finish the crossing over facing up to dance up
the sidelines, rather than casting.

What else goes on in the big wide world? [that is still within the dance
description?]

thanks again,

Bruce

SF Branch

another Muirland WIllie question

Message 39329 · Richard Goss · 28 Sep 2004 20:04:42 · Top

I know that the Society does not often admit mistakes in its publications (they usually just quietly change the next edition. but when are they going to quietly forget that there is no reason to change feet for the pousette?

another Muirland WIllie question

Message 39330 · Norma or Mike Briggs · 28 Sep 2004 20:29:39 · Top

Her's a vote for changing feet. To me it makes sense that partners do
the jeté in the same direction.

Moreover, changing feet for the man for the poussette in quick time is
consistent with what happens in couples dances (polka, waltz,
schottische, whatever) in which man starts left foot and woman right,
and with the slow-time poussette. What's so tough about it?

Perhaps Goss can confirm (or not) that Miss Milligan did actually say
"fiddle with your feet" when asked how the foot-change should be done.

Mike

--
----------------------------------------------------
Norma Briggs Voice 608 835 0914
Michael J Briggs Fax 608 835 0924
BRIGGS LAW OFFICE
1519 Storytown Road Oregon WI 53575-2521 USA
----------------------------------------------------
www.briggslawoffice.com
----------------------------------------------------

another Muirland WIllie question

Message 39337 · hways · 29 Sep 2004 02:06:14 · Top

From: "Norma or Mike Briggs"
> Her's a vote for changing feet. To me it makes sense that partners do the
> jetŽ in the same direction.
>

If that makes sense, why not for all two hand turns using pas de bas?

Harry

another Muirland WIllie question

Message 39341 · Don MacQueen · 29 Sep 2004 04:42:03 · Top

At 1:29 PM -0500 9/28/04, Norma or Mike Briggs wrote:
>Her's a vote for changing feet. To me it makes
>sense that partners do the jeté in the same
>direction.
>
>Moreover, changing feet for the man for the
>poussette in quick time is consistent with what
>happens in couples dances (polka, waltz,
>schottische, whatever) in which man starts left
>foot and woman right, and with the slow-time
>poussette. What's so tough about it?

Not only that, the progression and rotations are
also consistent. That is, the couples progress
counter-clockwise around the center of the figure
(center of the room for a waltz or polka) while
rotating clockwise about their own center.

-Don

>
>Perhaps Goss can confirm (or not) that Miss
>Milligan did actually say "fiddle with your
>feet" when asked how the foot-change should be
>done.
>
>Mike
>
>--
>----------------------------------------------------
> Norma Briggs Voice 608 835 0914
> Michael J Briggs Fax 608 835 0924
> BRIGGS LAW OFFICE
> 1519 Storytown Road Oregon WI 53575-2521 USA
>----------------------------------------------------
> www.briggslawoffice.com
>----------------------------------------------------

--
-------------------------
Don MacQueen
dmacq@ucscalumni.com
California, USA
-------------------------

another Muirland WIllie question

Message 39346 · Paula Jacobson · 29 Sep 2004 08:22:56 · Top

"...there is no reason to change feet for the pousette"

I'm with Richard on on this. I don't see a much more elegant look with the
feet being extended to the same side in this figure, nor does it seem any
more sensible to me. There is a better chance that partners will kick each
other when dancing the jete on mirrored feet. There is also the increased
difficulty involved in the men continually having to change feet in quick
time.

"Moreover, changing feet for the man for the poussette in quick time is
consistent with what happens in couples dances (polka, waltz,
schottische, whatever) in which man starts left foot and woman right,
and with the slow-time poussette. What's so tough about it?"

In these couples dances there is no foot change. The men start on the left
foot and stay there throughout the entire dance. They do not constantly
change back and forth during the polka, waltz, schottische or whatever, as
one does in SCD.

"Anyone who thinks that the foot change for poussette is
obviously wrong is welcome to come demonstrate in SF a strathspey
poussette with non-mirrored feet."

The strathspey poussette is a completely different matter. In order to
perform the figure, the partners must be on mirrored feet. This is not true
in the quick time pousette. The angle of the feet is also quite different:
in quick time, one is extending the jete into third arial(sp?) position,
whereas in the strathspey poussette, the feet are in an open second
position.In addition, it is far easier to change feet in strathspey time
than it is in quick time. Not that I usually go for what is easier, but in
this case, it makes sense to me.

Paula Jacobson
SF Branch

another Muirland WIllie question

Message 39333 · Ron Mackey · 29 Sep 2004 01:05:17 · Top

> Her's a vote for changing feet. To me it makes sense that partners do
> the jeté in the same direction.

Here's another correction for us to make. As John Mitchell is
so fond of pointing out a jetee is a leap. What is meant is an
'extension'.
But again - don't hold your breath.

another Muirland WIllie question

Message 39338 · hways · 29 Sep 2004 02:15:32 · Top

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ron Mackey" <Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com>

Here's another correction for us to make. As John Mitchell is so fond of
pointing out a jetee is a leap.

Only if there is such a thing as a two beat leap.

Harry

Jetee/extenxion

Message 39372 · Ron Mackey · 30 Sep 2004 00:38:15 · Top

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Ron Mackey" <Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com>
>
> Here's another correction for us to make. As John Mitchell is so fond of
> pointing out a jetee is a leap.
>
>
> Only if there is such a thing as a two beat leap.
>
> Harry
>
>
And here's me thinking for the last umty years that the jetee occupies
just the last beat of the four. Or should that be the first beat of the next
PdeB. :)))
Let's vote on awarding a winner of the Wooden Spoon for stirring?

Jetee/extenxion

Message 39379 · Ron Mackey · 30 Sep 2004 01:03:01 · Top

> Here's another correction for us to make. As John Mitchell is so fond of
> pointing out a jetee is a leap.
>
>
> Only if there is such a thing as a two beat leap.
>
> Harry
>
>
And here's me thinking for the last umty years that the jetee occupies
just the last beat of the four. Or should that be the first beat of the next
PdeB. :)))
Let's vote on awarding a winner of the Wooden Spoon for stirring?

Jetee/extenxion

Message 39391 · Richard Goss · 30 Sep 2004 09:19:38 · Top

Again the question of movement or music.
One begins the pdb on the upbeat in the previous bar with an extension, if we are speaking of music, one will notice that the phrase starts on the up beat (4 if counting 4 to a bar), and ends on 2 (3 if counting 4 to a bar).

This is true of all fast time music and steps. However in slow time, there is still an up beat but the step starts on the first beat/count.

Jetee/extenxion

Message 39397 · Pia Walker · 30 Sep 2004 10:44:05 · Top

Can you award it to the proposer :>)

Pia
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ron Mackey" <Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com>
To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2004 11:36 PM
Subject: Jetee/extenxion

>
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Ron Mackey" <Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com>
> >
> > Here's another correction for us to make. As John Mitchell is so fond
of
> > pointing out a jetee is a leap.
> >
> >
> > Only if there is such a thing as a two beat leap.
> >
> > Harry
> >
> >
> And here's me thinking for the last umty years that the jetee occupies
> just the last beat of the four. Or should that be the first beat of the
next
> PdeB. :)))
> Let's vote on awarding a winner of the Wooden Spoon for stirring?
>
>

Jetee/extenxion

Message 39407 · Steve Wyrick · 30 Sep 2004 19:38:03 · Top

Richard Goss said:
> Again the question of movement or music.
> One begins the pdb on the upbeat in the previous bar with an extension,
if
> we are speaking of music, one will notice that the phrase starts on the
up
> beat (4 if counting 4 to a bar), and ends on 2 (3 if counting 4 to a
bar).
>
> This is true of all fast time music and steps. However in slow time,
there
> is still an up beat but the step starts on the first beat/count.
>

Actually there are lots of tunes that, as written, have phrases which
start on the first beat, with no pickup note. When playing these tunes
it's up to the musicians to recognize when the addition of a pickup note
is needed to cue the dancers. I think it's only at the beginning of the
first tune of a dance, or at the tempo change in a medley, that playing a
pickup note is required rather than optional. In other cases, the dancers
should have the rhythm and no extra prompting should be necessary; they'll
instinctively start on the upbeat if they need to. -Steve
--
Steve Wyrick - Concord, California

Jetee/extenxion

Message 39416 · Richard Goss · 1 Oct 2004 10:58:12 · Top

Strange, I can´t think of any dance tunes in fast time (reel, Jig, or hornpipe) in their original form prior to the [R]SCDS that do not have an up beat at the beginning.

Can you give examples?

Jetee/extenxion

Message 39420 · John Chambers · 1 Oct 2004 14:59:48 · Top

Richard Goss writes:
|
| Strange, I can´t think of any dance tunes in fast time (reel, Jig, or hornpipe) in their original form prior to the [R]SCDS that do not have an up beat at the beginning.
|
| Can you give examples?

Well, as a musician, I'd say that this is basically a meaningless
question. Tunes aren't passed down from God (or even Pan ;-), to be
forever unchanged. People play them as they play them.

If you look at the published versions of tunes, many start right on
the downbeat, with no pickup. However, in the RSCDS "tradition",
musicians conventionally start with a chord (1 bar), a rest (1/2
bar), and the pickup note(s) (1/2 bar). These three events give the
dancers the tempo. If a written tune has no pickup note, it's no
problem; you just play one. It's usually the 5th of the scale, though
sometimes another note works better.

So in recordings intended for this sort of dance, there is always a
pickup note. This doesn't mean that "the tune" starts with such a
note; it just means that the musicians played one.

Often you can distinguish these cases by listening to repeats of the
first tune. A pickup note isn't needed anywhere but at the very start
of the dance, so after the first time, musicians may or may not play
one. But even this isn't necessarily meaningful. A pickup note may be
played because there's printed music that has one, or because the
musician felt that it sounded right, or because of pure whimsy. The
pickup may be omitted for the same reasons.

One thing that most musicians would agree with is that sometimes the
tune needs the pickup note(s), but usually not. Thus, Petronella has
two pickup notes that are part of the tune, and it sounds distinctly
odd to omit them. In such cases, it's meaningful to say that the tune
"has" a pickup note. But this is true for only a minority of tunes.
In most cases, a written pickup note isn't significant, and even if
it's there, musicians will omit it for variety, because they know
that it's not really a part of the tune. And many written tunes have
no pickup note, but you can always play one.

Pickup notes (was jetee/extenxion [!])

Message 39422 · Norma or Mike Briggs · 1 Oct 2004 15:38:25 · Top

Just to second what John Chambers said:

Once in a while I get to go to a dance where Bare Necessities, the
English country dance band, is playing (rarely, because of of the fact
that we are far from the center of civilization as we know it in North
America, i.e. Boston). The band starts every dance with two pickup
notes. ECD doesn't begin dances with honoring one's partner -- the two
pickup notes serve to signal the dancers to get on their toes to start
moving on the downbeat. As John says, that doesn't make the 2 pickup
notes "part of the tune." They won't be used on subsequent repetitions.

For example: the tune "Hunt the Squirrel," used for Geud Man of
Ballangigh (ECD spelling) appears in Peter Barnes's book with no pickup
notes. Nonetheless, when played by Bare Necessities, in which Peter
plays flute, the tune will be graced with the conventional pickup notes.
I can't readily find my copy of Book 30, where the SCD equivalent was
published, but I would bet dollars to doughnuts with anyone on this list
that the tune there was printed with a pickup note.

Mike

--
----------------------------------------------------
Norma Briggs Voice 608 835 0914
Michael J Briggs Fax 608 835 0924
BRIGGS LAW OFFICE
1519 Storytown Road Oregon WI 53575-2521 USA
----------------------------------------------------
www.briggslawoffice.com
----------------------------------------------------

Pickup notes (was jetee/extenxion [!])

Message 39433 · Richard Goss · 1 Oct 2004 21:13:10 · Top

Several years ago, I discovered an unknown copy of Playford that, after giving copies to several libraries, including RSCDS archives, I deposited at C# house as a gift. While the edition I found, cost me$2000, I actually made money on the deal. First I got a tax write off for the donation, but more importantly, I have library copy photo copies of the entire Playford series (given to me by the libraries in exchange for letting them copy mine - at the time they charged $.50 per page when they allowed copying in the first place).

The two dances you mention, have upbeats in Playford versions.

Jetee/extenxion

Message 39432 · Richard Goss · 1 Oct 2004 21:06:43 · Top

I am aware that pickup notes are added, amended, changed, etc. when playing for live performances. My point was, and I checked a sampling of my original Gow publications, along with many other original source music of our quick time dances, and, except for some strathspey and song tunes, all of the reels and jigs and hornpipes, I could find had written upbeats.

Jetee/extenxion

Message 39425 · Steve Wyrick · 1 Oct 2004 17:05:18 · Top

Richard Goss said:
> Strange, I can«t think of any dance tunes in fast time (reel, Jig, or
> hornpipe) in their original form prior to the [R]SCDS that do not have an
> up beat at the beginning.
>
> Can you give examples?
>

I don't remember you specifying historical practice in your earlier
message, Richard, and your use of the present tense implied to me that you
were speaking of what we do now, but there are a number of examples in the
old collections that have this feature (though they are a minority). A
quick scan of Robert Petrie's first 2 collections (ca 1790-95) yields
Mrs. McPherson of Invercauld's Jigg, Drunken Friday (reel), The Birks of
Abergeldy (reel), Captain Carrick's Reel. These tunes are written in
dance form however I suppose I am making an assumption that dances were
actually performed to them...
--
Steve Wyrick - Concord, California

Jetee/extenxion

Message 39434 · Richard Goss · 1 Oct 2004 21:14:50 · Top

In the ones where I have dances, your sources may not, but mine, older, do.

another Muirland WIllie question

Message 39347 · Alan Paterson · 29 Sep 2004 08:29:59 · Top

Richard Goss wrote:

> I know that the Society does not often admit mistakes in its publications (they usually just quietly change the next edition. but when are they going to quietly forget that there is no reason to change feet for the pousette?
>

I personally would NOT like to see that. I actually LIKE changing feet.

Alan

another Muirland WIllie question

Message 39348 · Wouter Joubert · 29 Sep 2004 08:35:24 · Top

So do I!

Wouter

-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Paterson [mailto:alan.paterson@paranor.ch]
Sent: 29 September 2004 08:31 AM
To: strathspey@strathspey.org
Subject: Re: another Muirland WIllie question

Richard Goss wrote:

> I know that the Society does not often admit mistakes in its
publications (they usually just quietly change the next edition. but
when are they going to quietly forget that there is no reason to change
feet for the pousette?
>

I personally would NOT like to see that. I actually LIKE changing feet.

Alan

Changing feet for pousette

Message 39358 · Gary Lindsey · 29 Sep 2004 20:28:21 · Top

Alan Paterson Wrote:

>I personally would NOT like to see that. I actually LIKE changing feet.>

Not only that, after learning that I have to change feet, don't know if I
could change.

Cast or not cast for Lady's Chain. That one still causes me grief at times.

Getting old and set in my ways.

Gary Lindsey
Flying Ghillies
Dayton, Ohio

another Muirland WIllie question

Message 39374 · Ron Mackey · 30 Sep 2004 00:38:18 · Top

>
> I personally would NOT like to see that. I actually LIKE changing feet.
>
> Alan
>

Ah, well. It takes all sorts........... :))

another Muirland WIllie question

Message 39378 · Ron Mackey · 30 Sep 2004 01:02:59 · Top

>
> I personally would NOT like to see that. I actually LIKE changing feet.
>
> Alan
>

Ah, well. It takes all sorts........... :))

another Muirland WIllie question

Message 39334 · Ron Mackey · 29 Sep 2004 01:05:19 · Top

> I know that the Society does not often admit mistakes in its publications (they usually just quietly change the next edition. but when are they going to quietly forget that there is no reason to change feet for the pousette?
>

Hi, Richard
Don't hold your breath!! :)
What will they do with the aeons time spent practising the
'technique' required and bullying the men into starting left foot. They
might have to teach as many as > four < dances in an evening!!

another Muirland WIllie question

Message 39336 · Herbold.Bruce · 29 Sep 2004 02:01:10 · Top

I coldn't agree more with Mike on this -- it seems that the
couples-dancing that Miss Milligan was trying to protect SCD from
infiltrated her reconstructino of the poussette so that now we have a
tradition that neatly captures both -- to keep the figure without the
couples-style footwork would seem to require some fairly convoluted
reasoning. Anyone who thinks that the foot change for poussette is
obviously wrong is welcome to come demonstrate in SF a strathspey
poussette with non-mirrored feet. Or the Polka poussette, for that
matter.

Meanwhile, I am waiting for the day when we all start doing the Allemand
with mirror image feet -- how we can do the Gay Gordons with couples'
footwork in allemand position and not feel a twinge of weirdness going
into SCD in the same hand position but with different feet demonstrates
our ability to compartamentalize our brains. Of course, I guess it's
just the men who are wierd, since the women are correct both ways --
nothing new there, eh?

Bruce

SF Branch

PS. In regard Muirland Willie variants -- I recieved a report that
sometimes the Muirland Willie turns are done with skip-change. Talk
about ruining the flow of a dance! Ah well, variant noted. Any more
out there?

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