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Playing Set Dances


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I am working with a local step dance school on occasion to play for their shows. We are starting to explore various set dances, and I am wondering how many others here do this on a regular basis. I do enjoy the extra bars in most. Having occasional 12 bar phrases can be fun. Still waiting t see if the instructor has the steps for "The Garden of Daisies" and anything for "Is the big man within?". Some of these are just lovely tunes to play, even if no dancers. My favorites are "Three Sea Captains", "Rodney's Glory", "The Blackbird","The Job of Journeywork". Also love the" Drunken Gauger", what are some of your favs?

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Guest Peter Laban

An Suisin Ban, The (Mount Phoebus) Hunt (not the version with the Fnats in the second part), Seán ui Duibhir an Gleanna, Madam Bonaparte, Humours of Bandon, Bonaparte crossing the Rhine, Jockey to the Fair all spring to mind in addition to what you already listed

 

Kitty Hayes sprung The Orange Rogue on me one day and we played that for a while too, very similar in ways to Happy to meet, Sorry to Part

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Guest Peter Laban

Ellen Galvin, by the way. She is sometimes cited as the inventor of that one. It was played here as a set dance, I heard Bobby Casey play it more than once, but I don't know enough about dancing set dances to know much about the steps for all of them. I'll ask around. I seem to run into Aidan Vaughan all the time and he would know.

 

The Priest and his Boots is another one worth thinking of. I happened to come across it in the Levey collection last week (got an old edition cheap on e-bay). Michael Tubridy always plays that for the dancers at the Willie week dance recital, the step came from Dan Furey (and maybe Willie Keane) as far as I remember.

 

And the Ace & Deuce of piping ofcourse is another one that slipped my mind

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I have been playing sets lately for dancers, mostly St. Pat's Day and King of the Fairies for the beginners. I have been playing The Three Captains and the Lodge Road as well as a few others form Billy Furlong's CD "Sets for the Strings". They include The Orange Rogue, The Drunken Gauger, Madam Bonapart, and Miss Brown's Fancy. I haven't tried Rodney's Glory yet.

 

By the way, are you using a light metronome to set your speed? I so, which do you use?

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