strathspey Archive: opening jigs

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opening jigs

Message 50831 · Bruce Herbold · 20 Jan 2008 08:28:06 · Top

I am always in the market for good jigs to start programs and classes
with. Ones without slip step or pas de Basque seem best but my list
isn't very long: Hollin Buss, Happy Meeting, Kendall's Hornpipe,
Hooper's Jig, and EH37AF generally fill the bill from the RSCDS
publications. Goldring's The Lady Wynd has been suggested but most
published dances seem to usually be too complicated or busy to fit
this need (except for the dances in Let's All Dance and Let's All
Dance Too, for which Allah be praised).

What else do people use?

thanks in advance,

Bruce Herbold
San Francisco Branch

opening jigs

Message 50832 · Jim Healy · 20 Jan 2008 10:48:56 · Top

Greetings!

It does have a couple of pas de basque, but I often use Irene van Marseveen's Joie de Vivre as a starter and I am not alone around these parts.Jim Healy
Perth, Scotland

> Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2008 23:28:06 -0800> From: bherbold@gmail.com> To: strathspey@strathspey.org> Subject: opening jigs> > I am always in the market for good jigs to start programs and classes> with. Ones without slip step or pas de Basque seem best but my list> isn't very long: Hollin Buss, Happy Meeting, Kendall's Hornpipe,> Hooper's Jig, and EH37AF generally fill the bill from the RSCDS> publications. Goldring's The Lady Wynd has been suggested but most> published dances seem to usually be too complicated or busy to fit> this need (except for the dances in Let's All Dance and Let's All> Dance Too, for which Allah be praised).> > What else do people use?> > thanks in advance,> > Bruce Herbold> San Francisco Branch

opening jigs

Message 50833 · campbell · 20 Jan 2008 10:58:27 · Top

Bruce Herbold wrote:

>I am always in the market for good jigs to start programs and classes
>with. Ones without slip step or pas de Basque seem best but my list
>isn't very long: What else do people use?

Bruce I am interested that you specifically want jigs and not reels. I like
to start classes with a round the room dance as it gives people a chance to
say hello to each other (and newcomers) and brings the initial socialising
to an end. So far I have collected the following specimens, most of which
don't have pas de basque but may well have slip step:

Alisons Round Reel, Nice to See You, See You Again, Canonbie Ceilidh,
Campbell's Welcome, Dunedin Festival Dance, Rosies Ceilidh, Sons of the
Rock. Hmm, interesting, they are all reels. Now why would that be?

So sorry, haven't really answered your question at all.

Campbell Tyler
Cape Town

opening jigs

Message 50834 · Jim Healy · 20 Jan 2008 11:10:30 · Top

Greetings!

Campbell Tyler asks:
> Hmm, interesting, they are all reels. Now why would that be?Because you don't have a musician to warm up at the same time ??

Jim Healy
Perth, Scotland

opening jigs

Message 50836 · Pia Walker · 20 Jan 2008 11:51:48 · Top

I didn't know you had to warm up musicians :>) How do you do that Jim????

Pia

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of Jim
Healy
Sent: 20 January 2008 10:11
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: RE: opening jigs

Greetings!

Campbell Tyler asks:
> Hmm, interesting, they are all reels. Now why would that be?Because you
don't have a musician to warm up at the same time ??

Jim Healy
Perth, Scotland

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opening jigs

Message 50850 · ron.mackey · 20 Jan 2008 23:26:43 · Top

>I didn't know you had to warm up musicians :>) How do you do that Jim????
>
> Pia

Now, Pia! :)))

opening jigs

Message 50837 · George Meikle · 20 Jan 2008 11:54:09 · Top

I am sorry but I would have to disagree with Jim on this one. I personally
would prefer to start a dance with a good going reel tune rather than the
often stodgy jig tunes that programme devisers seem to use around this area.

Surely, like the dancers, it is up to the musician to get themselves warmed
up ready for the start of the dance. It is for this very reason that I
usually like to be at a venue half an hour before the dance starts. This
allows me time to get warmed up BEFORE the dance starts. To my mind it is
part of doing a professional job for the punters. After all they are paying
for the musician to play for all the dances, not the ones after the first
dance on the programme. I will bet that it is the bands/musicians who turn
up just 5-10 minutes before the dance starts who then complain because they
have to play a more difficult reel for the first dance.

George Meikle (Dunfermline)
Lothian Scottish Dance Band

opening jigs

Message 50838 · Pia Walker · 20 Jan 2008 13:15:51 · Top

Musicians complaining ????? They never do - do they???? :>) Why on earth
should they - after all they get stuck on a stage or in a corner - has to
know music for however many dances x 3 or 4 - have to look at us bobbing up
and down - hopefully in tune to said music - and sometimes don't even have a
glass of water to drink even if the temperature reaches sauna proportions.

I totally agree that musicians should behave professionally, but should we
not also treat them that way?

Pia
Stir Stir Stir Stir Stir !!!!

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of
George Meikle
Sent: 20 January 2008 10:54
To: 'SCD news and discussion'
Subject: RE: opening jigs

I am sorry but I would have to disagree with Jim on this one. I personally
would prefer to start a dance with a good going reel tune rather than the
often stodgy jig tunes that programme devisers seem to use around this area.

Surely, like the dancers, it is up to the musician to get themselves warmed
up ready for the start of the dance. It is for this very reason that I
usually like to be at a venue half an hour before the dance starts. This
allows me time to get warmed up BEFORE the dance starts. To my mind it is
part of doing a professional job for the punters. After all they are paying
for the musician to play for all the dances, not the ones after the first
dance on the programme. I will bet that it is the bands/musicians who turn
up just 5-10 minutes before the dance starts who then complain because they
have to play a more difficult reel for the first dance.

George Meikle (Dunfermline)
Lothian Scottish Dance Band

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opening jigs

Message 50839 · Jim Healy · 20 Jan 2008 13:34:36 · Top

I don't know, George - Hooper's Jig got things off to a good start last night when you played it as the opener :o)

Jim

opening jigs

Message 50842 · suepetyt · 20 Jan 2008 17:08:01 · Top

This is a subject which those of us who devise dance programmes, but are not
musicians (intending to take Grade 1 sometime this year), would appreciate
some guidance.

I agree that the first dance (and the one after supper) should ideally be
skip change only, and I do look at the tunes but as they all look difficult
to me it doesn't help much!

I have had musicians tell me that a particular opening dance was either a
good one, or not such a good one from a musicians point of view, but have
never understood why. Can someone explain in simple terms to the less
musical?

Happy Dancing
Sue Petyt Lochmaben
www.suepetyt.me.uk

opening jigs

Message 50845 · Steve Wyrick · 20 Jan 2008 18:49:13 · Top

In general if you look at the page and it's a reel with lots and lots
of 8th notes, that might be a bad choice! Jigs are less likely in
general to challenge the musicians than reels. Many fiddlers without
a lot of technique find flat keys to be difficult. However it may be
difficult to tell what might be hard for any particular instrument if
you don't play. I fiddle in a band with a recorder player and we've
often been surprised at what tunes the other finds to be a challenge! -
Steve

On Jan 20, 2008, at 8:08 AM, Sue Petyt wrote:

> This is a subject which those of us who devise dance programmes, but
> are not
> musicians (intending to take Grade 1 sometime this year), would
> appreciate
> some guidance.
>
> I agree that the first dance (and the one after supper) should
> ideally be
> skip change only, and I do look at the tunes but as they all look
> difficult
> to me it doesn't help much!
>
> I have had musicians tell me that a particular opening dance was
> either a
> good one, or not such a good one from a musicians point of view, but
> have
> never understood why. Can someone explain in simple terms to the less
> musical?
>
> Happy Dancing
> Sue Petyt Lochmaben
> www.suepetyt.me.uk
>
>

-----
Steve Wyrick -- Concord California
Hood, Wink & Swagger - Step and country dance musicians

opening jigs

Message 50843 · Steve Wyrick · 20 Jan 2008 18:38:48 · Top

I agree if we're talking about dances; I'm usually well warmed up
then; but for classes when there's generally not much time to set up
before-hand, I appreciate starting with a jig. Although for Bruce's
classes and others in the SF branch we usually warm up with a march
and waltz (for stretching) at the beginning so it's not as much of an
issue. -Steve

On Jan 20, 2008, at 2:54 AM, George Meikle wrote:

> I am sorry but I would have to disagree with Jim on this one. I
> personally
> would prefer to start a dance with a good going reel tune rather
> than the
> often stodgy jig tunes that programme devisers seem to use around
> this area.
>
>
> Surely, like the dancers, it is up to the musician to get themselves
> warmed
> up ready for the start of the dance. It is for this very reason that I
> usually like to be at a venue half an hour before the dance starts.
> This
> allows me time to get warmed up BEFORE the dance starts. To my mind
> it is
> part of doing a professional job for the punters. After all they are
> paying
> for the musician to play for all the dances, not the ones after the
> first
> dance on the programme. I will bet that it is the bands/musicians
> who turn
> up just 5-10 minutes before the dance starts who then complain
> because they
> have to play a more difficult reel for the first dance.
>
> George Meikle (Dunfermline)
> Lothian Scottish Dance Band
>
>
>

-----
Steve Wyrick -- Concord California

opening jigs

Message 50844 · Andrew Buxton · 20 Jan 2008 18:41:27 · Top

Starting with round-the-room dances is not such a good idea for us because there may not be many to go round! They also tend to be quite tiring with little or no rest.

I started with Andrew's Dance last week (Harbour City book - no relation!) and it was very popular. It flows nicely and there is no pdb or slip step. Also some rest when in 2nd or 3rd place. But it's a reel, not a jig.

-----
Andrew Buxton
Lewes, East Sussex, UK

----- Original Message ----
From: Campbell Tyler <campbell@tyler.co.za>
To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Sunday, 20 January, 2008 9:58:27 AM
Subject: RE: opening jigs

Bruce Herbold wrote:

>I am always in the market for good jigs to start programs and classes
>with. Ones without slip step or pas de Basque seem best but my list
>isn't very long: What else do people use?

Bruce I am interested that you specifically want jigs and not reels. I like
to start classes with a round the room dance as it gives people a chance to
say hello to each other (and newcomers) and brings the initial socialising
to an end. So far I have collected the following specimens, most of which
don't have pas de basque but may well have slip step:

Alisons Round Reel, Nice to See You, See You Again, Canonbie Ceilidh,
Campbell's Welcome, Dunedin Festival Dance, Rosies Ceilidh, Sons of the
Rock. Hmm, interesting, they are all reels. Now why would that be?

So sorry, haven't really answered your question at all.

Campbell Tyler
Cape Town

__________________________________________________________
Sent from Yahoo! Mail - a smarter inbox http://uk.mail.yahoo.com

opening jigs

Message 50846 · Rod Downey · 20 Jan 2008 22:05:13 · Top

Hi all, when devising a programme, I try to make the first dance
almost flat (ie little pas de basque) and usually use a
reel which is relatively easy to play, such as Maxwell's Rant.
If we have a lot of beginners, I might use The Dancing Bees
as most of the dance is partnered. I like to ask the band to
use Hey Jonnie Cope as the tune.

Then to get people going, I would choose a 6/8 pipe march for the second
dance
such as the duke of atholl's reel.

I also try to have a relatively flat dance after supper, such
as catch the wind, hooper's jig etc. NOT a strathspey which
seems to be coming in more and more. Too hard on the legs.

best

rod

On Sun, 20 Jan 2008, George Meikle wrote:

> Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2008 10:54:09 -0000
> From: George Meikle <george.meikle@btinternet.com>
> Reply-To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> To: 'SCD news and discussion' <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> Subject: RE: opening jigs
>
> I am sorry but I would have to disagree with Jim on this one. I personally
> would prefer to start a dance with a good going reel tune rather than the
> often stodgy jig tunes that programme devisers seem to use around this area.
>
>
> Surely, like the dancers, it is up to the musician to get themselves warmed
> up ready for the start of the dance. It is for this very reason that I
> usually like to be at a venue half an hour before the dance starts. This
> allows me time to get warmed up BEFORE the dance starts. To my mind it is
> part of doing a professional job for the punters. After all they are paying
> for the musician to play for all the dances, not the ones after the first
> dance on the programme. I will bet that it is the bands/musicians who turn
> up just 5-10 minutes before the dance starts who then complain because they
> have to play a more difficult reel for the first dance.
>
> George Meikle (Dunfermline)
> Lothian Scottish Dance Band
>
>
>

opening jigs

Message 50848 · Bruce Herbold · 20 Jan 2008 22:52:05 · Top

My, what a response to my little query. Thanks to all and please keep
pouring ideas in -- I notice that most of the actual dances suggested
are reels and few answers to my question about jigs.

I agree that a simple quarter note reel can be a good opener, but
dancers are often so resistant to warming up, that I try to have
neither strenuous dances nor driving tunes for the first dance (hmm,
is that dealing with reality or being a co-dependent - there's a
typical San Franciscan worry).

And as was said, three couple dances are best, too.

more please?

(I had forgotten Joie d vivre -- a good choice; and, yes, the Lets all
dance books are a wonderful resource)

Bruce Herbold
San Francisco

On Jan 20, 2008 1:05 PM, Rod Downey <Rod.Downey@mcs.vuw.ac.nz> wrote:
>
>
> Hi all, when devising a programme, I try to make the first dance
> almost flat (ie little pas de basque) and usually use a
> reel which is relatively easy to play, such as Maxwell's Rant.
> If we have a lot of beginners, I might use The Dancing Bees
> as most of the dance is partnered. I like to ask the band to
> use Hey Jonnie Cope as the tune.
>
>
>
> Then to get people going, I would choose a 6/8 pipe march for the second
> dance
> such as the duke of atholl's reel.
>
> I also try to have a relatively flat dance after supper, such
> as catch the wind, hooper's jig etc. NOT a strathspey which
> seems to be coming in more and more. Too hard on the legs.
>
> best
>
> rod
>
>
>
> On Sun, 20 Jan 2008, George Meikle wrote:
>
> > Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2008 10:54:09 -0000
> > From: George Meikle <george.meikle@btinternet.com>
> > Reply-To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> > To: 'SCD news and discussion' <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> > Subject: RE: opening jigs
>
> >
> > I am sorry but I would have to disagree with Jim on this one. I personally
> > would prefer to start a dance with a good going reel tune rather than the
> > often stodgy jig tunes that programme devisers seem to use around this area.
> >
> >
> > Surely, like the dancers, it is up to the musician to get themselves warmed
> > up ready for the start of the dance. It is for this very reason that I
> > usually like to be at a venue half an hour before the dance starts. This
> > allows me time to get warmed up BEFORE the dance starts. To my mind it is
> > part of doing a professional job for the punters. After all they are paying
> > for the musician to play for all the dances, not the ones after the first
> > dance on the programme. I will bet that it is the bands/musicians who turn
> > up just 5-10 minutes before the dance starts who then complain because they
> > have to play a more difficult reel for the first dance.
> >
> > George Meikle (Dunfermline)
> > Lothian Scottish Dance Band
> >
> >
> >
>

opening jigs

Message 50849 · Kathleen Johnson · 20 Jan 2008 23:09:01 · Top

The Ayr Promenade & The Kingston Jig (24 Graded & Social-Goldring) are 2 we
use around here. 4couples, but easily adapted to 3, if necessary.

Kay Munn
Kingston, ON, Canada

opening jigs

Message 50851 · Agnes MacMichael · 20 Jan 2008 23:48:23 · Top

You certainly have started something here Bruce.
I find a good source of easy dance and some good teaching points are in the
two books from Newcastle. Some easy Jigs to get you going with some nice
teaching points.
The first one is 'Another Newcastle Collection' Which is a book of dances
for Young People by Young People and would certainly give you some ideas for
warm up dances. The other is 'Life Begins at Forty' published by the
Newcastle Branch of the RSCDS on their 40th Anniversary. Hope this is also
useful.
Regards
Agnes Macmichael

On 20/01/2008, Bruce Herbold <bherbold@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> My, what a response to my little query. Thanks to all and please keep
> pouring ideas in -- I notice that most of the actual dances suggested
> are reels and few answers to my question about jigs.
>
> I agree that a simple quarter note reel can be a good opener, but
> dancers are often so resistant to warming up, that I try to have
> neither strenuous dances nor driving tunes for the first dance (hmm,
> is that dealing with reality or being a co-dependent - there's a
> typical San Franciscan worry).
>
> And as was said, three couple dances are best, too.
>
> more please?
>
> (I had forgotten Joie d vivre -- a good choice; and, yes, the Lets all
> dance books are a wonderful resource)
>
>
> Bruce Herbold
> San Francisco
>
>
> On Jan 20, 2008 1:05 PM, Rod Downey <Rod.Downey@mcs.vuw.ac.nz> wrote:
> >
> >
> > Hi all, when devising a programme, I try to make the first dance
> > almost flat (ie little pas de basque) and usually use a
> > reel which is relatively easy to play, such as Maxwell's Rant.
> > If we have a lot of beginners, I might use The Dancing Bees
> > as most of the dance is partnered. I like to ask the band to
> > use Hey Jonnie Cope as the tune.
> >
> >
> >
> > Then to get people going, I would choose a 6/8 pipe march for the second
> > dance
> > such as the duke of atholl's reel.
> >
> > I also try to have a relatively flat dance after supper, such
> > as catch the wind, hooper's jig etc. NOT a strathspey which
> > seems to be coming in more and more. Too hard on the legs.
> >
> > best
> >
> > rod
> >
> >
> >
> > On Sun, 20 Jan 2008, George Meikle wrote:
> >
> > > Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2008 10:54:09 -0000
> > > From: George Meikle <george.meikle@btinternet.com>
> > > Reply-To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> > > To: 'SCD news and discussion' <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> > > Subject: RE: opening jigs
> >
> > >
> > > I am sorry but I would have to disagree with Jim on this one. I
> personally
> > > would prefer to start a dance with a good going reel tune rather than
> the
> > > often stodgy jig tunes that programme devisers seem to use around this
> area.
> > >
> > >
> > > Surely, like the dancers, it is up to the musician to get themselves
> warmed
> > > up ready for the start of the dance. It is for this very reason that I
> > > usually like to be at a venue half an hour before the dance starts.
> This
> > > allows me time to get warmed up BEFORE the dance starts. To my mind it
> is
> > > part of doing a professional job for the punters. After all they are
> paying
> > > for the musician to play for all the dances, not the ones after the
> first
> > > dance on the programme. I will bet that it is the bands/musicians who
> turn
> > > up just 5-10 minutes before the dance starts who then complain because
> they
> > > have to play a more difficult reel for the first dance.
> > >
> > > George Meikle (Dunfermline)
> > > Lothian Scottish Dance Band
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
>

opening jigs

Message 50862 · Lara Friedman-Shedlov · 21 Jan 2008 16:55:39 · Top

Some of the jigs we have used as openers include:

Machine Without Horses
The Highland Lass
Mrs Stewart's Jig
Duke of Atholl's Reel

Lara Friedman-Shedlov
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA

--
*****************************
Lara Friedman~Shedlov "Librarians -- Like
lfriedmanshedlov@gmail.com Google, but
warm-blooded"
*****************************

opening jigs

Message 50867 · Bruce Herbold · 21 Jan 2008 23:47:34 · Top

Thanks, I had forgotten the good old Machine. But Highland Lass is a
reel and a bit busy with those repeated figures. I wouldn't have
thought of it as an opener but it has worked for you, though, huh?

thanks again

Bruce Herbold
San Francisco

On Jan 21, 2008 7:55 AM, Lara Friedman-Shedlov
<lfriedmanshedlov@gmail.com> wrote:
> Some of the jigs we have used as openers include:
>
> Machine Without Horses
> The Highland Lass
> Mrs Stewart's Jig
> Duke of Atholl's Reel
>
> Lara Friedman-Shedlov
> Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
>
>
> --
> *****************************
> Lara Friedman~Shedlov "Librarians -- Like
> lfriedmanshedlov@gmail.com Google, but
> warm-blooded"
> *****************************
>

opening jigs

Message 50871 · Monica Pollard · 22 Jan 2008 16:53:05 · Top

On Jan 20, 2008 2:52 PM, Bruce Herbold wrote:
> ...Thanks to all and please keep pouring ideas in -- I notice that most of the actual dances suggested are reels and few answers to my question about jigs.

After all of this, it will be interesting to see what you start out
with at the Portland workshop in March.

>...I try to have neither strenuous dances nor driving tunes for the
first dance (hmm, is that dealing with reality or being a co-dependent
- there's a typical San Franciscan worry).

Wouldn't that be 'enabler'? :-)

We get such a varied mix of experienced and beginner dancers every
week, that we tend to like ceilidh dances to start, like La Bastringe,
Dunedin Festival Dance, or Gay Gordons done as a mixer. I've even
used some simple contras.

Monica Pollard
Boise, ID
--
"We must be the change we wish to see in the world."
Gandhi

opening jigs

Message 50873 · Martin Sheffield · 22 Jan 2008 10:17:36 · Top

Le 21 janv. 08 à 19h38, Bruce Herbold a écrit :

> ... SCD is full of great ending dances;

Could we have some examples, please?

And what did Sylvia mean by
>> working up to a high point ?

What makes a dance suitable as a last dance before the interval or
before going home?

Martin,
back in Grenoble again.

opening jigs

Message 50875 · SMiskoe · 23 Jan 2008 16:52:04 · Top


In a message dated 1/23/2008 10:09:24 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
mj.sheffield@orange.fr writes:

And what did Sylvia mean by
>> working up to a high point ?

Think of a nice, plain vanilla dance. Then think of a couple others that
have a little more substance. Then think of one that is such fun you can't
wait to do it and are cross if you can't find a partner. That is the high point
dance to place just before the break. A couple of examples would be West's
Hornpipe, Reel of the 51st, Mairi's Wedding. You would never start the
evening with these but they are great ending dances. The same goes for arranging
the music. Tunes like the Barrowburn and John Howatt and JB Milne go into
the later part of the evening. Of course there is always the personal
preference part of the equation and maybe you can't stand either my dance choices or
tune choices.
Cheers,
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA

**************Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape.
http://body.aol.com/fitness/winter-exercise?NCID=aolcmp00300000002489

end dances,

Message 50876 · Martin Sheffield · 23 Jan 2008 17:28:52 · Top

Le 23 janv. 08 à 16h52, SMiskoe@aol.com a écrit :
>
>>> working up to a high point ?
>
> ...Then think of one that is such fun you can't wait to do it and
> are cross if you can't find a partner.
...
> A couple of examples would be West's
> Hornpipe, Reel of the 51st, Mairi's Wedding.

West's, I would agree with (because I love the hornpipe music), but
the other two?
For me, they are old hat, hackbeyed and not very interesting nor even
well designed. I certainly would not be cross to sit them out !

Yes these things really are very personal -- so how can one hope to
please a hall full of dancers of all shapes and sizes?

I could well imagine that the tune choice would find greater
consensus than the dance choice; most people probably appreciate and
agree on lively distinctive tunes. But I'm sure we'll never agree on
what is an exciting, memorable dance.

I was criticized once for putting a strathspey at the end of an
evening's program (Mrs Milne of K). To me a good dance, a gentle end,
but not a flabby one, distinctive, and above all, with good tunes.
But not everyone's idea of a good dance to end with.

Martin

end dances,

Message 50879 · Steve Wyrick · 23 Jan 2008 17:51:40 · Top

On Jan 23, 2008 8:28 AM, Martin Sheffield <mj.sheffield@orange.fr> wrote:

>
> I was criticized once for putting a strathspey at the end of an
> evening's program (Mrs Milne of K). To me a good dance, a gentle end,
> but not a flabby one, distinctive, and above all, with good tunes.
> But not everyone's idea of a good dance to end with.
>
> Martin
>

Popular wisdom here says "end with a bang" however we recently played for a
dance in Orange County where the program ran late and due to hall
constraints were forced to skip the last couple dances so ended with a
strathspey (The Dream Catcher, with air tunes), and it seemed to go over
very well. Like you say, it was a nice, gentle end to the evening.
--
Steve Wyrick -- Concord, California
Hood, Wink & Swagger - Step and country dance band

end dances,

Message 50895 · Lee Fuell · 23 Jan 2008 23:42:50 · Top

Steve & Martin,

I suspect you two might be in the minority in viewing a strathspey as a "gentle" end to a dance program(me). I would find finishing (or starting, for that matter) with a strathspey very hard on the leg muscles. If I found I were three dances away from the end of a program and only had time for one, I'd skip ahead to the planned ender, omitting intervening dances.

Things I believe make a good ender:

- A driving reel
- Minimal pas de basque
- Familiarity, so it's easy on the brain
- Does not require a fixed number of dancers (i.e., no set dances)
- Ends with a circle

Personal preference? Sure, but I think generally consistent with most common practice in the USA east of the Mississippi.

Cheers,

Lee
Beavercreek, OH, USA

-----Original Message-----
>From: Steve Wyrick <sjwyrick@astound.net>
>Sent: Jan 23, 2008 11:51 AM
>To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
>Subject: Re: end dances, (was: opening jigs)
>
>On Jan 23, 2008 8:28 AM, Martin Sheffield <mj.sheffield@orange.fr> wrote:
>
>>
>> I was criticized once for putting a strathspey at the end of an
>> evening's program (Mrs Milne of K). To me a good dance, a gentle end,
>> but not a flabby one, distinctive, and above all, with good tunes.
>> But not everyone's idea of a good dance to end with.
>>
>> Martin
>>
>
>Popular wisdom here says "end with a bang" however we recently played for a
>dance in Orange County where the program ran late and due to hall
>constraints were forced to skip the last couple dances so ended with a
>strathspey (The Dream Catcher, with air tunes), and it seemed to go over
>very well. Like you say, it was a nice, gentle end to the evening.
>--
>Steve Wyrick -- Concord, California
>Hood, Wink & Swagger - Step and country dance band

end dances,

Message 50896 · Susan McKinnell · 24 Jan 2008 02:42:38 · Top

I'va also heard that another good ending is set to and turn corners,
followed by closing reels. I recently constructed our New Year's Ball
program, using information from a workshop given by one of our Branch
teachers (Mel Whitson). One of the sources she used was Kent Smith's
article. I started the program with Machine without Horses and ended
with Mrs McLeod - a not-too difficult dance with absolutely marvelous
music, especially when Bonaparte's Retreat is included in the tune set -
*and* when you have Laura Risk and Nicholas Williams as your musicians!
Sue McKinnell (Chicago, USA)
PS Anyone who wants to see the program can find it on our website
(http://rscds-chicago.org/chi_branch/events.php).

Lee Fuell wrote:

>Steve & Martin,
>
>I suspect you two might be in the minority in viewing a strathspey as a "gentle" end to a dance program(me). I would find finishing (or starting, for that matter) with a strathspey very hard on the leg muscles. If I found I were three dances away from the end of a program and only had time for one, I'd skip ahead to the planned ender, omitting intervening dances.
>
>Things I believe make a good ender:
>
>- A driving reel
>- Minimal pas de basque
>- Familiarity, so it's easy on the brain
>- Does not require a fixed number of dancers (i.e., no set dances)
>- Ends with a circle
>
>Personal preference? Sure, but I think generally consistent with most common practice in the USA east of the Mississippi.
>
>Cheers,
>
>Lee
>Beavercreek, OH, USA
>
>-----Original Message-----
>
>
>>From: Steve Wyrick <sjwyrick@astound.net>
>>Sent: Jan 23, 2008 11:51 AM
>>To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
>>Subject: Re: end dances, (was: opening jigs)
>>
>>On Jan 23, 2008 8:28 AM, Martin Sheffield <mj.sheffield@orange.fr> wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>>I was criticized once for putting a strathspey at the end of an
>>>evening's program (Mrs Milne of K). To me a good dance, a gentle end,
>>>but not a flabby one, distinctive, and above all, with good tunes.
>>>But not everyone's idea of a good dance to end with.
>>>
>>>Martin
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>Popular wisdom here says "end with a bang" however we recently played for a
>>dance in Orange County where the program ran late and due to hall
>>constraints were forced to skip the last couple dances so ended with a
>>strathspey (The Dream Catcher, with air tunes), and it seemed to go over
>>very well. Like you say, it was a nice, gentle end to the evening.
>>--
>>Steve Wyrick -- Concord, California
>>Hood, Wink & Swagger - Step and country dance band
>>
>>
>
>
>
>
>
>

--
Susan McKinnell luvscd@suedan.com http://suedan.com

"A house without a cat, and a well-fed, well-petted, and properly
revered cat, may be a perfect house, perhaps, but how can it prove
its title?"
- Mark Twain, The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson

end dances,

Message 50897 · Lee Fuell · 24 Jan 2008 03:10:48 · Top

Sue,

Mrs MacLeod is a rousing dance with great music, and certainly a viable finisher. Same with The Mason's Apron, Duke of Perth and some other dances that end with "set to and turn corners, reels of three" (which I think of as a single 16-bar figure). However, I find that nothing caps off a program for me like one of Mel Briscoe's "magic circles" (to invoke another Mel..), especially if the common practice of circling eight hands round at the very end is followed. Plus, eight bars of pas de basque can be painful at the end of a long ball program. Therefore, I tend to use dances like Mrs MacLeod and The Mason's Apron to finish the first half of a program, and circle-ending dances like De'il Amang the Tailors, Reel of the Royal Scots, etc., to end the second half. But again, this is all personal preference.

Cheers,

Lee

-----Original Message-----
>From: Susan McKinnell <luvscd@suedan.com>
>Sent: Jan 23, 2008 8:42 PM
>To: Lee Fuell <fuell@mindspring.com>, SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
>Subject: Re: end dances, (was: opening jigs)
>
>I'va also heard that another good ending is set to and turn corners,
>followed by closing reels. I recently constructed our New Year's Ball
>program, using information from a workshop given by one of our Branch
>teachers (Mel Whitson). One of the sources she used was Kent Smith's
>article. I started the program with Machine without Horses and ended
>with Mrs McLeod - a not-too difficult dance with absolutely marvelous
>music, especially when Bonaparte's Retreat is included in the tune set -
>*and* when you have Laura Risk and Nicholas Williams as your musicians!
>Sue McKinnell (Chicago, USA)
>PS Anyone who wants to see the program can find it on our website
>(http://rscds-chicago.org/chi_branch/events.php).

end dances,

Message 50899 · Bruce Herbold · 25 Jan 2008 00:05:07 · Top

Around here another very popular finisher is Highlandman Kissed his
Mother which has the advantage of great driving tune with the physical
excitemnt of set and turn corners and reels of three on the sides, but
it ends with a circle (which is usually forgotten the first time
through to much hilarity, since every other dance with ST/reels ends
with that combination).

Bruce Herbold
San Francisco

On 1/23/08, Lee Fuell <fuell@mindspring.com> wrote:
> Sue,
>
> Mrs MacLeod is a rousing dance with great music, and certainly a viable finisher. Same with The Mason's Apron, Duke of Perth and some other dances that end with "set to and turn corners, reels of three" (which I think of as a single 16-bar figure). However, I find that nothing caps off a program for me like one of Mel Briscoe's "magic circles" (to invoke another Mel..), especially if the common practice of circling eight hands round at the very end is followed. Plus, eight bars of pas de basque can be painful at the end of a long ball program. Therefore, I tend to use dances like Mrs MacLeod and The Mason's Apron to finish the first half of a program, and circle-ending dances like De'il Amang the Tailors, Reel of the Royal Scots, etc., to end the second half. But again, this is all personal preference.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Lee
>
> -----Original Message-----
> >From: Susan McKinnell <luvscd@suedan.com>
> >Sent: Jan 23, 2008 8:42 PM
> >To: Lee Fuell <fuell@mindspring.com>, SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> >Subject: Re: end dances, (was: opening jigs)
> >
> >I'va also heard that another good ending is set to and turn corners,
> >followed by closing reels. I recently constructed our New Year's Ball
> >program, using information from a workshop given by one of our Branch
> >teachers (Mel Whitson). One of the sources she used was Kent Smith's
> >article. I started the program with Machine without Horses and ended
> >with Mrs McLeod - a not-too difficult dance with absolutely marvelous
> >music, especially when Bonaparte's Retreat is included in the tune set -
> >*and* when you have Laura Risk and Nicholas Williams as your musicians!
> >Sue McKinnell (Chicago, USA)
> >PS Anyone who wants to see the program can find it on our website
> >(http://rscds-chicago.org/chi_branch/events.php).
>
>

opening jigs

Message 50886 · Mike Mudrey · 23 Jan 2008 18:16:23 · Top

As a very poor dancer, and one who attended a few ball with the once
a year crowd, I prefer a war horse...one old established dance.

I have notice that very imaginative program generally put off these
dancers, but a well known dance helps them to be a part of the ball

Mike M

Guide to Developing a Program--does a good one exist? (was opening jigs)

Message 50877 · Loretta Holz · 23 Jan 2008 17:33:26 · Top

Martin in Grenoble asked--
What makes a dance suitable as a last dance before the interval or
before going home?

We were already discussing the options for an opening dance.

My question--
Would any of you recommend a book, web site our other source of
information which would provide useful guidance for developing the whole
program. Choosing a good dance for the first, for the last before the
break, then for the first dance of the second half and a final farewell.
And then filling in the dances between these as Sylvia says -- working
up to a high point.

Loretta Holz
Warren, NJ, USA

Guide to Developing a Program--does a good one exist? (was openingjigs)

Message 50878 · suepetyt · 23 Jan 2008 17:39:44 · Top

I have always understood that first and last dances should not be those
which require a fixed number of couples, so Ian Powrie's Farewell is no good
as a last dance. You need to be able to get everyone who wants to dance,
onto the floor and not have to sit out. A dance with 3 couples in a 4
couple set allows everyone to dance as you can make up 5 couple sets and get
4s and 5s to dance once each.

Happy Dancing
Sue Petyt Lochmaben
www.suepetyt.me.uk

Guide to Developing a Program--does a good one exist?

Message 50880 · Martin Sheffield · 23 Jan 2008 17:55:06 · Top

Le 23 janv. 08 à 17h39, Sue Petyt a écrit :

> ... so Ian Powrie's Farewell is no good as a last dance.

It can easily be danced twice.
And I'd rather do that than be in the 5-cp set, standing doing
nothing for long stretches.

Martin

Guide to Developing a Program--does a good one exist?

Message 50882 · Monica Pollard · 23 Jan 2008 17:57:48 · Top

Unless it's Polharrow Burn (one of my favs) - not much standing around
in that one! :-)

Monica

On Jan 23, 2008 9:55 AM, Martin Sheffield <mj.sheffield@orange.fr> wrote:
>
> Le 23 janv. 08 à 17h39, Sue Petyt a écrit :
>
> > ... so Ian Powrie's Farewell is no good as a last dance.
>
> It can easily be danced twice.
> And I'd rather do that than be in the 5-cp set, standing doing
> nothing for long stretches.
>
> Martin
>
>
>

--
"We must be the change we wish to see in the world."
Gandhi

Guide to Developing a Program--does a good one exist?

Message 50888 · Martin Sheffield · 23 Jan 2008 18:34:01 · Top

Le 23 janv. 08 à 17h57, Monica Pollard a écrit :

> Unless it's Polharrow Burn (one of my favs) - not much standing around
> in that one! :-)

Quite agree.
But the writer was refering to a normal 3-cp dance danced in a set
with an extra cp (who stand out in 5th place twice, then again in 4th
place).
>

Martin

Guide to Developing a Program--does a good one exist? (was opening jigs)

Message 50881 · Monica Pollard · 23 Jan 2008 17:56:17 · Top

I wonder if Oberdan Otto is still subscribed to Strathspey. When I
still danced in the San Gabriel Valley Branch we had a fairly good
guide to creating a dance program. IIRC, Oberdan figured it out.

Any SGVB members out there who know what I'm talking about?

Monica (Bielke) Pollard
Nampa, ID

On Jan 23, 2008 9:33 AM, Loretta Holz <loretta@varisys.com> wrote:
> Martin in Grenoble asked--
> What makes a dance suitable as a last dance before the interval or
> before going home?
>
> We were already discussing the options for an opening dance.
>
> My question--
> Would any of you recommend a book, web site our other source of
> information which would provide useful guidance for developing the whole
> program. Choosing a good dance for the first, for the last before the
> break, then for the first dance of the second half and a final farewell.
> And then filling in the dances between these as Sylvia says -- working
> up to a high point.
>
> Loretta Holz
> Warren, NJ, USA
>
>
>

--
"We must be the change we wish to see in the world."
Gandhi

Guide to Developing a Program--does a good one exist? (was opening jigs)

Message 50883 · Peter Price · 23 Jan 2008 18:02:29 · Top

Loretta,

Some years ago Kent Smith, while in Chicago developed a guideline for
putting together programs. You might find it online with a little work, or
some kind person might make it available - mine is buried in a pile of paper
(a major archeological dig ;-D ) and is not available.

Peter

On Jan 23, 2008 11:33 AM, Loretta Holz <loretta@varisys.com> wrote:

> Martin in Grenoble asked--
> What makes a dance suitable as a last dance before the interval or
> before going home?
>
> We were already discussing the options for an opening dance.
>
> My question--
> Would any of you recommend a book, web site our other source of
> information which would provide useful guidance for developing the whole
> program. Choosing a good dance for the first, for the last before the
> break, then for the first dance of the second half and a final farewell.
> And then filling in the dances between these as Sylvia says -- working
> up to a high point.
>
> Loretta Holz
> Warren, NJ, USA
>
>
>

Guide to Developing a Program--does a good one exist?

Message 50884 · Loretta Holz · 23 Jan 2008 18:17:23 · Top

Peter Price said--
Some years ago Kent Smith, while in Chicago developed a guideline for
putting together programs. You might find it online with a little work.

Thanks for the info Peter -- I found it very quickly once you let me
know it existed!!

http://www.strathspey.org/hints/kwsProgram.html




Guide to Developing a Program--does a good one exist?

Message 50887 · Mike Mudrey · 23 Jan 2008 18:18:38 · Top

At 11:17 AM 1/23/2008, Loretta Holz wrote:
>Peter Price said--
>Some years ago Kent Smith, while in Chicago developed a guideline for
>putting together programs. You might find it online with a little work.
>

I just read it quickly, and find it very useful for any dance. I
program ECD and it differs in no way from a typical Scottish Ball
except for the dances.

Guide to Developing a Program--does a good one exist? (was opening jigs)

Message 50891 · Bruce Herbold · 23 Jan 2008 18:49:29 · Top

The SF Branch has a detailed and, I believe, excellent guide to
programs that has worked very well for us for about 10 years. It
includes a section on programming from the musician's point of view
written by Andy Imbrie that is very helpful to non-musicians. It is
on our website but sadly our website manager has now put it into the
section that requires a password. If you are interested please email
me privately and I'll happily send a pdf of it

Bruce Herbold (bherbold at gmail.com)
San Francisco

On Jan 23, 2008 8:33 AM, Loretta Holz <loretta@varisys.com> wrote:
> Martin in Grenoble asked--
> What makes a dance suitable as a last dance before the interval or
> before going home?
>
> We were already discussing the options for an opening dance.
>
> My question--
> Would any of you recommend a book, web site our other source of
> information which would provide useful guidance for developing the whole
> program. Choosing a good dance for the first, for the last before the
> break, then for the first dance of the second half and a final farewell.
> And then filling in the dances between these as Sylvia says -- working
> up to a high point.
>
> Loretta Holz
> Warren, NJ, USA
>
>
>

Guide to Developing a Program--does a good one exist? (was opening jigs)

Message 50943 · Ian Brockbank · 30 Jan 2008 13:58:36 · Top

Hi Loretta,

> Would any of you recommend a book, web site our other source of
> information which would provide useful guidance for
> developing the whole
> program. Choosing a good dance for the first, for the last before the
> break, then for the first dance of the second half and a
> final farewell.
> And then filling in the dances between these as Sylvia says
> -- working
> up to a high point.

There is http://www.scottishdance.net/scd/tips/DanceProgramme.html .
Not sure it covers all your points (but I am saving these posts for that
mythical spare time moment when I can add them...)

Cheers,

Ian

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opening jigs

Message 50852 · ron.mackey · 20 Jan 2008 23:58:42 · Top

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rod Downey" <Rod.Downey@mcs.vuw.ac.nz>
...........
> If we have a lot of beginners, I might use The Dancing Bees
> as most of the dance is partnered. I like to ask the band to
> use Hey Jonnie Cope as the tune.
> rod

I have found that my class prefer More Bees A'dancing as it seem to
dance better. If you are not constrained try The Hazel Tree (J.D. The
Brodie Book) though it does start with an Espagnole but that shouldn't
present too much of a problem. Number One favourite hereabouts is Lady
June Gordon (W. Moorhead. Chicago 10th Ann. Coll.) as it has consecutive
reels. The music used to light it up is a Set of Jigs by Neil Barron on the
CD imaginatively titled 'Music for Scottish Dancing'. The two go very well
together.
Then of course there's Pullin Bracken, The Highland Rambler, Shiftin
Bobbins The Currie Mountain Reel and Jackanella and so on.

Happy Dancing :)

Ron

Ron Mackey
London, Croydon & International Branches

opening jigs

Message 50854 · Dick&Maureen Daniel · 21 Jan 2008 07:12:20 · Top

Totally agree. "He who pays the piper calls the tune".
[or should certainly have the right to do so]
Bands are there, primarily to provide a paid service to their "employers".
If they can't hack it, they shouldn't be doing it.
Dick Daniel
by Glasgow> From: george.meikle@btinternet.com> To: strathspey@strathspey.org> Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2008 10:54:09 +0000> Subject: RE: opening jigs> > I am sorry but I would have to disagree with Jim on this one. I personally> would prefer to start a dance with a good going reel tune rather than the> often stodgy jig tunes that programme devisers seem to use around this area.> > > Surely, like the dancers, it is up to the musician to get themselves warmed> up ready for the start of the dance. It is for this very reason that I> usually like to be at a venue half an hour before the dance starts. This> allows me time to get warmed up BEFORE the dance starts. To my mind it is> part of doing a professional job for the punters. After all they are paying> for the musician to play for all the dances, not the ones after the first> dance on the programme. I will bet that it is the bands/musicians who turn> up just 5-10 minutes before the dance starts who then complain because they> have to play a more difficult reel for the first dance. > > George Meikle (Dunfermline)> Lothian Scottish Dance Band> > >
_________________________________________________________________
Share what Santa brought you
https://www.mycooluncool.com

opening jigs

Message 50856 · Bruce Herbold · 21 Jan 2008 07:54:34 · Top

Well, out here in San Francisco we are blessed with a richness of
musicians who are eager to play for dancing -- but it sure isn't
because of the miserable stipend we can afford. The stipend is only a
token of appreciation and recognition of their expenses rather than
any real employee:employer relationship and certainly the enjoyment of
our band members is as obvious as that of the dancers at our classes
and parties. I continue to be amazed at the quality of music we get
-- way beyond what we could 'afford' and much less than they are
worth. Of course, when they aren't playing many of our musicians are
eager dancers so there's a bit of tit for tat going on as well. I
certainly feel no desire or entitlement to "call the tune."

Bruce Herbold
San Francisco

On Jan 20, 2008 10:12 PM, Dick Daniel <danddzines@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> Totally agree. "He who pays the piper calls the tune".
> [or should certainly have the right to do so]
> Bands are there, primarily to provide a paid service to their "employers".
> If they can't hack it, they shouldn't be doing it.
> Dick Daniel
> by Glasgow> From: george.meikle@btinternet.com> To: strathspey@strathspey.org> Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2008 10:54:09 +0000> Subject: RE: opening jigs> > I am sorry but I would have to disagree with Jim on this one. I personally> would prefer to start a dance with a good going reel tune rather than the> often stodgy jig tunes that programme devisers seem to use around this area.> > > Surely, like the dancers, it is up to the musician to get themselves warmed> up ready for the start of the dance. It is for this very reason that I> usually like to be at a venue half an hour before the dance starts. This> allows me time to get warmed up BEFORE the dance starts. To my mind it is> part of doing a professional job for the punters. After all they are paying> for the musician to play for all the dances, not the ones after the first> dance on the programme. I will bet that it is the bands/musicians who turn> up just 5-10 minutes before the dance starts who then complain because they> have to play a more difficult reel for the first dance. > > George Meikle (Dunfermline)> Lothian Scottish Dance Band> > >
> _________________________________________________________________
> Share what Santa brought you
> https://www.mycooluncool.com

opening jigs

Message 50861 · SMiskoe · 21 Jan 2008 15:42:29 · Top


In a message dated 1/20/2008 11:10:41 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
sue@suepetyt.me.uk writes:

I have had musicians tell me that a particular opening dance was either a
good one, or not such a good one from a musicians point of view, but have
never understood why.

My personal feeling for an opening dance is:
bright cheerful tune
tune that I am pretty familiar with so I an comfortable playing it
tune that is relatively easy to play: this is more on the personal side and
what I like to play and find easy may not be the same for another musician
One wants to start off sounding terrific.
Occasionally I will ask the program devisor to find a different dance
because musically I don't feel their choice is a good one.
This all ties into the program as a whole, beginning with a pleasant
non-demanding dance and working up to a high point just before the break.

Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA

**************Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape.
http://body.aol.com/fitness/winter-exercise?NCID=aolcmp00300000002489

opening jigs

Message 50864 · Bruce Herbold · 21 Jan 2008 19:38:48 · Top

Ah, Sue, we must have gone to different schools together. Couldn't
agree more even though I live on the program devisor side of the deal.
Once you've got your first dance and ending dance, you can coast.
But SCD is full of great ending dances; its those damn simple cheery
jigs that led me to my question in the first place.

Again my thanks to all for a lot of new possibilities to try.

Bruce Herbold
San Francisco

On Jan 21, 2008 6:42 AM, <SMiskoe@aol.com> wrote:
>
> In a message dated 1/20/2008 11:10:41 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
> sue@suepetyt.me.uk writes:
>
> I have had musicians tell me that a particular opening dance was either a
> good one, or not such a good one from a musicians point of view, but have
> never understood why.
>
>
> My personal feeling for an opening dance is:
> bright cheerful tune
> tune that I am pretty familiar with so I an comfortable playing it
> tune that is relatively easy to play: this is more on the personal side and
> what I like to play and find easy may not be the same for another musician
> One wants to start off sounding terrific.
> Occasionally I will ask the program devisor to find a different dance
> because musically I don't feel their choice is a good one.
> This all ties into the program as a whole, beginning with a pleasant
> non-demanding dance and working up to a high point just before the break.
>
> Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA
>
>
>
> **************Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape.
> http://body.aol.com/fitness/winter-exercise?NCID=aolcmp00300000002489
>

Paying the piper

Message 50857 · Anselm Lingnau · 21 Jan 2008 09:09:38 · Top

Dick Daniel wrote:

> "He who pays the piper calls the tune".
> [or should certainly have the right to do so]
> Bands are there, primarily to provide a paid service to their "employers".
> If they can't hack it, they shouldn't be doing it.

I can assure you that, from a commercial point of view, flipping burgers at
McDonalds is a vastly more attractive proposition than playing SCD music at
the rates that most »employers« are prepared to pay.

The trouble is that we enjoy playing the music so much that we tend to put up
with this rather than not play at all. Out here in the boonies we have enough
problems getting gigs in the first place that asking for reasonable money
(e.g., what ballroom-type dance musicians get for comparable hours) would
guarantee unemployment. Note that our competition here are not other bands,
but CDs recorded in the studio by the big names, where they potentially
splice together the best bits out of ten takes and tweak every note in the
computer until it is just so, resulting in something which could never,
technically, be matched on a live stage -- but which people tend to expect
because they hear it all the time in class. So a strike for better payment
isn't likely to happen anytime soon.

>From the »employer's« point of view this is just great. I shouldn't really be
complaining since this system allows my dance group to hire a world-class SCD
fiddler, a true Paganini among cat-gut scratchers, for the price of an
airplane ticket, some food and, by way of wages, a pittance that your
friendly neighbourhood wedding reception »musician« wouldn't deign to take
his fully-computerised keyboard out of his car boot for. But it's fortunate
that most of our musicians have a day job to pay the bills (or must be
independently wealthy) or else we would be reduced to using old recordings as
all the musicians would long since have starved.

Finally, if we want to be cynical, »if they can't hack it they shouldn't be
doing it« applies to dancers just as well. It is funny how some people expect
complete and utter perfection in their dance music but find it difficult to
do even simple dances without getting their set all muddled up (let's not
even get started on extraneous little details such as footwork here). But
then of course everybody knows that SCD musicians aren't born, they just
emerge, fully formed, from the depths of an upright piano, so musical
perfection is the least of what we are entitled to. After all, we're *paying*
them (but at discount rates, please)! :^)

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
It's kind of fun to do the impossible. -- Walt Disney

Paying the piper

Message 50858 · Pia Walker · 21 Jan 2008 09:39:07 · Top

Hear, Hear Anselm - And if it wasn't for the music - what would we dance to.
We are so lucky that the musicians who have bothered to learn to play for
our style of dancing are so good. The dancer and the musician/band is a
team, not opposite sides of a divide.
Pia

I can assure you that, from a commercial point of view, flipping burgers at
McDonalds is a vastly more attractive proposition than playing SCD music at
the rates that most "employers" are prepared to pay.

The trouble is that we enjoy playing the music so much that we tend to put
up
with this rather than not play at all. Out here in the boonies we have
enough
problems getting gigs in the first place that asking for reasonable money
(e.g., what ballroom-type dance musicians get for comparable hours) would
guarantee unemployment. Note that our competition here are not other bands,
but CDs recorded in the studio by the big names, where they potentially
splice together the best bits out of ten takes and tweak every note in the
computer until it is just so, resulting in something which could never,
technically, be matched on a live stage -- but which people tend to expect
because they hear it all the time in class. So a strike for better payment
isn't likely to happen anytime soon.

>From the "employer's" point of view this is just great. I shouldn't really
be
complaining since this system allows my dance group to hire a world-class
SCD
fiddler, a true Paganini among cat-gut scratchers, for the price of an
airplane ticket, some food and, by way of wages, a pittance that your
friendly neighbourhood wedding reception "musician" wouldn't deign to take
his fully-computerised keyboard out of his car boot for. But it's fortunate
that most of our musicians have a day job to pay the bills (or must be
independently wealthy) or else we would be reduced to using old recordings
as
all the musicians would long since have starved.

Finally, if we want to be cynical, "if they can't hack it they shouldn't be
doing it" applies to dancers just as well. It is funny how some people
expect
complete and utter perfection in their dance music but find it difficult to
do even simple dances without getting their set all muddled up (let's not
even get started on extraneous little details such as footwork here). But
then of course everybody knows that SCD musicians aren't born, they just
emerge, fully formed, from the depths of an upright piano, so musical
perfection is the least of what we are entitled to. After all, we're
*paying*
them (but at discount rates, please)! :^)

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany .....................
anselm@strathspey.org
It's kind of fun to do the impossible. -- Walt
Disney

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Paying the piper

Message 50859 · RODERICK JOHNSTON · 21 Jan 2008 11:05:34 · Top

Musicians get paid!!!

I know many musicians like me who play for classes for the enjoyment and satisfaction of playing the music. Dance groups like mine couldn't afford to pay for a musician every week and the only time I receive any financial reward is when playing for a dance. This issue was raised briefly at the Summer School last year. At my classes the best I get is a cup of tea and a biscuit. Although a reasonable musician I am fairly new to playing for SCD and it is very demanding. Some support towards the cost of the Summer School or reduced fees would be one way of showing thanks.

As for warming up the musician, I love a good warm up!! There is nothing worse than arriving at a cold village hall, where the heating has been turned off to save money, and not being able to set up and have a practice to loosen up the fingers until just before the event starts. Cold hands and a fast reel do not go together.

On a separate issue, I suspect that many dance organisers have little idea as to how much work is involved for the musician in preparing for a dance or the cost of sheet music. A dance program of say 20 dances may require 20 original tunes which have to be found, not all are in George Mikel's famous book. I have literally hundred of pounds worth of sheet music at home and even now still don't have anywhere near all the original tunes. With each original tune there will usually be another three tunes, sometimes seven to make up the dance, 8x32 etc and you just can't throw any old tunes together, they should match the style of the original and flow together. The more experienced the musician is then the more likely he will have sets partially prepared but even so when you receive a dance list a week before the dance and realise that you haven't played some of the dances before panic can set in. On top of that you have to practice the pieces and, if like me,
you still work during the daytime it does not leave much time for partying.

Please don't get me wrong, this is not a moan, I love playing and for that matter dancing, but it isn't simply a matter of turning up for a dance or classes and just playing any old tune.

Rod Johnston,
Fort William

Pia <pia@intamail.com> wrote:
Hear, Hear Anselm - And if it wasn't for the music - what would we dance to.
We are so lucky that the musicians who have bothered to learn to play for
our style of dancing are so good. The dancer and the musician/band is a
team, not opposite sides of a divide.
Pia

I can assure you that, from a commercial point of view, flipping burgers at
McDonalds is a vastly more attractive proposition than playing SCD music at
the rates that most "employers" are prepared to pay.

The trouble is that we enjoy playing the music so much that we tend to put
up
with this rather than not play at all. Out here in the boonies we have
enough
problems getting gigs in the first place that asking for reasonable money
(e.g., what ballroom-type dance musicians get for comparable hours) would
guarantee unemployment. Note that our competition here are not other bands,
but CDs recorded in the studio by the big names, where they potentially
splice together the best bits out of ten takes and tweak every note in the
computer until it is just so, resulting in something which could never,
technically, be matched on a live stage -- but which people tend to expect
because they hear it all the time in class. So a strike for better payment
isn't likely to happen anytime soon.

>From the "employer's" point of view this is just great. I shouldn't really
be
complaining since this system allows my dance group to hire a world-class
SCD
fiddler, a true Paganini among cat-gut scratchers, for the price of an
airplane ticket, some food and, by way of wages, a pittance that your
friendly neighbourhood wedding reception "musician" wouldn't deign to take
his fully-computerised keyboard out of his car boot for. But it's fortunate
that most of our musicians have a day job to pay the bills (or must be
independently wealthy) or else we would be reduced to using old recordings
as
all the musicians would long since have starved.

Finally, if we want to be cynical, "if they can't hack it they shouldn't be
doing it" applies to dancers just as well. It is funny how some people
expect
complete and utter perfection in their dance music but find it difficult to
do even simple dances without getting their set all muddled up (let's not
even get started on extraneous little details such as footwork here). But
then of course everybody knows that SCD musicians aren't born, they just
emerge, fully formed, from the depths of an upright piano, so musical
perfection is the least of what we are entitled to. After all, we're
*paying*
them (but at discount rates, please)! :^)

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany .....................
anselm@strathspey.org
It's kind of fun to do the impossible. -- Walt
Disney

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16:59

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Checked by AVG Free Edition.
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Paying the piper

Message 50898 · Dick&Maureen Daniel · 24 Jan 2008 11:28:04 · Top

anselm@strathspey.org wrote......> Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2008 09:09:38 +0100> Subject: Paying the piper (was: opening jigs)> > I can assure you that, from a commercial point of view, flipping burgers at > McDonalds is a vastly more attractive proposition than playing SCD music at > the rates that most »employers« are prepared to pay.
It is funny how some people expect complete and utter perfection in their dance music but find it difficult to > do even simple dances without getting their set all muddled up (let's not > even get started on extraneous little details such as footwork here). But > then of course everybody knows that SCD musicians aren't born, they just > emerge, fully formed, from the depths of an upright piano,>

Do you mean like perfect musicians, perfectly formed?? I don't know any SCD musician who would claim that.

> I can assure you that, from a commercial point of view, as with most things, the market pays what the market can bear. If all the SCD musicians were willing to play for nothing, that would be the recognised rate for the job. Conversely, if they all demanded 200 Euros per hour, people would be very picky about who they "invited/ employed". I think the reality lies somewhere in between for Scottish Country Dance Music.
If flipping burgers at Macdonald's appeals better, perhaps that is what some people should be doing.
No need for any references relating to [perfect?] footwork there. I agree Anselm. Let's not get into all that again.

Dick Daniel
by Glasgow

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opening jigs

Message 50840 · Walter Ligon · 20 Jan 2008 14:50:00 · Top

I like dances with the same characteristics as above but an additional
criterion would be 3 couple dances.

I didn't se anyone mention Good Hearted Glasgow

Happy dancing,

Walt Ligon

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-wligonmd=bellsouth.net@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-wligonmd=bellsouth.net@strathspey.org] On
Behalf Of Bruce Herbold
Sent: Sunday, January 20, 2008 2:28 AM
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: opening jigs

I am always in the market for good jigs to start programs and classes
with. Ones without slip step or pas de Basque seem best but my list
isn't very long: Hollin Buss, Happy Meeting, Kendall's Hornpipe,
Hooper's Jig, and EH37AF generally fill the bill from the RSCDS
publications. Goldring's The Lady Wynd has been suggested but most
published dances seem to usually be too complicated or busy to fit this
need (except for the dances in Let's All Dance and Let's All Dance Too,
for which Allah be praised).

What else do people use?

thanks in advance,

Bruce Herbold
San Francisco Branch

opening jigs

Message 50841 · Lee Fuell · 20 Jan 2008 15:11:44 · Top

Bruce,

I agree that there is a dearth of good RSCDS dances to use as opening jigs. There are a few in he Graded Book that work (Lady Catherine Bruce's Reel, Leap Year, The Merry Reapers, and The Highland Fair, to name a few). If you are constrained by policy or preference to use RSCDS dances, the choices are somewhat limited. I find my most fertile ground for easy starters and beginner-level teaching dances to be in Let's All Dance and Let's All Dance, Too. They are two of the most indispensable books in our collection.

Lee

Beavercreek, OH, USA

-----Original Message-----
>From: Bruce Herbold <bherbold@gmail.com>
>Sent: Jan 20, 2008 2:28 AM
>To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
>Subject: opening jigs
>
>I am always in the market for good jigs to start programs and classes
>with. Ones without slip step or pas de Basque seem best but my list
>isn't very long: Hollin Buss, Happy Meeting, Kendall's Hornpipe,
>Hooper's Jig, and EH37AF generally fill the bill from the RSCDS
>publications. Goldring's The Lady Wynd has been suggested but most
>published dances seem to usually be too complicated or busy to fit
>this need (except for the dances in Let's All Dance and Let's All
>Dance Too, for which Allah be praised).
>
>What else do people use?
>
>thanks in advance,
>
>Bruce Herbold
>San Francisco Branch

opening jigs

Message 50847 · Anselm Lingnau · 20 Jan 2008 22:18:52 · Top

Bruce Herbold wrote:

> What else do people use?

One that we tend to use is The Laird of Milton's Daughter, which does have two
pas de basque at the very start, but the rest of the dance is very nice and
not too energetic :^)

Speaking as a musician, I'm with George when he says that (a) the musician(s)
ought to be warmed up already for a function and (b) it doesn't really matter
whether the first dance is a reel or jig. Having said that, I would still
much prefer not to have to start up with General Stuart's Reel, but I think I
will have the dancers behind me on that one :^)

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.
-- John Cotton Dana, motto composed for Kean College, New Jersey

opening jigs

Message 50853 · Thomas G. Mungall, III · 21 Jan 2008 01:25:07 · Top

I like to start with the Ninesome Reel then go right into the Petronella
(Aberdeen style). Now that's a warm-up!

Just kidding!

Tom Mungall
Baton Rouge, La, USA

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