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Braes of Tulliemet

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    res009k3 Oct. 3, 2001, 5:28 p.m. (Message 27714)

    One of the first problems with any Gaelic names is the fact that there
    is no national academy of Gaelic, thus no standards as to spelling.
    This explains the "Tulliemet" vs. Tullimet" spellings, either is OK
    along with the following which I generated just got from a program I
    wrote some time ago to locate Irish names under other spellings. My
    search string looks like this:
    This will give you 294 correct spellings of which I have been able to
    locate 6. The current spellings are derivitive from the Gaelic,
    "Tulaich mhait" [hillock {tully = hilly} + good {or proper}].
    Regarding 101 and VII-12, one should remember that 101 is a personal
    publication of Miss M, and not necessarily official RSCDS as the
    Collins series of books never went through the publications committee
    of the Society.
    A second problem is that too often, dance notes confuse the dance
    [collection of figures to a particular tune] with how to dance [which
    hand to take etc.]. Unfortunately too many teachers, devisors, and
    dance note editors fail to recognize this and have caused a lot of
    antisocial feelings regarding the "right" way to dance.
    While I am not sure of the present process, I do know that TAC in the
    past has picked up a lot of Miss M's off the cuff remarks as gospel,
    which she would probably deny or say the opposite if given the chance.
    One process of the past goes something like this:
    1. At one time all official versions of RSCDS dances came
       from a combination of the text + Miss M's first teaching
       in St Andrews to the fully certificated and very advanced
       classes in Younger Hall.
    2. A TAC representative would sit in younger hall with the 
       book in one hand and take notes on everything Miss M 
       would say in the process of the initial teaching.
    3. Later, the TAC representative would have tea with Miss M
       and go over her notes.
    4. The results of the process would appear in the TAC notes.
         This ignores that there were often discrepencies between what
         Miss M taught and what members of the publications committee
         remembered from their dance through on Coates Crescent prior to
         publication. Also, when questioned, Miss M would often change her
         mind and or deny that what was taught was what she wanted.
         Lastly, some dances were often done differently the same week in
         the Younger Hall evening presentations to the summer school at
    I am not saying that the dances were changed, only that the dancing
    was changed as notes were interpreted differently by herself from time
    to time, or by her surrogates such as Bill Ireland when it came to
    Unfortunately my first hand knowledge of RSCDS publications only
    begins with Book XXI, so my interpretation of Braes of Tullimet is
    only from my own notes and the original texts.
    As the RSCDS published reference is "A Perthshire dance. Collected on
    Borders, up Yarrow," we are still lost. "A Perthshire dance" is a twee
    way of saying that Tulliemet is in Perthshire, which has nothing to do
    with the dance beyond the fact that the original tune, which the
    Society chooses not to use, refers to Tulliemet as might the words to
    a related poem. NB: Miss M suggests the original tune, but the Society
    suggests "Hon. Mrs. Drummond of Perth's Strathspey" by John Bowie. So
    as far as we know, this dance was collected by an unknown person in
    the Borders. My first suspicion as to the collector would be someone
    of the Ian Jamieson ilk, who at various times the Society has chosen
    not to recognize. [The Border Book was sort of an underground
    publication from 1945 until after Miss M's passing.]
    The questions raised in this discussion did not seem important enough
    to be included in Miss M's original WYJTD.
    My opinions regarding questions of 9-12 & 13&14:
    [9-12] There is no reason for an insertion "finish on the
           sidelines," a la TAC. 
           1. For the 3s this is an obvious default since they
              are not dancing in bars 13-16, where else would
              they end, in the middle just to be in the way?
           2. For the 1s this seems to be an unnecessary exag-
              geration designed to keep them from stopping in
              the center prior to the lead up. As such this is
              simply a dancing point indicating that there
              should be a flow between the circle and the lead.
           There is a significant reason for not ending on the 
              sides as the original track was probably ...
              "cross up cast to corners" instead of ...
              "lead up cast to corners".
           I say this in that the usual cast to corners is done
              from one's own side so that one's approach to the
              corners is face on not from the side. But as this
              is specificly not the RSCDS way in this case, the
              flow of the dance is hurt by this possible error.
           [I know that the notes are not in the RSCDS minutes 
              when this dance was published and there is no evi-
              dence of a "chain of possession" to any extant 
              notes. So, if anyone knows of a preRSCDS source,
              I would like to know about it. RG]
    [13-14] While I prefer "nearer hand lead" as a way of
              dancing, again this is an obvious default which
              should apply to all dances when there is no re-
              versal of direction or changing of sides.
            At the same time, the non use of nearer hands might
              be considered evidence that a cross and cast was
              in the original for the reasons I mentioned in my
              "aside" above.
    For further guidance, or confusion, on these subjects, look at similar
    situations in other RSCDS publications. As teachers, if we teach rules
    of dancing, it will greatly simplify the teaching of dances.
    R Goss
  • ...

    res009k3 Oct. 3, 2001, 5:38 p.m. (Message 27715, in reply to message 27714)

    I would not take ...
    "specified "101 version, not RSCDS 7/12" ...
    too seriously, as if it was a decision of any import. 
    101 is often used uncritically as a reference as more people,
    especially non teachers, are likely to have 101 than 7/12.
    In this case, it doesn't matter. However in others one should check
    for any real differences to eliminate the necessity of "how to"
    discussions during the dance.

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