Copies of all extant sources were obtained and data collected from each dance. Variations in Title, Figures or the Music Incipit were noted. After all dances had been coded, the Analysis field was used to establish each unique dance. Examples of each unique dance were scanned and edited for facsimile publication. This image is called the "Ur" dance and is shown in each Ur dance record, along with other information on that unique dance.

Coding Procedure-Figures

In addition to the usual information such as Title, Page Number, and Source Name and Date, each dance was analyzed for its basic Figures, or "track" and number of Active couples in the longways minor set.

Letters were selected to represent basic figures such as 0 for "circle", X for "hands across", and R for "right and left." These letters were then combined to represent the sequential figures of each dance. The codes provide an outline of the dance and help to bring like dances together in the indexes. (See Table 1 below for the coding letters used in the Figures field coding.)

Numbers were then added as "Comments" to provide clarification or additional information about the figures. These ranged from modifications such as "half-way," to step specifications such as "rigadoon" or "minuet." (See Table 2 below for the Comments code numbers.)

Examples of coding for three dances, "Come Let's Be Merry", "Draper's Gardens", and "Argiers", are shown below.

Details such as who is dancing with whom were not included, nor have I tried to interpret such instructions as "Jingboys" or "Manulude." This index is intended to be a research tool to provide access to the choreographies of early English country dance. Although the basic pattern of each dance is clear, dances cannot be accurately reconstructed from this streamlined data. However, the images for each Ur dance can be used to interpret the dance figures and music and the coded dance figures and comments will help researchers find like items within the corpus of The Dancing Master.

The Form of the dance is coded using the following symbols:
L = Longways
R = Round
S = Set
Q = sQuare
I = lIne
W = As many as Will
2 = Duple minor
3 = Triple minor
4 = 4 couple dance

The number of "active" couples in the dance is shown in the Actives field.

Table 1 - Dance Figure Codes
Code  Description
Allemand and reverse
Cast up or down; may include Breza or Brise
Down the outside and back; may include Chasse, Slip, Slide but does not include a cast.
E  LEad out sides, go across set or out or in at sides
Figure of 8 (Whole figure)
G ChanGe places or Cross over with no movement up or down the set
Hey, usually for 3 or 4 people moving
SIding or sides, such as "Sides with partners"
Honor, with the whole body including Salute, Obeisance, Bow
K BacK to back or Dos a dos
Lead down the middle and back
Upper body Movements (Peep, Shake Hands, Clap, Kiss)
N TurN single; may include Pirouette or Brise
Hands all rOund or Circle and back
Poussette or Draw
Arming or Arms right and left
Right and left all round
Stepping in place: Setting, Footing, Jigging, Rigadoon.
Turn, 2 dancers, by one or two hands
Cross oVer 1 or 2 couples (up or down the set)
Hands across all round and back, including Mullinet
Y "Wild Card" or unclear figure, usually amplified in "Comments"
Z "Wild Card" or unclear figure, usually amplified in "Comments"
Additional Symbols
= Clarification of figure, such as "S = 24" for "balance"
Steps used during figure, such as "minuet," "hornpipe," "contretemps"
/2 ½ of the movement only, such as "half figure" or "lead down" without a "and back"
"Meanwhile" figure if significantly different
Same movement repeated, such as "M = 2*4" for "clap four times"
Alternate figure, such as "or hands across"
\\ Separation of parts of multi-part dance if shown as several parts
Separation of sub-parts of multi-part dance

Table 2 - Comments Field Number Codes
1 Swing 51 Turn off
2 Clap hands, Snap fingers 52 Contretemps
3 Stamp, Beat 53 Double Figure
4 Honor, Obeisance 54 Rigadoon
5 Kiss 55 Cross corners
6 Assemble 56 Foot it
7 Chain 57 Salute
8 Hook 58 Reel
9 Cast over 59 Backward
10 Boree Step 60 Jingboys
11 Pas de bas 61 Promenade
12 Waltz 62 Peep
13 Jig 63 Mullinet
14 Pirouette 64 Turn back hands
15 Couezi 65 Kick out legs
16 Serve hands 66 Hornpipe step
17 Cut off 67 Go without/within side
18 Fall 68 Minuet
19 Chassee, Chercee 69 Open,close
20 Slide, Slip 70 Cross partners
21 Coupee 71 Spring corners
22 Great Round 72 Draw
23 La Main 73 Link/Hook
24 Balance 74 Beckon
25 Dos a dos 75 Threaten
26 See Saw 76 Maze
27 Baulk 77 Lock hands
28 Leap, Jump, Hop 78 Allemand Passes
29 Dance 79 Make Honours
30 La Queux du Chat 80 Hold handkerchiefs to eyes
31 Ceremony 81 Meet all four corner ways
32 Observe 82 Shake/strike hands
33 March, Walk 83 Humour the tune, Look down & groan
34 Monk's March 84 Staggar as drunkard
35 Chassenet 85 Go behind/around
36 Manulude 86 Present & fire/Dart/Point Finger
37 Sesun 87 Make a feign
38 Pas de Bouree 88 Hit elbows
39 Brise, Breza 89 Feign a cry
40 Gallop 90 Double Triangles
41 Forward and back 91 Lead abreast
42 Go under hands 92 Turn backs
43 Olivette 93 Cut clean
44 Bow, Nod 94 Cross all four
45 Make your manners 95 Over the head
46 Change partners 96 Brush/Wind/Wave hands
47 Hunt 97 Cut capers
48 Shuffle 98 Shake legs
49 Pass through 99 Corrant Step
50 Cast in & out
As an example, the dance "Come Let's be Merry" is shown below:

The Figures coding, "LCCLCOT," for the dance is described as follows:
L First man lead his woman round, and back again
C Cast off into second couple's place
C Cast into third couple's place
L Lead through both couples
C Cast off
O Hands round
T Turn hands

Comments, "L=85/2,O/2," are described as:
L=85/2 Lead round (85 = round) half and back
O/2 Hands round half

Another dance, "Draper's Gardens," is shown below.

The Figures coding, "SNKTSNKTGGORLLCT," for the dance is described as follows:
S Set G Change places
N Turn Single G Change places
K Back to back O Hands round
T Turn R Right and Left
S Set L Lead through bottom
N Turn Single L Lead through top
K Back to back C Cast off
T Turn T Turn

Comments, "O/2,R/2," are described as:
O/2  Half hands round
R/2 Half right and left

A third example, "Argiers," is a 3-section dance, with 2 sub-parts in each section:

The Figures coding, shown as: "LEGTLTT\GGSNGGSN\\LETLESN\LTLH\\ PLESNLPSN\CHTE", can be described as follows:
1st Section \\ 2nd Section \\ 3rd Section
L Meet i.e. Lead L Lead women P Put women i.e Pousette
E Go out sides and back E Fall back L Slip i.e. Lead
G Change places T Turn E Fall down outside
T Turn L Lead S Set
L Meet E Fall back N Turn single
T Turn S Set L Slip between
T Turn N Turn Single P Put back i.e. Pousette
\ 2nd sub-part \ 2nd sub-part S Set
G Change L Go to i.e. Lead N Turn single
G Change T Turn \ 2nd sub-part
S Set L Lead C Cast
N Turn single H Hey H Hey
G Change T Turn
G Change E Fall
S Set
N Turn single

Comments, "L/2,E+20,E=18,P=72,L=20/2,H/2,E+91," can be described as follows:
L/2 Lead up or down, but not back
E+20 Slip out sides (20=slip)
P=72 Pousette (72=pousette or draw)
L=20/2 Slip up or down, not back
H/2 Hey half way round
E=91 Fall back abreast (91=abreast)

Coding Procedures-Music

The Music incipits were originally coded in The National Tune Index: 18th-Century Secular Music, and imported from that database. The Music entries are coded using the scale degree of each note. Scale degree incipits use the numbers "1" through "7", representing "Do" through "Ti" in a major scale, with the following additional symbols: ("+" = Upper Octave; "-" = Lower Octave; "//" = Beginning of a full measure; "/" = rhythmic Stress Note within a measure). The Stress Notes field extracts the note after each "//" or "/". The Do field records the tonic base ("1" of the major scale). Time Signature and Key Signature were also recorded, although the actual music might not have matched these symbols. Music notation and spelling were not an exact science in the 17th and 18th centuries.

For more information on the Music coding and data collection programs, see The National Tune Index User's Guide 18th-Century Secular Music, listed in the Bibliography.

Music coding for the following example is shown below:

SCALE DEGREE 5-12//3231//15-//3-2-3-1-//17-//6-25-