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lachenal74693

1000 English Country Dance Tunes by Michael Raven

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I recently came across a reference to the book 1000 English Country Dance Tunes by Michael Raven.

I hadn't heard of it before.

 

I've done a little digging (including a thread here from 2005), and the consensus seems to be that this

book is the dogs wotsits.

 

As the thread I found is now 15 years old, I wondered if anyone had any further recommendations and/or

comments before I buy a copy?

 

Thank you.

 

Edited by lachenal74693

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We have a copy in the shop I work in. I've not got it myself but have had a leaf through it and it seems pretty comprehensive! Let me know if you want to check if any particular content is in there and I can have a look next time I'm in.

 

I have one of his guitar tune books and I get a lot of enjoyment from it.

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I got my copy many years ago. It is not in frequent use now, as I have many other books. However, often if I am searching for a particular tune, this is a place where it is found when other sources do not have it. And every book comes off the shelf for a browse from time to time.

It is arranged in sections - the titles of the sections may help to give you a flavour of the contents:-

-Tunes published before 1730

-The English dancing master 1651 (a facsimile reprint, difficlt to read in places)

-The Beggar's Opera 1729 (also a facsimile reprint)

-Morris, sword dance and ceremonial tunes

-The Lichfield morris dances (another facsimile reprint)

-Five Northumbrian pipe tunes (from "A tutor for Northumbrian small pipes" by J.W.Fenwick,  published late 19th century)

-Country dance tunes in 6/8, 9/8, and 3/4

-Country dance tunes in 2/4, 2/2, and 4/4

-Tunes written by Michael Raven

-Some tunes from the editor's notebook.

 

You find tunes which are also included in other publications, but altogether well worth having.

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I've had this for decades. Rarely used it in the past and never use it now. It's sloppily put together, seemingly from whatever bits he could easily lay his hands on. There are much better sources available nowadays, both printed and online. For example, Paul Hardy's tune book - free online and only £8 for a paper copy which is nicely set out and, with its spiral binding, lies flat in use. It has something of the order of 600 or 800 tunes. If you want Morris Dance tunes they are all available on the Morris Ring website; not just the poor selection in Raven's book.

 

LJ

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1 hour ago, John, Wexford said:

Here's a link, not too sure though, if it is current:

I found that one - I'm not sure if it's current either...

 

1 hour ago, Little John said:

...It's sloppily put together, seemingly from whatever bits he could easily lay his hands on. There are much better

sources available nowadays, both printed and online. For example, Paul Hardy's tune book...

Ah! A word of warning - thank you! I already have a copy of PGH's tune book, which is extremely good! I also have a

few printed books (Hard Core English, Nick Barber's books, etc.). Maybe I don't 'need' this one after all...

 

2 hours ago, John Wild said:

...the titles of the sections may help to give you a flavour of the contents...

That does indeed give me a feel for what's in there - thank you...

 

3 hours ago, Fane said:

We have a copy in the shop I work in...

Thanks. I bet I can identify the shop too😎! I'll probably come back if I decide to go ahead and buy a copy.

 

Thank you folks - all very helpful, as usual!

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I have the book. It 's very eccentric in the way it's organized, but I've found some obscure tunes in it.

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To give Mike Raven his due..................and as a little lad in Somerset, I used to love his radio prog..............he produced this book way before this type of collection became popular.

                 It has been superseded by dozens and dozens of tune books but it was probably one of the first in my library of english tune books....... I think he was ahead of the game.

          Robin 

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You're probably aware of Jeremy Barlow's The Complete Country Dance Tunes from Playford's Dancing Master (Faber), which contains... well I'll let you work it out. Exhaustive and scholarly but sometimes confusing with the different tune variants. Indispensable if these tunes are your thing.

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On 2/16/2020 at 9:12 PM, John Wild said:

Playford volumes 1 - 3 are available to download as abc files or PDF files....

 

Aye, I have those - thanks.

 

Jim Besser, Robin Harrison, Moll Peatly - thanks for your input - all helpful.

 

I think I'm going ahead and buying a copy of this book. It looks like it might be quirky enough

to be entertaining. I really enjoy [t|c]rawling through older books and old ABC files looking for

forgotten/hidden gems(*)...

 

Roger

 

(*) Some folks may be able to resist a tune with a title like The Guillemot's Revenge, which I found last week - but I can't 😎 ...

 

 

Edited by lachenal74693

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Quote

 

I really enjoy [t|c]rawling through older books and old ABC files looking for

forgotten/hidden gems(*)...

 

Yep, me too !

   Maybe 15 yrs ago I taught myself to sight-read, on English concertina, just for this purpose.

Robin

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