strathspey Archive: Two chords - a question

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Two chords - a question

Message 44751 · Audrey & Robin Emmett · 20 Mar 2006 08:00:27 · Top

My local Branch (Western Australia) is in the process of having a Cd recorded to accompany a book of WA dances. Some of the dances are for four couple sets, with third and fourth couples starting the dance on opposite sides. The issue of recording two chords for these dances has arisen. I would very much appreciate the opinion of Strathspey subscribers as to whether they are in favour of the inclusion of two chords, or not.

We had heard from a UK visitor that RSCDS HQ was thinking of dropping the recording of two chords, but the Cd for Book 43 disproved that rumour!

My thanks in anticipation...

Audrey Emmett
Perth, Western Australia

Two chords - a question

Message 44752 · Martin · 20 Mar 2006 09:34:34 · Top

----- Original Message -----
From: "Audrey Emmett"
> ...whether they are in favour of the inclusion of two chords,

Dead against !
The ugliest, most unmusical thing they have invented yet.

Martin, who can't see why dancers cannot place themselves when sets are made
up and counted.

Two chords - a question

Message 44753 · Wouter Joubert · 20 Mar 2006 09:50:21 · Top

Dear Audrey

This was discussed on Strathspey some time ago without any consensus
being reached as far as I know. The RSCDS also changed (I think in a
letter by Jean Martin to the list) their decision about only one chord
but have provided us with some "encore" tracks without the 2nd chord in
resent CD releases (which I invariably prefer).

It is quite possibly a question of personal preference with perhaps a
traditional majority in favour of the 2 chord.

Personally I find the two chords rather silly and think it spoils the
start of the dance with a rush across the set for the couples who need
to cross and a silly two times acknowledgement of partners for those who
stay put.

Wouter Joubert
Pretoria
South Africa

Two chords - a question

Message 44760 · Helen Brown · 20 Mar 2006 16:56:06 · Top

Wouter said

>It is quite possibly a question of personal preference with perhaps a
>traditional majority in favour of the 2 chord.

My preference is for the two chords. For the less experienced dancer (1
year to 18 months), I think it is more helpful as they can clarify their
positions in the set. It also shows them another quirky part of SCD!

Helen

Helen C N Brown
York, UK

Two chords - a question

Message 44762 · Eike Albert-Unt · 20 Mar 2006 17:01:35 · Top

Being a less experienced dancer i have a question (if i very humbly may) -
what is meant by "two chords"? ;-)

Regards from Estonia,
Eike

-----Original Message-----
From: Helen Brown [mailto:hcnbrown@supanet.com]
Sent: 20. märts 2006. a. 17:56
To: 'SCD news and discussion'
Subject: RE: Two chords - a question

Wouter said

>It is quite possibly a question of personal preference with perhaps a
>traditional majority in favour of the 2 chord.

My preference is for the two chords. For the less experienced dancer (1
year to 18 months), I think it is more helpful as they can clarify their
positions in the set. It also shows them another quirky part of SCD!

Helen

Helen C N Brown
York, UK

Two chords - a question

Message 44763 · Wouter Joubert · 20 Mar 2006 17:12:55 · Top

Hei Eike

In some 4 couple dances the 3rd and 4th couple have to start on the
opposite sides. Tradition dictates that the set is formed with everyone
on their own side and in stead if having just one chord of music during
which you acknowledge your partner, you have two chords: on the first
every acknowledges their partner and on the 2nd chord the 3rd and 4th
couples cross over so that they are in the right place to begin the
dance.

Hope this helps.

Hei hei
Wouter

Two chords - a question

Message 44764 · Mike Mudrey · 20 Mar 2006 17:05:53 · Top

I view the chords as a polite invitation from the band that dancing
is to begin. To start right off can be disconcerting and a half
meassure delay in starting some dances makes them ragged and rushed.

I vote always for introductory music...chords are fine.

mm

Two chords - a question

Message 44765 · Wouter Joubert · 20 Mar 2006 17:17:25 · Top

The question was not Chord or no chord but one or two chords.

Wouter
Pretoria
South Africa

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-wouterj=tshwane.gov.za@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-wouterj=tshwane.gov.za@strathspey.org] On
Behalf Of M.G. Mudrey, Jr.
Sent: 20 March 2006 06:06 PM
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: RE: Two chords - a question

I view the chords as a polite invitation from the band that dancing
is to begin. To start right off can be disconcerting and a half
meassure delay in starting some dances makes them ragged and rushed.

I vote always for introductory music...chords are fine.

mm

Two chords - a question

Message 44766 · Eike Albert-Unt · 20 Mar 2006 17:20:31 · Top

Thank you!
That was helpful.

-----Original Message-----
From: Wouter Joubert [mailto:WouterJ@TSHWANE.GOV.ZA]
Sent: 20. märts 2006. a. 18:13
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: RE: Two chords - a question

Hei Eike

In some 4 couple dances the 3rd and 4th couple have to start on the
opposite sides. Tradition dictates that the set is formed with everyone
on their own side and in stead if having just one chord of music during
which you acknowledge your partner, you have two chords: on the first
every acknowledges their partner and on the 2nd chord the 3rd and 4th
couples cross over so that they are in the right place to begin the
dance.

Hope this helps.

Hei hei
Wouter

Two chords - a question

Message 44770 · simon scott · 20 Mar 2006 17:57:29 · Top

Helen wrote

My preference is for the two chords. For the less experienced dancer
(1
year to 18 months), I think it is more helpful as they can clarify their
positions in the set.

Surely it is better to make thing "simple" rather than to add an
unneeded complication.

It also shows them another quirky part of SCD!

Why do we need something "quirky" that detracts from the
elegance of the dance, and for no good reason. Start where the dance
stats, as we do in a square set or a 3 or 5 couple set.

Simon Vancouver

Two chords - a question

Message 44771 · Volleyballjerry · 20 Mar 2006 18:21:24 · Top

Yes, this was discussed at some length not too long ago, but since I already
see a mini-consensus buildling on this go-round, I'll add my vote to it with
an analogy which perhaps makes sense. When it is time to form sets for a
square-formation dance, we don't form a (more common) longwise set, and then move
into a square on a second chord. So why not always form the set according to
the needs for the outset of the actual dancing? A number of factors go into
the formation of the set...is it longwise or square, perhaps even a triangle,
and how many couples per set?...so why not who's on which side as well?

Robb Quint
Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

Two chords - a question

Message 44773 · simon scott · 20 Mar 2006 18:39:32 · Top

Yes, this was discussed at some length not too long ago, but since I
already
see a mini-consensus buildling on this go-round, I'll add my vote to it
with
an analogy which perhaps makes sense. When it is time to form sets for
a
square-formation dance, we don't form a (more common) longwise set, and
then move
into a square on a second chord. So why not always form the set
according to
the needs for the outset of the actual dancing? A number of factors go
into
the formation of the set...is it longwise or square, perhaps even a
triangle,
and how many couples per set?...so why not who's on which side as well?

Robb Quint
Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

I agree ONE HUNDRED percent !

Simon
Vancouver

Two chords

Message 44776 · Thomas G. Mungall, III · 20 Mar 2006 20:09:21 · Top

When ya'll say "two chords" I assume what is meant is two full whole note
chords at the begining of the dance to honor your partner? Or, do you mean,
a quarter note chord followed by a doted half note chord? The latter IMHO
would make good dance and musical sense. The former is redundant and
unnecessary.

Yours aye,
Tom Mungall
Baton Rouge, La, USA

Two chords - a question

Message 44755 · Iain Boyd · 20 Mar 2006 12:24:55 · Top

Dear Audrey,

Personally, I would prefer only one chord unless two were required so that one could acknowledge more than one partner - such as in "The Dashing White Sergeant".

Iain Boyd

Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com

mandatory SCD for young offendors?

Message 44756 · Colleen Putt · 20 Mar 2006 12:31:58 · Top

Hi, everyone,
Just thought you might enjoy hearing about this ---
Recently on our local CBC Information Morning, a caller telephoned the "Talk
Back" segment to suggest that young offendors be 'sentenced' to mandatory
Scottish Country Dancing because it's "fun and it's hard." (!!!)

Cheers,
Colleen Putt
Bedford, Nova Scotia

mandatory SCD for young offendors?

Message 44757 · Andrew C Aitchison · 20 Mar 2006 12:44:18 · Top

On Mon, 20 Mar 2006 cputt@staff.ednet.ns.ca wrote:

> Hi, everyone,
> Just thought you might enjoy hearing about this ---
> Recently on our local CBC Information Morning, a caller telephoned the "Talk
> Back" segment to suggest that young offendors be 'sentenced' to mandatory
> Scottish Country Dancing because it's "fun and it's hard." (!!!)

Ah, but for a second offence you would have to ban them from SCD :-)

mandatory SCD for young offendors?

Message 44758 · Colleen Putt · 20 Mar 2006 15:31:16 · Top

Lovely! Thanks for the chuckle...
Cheers,
Colleen

> On Mon, 20 Mar 2006 cputt@staff.ednet.ns.ca wrote:
>
> > Hi, everyone,
> > Just thought you might enjoy hearing about this ---
> > Recently on our local CBC Information Morning, a caller telephoned the
> "Talk
> > Back" segment to suggest that young offendors be 'sentenced' to mandatory
> > Scottish Country Dancing because it's "fun and it's hard." (!!!)
>
> Ah, but for a second offence you would have to ban them from SCD :-)
>
>

Two chords - a question

Message 44768 · simon scott · 20 Mar 2006 17:36:30 · Top

ONE CHORD OR TWO

One chord or two. Which will it be?

May I first say how much I have enjoyed, both dancing and teaching, many
of the newer dances in which the third and fourth couples begin on the
opposite side of the set. I say "opposite" side rather than "wrong"
side. The added variety, the altered progression and the mirror imaging
are indeed a delight. Many of them, of course, have been so cleverly
written by our very accomplished and renowned John Drewry and I join you
in thanking him for them, along with his many others.

I do however continue to be most concerned by what, I feel, is an
"unnecessary" need for two beginning chords to allow those couples to
change sides in order to start the dance. I don't think that either the
changing of places, or therefore, the second cord is at all needed. May
I explain my reasons why?

To use, if in fact we do, as our example and or our reference, the very
wonderful and very old strathspey "The Glasgow Highlanders" is, I think,
not at all valid.

The Glasgow Highlanders is not only a most elegant and classic dance but
it contains it's very own, and equally very unique, form of progression.
This progression is an ongoing and integral part of the dance. It is
not just a change of sides in order to start dancing. It is a special
feature of that particular dance which carries on, making its needed
adjustment, during each repetition, until the dance ends.

I have never considered the two chords at the beginning of "The Glasgow
Highlanders" to be for the purpose of changing positions. I rather
believe that the first chord is to acknowledge ones own partner, and
then, 'having made the change' to acknowledge the person you now face,
and with whom you are about to begin dancing the rights and lefts to
start this magnificent dance. When these two chords are played, with
sufficient time separation to properly make the second bow and curtsey,
a most gracious start is experienced. Most often these two chords are
played without sufficient space and the enjoyment of this feature is
sadly missed or maybe not even realized.

However, this feature is not the case in these newer dances to which I
refer. There is no need at all to acknowledge the same person twice.
Here, it is surely "only" a matter of a different "starting" position.
Many of our dances have varied starting positions. A square set for
instance or sets with three or five couples or any number of other
possible shapes that are not the standard set. Those dances don't have
two chords in order for us to adjust to a different shape, size or
configuration, away from the conventional four couple longwise set.

With the greatest respect for these new dances, and indeed for their
composers, I feel that the beginning would be far more elegant and
enjoyable with the dancers ready, in their appropriate starting place to
begin the dance, and to have "one" chord only. This would allow dancers
time to execute and enjoy a gracious bow and curtsey as their
acknowledgement to their chosen partner. Our acknowledgement should be
something that happens with 'meaningful grace' and with 'equal emphasis'
at both the beginning and end of every dance that we take part in.

I find it so unfortunately untidy and inelegant to quickly acknowledge
ones partner and then to rush across the set, particularly in reels and
jigs, in time for the first step of the dance. It has "no" worthwhile
reason. The second chord of music seems only to be a spacer and has no
dance movement to accompany it whatsoever.

At a social dance or at a ball, with live music, the band must be told
if any of these dances are on the program. The MC must then announce to
the assembled dancers how many chords will be played. THEN, as many of
these dances are very popular and are likely to be encored, yet another
decision and announcement must be made. Do the dancers stay where they
have obviously finished the dance and are suitably ready to repeat or do
they return to the other side to restart ? If it is live music I'm very
sure the MC will say "Stay where you are" and begin the encore with one
chord. If so, then why not the first time through, when the dance first
began ?

If recorded music is being used they either cross back again for the
encore or they ignore one of the chords. I'm not sure which one is
best. I only know that all this rather confusing and untidy mess can,
and should, be avoided.

When using recorded music for teaching, the dancers must be told by
their teacher whether the music to be used will or will not have two
chords. On other occasions a good piece of recorded music with two
chords may be difficult to use for an alternate dance that requires only
one.

I would like us to avoid this kind of confusion and unnecessary "non
dance" movement which, I think, is for no apparent reason or gain at the
start of a wonderful dance.

"'Let's start the dance where the dance starts'

As these and maybe more delightful dances are used, and as new recorded
music comes out, now on DCs, I would seriously encourage us to drop the
two chords, both with live music and on any future recordings, in favour
of a simpler and far more elegant beginning with the dancers taking
their places on the floor where they will begin, and play music with one
"wonderful" chord.

By the use of two chords I feel we are setting an unfortunate precedent
for an unnecessary and inappropriate need. My comments, of course, are
directed as much, if not more, to musicians and composers, as they are
to the teachers and dancer. However, we as dancers are the ones who are
affected. Therefore, if you agree with me, we should be asking our
musicians and dance composers to consider, that in the best interest of
the dance, we start without this unnecessary changing of sides. It
will, I believe, add to the enjoyment as well as maintain the
appropriate elegance, if we start from the dance's starting place.

As has been evident over centuries, The Glasgow Highlanders itself being
an example, dance composers have and will continue to explore numerous
and innovative variations of both old and new formations, within this
ever living dance form. We are therefore always likely to dance in any
number of new and different patterns and shapes. Sometimes these may be
from new and alternate starting positions. It is very much my hope
that, through this evolving process, we will always do everything we can
to maintain the character of Scotland's national dance and music, to
contribute to the rich social enjoyment, but also to display the
wonderful elegance, poise and dignity that this fine dancing deserves.

I "love" the full rich sound of the chord. I "love" the thrill that the
bow and courtesy can have, as our mutual acknowledgement to one another
as partners. They both need and deserve our time and our attention to
their execution and duration. Don't let them be hurried because they
signify, in such a grand and gracious way ...

THE BEGINNING OF THE DANCE AND THE INVITATION TO TAKE PART.

I talked with John Drewry some time ago and you will note that he no
longer suggest two chords in these type of dances.

Simon Scott
Vancouver.

Two chords - a question

Message 44769 · Steve Wyrick · 20 Mar 2006 17:33:56 · Top

On Mon, 20 Mar 2006 15:00:27 +0800
"Audrey Emmett" <emmra@iinet.net.au> wrote:
> My local Branch (Western Australia) is in the process of having a Cd
>recorded to accompany a book of WA dances. Some of the dances are for four
>couple sets, with third and fourth couples starting the dance on opposite
>sides. The issue of recording two chords for these dances has arisen. I would
>very much appreciate the opinion of Strathspey subscribers as to whether they
>are in favour of the inclusion of two chords, or not.
>
> We had heard from a UK visitor that RSCDS HQ was thinking of dropping the
>recording of two chords, but the Cd for Book 43 disproved that rumour!
>
> My thanks in anticipation...
>

I'd vote for including 2 chords; regardless of various objections, it still
seems to be standard practice to play them, and most dancers are used to them.
If anyone really objects to two chords they can simply copy the track and
chop the first chord off; easily done with various computer audio editing
programs. -Steve

--
Steve Wyrick - Concord, California

Two chords - a question

Message 44772 · simon scott · 20 Mar 2006 18:23:18 · Top

Steve wrote

I'd vote for including 2 chords; regardless of various objections, it
still
seems to be standard practice to play them, and most dancers are used to
them.

It seems sad that we should either start or continue a "standard
practice" that distracts rather than enhances.

If anyone really objects to two chords they can simply copy the track
and
chop the first chord off; easily done with various computer audio
editing
programs. -Steve

Or, for the few dancers and musicians who wish, a duplicate
chord can be added.

Can we hear from any strathspey musicians regarding their
comments on the matter.

Simon Vancouver

Two chords - a question

Message 44774 · Steve Wyrick · 20 Mar 2006 18:52:59 · Top

On Mon, 20 Mar 2006 09:23:18 -0800
"simon scott" <simon.scott@telus.net> wrote:

>
> Or, for the few dancers and musicians who wish, a duplicate
> chord can be added.
>
> Can we hear from any strathspey musicians regarding their
> comments on the matter.
>
> Simon Vancouver

Yes, but it's somewhat easier to subtract than to add (BTW it can be done
"non-destructively" in iTunes for those who run their classes from laptops),
and in spite of your reasonable arguments for using only one chord, which I
agree with, I suspect that your viewpoint is probably a minority one when the
whole of the RSCDS (not just the correspondents on Strathspey) is considered!
At any rate, as a musician I have no problem with playing double chords when
asked to. However I try to play the 2 chords differently so it sounds more
interesting and less like a mistake!
--
Steve Wyrick - Concord, California

Two chords - a question

Message 44797 · Martin · 21 Mar 2006 09:01:23 · Top

----- Original Message -----
From: "Steve Wyrick"
> ... However I try to play the 2 chords differently so it sounds more
> interesting and less like a mistake!

Good initiative.
An improvement on the two identical noises we usually hear on CDs.

Martin

Two chords - a question

Message 44775 · Ozorak · 20 Mar 2006 19:10:50 · Top

It's like coffee or tea:
"Would you like one chord or two with your dance?"

or else:
"Two chords or not two chords, that is the question".

Etienne Ozorak
Meadville, PA USA

----- Original Message -----
From: "simon scott" <simon.scott@telus.net>
To: "'SCD news and discussion'" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Monday, March 20, 2006 12:23 PM
Subject: RE: Two chords - a question

> Steve wrote
>
> I'd vote for including 2 chords; regardless of various objections, it
> still
> seems to be standard practice to play them, and most dancers are used to
> them.
>
> It seems sad that we should either start or continue a "standard
> practice" that distracts rather than enhances.
>
> If anyone really objects to two chords they can simply copy the track
> and
> chop the first chord off; easily done with various computer audio
> editing
> programs. -Steve
>
> Or, for the few dancers and musicians who wish, a duplicate
> chord can be added.
>
> Can we hear from any strathspey musicians regarding their
> comments on the matter.
>
> Simon Vancouver
>
>
>
>
>

Two chords - a question

Message 44780 · Phill Jones · 20 Mar 2006 20:39:04 · Top

From a musical point of view it does not make the slightest bit of
difference when you are playing it. However, when you are forming
longwise sets in a crowded dance hall you are always relying on the 'top
man' to count the sets for you. How often do we see this counting go
wrong? Maybe because the man is still getting his shoes on and the
counter misses that couple out, or maybe because the couple are not
stood in position and do not get counted because they are chatting with
the couple above or below them or even a couple in the set behind them.

So, assuming the dancers have waited until they are counted to change to
the opposite side they then have to change back before being recounted
and then back again after the recount has been confirmed as correct.
Or, do you wait until everyone is happy with the counting and change
then, but the music is just about to start so that becomes just as
rushed as changing on the second chord, which in itself only seems to
become rushed by the couples who are not paying attention to where they
are in the set or the dance they are about to share with the rest of the
set.

For my monies worth, leave two chords with the second chord used to
change to the opposite side where necessary and ask the dancers to give
the dance the attention it deserves! This also means that the whole
room will move together, which makes everything so much nicer and neater
to watch.

Phew, I'll get off my soap box now :-)

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-phill=squeezypiano.co.uk@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-phill=squeezypiano.co.uk@strathspey.org] On
Behalf Of simon scott
Sent: 20 March 2006 17:23
To: 'SCD news and discussion'
Subject: RE: Two chords - a question

Steve wrote

I'd vote for including 2 chords; regardless of various objections, it
still seems to be standard practice to play them, and most dancers are
used to them.

It seems sad that we should either start or continue a "standard
practice" that distracts rather than enhances.

If anyone really objects to two chords they can simply copy the track
and chop the first chord off; easily done with various computer audio
editing programs. -Steve

Or, for the few dancers and musicians who wish, a duplicate
chord can be added.

Can we hear from any strathspey musicians regarding their
comments on the matter.

Simon Vancouver

Two chords - a question

Message 44782 · Volleyballjerry · 20 Mar 2006 20:53:49 · Top

Phill (or Phil L. or I.? ~ 'tis unsigned) makes a valid point, I must admit.

Robb

In a message dated 03/20/2006 11:44:07 AM Pacific Standard Time,
phill@squeezypiano.co.uk writes:

> From a musical point of view it does not make the slightest bit of
> difference when you are playing it. However, when you are forming
> longwise sets in a crowded dance hall you are always relying on the 'top
> man' to count the sets for you. How often do we see this counting go
> wrong? Maybe because the man is still getting his shoes on and the
> counter misses that couple out, or maybe because the couple are not
> stood in position and do not get counted because they are chatting with
> the couple above or below them or even a couple in the set behind them.
>
> So, assuming the dancers have waited until they are counted to change to
> the opposite side they then have to change back before being recounted
> and then back again after the recount has been confirmed as correct.
> Or, do you wait until everyone is happy with the counting and change
> then, but the music is just about to start so that becomes just as
> rushed as changing on the second chord, which in itself only seems to
> become rushed by the couples who are not paying attention to where they
> are in the set or the dance they are about to share with the rest of the
> set.
>

Two chords - a question

Message 44783 · Fran Smith · 20 Mar 2006 21:15:41 · Top

 The very point that occurred to me...
Fran Smith (herefordshire)

> From:: "simon scott" <simon.scott@telus.net>
> To: "'SCD news and discussion'" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> Subject: RE: Two chords - a question
> Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2006 09:39:32 -0800

> Yes, this was discussed at some length not too long ago, but since I
> already
> see a mini-consensus buildling on this go-round, I'll add my vote to it
> with
> an analogy which perhaps makes sense. When it is time to form sets for
> a
> square-formation dance, we don't form a (more common) longwise set, and
> then move
> into a square on a second chord. So why not always form the set
> according to
> the needs for the outset of the actual dancing? A number of factors go
> into
> the formation of the set...is it longwise or square, perhaps even a
> triangle,
> and how many couples per set?...so why not who's on which side as well?
>
> Robb Quint
> Thousand Oaks, CA, USA
>
>
> I agree ONE HUNDRED percent !
>
> Simon
> Vancouver

Lycos email has 300 Megabytes of free storage... Get it now at mail.lycos.co.uk

Two chords - a question

Message 44786 · e.ferguson · 20 Mar 2006 22:48:35 · Top

You can just as well conclude the opposite. If each 3C and 4C, as the
lines form from the top, at once take their places on the opposite side,
the sets will count and form themselves, and the counting can be skipped.
It would certainly speed up the Ball !

I understand that in ECD, sets (3C or 4C as may be) are usually formed by
linking hands, with no counting. Seems more practical. But this was
already discussed a few years ago.

Happy dancing,

Eric

On 20 Mar 2006 at 19:39, Phill Jones wrote:

> <...> How often do we see this counting go wrong? <....> So, assuming the
> dancers have waited until they are counted to change to the opposite side
> they then have to change back before being recounted and then back again
> after the recount has been confirmed as correct. Or, do you wait until
> everyone is happy with the counting and change then, but the music is just
> about to start so that becomes just as rushed as changing on the second
> chord, <....>

--
Eric T. Ferguson,
van Reenenweg 3, 3702 SB ZEIST Netherlands
tel: (+31)(0) 30-2673638
e-mail: e.ferguson@antenna.nl

Two chords - a question

Message 44788 · Ron Mackey · 21 Mar 2006 00:09:09 · Top

On 20 Mar 2006 at 19:39, Phill Jones wrote:

>
> Phew, I'll get off my soap box now :-)
>

That ain't no soap box, Phill. That would hardly be big
enough for a pair os kippers! Now if you want to see a soap box ---
well, better not!! :))

Two chords - a question

Message 44799 · Martin · 21 Mar 2006 09:29:48 · Top

The counting business is a bit reminiscent of primary school -- and as
mentioned, not always well performed.
ECdancers and contra dancers manage pefectly well by forming "hands 4 (or 6,
or 8) from the top" and crossing over when required withiut further fuss.
Have SCDers become so used to quasi military regimentation that they are no
longer capable of thinking for themselves?

There is a strange contradiction:
On one hand, so much insistence on fun, socializing, relaxation ...
On the other, "straighten up you lines", "clear the floor between dances",
just stand up straight and do as you are told.

And is it not more important to find one's place on the dance floor quickly
(impossible to do in any military manner, I think), than to appease the gods
looking down from above by having every couple cross over simultaneously
("tidily") on an ear-jarring chord?

Perhaps one day we shall look back on military precision the way we now look
back on the days when the men all had to sweat the evening away in tight
black jackets!

Down with the second chord !!!

Martin,
in Grenoble, France.

Two chords - a question

Message 44828 · Ron Mackey · 22 Mar 2006 01:21:19 · Top

> Martin,
> in Grenoble, France. wrote

> > There is a strange contradiction:
> On one hand, so much insistence on fun, socializing, relaxation ...
> On the other, "straighten up you lines", "clear the floor between dances",
> just stand up straight and do as you are told.
>
It seems from some postings that we must be tidy while we
form up sets and count them. !! ? ^^ Talk of militarisation ... !
> Down with the second chord !!

I think I'm firmly in favour of Crossing on the first and Bowing on the
second chord as being more sensible and a neater start to the
dance. As for causing confusion - well it doesn't when something
(even very minor) is changed in the manual. It seems that everyone
just snaps to attantion, salutes and it is done without fuss.

Perhaps just a few grumbles but then --- :))

Two chords - a question

Message 44900 · SMiskoe · 29 Mar 2006 23:37:54 · Top

If we are playing 2 chords we have to really mark up the music sheets so we
can remember. Then there is a discussion of how to musically play each
chord. Just the same, change the chord inversion, make the chord structure
different? And then we just go ahead an play the same chord twice, very
uninteresting.
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA

Two chords - a question

Message 44789 · Ron Mackey · 21 Mar 2006 00:09:11 · Top

> May I first say how much I have enjoyed, both dancing and teaching, many
> of the newer dances in which the third and fourth couples begin on the
> opposite side of the set. I say "opposite" side rather than "wrong"
> side.

The very early Books use 'wrong' side. No great need to get
worked up about that. It's quite useful to know that there is a,
normally, 'right' side and a 'wrong' one.

The added variety, the altered progression and the mirror imaging
> are indeed a delight. Many of them, of course, have been so cleverly
> written by our very accomplished and renowned John Drewry and I join you
> in thanking him for them, along with his many others.

Not only John Drewry but Derek Haynes, John Mitchell, Bill
Forbes, and many others, not least one who is a regular contributer
here.

Two chords - a question

Message 44794 · simon scott · 21 Mar 2006 04:46:13 · Top

Yes, as mentioned, many people beside John Drewry have written these
opposite side beginning dances. I apologize that I should have mentioned
that I wrote the chord article, that I just posted, in the mid 1990s
when John had written a number of them.
Simon
Vancouver

Two chords - a question

Message 44800 · mlamontbrown · 21 Mar 2006 09:43:09 · Top

Audrey wrote:

> My local Branch (Western Australia) is in the process of having a CD recorded to
accompany
> a book of WA dances. Some of the dances are for four couple sets, with third and
fourth
> couples starting the dance on opposite sides. The issue of recording two chords for
these
> dances has arisen. I would very much appreciate the opinion of Strathspey
subscribers as to
> whether they are in favour of the inclusion of two chords, or not.

One of the problems with two chords is to know when to start moving to cross over -
in theory the start of the chord is the signal to start crossing, but if dancers wait
until then, they usually aren't in position for the start of the dance - (assuming
the set is of a reasonable width).

I think this is because the gap between the chord and the leading note is not any
longer than the bands usually play, and is why I wish it had originally been decided
to the move on the first chord & acknowledge on the second.

I teach my dancers to start crossing as soon as the first chord has finished, but
this means they have to overcome a natural reluctance to stand still during silence.
I wonder if you could get the band to give a slightly longer gap between the second
chord and the leading note?

There are a few RSCDS dances where the first couple are the only ones that change
sides at the start of the dance Lady Mackintosh's Rant, The Menzies Rant, The Jimp
Waist, My Love She's But a Lassie Yet (when danced in a longwise set), and Polka
Country Dance.

Malcolm

Malcolm L Brown
York

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