English Dance Musicians Course at English Week

August 3 - 10, 2013

Held during English Dance Week at Pinewoods.

Is there still room?
For up-to-date info about availability and wait lists,
see our main Dance & Music Camps page.


Tentative Schedule

Program Director

Program Description

In this intensive English Country Dance Musicians Course, comprising two periods each day, we'll work with the musical tools and experience you already have, and delve as deeply as possible into the many facets of this wonderful and varied music. English dance music can use skills from a variety of musical backgrounds -- contra, classical, baroque, medieval, renaissance, jazz, different aspects of folk musics, your own hybrids and sense of musical style, even choral part singing (and more!).

The course will make use of practical musical theory, improvisation and musicianship exercises, exploring ways to vary melodies, find and develop harmonies, bass lines, chords, rhythmic approaches, obbligatos, etc., practice in arranging, and intensive work in small groups, supervised and occasionally unsupervised. We'll work by ear as well as by paper.

We'll also look at different historical settings of English Country Dance music. These range from settings of the Renaissance Playford collections, dances set to melodies by Purcell and his contemporaries, likewise some of the classical music adapted for English Dance, elegant 'Jane-Austin-ish' tunes, as well as gnarly versions of folk and ballad tunes. We'll also spend a little time composing in different styles. A sense of musical adventure is necessary! Must be able to read music.


This course is limited to 12 participants to ensure plenty of opportunity for active participation. Participants must be able to read music. If it is oversubscribed on March 18, there will be a lottery weighted toward people with some experience playing in a dance situation and to balance melody and rhythm instruments. Please clearly indicate if you would like to attend English Dance Week, if you did not get a space in the course. Scholarships are available.

Tentative Schedule

7:45-8:15 Hot Breakfast served cafeteria style
8:15-8:45 Cold Breakfast Coffee/Tea available
9:00-10:00 English Dance Musicians Course
11:25-12:00 Gathering
12:00-12:30 Swimming, Bookstore staffed
12:30 Lunch
3:00-4:00 English Dance Musicians Course
4:00-4:30 Tea, Swimming, Bookstore staffed
5:30-6:30 Swimming, Bookstore staffed, camper-initiated parties
6:30 Dinner
8:00-10:45 Evening Dance Party (starting with For Those Who Know)
11:00 After-dance Activities