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Arthur's Seat - bars 31-32

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    Chris Ronald Feb. 26, 2018, 5:02 p.m. (Message 69473)

    Hi Eric, Derek, and Keith,
    
    Goodness me, I thought this issue had been settled. I guess I should add a
    comment.  Along with other teachers with whom I have discussed this
    question, I believe the correct reading of the last two bars of Arthur's
    Seat is that a petronella turn is intended.
    
    There are several reasons.  Firstly, as far as we can tell, the author of
    the 18th Century Book (Jack McConachie - JM) always states when dancers
    should give hands.  We see no reason why he would not have done so, if that
    is what he had in mind, in this instance.
    
    Secondly, JM uses "turn by the right" elsewhere to mean a petronella turn
    or something similar.  Take a look at dance #34 in the 18th Century Book,
    Mairi Allan, bars 25-28, for example.  It is clear that no hands are given
    in this case.
    
    In further support of our interpretation, consider what happens at the end
    of the second time through, when 1st couple have to reach the bottom of the
    set on the last two bars as 4th couple step up.  For 1st man, that is a
    challenging track with a plain petronella turn, but it is practically
    impossible for 1st couple if they have to turn partner with the right hand
    as well.
    
    Good luck!
    
    Chris.
  • ...

    Chris Ronald Feb. 26, 2018, 5:25 p.m. (Message 69474, in reply to message 69473)

    PS.
    
    Consider also the dance Cauld Kail published by the RSCDS in Book 9. This
    dance also uses the expression "turn by the right" for the last two bars of
    'hello-goodbye', and it is clear from the wording and the diagram that a
    petronella turn is intended.
    
    Chris.
  • ...

    arthur mclean Feb. 26, 2018, 7:14 p.m. (Message 69475, in reply to message 69474)

    Oh dear, I don't know what edition of Jack McConachie's book Chris is
    quoting from.  I have a copy of the original, published in 1960 and
    signed by Jack (he was my teacher, when I was a teenager).It clearly
    states "31-32  First couple turn each other with right hands to own
    sides, in 2nd place."He has copious notes on each dance, including
    details for bars 25-30 of Arthur's Seat, which are commonly called
    "Hello goodbye setting" today.  I know HGB setting typically ends with
    a petronella turn, so this may have crept in over the last 50+ years,
    but it is definitely NOT in the original 1960 publication.I do not
    have access to the manuscript of D.A.Young's 1740 collection.  However
    it is in the Bodleian Library in Oxford, a mere 40 miles from Jack's
    old home.  I have every confidence that he researched and faithfully
    interpreted that document.Bottom line is, I believe Eric's cribs are
    correct.Happy dancing,Arthur McLean
    
          From: Chris Ronald <xxxxxxxx@xxxxx.xxx>
     To: xxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx 
     Sent: Monday, February 26, 2018 9:25 AM
     Subject: Re: Arthur's Seat - bars 31-32
       
    PS.
    
    Consider also the dance Cauld Kail published by the RSCDS in Book 9. This
    dance also uses the expression "turn by the right" for the last two bars of
    'hello-goodbye', and it is clear from the wording and the diagram that a
    petronella turn is intended.
    
    Chris.
  • ...

    Chris Ronald Feb. 26, 2018, 7:36 p.m. (Message 69476, in reply to message 69475)

    Arthur McLean wrote:
    
    "Oh dear, I don't know what edition of Jack McConachie's book Chris is
    quoting from.  I have a copy of the original, published in 1960 and signed
    by Jack (he was my teacher, when I was a teenager).It clearly states
    "31-32  First couple turn each other with right hands to own sides, in 2nd
    place."He has copious notes on each dance, including details for bars 25-30
    of Arthur's Seat, which are commonly called "Hello goodbye setting" today.
    I know HGB setting typically ends with a petronella turn, so this may have
    crept in over the last 50+ years, but it is definitely NOT in the original
    1960 publication."
    
    My copy of the 18th Century Book has the following notation on page 2:
    
    First Edition       1960
    Second Edition (Reset, revised and enlarged)    1963
    Reprinted   1967
    Reprinted   1990
    
    It would seem that Jack McConachie changed his mind about his 1960
    interpretation of the ending of the dance, probably already in 1963.
    
    To respond to Eric's original posting, the RSCDS is not in the business of
    interpreting dances that they have not published, and speaking personally I
    would think it unlikely that it would start down this path, which could
    lead to lots of controversy, as the current discussion illustrates.
    
    By the way, the recording for this dance by Dave Wiesler and Hanneke Cassel
    is one of my absolute favourites.
    
    Chris.
  • ...

    Rosemary Coupe Feb. 26, 2018, 9:57 p.m. (Message 69479, in reply to message 69475)

    Jack McConachie's book is clearly based on careful research. However, 
    historical changes in the musical length of dance figures (as well as 
    uncertainty about what 18th C dance terms actually meant) often led him to 
    adapt Young's MS quite freely. He makes this clear in his Foreword: "In some 
    instances it has been necessary for me to adapt the phrasing of the Dances 
    in this book to take into account the changes in musical outlook since their 
    publication in 1740 ... " He actually makes changes that seem gratuitous, 
    such as describing 15 of the dances as strathspeys, even though the 
    strathspey as separate musical category postdates David Young.
    
    McConachie's treatment of "Arthur's Seat" is a good example of this. Here is 
    Young's dance:
    
    16.   Arthur’s Seat.
    
    RIGHT hands across with the first pair, and cast off; left hands across with 
    the 2d pair, and sett a little. Lead up one pair, & cast off; lead down one 
    pair and cast up. SETT cross partners. Lead out at both sides.
    
    The music is in 4/4 tempo and has four 4-bar phrases, each repeated. Young 
    has a clear way of indicating phrasing: red upper-case at the start of bars 
    1-8 and 17-24, and red lower-case at the start of bars 9-16 and 25-32. 
    (These are the first words of the sentences above.) Except for the 
    delightfully vague "sett a little" the instructions are terse and use 
    standard terms - a bit like our cribs.
    
    However, Young's first 8 bars need more than 8 in modern phrasing. So McC 
    expanded them to 16 bars and cut out the last 8 bars completely. He also 
    decided to reconstruct "sett cross partners" as the "set to corners and 
    partner" which was a standard RSCDS formation in 1957. In his other MS, when 
    Young means something like our modern Hello and Goodbye, he writes, "SETT to 
    the cross partner and your own Partner alternatively."
    
    The question of what McConachie wanted to happen on bars 31-32 of his dance 
    was exhaustively covered in Strathspey exchanges many years ago. I incline 
    to the "petronella turn" interpretation because of the internal evidence 
    cited by Chris. But I agree with Arthur that we shouldn't impose our own 
    understanding of the H & G movement just because it's standard now.
    
    Rosemary Coupe
    Vancouver

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