John Playford's Popular Tunes

John Playford's Popular Tunes

by Broadside Band


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John Playford's The English Dancing Master, first published in 1651, remains a book more noted in histories than realized in sound. It was not a collection of music per se but a dance instruction book, with musical examples, whose influence has come down to the present day. Yet Playford's sheer fame alone would seem to merit this small but expert attempt to bring him alive musically. This release is part of a series of English historical-instrument recordings made in the 1980s, mostly devoted to keyboard and wind music but alighting occasionally on such unorthodox corners of the classical tradition as music boxes and glees. Here, in 10 tracks that often contain more than one tune each (up to five), they introduce the music that appeared in Playford's publications -- not just The English Dancing Master, but also later books, and also editions of The Dancing Master (as it was later called) that appeared after Playford's death. The tunes lie at the roots of both popular and classical traditions. Some, originating in the British Isles, are vigorous rhythmic pieces that accompanied what were (and still are) called country dances; these are interspersed with a few freestanding "divisions" or variations based on Italian grounds and with French-influenced tunes. The Broadside Band introduces a large number of instruments of the time, including such novelties as regals, flageolets, and viola lyra, in a logical sequence that gives the listener a magical impression of constantly shifting colors. Delightful, and a possible gift item for even the most devoted Renaissance enthusiast -- Playford is a big hole on the shelf for many of them.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/11/2011
Label: Saydisc
UPC: 5013133302823
catalogNumber: 28
Rank: 111470


  1. Greenwood; Heart's Ease; Excuse Me (songs)
  2. Work(s): Lady Catherine Ogle; The Scotchman's dance Never l
  3. Work(s): The Granadees March; Saraband by Mr. Simon Ives (J
  4. Work(s): Lady Hatton's Almaine; Prins Robbert Masco-Prince
  5. Lilli Burlero
  6. Work(s): Parthenia; Corant 'La Chabott'; Jocobella (John Pl
  7. Paul's Steeple (from John Playford's Dancing Master) (a.k.a. "The Duke of Norfolk", "St. Paul's Steeple")
  8. Work(s): The Lady Nevils Delight; The Whisk; A new Rigaudon
  9. Work(s): An Italian Rant; Bouzer Castle (John Playford's Po
  10. Work(s): Childgrove; Mr. Lane's Minuet; Up with Aily; Chesh

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