John Playford’s “The English Dancing Master”
Fri 17 February, 2023
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm GMT
In 1651, John Playford published The English Dancing Master, a collection of around one hundred tunes and figures for social dance, which immediately became one of the most important and influential collections of popular music of the seventeenth century. It remained in print until 1728, with eighteen editions, and the music presented spans the Tudor to Georgian periods.
This talk will look at why and how this collection came to be published, and under the rule of the Rump Parliament at that. The talk explores what the Dancing Master contains and what its sources were and, finally, what its influence has been on classical and folk music and dance in the three and a half centuries since its publication.
Professor Daniel Wolverson is a folk musician playing hurdy-gurdy, nyckelharpa, and violin, with many years’ experience of playing for French, Scandinavian, Scottish and English traditional dance. He has played in numerous bands, notably Boldwood, and has played at festivals in Europe and the UK, specialising recently in the forgotten dance music of the seventeenth to early nineteenth centuries. In his spare time, he is a physicist at the University of Bath.