Tag Archives: Playford

St. Catherine

 

stcatherine

 

A tune for 25th November feast-day of the legendary Alexandrian princess, scholar and Christian martyr who has her work cut out as the patron saint of a diverse slice of humanity, from potters and unmarried girls to knife-grinders and librarians.

‘St. Catherine’ is the 1701 Playford name for My Lord Cutt’s Delight, a tune from Henry Atkinson’s 1694 Northumberland manuscript. (The Session has notes on repeats, if playing this tune for the dance.)

The two featured videos this week pair St. Catherine in dance sets with another tune – Leveret play it second to New Anything; melodeon-player Anahata places it first in a set with The Cotillon.

 

Leveret

Andy Cutting (diatonic button accordion), Rob Harbron (English concertina), Sam Sweeney (fiddle)

A track from the trio’s 2015 debut album New Anything. (St. Catherine begins at 1:58.)

(‘Levert – New Anything/St Catherine’ YouTube video, 4:19. Published by Sam Sweeney, 12 Dec 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tev4RxJQwJE)

 

Anahata (melodeon)

A very clear solo version that makes an excellent a teaching video. Played on an Oakwood D/G melodeon.

(‘My Lord Cutt’s Delight/The Cotillon’ YouTube video, 3:10. Published by anahatamelodeon, 30 Aug 2011. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ko6pY_5VD78)

 

Leveret:  website   Facebook  Twitter

Anahata:  website   YouTube

 

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Whitehall Minuet

 

whitehall-palace-river

Whitehall Palace, London

 

This lovely tune is named for the Palace of White Hall, which had grown larger than Versailles or the Vatican by the time it was almost entirely destroyed by fire in 1698.

The Whitehall Minuet was published in 1709 by John Young in his tunebook Dancing Master, and in John Walsh’s Compleat Country Dancing Master, 1718.

Hare’s Maggot and French Morris, the ‘set’ partners to the minuet in the two very different renderings below, are both Playford tunes from 1701.

I’ve always understood that ‘maggot’ in a title means a tune that sticks in your head – an ear-worm. But I see from the wonderful Traditional Tune Archive that although the word can mean a dram (a liquid measure), ‘the musical meaning may stem from the word’s derivation from the Italian word maggioletta, or a plaything’.

 

The Askew Sisters

Emily Askew (fiddle), Hazel Askew (melodeon)

From a 2014 performance at TwickFolk, Twickenham, Middlesex, UK. The set is also on their CD In the Air or the Earth.

(‘The Askew Sisters – The Whitehall Minuet and Hare’s Maggot’, YouTube video, 5:10. Published by Eugey Baby, 15 Oct 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guZEJy_ggRQ)

 

Boldwood

Becky Price (accordion), Miranda Rutter (fiddle, viola), Matthew Coatsworth (fiddle, viola)

From the acclaimed but unreleased 2012 album Mudlarking. Whitehall Minuet starts at 1:41.

(https://soundcloud.com/boldwood/06-french-morris-whitehall)

 

GIG ALERTS!

Askew Sisters:  this coming Monday 19 September, at London’s Green Note, Camden. Last few tickets here!

Boldwood:  Saturday 15 October, St Peter’s Church, Wolvercote, Oxford. Tickets: info@stpeterswolvercote.org  or 01865 559316

 

For more information on CDs, gigs etc:

Askew Sisters:  website   facebook

Boldwood:  website   facebook

 

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Clark’s Hornpipe

 

First, a Stop Press Gig Alert! 

Tomorrow, Friday 3 June 2016, 7 pm

Alma-848x400ALMA    Emily Askew, John Dipper, Adrian Lever

CD launch at London’s historic and gorgeous Foundling Museum.

Tickets and details:  The Foundling Museum

And if we’re very lucky, they may play…

…Clark’s Hornpipe

In eighteenth-century England, the two John Walshes*, father and son, dominated music publishing. John Walsh Snr was printing engraved music on The Strand, London, by 1690, and later John Walsh Jnr won what we would now call ‘exclusive rights’ to Handel’s music. WalshHandelSonatas1732Cover

Clark’s was first published in the Walshes’ 1730 tunes collection, under the snappy title The Third Book of the most celebrated jiggs, Lancashire hornpipes, Scotch and Highland lilts, Northern frisks, Morris’s and Cheshire rounds with hornpipes the bagpipe manner, to which is added the Black Joak, the White Joak, the Brown,, the Red, and the Yellow Joaks. With variety of whims and fancies of diff’rent humour, fitted to the genious of publick performers.

Perhaps they took editorial advice, or wanted to pay their engraver less,  but the reprint title shrank to Three Extraordinary Collections, Early 18th century dance music for those who play publick.

Well, ‘those who play publick’ are still playing the Walshes’ tunes – and this particular hornpipe is one of my favourites.

 

Alma

Emily Askew (fiddle), John Dipper (fiddle), Nicola Lyons (fiddle), Adrian Lever (guitar)

Gorgeously textured performance by the London-based fiddle group at Sidmouth Folk Week 2015.

 

(‘Clark’s Hornpipe at The Ham Marquee’, YouTube video, 1.50. Posted by Alma Fiddles, 10 Aug 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aFPA7bo57o)

 

Boldwood

Becky Price (accordion), Tim Perkins (bouzouki/guitar), Richard Heacock (fiddle/viola), Daniel Wolverson (fiddle/viola)

This utterly danceable version is from the group’s 2008 album Feet, Don’t Fail Me Now, available on Spotify (the link is to the full album; it seems impossible to link to the single tune). You can find the sheet music for the tune in their first collection of English and Welsh country dance tunes The Boldwood Dancing Master, available from their website (see below).

FeetDontFail

 

Alma Fiddles:  website  Facebook  Twitter

Boldwood:  website  Facebook

*Read more about the Walshes on Wikipedia and folkopedia (scroll down)

 

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Black and Grey

 

A tune from Playford’s The Dancing Master, 1686 (also known as A Trip to Kilburn – originally the name of the dance that belongs to the tune).

The Round  has a good piece on the Playford tunes and dances – ‘melodies that set a-tapping the toes of Charles II, Henry Purcell and Samuel Pepys,’ says Mary Anne Ballard of the Baltimore Consort.

So, here’s Black and Grey played by quartet Boldwood, followed by a slower version on mandolin that’s perfect for catching the tune by ear.

 

Boldwood

Becky Price (accordion), Daniel Wolverson (viola), Matthew Coatsworth (fiddle), Kate Moran (fiddle)

A video made during rehearsal in January 2016.

 

(‘Boldwood – Black and Grey’ YouTube video, 4.31. Posted by Boldwood, 2 Feb 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8k90Hj9RHIQ)

 

Folk and Classical Mandolin

Sadly no name or contact details for this accomplished mandolinist, whose YouTube video notes quote interesting dates and information for the tune from The Fiddler’s Companion.

 

(‘Black and Grey or A Trip To Kilburn (Playford, 1686), on mandolin’ YouTube video, 0.58. Posted by Folk and Classical Mandolin, 27 Nov 2010. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1dHP5cJQvc)

 

Boldwood: for CDs, gigs and other news, see their  website   Facebook

Also available from their website is the brilliant The Boldwood Dancing Master, a book of over 70 English country dance tunes from 1679 to 1838.

Folk and Classical MandolinYouTube channel

 

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Stop press! Multi-instrumental folk music retreat

Folk Music Retreat with Laurel Swift

April 8th – 10th 2016

Thurlby, Lincolnshire

 

Just a few places left on this amazingly good workshop with fiddler/composer/dancer Laurel Swift. Fabulous teaching, playing and walking (and food!) in an unspoilt Lincolnshire village – the kind of weekend where you play your socks off and go home feeling as though you’ve had a week’s holiday.

Thurlby

Don’t forget your walking shoes as well as your instrument/s!

 

Full details and booking on Laurel’s website

 

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Workshop alert: Creative Music Retreat

 

Folk Retreat with Laurel Swift

8-10 April, Thurlby, Lincolnshire

 

Just a few places left on this wonderful multi-instrumental folk weekend. Inspiring classes, home-cooked food, informal sessions and country walks in the Fens. And don’t forget your walking shoes/boots!

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Details and booking here (book by 14 February for reduced rate!)

 

For  music by Laurel, see her website, Laurel fiddle

or use the Fiddletails Search (above right)

 

 

 

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Purlongs

 

Purlongs is an intriguingly crooked tune from Playford’s Dancing Master (1651), and the roots of its inscrutable title are much debated. (Andy Cutting’s definition: ‘Any distance travelled by a cat.’)

However, the word appears to be a Middle English variation of ‘purloin’ – to steal, in a stealthy manner:

Purlong: Middle English purloinen, to remove, from Anglo-Norman purloigner. Noun: purloiner. (Via thefreedictionary.com)

And there you have it. Purlongs. Thieves/robbers. Case closed?

(Perhaps not. Googling purlongs also gave me furlongs/corruption of, and instructions for installing purlins when putting up a roof.)

 

Cut to the chase! Here are two wonderful bands – Leveret and Boldwood – playing the lovely Purlongs.

 

Leveret*

Andy Cutting (melodeon), Rob Harbron (concertina), Sam Sweeney (fiddle)

Purlongs played second in a set with Whitefriars Hornpipe, which was the tune for 28 May (Purlongs: 2:50). Mr Cutting half visible but entirely audible.

 

(‘Leveret – Whitefriars & Purlongs Live in Dursley Town Hall’ YouTube video, 5:41. Posted by Sam Sweeney, 12 Jul 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwCdsI6Qrx4)

The set is on Leveret’s 2015 CD New Anything, available from their website.

*GIG ALERT!

Leveret tourLeveret kick off their UK tour at Cecil Sharp House, London. THURSDAY 1 OCTOBER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boldwood

Becky Price (piano accordion), Matthew Coatsworth, Kate Moran, Daniel Wolverson (fiddles)

Played second in a set with Fete de Village (Purlongs: 2:10) in a live performance at The Queen’s College Chapel, Oxford, 1st June 2013, featured on the unpublished CD Mudlarking**.

 

 

For news of gigs and recordings, see Boldwood’s website and their lively Facebook page.

**For previously-featured tunes from Mudlarking, see also Jackson’s Shaving Brush (June 2015) and The Miller of Perth (Aug 2015).

 

 

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