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Book Review: There was None of this Lazy Dancing

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This is a short review of the book 'There was None of this Lazy Dancing' by Bob Ellis. The book is about the

music played at dances in the Yorkshire Dales.


There are a lot of good (folk) tune books. There is a smaller but significant number of books dealing with the

social history of (folk) music.


There are very few books which deal with both the music and the social history of the music. This book is a

significant addition to that small sub-genre.


The book is a collection of tunes played at dances in the Yorkshire Dales. The tunes are presented in a way

which describes and discusses their use by placing them in the context of the social events at which the tunes

were played, and by using short biographies of some of the musicians who played the music. It is an absolutely

splendid mix of academic rigour, relevance and readability. The tunes themselves are a mix of the familiar and

the not-so-familiar. Where necessary, tunes in 'unfriendly' keys are also supplied in transpositions to a 'friendly'

key (usually G, so the tunes should be easily accessible to G/D and C/G concertina players?). 


The book is also well-illustrated and well made (hard cover, stitched signatures, lay-flat binding). 


The fortunate purchaser of the book will also receive a password giving access to ABC transcriptions of all the

tunes. The author asks, (very reasonably), that this password not be passed on to those who have not purchased

the book.


The ABC code appears to be of original transcriptions by the author. The style of coding is consistent, concise

(minimalist, if you prefer), unambiguous and correct. As with the printed text, where the original of the tune was

in an 'unfriendly' key, the author has provided a transcription into a 'friendly' key.


In brief, this is a superb book!


The only irritating thing about the book is that there is a picture of the author on page 5. I'm sure I know the man

from somewhere, and can't for the life of me remember where or when I encountered him. Bloody infuriating! 

Edited by The Crimson Avenger
delete a repeated sentence
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3 hours ago, Ken_Coles said:

If one has been to the Swaledale Squeeze, would some of these tunes have been played at the Saturday dance? I remember having a good time there.


Almost certainly - at least in the future! I did converse electronically with Bob Ellis about the book before posting my review and he said:


"...I have been invited to promote the book at the Swaledale Squeeze concertina weekend next year...


which (presumably) means 2021. He also commented on the fact that he was unable to promote the book at festivals this year, for all

the obvious reasons...


The book also seems to be available via Amazon so transatlantic transactions should be OK?

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