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English Country Dances

English Country Dances

Ref: CDG1246

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Cheery English dances from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in vibrant arrangements from The Broadside Band. From the Long Dance to the Country Dance, the band's shawms and sackbuts, recorders and hurdy-gurdies present a series of tuneful, rhythmic pavanes and galliards, branles and canarios, all of which are explained in the detailed booklet.

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English Country Dances

Cheery English dances from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in vibrant arrangements from The Broadside Band. From the Long Dance to the Country Dance, the band's shawms and sackbuts, recorders and hurdy-gurdies present a series of tuneful, rhythmic pavanes and galliards, branles and canarios, all of which are explained in the detailed booklet.

1 The Lord Zouches Maske
dance: for a march or pavan
music: arr. from Giles Farnaby's setting in FVB

2 Pavan
dance: Arbeau 1596
music: arr. from Holborne 1599

3 The Long Dance
dance: traditional from various sources of the time
tunes: Mill-field (Playford 1651), Sellenger's Round (FVB), Halfe Hannikin (Playford 1651)

4 Branle des Sabots
dance and tune: Arbeau 1596

5 Pinagay
dance and tune: Arbeau 1596

6 Branle de l'Official
dance and tune: Arbeau 1596

7 Branle des Lavandieres
dance and tune: Arbeau 1596

8 Nowel's Galliard
dance: Arbeau, Caroso, Negri
music: arr. from Holborne 1599

9 The Earl of Essex Measures
dance: Bodleian ms. Douce 280
tune: RCM ms. 1119

10. Gathering Peascods
dance and tune: Playford 1651

11 Millisons Jegge
dance and tune: Playford 1651 (incorporating alterations to the tune from later editions)

12 The Ould Almaine
dance: Bodleian ms. Douce 280
music: Mounsiers Almaine, arr. from Morley 1599

13 Quadran Pavin
dance: Bodleian ms.Douce 280
tune: RCM ms. 1119

14 Can She Excuse (The Earl of Essex Galliard)
dance: Arbeau, Caroso, Negri
music: John Dowland FLW

15 Branle de la Guerre
dance and tune: Arbeau 1596

16 Branle des Chevaulx
dance and tune: Arbeau 1596

17 Branle[s] d'Escosse
dance and tunes: Arbeau 1596

18 The Queens Almaine
dance: Bodleian ms. Douce 280
music: arr. from William Byrd's setting, FVB

19 Coranto
dance: Arbeau and Inns of Court mss.
music: arr. from The Fairie-round, Holborne 1599

20 Il Canario
dance and music: Caroso 1581

21 Bassa Pompilia
dance and music: Caroso 1581

22 Jenny Pluck Pears
dance and tune: Playford 1651

23 Drive the Cold Winter Away
dance and tune: Playford 1651

24 Graies Inne Maske
dance and tune: Playford 1651, bass from BL ms. Add. 10444

The Broadside Band directed by Jeremy Barlow
Jeremy Barlow (recorders, pipe and tabor), Sharon Lindo (violin, rebec, bagpipe, bombard), Arngeir Hauksson (lute, cittern), Rosemary Thorndycraft (bass viol, hurdy-gurdy), Keith McGowan (shawm), Nicholas Perry (bombard), Kate Rockett (sackbut)

Harmonisations of the tunes and arrangements of musical sources are by Jeremy Barlow unless otherwise stated. Use of capitals and spelling based on the source used.

Abbreviations:
Arbeau 1596: Orchésographie, by Thoinot Arbeau [Jehan Tabourot], 1596 edition
FVB: Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, ms. compiled by Francis Tregian, 1609-1619
Holborne 1599: Pavans, Galliards, Almains, by Anthony Holborne, 1599
Playford 1651: The English Dancing Master, published by John Playford, 1651
RCM: Royal College of Music, London
FLW: Folger Library, Washington
Bodleian: Bodleian Library, Oxford
BL: British Library, London

CCL CDG1246
Cover image: English Folk Dancing [The Long Dance] Lebrecht Music & Arts
P & C 2003 Classical Communications Ltd
Made in Great Britain

English Country Dances

'English Country Dances' provides an insight into the dancing of Tudor and Jacobean England, with the court as the fashionable model to the rest of the country (i.e. the nation: ranging from the great households in the shires, the Inns of Court and universities, to merchants, artisans, servants and land workers). Queen Elizabeth was a keen dancer throughout her life, and was praised for her energy and grace; the richness of the dance culture in her time led the nation to be dubbed 'the dancing English'. At this time, the court shared dance forms with the wider European court culture, such as the pavan, galliard, canario and branles, whilst enjoying dances native to England: the measures and the country dances.

The pavan was an important dance to display power and rank, either in a formal procession or as a set dance with its specific music. The measures were also formal and simple in execution, a dance-type found only in England: The Earl of Essex Measures, The Ould Almaine, Quadran Pavin, The Queens Almaine. The instructions for these dances have survived in a group of manuscripts for the revels at the Inns of Court, at which the all-male legal community danced as part of their social calendar. The galliard was an energetic leaping dance in which the man could display his mastery in partnership with his lady. As an improvised dance, performed by one couple at a time in a court ball, it dominates the surviving sources. There is detailed documentation from Italy, France and England to enable dancers to perform the dance today. The improvised dance forms were the main activity in dancing at court, highly demanding technically, and requiring years of practice. The coranto and canario are lively examples, which can be used as an introduction to this field of dancing.

In contrast the branles were communal dances with straightforward steps and sequences. While the English enjoyed their own versions of these circle and line dances, a rich repertoire of the French originals is available in Arbeau's dance book. The branles came out of the traditional dances of the French regions. The English equivalent was the country dance, a much more sophisticated dance form danced in couples in a set. Its origin was in the hierarchical communities of the English countryside centred on the great houses and it became a fashionable form at court by 1600. The first record of the country dance was published by Playford in 1651, but this contains many examples that were danced 50 years or so earlier. Gathering Peascods and Jenny Pluck Pears as round dances are an older form, while Millisons Jegge and Drive the Cold Winter Away are danced in longways sets. The tunes of the country dances are particularly beautiful, drawing on songs and popular melodies. Also included here is music for the long dance, the simplest form of communal dance found in every age and country of Europe in some form or other. In this a leader takes everyone on a dance journey round the hall, or out on the village green and round a maypole, or through the streets of the town.

The Italian repertoire is vividly preserved in the dancing masters' manuals by Caroso and Negri. These are the source for the canario and galliard steps. The typical Italian form was the balletto, a sophisticated set dance often containing varied rhythms. This does not seem to have spread into France and England, despite the work of Italian masters at the court of France. Bassa Pompilia is a charming introduction to this rich field of dancing.

Social dancing was enjoyed by all from courtiers to servants, but the Tudor and Stuart court also encouraged the development of theatre dance, in line with Italy and France. The masque centred on specially choreographed dances for a group of male or female courtiers, with music, song, poetry, scenery and costume to establish the theme. Lord Zouches Maske was probably composed for a Tudor masque, and can be used to arrange a patterned dance for 6 - 16 dancers. Graies Inne Maske was composed for a masque by the Inns of Court, probably for the wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Frederick, Elector Palatine in 1613. The varied rhythms mean that it was originally an antimasque dance, therefore comic or grotesque, but the beauty of the strains has led to the creation of an unusual country dance for social use.


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