Playing for dancing - phrasing, articulation, accents and rhythm

Most fiddle tunes are in origin tunes for dancing. Playing for dancing requires an understanding of the dance and its relationship to the music. This YDW web site includes English Dances tutorials which can serve as a helpful introduction for fiddlers wishing to develop the skills of the traditional dance fiddler. The English Dances site map lists tutorial pages for two village dances, a clog dance and a Cotswold morris dance.

Village dance - Butter'd peas

This video clip shows how the tune for this dance is played on the fiddle. You can also view a video clip of the dance with the music notation and calling prompts alongside.

Open the page Butter'd Peas music
to view and print the music notation for this dance with calling prompts attached to the relevant musical phrases for each figure.

For details of this village dance
open the page introducing English Village Dances
and the page of notes for village dance musicians.


Village dance - Goathland Square Eight

to the music Old Mrs Wilson

This video clip shows how the tune for this dance is played on the fiddle. You can also view a video clip of the dance with the music notation and calling prompts alongside.

Open the page Goathland Square music
to view and print the music notation for this dance with calling prompts attached to the relevant musical phrases for each figure.

For details of this village dance
open the page introducing English Village Dances
and the page of notes for village dance musicians.


Clog dances

For an introduction to playing for step dances open the pages for

Cotswold Morris

Open the following pages for

the music notation for Lads-a-Bunchum

details of the dance Lads-a -Bunchum

and notes for morris musicians.


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