7: The Cherping of the Nightingall
longways for 6 or 8
mms pages 10 and 11
Playford version: from 1st edition to 8th edition.
Music: Chirping of the Nightingale - Mr Playford's Dancing Master, by the Lauten Company
Verse, Part A
1: Lead up [a double]
2: [Fall back a double]
3-4: Lead up [a double and fall back a double] again
Verse, Part B
1-2: Set [and turn left]
3-4: Set [and turn right]
Because this dance can be done with 3 couples or 4, the choreography has to change to fit with the music.Fortunately, this dance only has one figure, so I will give the different steps separately by couples:
Chorus A, if 3 couples
1: Man 1 sets to his partner
2: Man 1 sets to woman 2
3-4: Man 1 turns woman 3 all the way around
Chorus B, if 3 couples
1-2: Man 1 leads woman 3 up to the top softly/slowly
3-4: Man 1 turns woman 3 all the way around again, and puts her in woman 1's place, with the other two slipping down a spot.
Chorus A, if 4 couples
1: Man 1 sets to his partner
2-4: Man 1 turns woman 3 all the way around
Chorus B, if 4 couples
1-3: Man 1 turns woman 4 all the way around
4: Man 1 leads woman 4 up "as fast as he can" and puts her in woman 1's place, with the other three slipping down a spot.
Continuation:
The dance will continue in the same pattern, leading up twice and setting twice, then doing the appropriate version of the chorus for the number of couples, until the lead man fetches his original partner again.
It seems, according to "and the rest may doe the like if they please", that it is possible for the dance to continue beyond that point by changing out the lead man (perhaps in the next "lead up" bit).
Comparison to the Playford version (1st to 8th editions)
Once again, same name (or part of name, as per Tenn Pounde/Ten Pound Lass), totally different dance.Playford's Nightingale is a round dance with a single progressive "dance with" figure,
in which the first couple will dance the figure with every other person in the dance individually (i.e. first the next man, then the next woman, then the next man, etc).The intro figure isn't even the same - there are no sets (with or without turns) anywhere!
Beyond the name and the progressive nature of the dance, these aren't similar at all.
Conclusions:
While the choreography of the dances donít match, there is probably a reason they have the same name - i.e. the music.
The structure of the music out of Playford has an A part of 8 beats total, and a B part of 16 beats total.To fit that to the above choreography, it would end up being ((AAAABB)x(3 or 4 depending on the number of couples))x(the number of lead men desired (1, or 1 for each couple).
It's pretty obvious that the musicians for this music were expected to be flexible and capable, so while that's a pretty complex musical formula, it wouldn't likely be beyond their abilities.