Music

The music we use for maypole dancing is a selection of regional Northumbrian and British folk tunes, popular for years which we hope people will recognise. They are all easily found online, in public libraries and in music shops. For local Northumbrian tunes we tend to use the Northumbrian Pipers’ Tune Books as reference material, and those plus a wide selection of other piping tune books can be found at The Northumbrian Pipers’ Society website. EFDSS – The English Folk Dance & Song Society is also an excellent resource.

For the historical dances we use the tune given for the individual dance where possible, and if no tune exists we use an appropriate tune of the same date.

Fifteenth Century music for Gresley Manuscript dances such as Aras, Grengynger and Tamrett have been researched and published by Cait Webb of Gaita, and they have a wonderful series of historical dance booklets and cds to purchase via their website.

Sixteenth Century Branles (brawls) are found in ‘Orchesographie’ by Thoinot Arbeau, originally published in 1589. The International Music Score Library Project has the original music available to download for free.

Seventeenth Century Playford favourites include Sellenger’s Round, or The Beginning of the World, All in a Garden Green and Gathering Peascods. John Playford’s ‘English Dancing Master’ was originally published in 1651 and a modern copy can either be purchased via booksellers, or a free public domain download of the original at IMSLP’s website is also available.

Eighteenth Century dances we offer include The Fandango, Hunt the Squirrel, Dartford Camp and The Duke of Kent’s Waltz. The Historical Dance Society is a good source for further research.