The Music


In John Leyland's descriptions of the dance in 1880 he includes a reference to "a band of music" but with no mention of which instruments that comprised. Newspaper accounts of earlier performances also mention a band. There is no information about music for the 1901 performance although Adam Ingram mentioned a concertina being played. Our musicians currently play concertina, melodeon and recorder although over the years they have from time to time been augmented by piano accordion, fiddle and piccolo. We do not use any form of percussion as it is not in keeping with the performance.
The music was described by John Leyland as a "slow and measured air". It is important that a constant speed is maintained throughout the dance, with no speeding up or slowing down for the different figures. This is especially important at the change of rhythm both going into the "C" and coming out of the "D" music. We have found that around 80bpm is the most comfortable and effective speed.

The sheet music

In 2020 some of the musicians made the following online recording of the music for the dance so that the dancers could dance through it in isolation, a truly strange performance!


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