English Country Dance
Looking for those playing piano,
flute, recorder, oboe or clarinet to play for a local monthly dance
ECD Music is played much like
an informal chamber music with an ensemble
of piano and 1 - 4 melody/counter
melody musicians; it is relatively straightforward and
ECD music is substantially proto-classical, the popular music from
The melodies originally came from popular song and folk music.
is period anonymous work, but there are also melodies of Purcell,
Haydn, Jeremiah Clarke, William Byrd, Thomas Ford, Corelli,
contemporary compositions of today...all lovely, lively melodies.
can hear some of this music played by me and others ensemble
Playing ECD calls for:
Some of the pleasures of ECD music-making include:
- the ability to keep a consistent tempo and play relatively
music at about 112 bpm. At a dance, some sight-reading may be
- an ability to play expressively and do simple improvisational
backup when not playing the melody...a sort of arrangment on the fly.
- an ability to play to the dance and the dancers; the music is
to the dance.
The dance form itself is gorgeous: if you saw any of the Jane Austin
movies or Shakepeare In Love, you've seen the dance, which has an
almost balletic choreography. It was the dominant social activity
for 300 years...before the telephone, it was one of the primary ways
people got together to talk, court, flirt, gossip and generally
socially interact. You dance with everyone in turn...and you do
get to know them, men and women all.
- a most appreciative audience of intelligent, interesting people.
- the ability to perform monthly or even weekly for the rest of
- world class musicianship not required, only moderate skill,
and a love of music/dance.
- the fun of ensemble music-making without the rigor of full-house
- Playing this proto-classical music in its original context.
- The melodies! The classical composers were immersed in a
the material of their art. Much classical music was borrowed or
inspiration here in this mother lode, as refinement and arrangment of
music and dance music......bourees, sarabands, gigues!
It is still danced: here's a YouTube
video of current dancing.
Contact Stewart Dean: 845-797-1897, email@example.com