Hampshire Dance Tunes CD

by Hampshire Dances album musicians

n Winchester Records Library, there is a manuscript book, ref. 210M87/1. The title page has R Pyle 19th January 1822 written in decorated script. The book contains 171 secular tunes, largely country dance tunes with a few airs and song accompaniments, and a few psalm and hymn settings in the back. It thus reinforces the classic idea we have of an English village musician, someone who plays for dances when required and in the church on Sundays. The book came from Nether Wallop, in the Test Valley in Hampshire, and was part of a collection supplied by Mr. Mouland, a descendant of the Pyles.

Whilst there are some familiar tunes in the book, my thoughts when I first looked through the material is that Id never heard of most of them. This was confirmed when I started looking into the background. I could only find references to around half the tunes, generally in publications dating between 1780 and 1820. When played, it was apparent that many would form robust, Southern English dance tunes, readily lending themselves to spontaneous harmonies and improvisations. It seemed that they ought to see the light of day again. A chance meeting with Roger Watson of TAPs (Traditional Arts Projects) led to some funding from Test Valley Borough Council to pursue this idea. The idea of a CD of selected tunes, played by local artists, emerged, together with an accompanying book containing a larger selection.

Doug Bailey, of WildGoose Records agreed to produce the CD. Pete McClelland of Hobgoblin agreed to finance the book.

The playing on this CD represents modern, Southern English playing at its best. I hope you enjoy it. Bob Shatwell

R Pyle

We know little about R Pyle. He was Richard Pyle, youngest of seven children born to John and Ann Pyle of Nether Wallop in 1808. The farm still stands today in the middle of the village. Until the 1960s, it was known as Pyle Farm. It is now called Old Brook Farm. In the 1851 census, Richard is recorded as unmarried and owning the farm, where he lived with his unmarried sister, Martha. He died in 1880.

We dont know the instrument Richard played. There are sufficient well-known tunes in their common keys in the manuscript to suggest it wasnt a transposing one. The keys chosen for many of the tunes require excursions into the higher positions on the fiddle, and there are hardly any instances of notes below C on the fiddle G string. It thus seems unlikely he was a fiddle player. The flute seems the most likely instrument, although an oboe or C clarinet are also possibilities. However, Richard was 14 when he started the manuscript book. He was the youngest son of an affluent farmer. As such, it is likely he would play the traditional gentlemans instrument, the flute.


This CD is an outcome of a project in which many people have given their time and effort for little or no money. Our thanks to all of them. We would like to acknowledge the permission granted by Mr Mouland, the owner of the manuscript, to publish and use this material. We would also like to thank the staff of Winchester Records Library for their help and advice and Traditional Arts Projects for instigating this project and for providing funding, through Test Valley Borough Council, that assisted in the recording of this CD. Rob Harbron assisted early in the project, in selecting tunes for the CD. Malcolm Taylor and Peta Webb, of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House, have been very helpful in researching the origins of the tunes.

A particular thanks to all the musicians who contributed their time and talents to recording this material.

Paul Sartin, Saul Rose Tracks 1, 6 (Paul solo), 11 (Saul solo), 14.

Paul is a well known oboe and fiddle player. He was part of Belshazzar’s Feast and is presently a member of Bellowhead and the newly formed Dr Faustus. Saul was a member of the band Kings of Callicut. He is also a member of Dr Faustus with Benji Kirkpatrick and Paul Sartin.

Tim Laycock, Colin Thompson Tracks 2, 7, 13.
Tim Laycock was a member of the Melstock Band, and has worked with the Albion Band in 'Lark Rise'. Tim's current group is the New Scorpion Band. Colin Thompson edited “The English Fiddle Tutor”. He has played with Tim for many years as a duo.

Matt Green, Andy Turner Tracks 3, 8, 12, 15.
Matt Green has been playing fiddle since the age of 13, both for the Morris and with the Oxfordshire Woodpecker Band. Andy is a member of dance band Geckoes. He performs regularly at folk clubs and festivals, both solo and with Mat.

Will Duke, Dan Quinne Tracks 4, 9.
Will and Dan sing traditional songs in unison and play English country dance tunes on melodeon and concertina. Dan was a founder member of Flowers and Frolics. Will was greatly influenced by the playing of the Scan Tester of Horsted Keynes, Sussex. He started playing concertina in Sussex in 1972.

Burlsedon Village Band Tracks 5, 10, 16 (with Bob Shatwell, Roger Watson, Paul Sartin).
Burlesdon Village Band was formed in 1977. Bursledon is a village near Southampton. Their choice of tunes is predominantly biased towards the Southern English repertoire.

A book containing selected tunes from the manuscript is also available:-

Hampshire Dance Tunes
Edited by Bob Shatwell and Paul Sartin
Published by Hobgoblin

1 Oxford University Volunteer’s Quickstep 
This is attributed to Joseph Reinagle, who was a prominent English musician and friend of Haydn. He was born around 1760. 

2 Two unnamed waltzes 
No record could be found of these. 

3 The Barber of Seville, Earl of Rosslen, Chainess dance 
I couldn’t find direct references to any of these tunes. However, Rossini composed his opera in 1816, so the title “Barber of Seville” would be popular. The second tune almost certainly refers to Alexander Wedderburn (1733 – 1805), Lord Chancellor of Great Britain, who was created first Earl of Rosslyn in 1801. 

4 Belvidere waltz 
No reference found to this tune. The title probably refers to the Belvedere palace in Vienna. 

5 L’ete, The Triumph 
The quadrille was formally introduced into society in 1815. It had several parts: “Le Pantalon, L’ete, La Poule, la Pastourelle and Finale”. Often different tune sets would have the same titles. There are two “L’etes” and three “La Poules” in the original manuscript. “The Triumph” is one of the commonest southern English tunes of the 19th century. Versions from different manuscripts often differ slightly, suggesting a popular tune. 

6 Salamanca and Seville waltzes 
No reference could be found to these tunes, although both were almost certainly composed shortly after Wellington’s successful campaign in the Peninsular war of 1812. 

7 Cinderella country dance, Windsor Park 
In 1812 Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published their famous collection of Germanic folk tales and included a version of the French Cinderella story. The tune and dance were probably composed shortly afterwards. Windsor Park was published in “Riley’s Flute Melodies” of 1814. It is now known as “Bonny Breast Knots” (Sussex version). 

8 Lady Caroline Morrison, The Sovereign 
No reference could be found to Lady Morrison. Several references could be found to “Royal Sovereign, but this was a different tune. George IV was crowned in 1822. This tune could have been composed for this occasion. 

9 Lady Caroline Bertie, Regent’s Favourite 
Wheatstone has “Lady Caroline Bertie” in “A Selection of Elegant Country Dances” book 8 (1814). She was daughter of the 4th Earl of Abingdon. Various references could be found to tunes with “Regent” in the title, but not this one. However, the name dates it to 1811-1820.

10 Waterloo Dance, Isle of France 
Both tunes are in Wheatstone “A Selection of Elegant Country Dances (1815). Pyle also refers to the second tune as “Waterloo” in the manuscript, suggesting the two were interchangeable. 

11 Bang up, The Tank 
“Bang up” is also published in Townsend “1st Collection of English Country Dances”. “The Tank” is in Wheatstone vol. 2. It appears in many collections of 19th century English music. 

12 Morgiana, Captain Wyke 
Morgiana was a slave girl from the Arabian nights who assisted Ali Baba. The popularity of the name is thought to arise from the appearance of “The Forty thieves – A grand melodramatic romance” by R B Sheridan. The tune is thought to date from around 1812. Captain Wyke (or White) is found in many collections. The second and third parts are often put together to make a 32-bar jig. 

13 The Brick, What argufies Pride and Ambition 
“The Brick” is in 3/8 time and has the alternative title of “A New Dash”. This suggests it wasn’t a waltz. Maybe a Mazurka. The second tune had a time signature of 9/8, but was written irregularly, with some bars formally in 3/8 time and others in 6/8. The version played here has been “regularised” to make it into a passable slip-jig. However, it is highly likely that the original was meant to accompany a song. 

14 Granos Jig, The Legacy 
The first title should probably read Grano’s Jig. The name almost certainly refers to John Baptist Grano, who was a trumpeter who worked with Handel in the 1720s. The jig is unusual, with a six bar second part. The second tune can be found in a few collections of 19th century music, e.g. “Lincolnshire Collections” vol 1 p68 Ed. P D Sumner (1997). This is from a collection dated 1823 – 1827 by Joshua Gibbons. 

15 A new gig, Ride a Mile 
The first tune is better known as “Barney Brallaghan”. Attributed to J Blewitt, musical director at the Theatre Royal, Dublin, and dated around 1813. Ceolas suggests that “Ride a Mile” is an anglicised version of “Is Cuma Liom” and that the tune originated in the 17th century or earlier. 

16 Henri Quatre, The Clermont, Tom and Jerry 
Keller lists a “Vive Henri Quatre” in 2/4 time and a “Chasse d’Henri Quatre” in 6/8 time, dated 1818. However, these are different tunes. No reference could be found to the second tune. The last title refers to Corinthian Tom and Jerry Hawthorne (the original Tom and Jerry), two characters from Pierce Egan’s “Life in London”, a popular chronicle of debauchery and low-life in Regency London. 
Oxford University Volunteer’s Quickstep
This is attributed to Joseph Reinagle
Two unnamed waltzes
No record could be found of these.
Sample not available
The Barber of Seville
Chainess dance
Sample not available
Belvidere waltz
No reference found to this tune. The title probably refers to the Belvedere palace in Vienna.
Sample not available
Salamanca and Seville waltzes
No reference could be found to these tunes
Sample not available
Cinderella country dance
Sample not available
Lady Caroline Morrison
Sample not available
Lady Caroline Bertie
Sample not available
Waterloo Dance
Sample not available
Bang up
Sample not available
Sample not available
The Brick
Sample not available
Granos Jig
Sample not available
A new gig
Sample not available
Henri Quatre
Tom and Jerry
Sample not available


Gavin Atkin

Richard Pyle kept a particularly fine notebook of tunes, and we're really very lucky that his book has survived into the twenty-first century in a museum in Winchester. So many similar books have been lost, destroyed or simply mouldered away, even in recent years. And it really is great news that it is now in print and available, thanks to Bob Shatwell who transcribed the tunes, and Hobgoblin, which has published the resulting tune-book.

It's a great pleasure to see a book of really good tunes coming out in book form, as so often these days we find new tunes through collections available via the rather soulless medium of the internet. What's more, many of the tunes have simultaneously been made available on a WildGoose CD played by some of the traditional music scene's most influential musicians.

Although we can't say much about what instrument he played, or for what occasions, his book is a delight, not least because, if you're a dance tune player, so many of the tunes jump straight off the page. When I opened the book in just the first few pages of the 2/4 and 4/4 section, I immediately spotted half a dozen I wanted to play straight away, all of which seemed new to me: the 'The Barber of Seville', 'The Chainess Dance', the 'Cinderella Country Dance', 'The Earl of Rosslen', the 'Isle of France (or Waterloo)' and 'The Village Maid'.

The other sections including 6/8, 9/8, 3/4 and 6/4 tunes are just as fresh and musical. There's an interesting jig by the oddly familiar name of 'Astley's Ride'; the simple but singing jig 'The Clermont' sounds very much like the kind of tune that the Old Swan Band plays with buckets of verve and swing; and the 'Oxford University Volunteers Quick Step' is arguably the perfect session tune: strong and distinctive, yet simple enough for a stranger to pick up in a minute; and there are also three nice waltzes, which seem like a bonus in a world that's often short of waltzes that don't sound like so many others.

On the companion CD from WildGoose, Matt Green and Andy Turner, Dan Quinn and Will Duke, Tim Laycock and Colin Thompson, and the Bursledon Village Band with Roger Watson and Bob Shatwell turn in very English-sounding performances that clearly show what good tunes these are, while Saul Rose and Paul Sartin represent the younger generation's playing style, with its more European feel and carefully-turned moving melodeon bass-lines. The playing has all the character and style you'd expect from these musicians. On listening many times over, I have at times felt that, in a few places, this disk somehow doesn't quite catch fire in the way I'd expect with such great tunes perhaps some of the people involved didn't quite manage to 'play-in' the new tunes before making the recording. As many of them are among the best new tunes I've heard for ages, I'm prepared to bet they're well played?in by now... But I don't mean to sound too picky. This is a very nice CD, and it's difficult to pick out just a few high-spots. Paul Sartin's neatly ornamented fiddle playing works beautifully on the 'Salamanca Waltz' and the 'Seville Waltz', and Saul Rose's melodeon work on 'Granos Jig' and 'The Legacy' is masterful.

Colin and Tim play robustly, as these tunes demand, but that doesn't mean that they don't benefit from nicelyphrased fiddle and judicious arrangement of the kind that a really good duet concertina player can deliver, as is shown on the 'Cinderella Country Dance'. Will and Dan's 'Belvidere Waltz' demonstrates how a highly developed and tightly punctuated delivery complements a really good waltz.

Matt and Andy play tightly and sweetly together and with a huge amount of lift in each of their tracks, but I particularly liked the lilting slip jigs, 'A New Gig' and 'Ride a Mile', which I think show that these two of the best known players of the music of the Cotswolds have also absorbed some of the best of Northumberland and somehow brought a north-eastern lilt to tunes written out by a young Hampshire boy nearly two hundred years ago.

As if it were needed, the rumpty-pumpty Bursledon Band gives a splendid taste of what these tunes can work when played for a dance, or in the kind of session where everyone knows the tune, listens to the rest of the room and plays really well as a result. I particularly liked 'L'ete (2)' and the 'Isle of France'. In the end, though, I think the 'Oxford University Volunteers Quick Step' played here by Saul and Paul might well turn out to be the tune the playing community picks up most readily from this collection.

It would not be fair to recommend Pyle's tune-book as a good first book for someone playing English tunes - it doesn't include many of the popular warhorses you'll hear around the sessions. But that's also what's great about this collection: it would certainly be a great buy for anyone making their way to the next level and looking for some really good new tunes to take to their local dance or session. And things can change: now that they're in print and on CD, I'm confident we'll all be hearing and playing Pyle's tunes much more often.

The Folk Diary

Vic Smith

The seventy four dance tunes included here come from the manuscript tune book of R. Pyle of Nether Wallop in Hampshire dated 1822. Some  Astleys Ride, Morgiana, Bang Up etc. - are tunes that are commonly found in these extremely valuable and illuminating tune collections, but in this case, about a half of the tunes are unique to this collection.

The editors have come up against the common dilemmas with such collections of whether to present the tunes in the keys they are originally notated in of whether to make them immediately accessible to the current generation of dance band musicians by transcribing them to the keys of G or D. They have opted for the latter but make a note where they have transcriptions have taken place. They have also made the tunes dance band-friendly by adding appropriate repeats and guitar chords for all the tunes. (www.hobgoblin.com)  

A number of prominent musicians, including our own Will Duke and Dan Quinn, contribute their interpretations of some of these tunes to the album. These vary from the solo fiddle of Paul Sartin to the full band sound from that most danceable unit, The Bursledon Village Band and the playing is a delight throughout. For the manuscript tunes that have not been included by the musicians, a midi file exists for it on the CD. This is an important collection of tunes that is likely to influence the repertoire of dance bands and tune sessions in the south of England. (www.wildgoose.co.uk)

The Folk Mag

Bob Taberner

I wish all tune collections were treated in this way. Hobgoblin have published a very attractive book of the tunes and Wildgoose have persuaded some of the most talented names in English music to record some of the best tunes on a CD. The CD also contains midi files of all the tunes in the collection.

The Pyle family manuscript is one of the most important tune sources in southern English music with lots of tunes that don't occur in other collections and unusual variants of some of the standard repertoire. The heyday of English music was the late 18th and early 19th centuries and we have a lot of the tunes that the musicians of that time wrote down, but, obviously, the style in which they played is open to conjecture.

No doubt drawing on their experience of the playing of more recent traditional musicians, the instrumentalists on the CD produce their interpretations of the Hampshire tunes and end up with a variety of styles which is probably how it was when the tunes were originally played. The music on the CD is excellent as you'd expect from the likes of Will Duke and Dan Quinn, Tim Laycock and Colin Thompson, and the Bursledon Village Band.

Both of the editors of the book, Bob Shatwell and Paul Sartin, are also on the CD and the book they have put together is one of the best books of its type I have seen with lots of illustrations and literary quotes of the period. Even if you don't read music, the book is worth getting for the wealth of information contained in the notes on tune origins.

So, at the end, the big question is this: Is it a book with accompanying CD or the other way round? I can't decide. I suggest you buy both and make up your own mind.



The manuscripts collected by 19th century village musicians are sufficiently rare that the discovery of a new one is bound to cause excitement among players of English dance music. It was with predictable delight and surprise, then, that fiddler Bob Shatwell found a manuscript full of tunes in the Winchester Records Library. Inscribed "R.Pyle" and dated January 19, 1822, it contained, as well as the expected copies and variants of common repertoire, a number of tunes unknown elsewhere. Richard Pyle turned out to be a gentleman farmer of Nether Wallop in Hampshire and this is the only collection of traditional tunes to have been found in that county.

Test Valley Borough Council funded a project to record some of the tunes and to publish all of them in book form. Having heard some of the tracks over a year ago (the CD has been some time in the making) I have been looking forward to its release. Doug Bailey of Wild Goose Records took charge of the recording, with Paul Sartin as musical director. The aim was not just to provide the tunes for musicians to learn, but also to make an album that would be enjoyable to listen to. To this end it features some fine musicians steeped in the traditional style of southern English dance music, including the Bursledon Village Band and several established duos: Andy Turner and Matt Green, Paul Sartin and Saul Rose, Tim Laycock and Colin Turner, Will Duke and Dan Quinn.

The result is an absolute delight. The music itself is of course interesting and valuable for what it is, but there really are some fabulous tunes I've never heard before. The number of performers taking part makes plenty of variety of sound and texture, and the playing is of a consistently high standard. In fact it's a very nice showcase of southern English dance music played as it should be, and it's obvious (even if one didn't know it already) from the joyful way the tunes bounce along that the musicians have all been playing for dancers for years. The tracks from the Bursledon Village band especially sell the tunes as real dance music.

There's a bonus: put the CD into your computer and you'll find a collection of MIDI files of all the tunes from the Pyle book, far more than on the CD, so you can learn them by ear if you don't read music. If you do read music, look out for the Hampshire Dance Tunes book, published by Hobgoblin as part of the same project. I couldn't wait for my copy of that and had to transcribe some of the tunes from the CD and learn them, and I'd still be doing it if Santa hadn't brought me the book for Christmas!

This album is essential for musicians looking for new tunes (and who isn't!) and recommended for others who like listening to good dance music well played.

Shreds & Patches

Phil Headford

Both book and CD are subtitled "Country dance tunes from the Pyle family manuscript 1822". They share the same lovely artwork and clarity of presentation, making a pair of objets dart to be treasured. The editorial effort on each is shared between Bob Shatwell and Paul Sartin, and is focussed on a manuscript discovered in Hampshire Records Library. The 16 tracks on the CD are shared between Matt Green and Andy Turner, Paul Sartin, Roger Watson and Bob Shatwell, Saul Rose, The Bursledon Village Band, Tim Laycock and Colin Thompson, Will Duke and Dan Ouinn. It also carries 59 midi files (twice) of tunes from the 171 dance tunes in the Richard Pyle manuscript. Musicians who do not read from sheet music often find these midi files an easy means of learning new tunes.

The first track of the CD sets the tone these are tunes and sets which are going to be tackled with respect, but with appropriate invention by some of the finest exponents of English dance music. Fiddle, concertina and melodeon are used in various (mostly duet) combinations which emphasise the tunefulness of the genre, and the robust side of its nature is brought out by the inimitable BVB (boosted by Shatwell, Watson and Sartin on the last track).

The first track, Oxford University Volunteers Quick Step, is presented as a duet in the MS, and is beautifully exercised by Paul Sartin on fiddle and Saul Rose on melodeon, who weave their melodic lines and chordal inventions into a tapestry of restrained animation. Colin Thompson and Tim Laycock then use fiddle and concertina to cast the same magic on Two Unnamed Waltzes, as do Matt Green and Andy Turner with The Barber of Seville, Earl of Rosslen and Chainess Dance. Will Duke and Dan Quinn then work their trademark wonders on the Belvedere Waltz using concertina and melodeon. Though each duo approaches the music with the same respect, the techniques and attitudes are as varied as the titles. Then the Bursledon Village Band launches us into a different orbit on Lete and The Triumph, as if we hadn't already worked out that these tunes are for dancing to. And so it continues. Your favourite track is always the one you're listening to. The album is captivating and thought-provoking, and the quality of the recording is all we have come to hope for from the WildGoose stable.

The book contains 74 tunes, with historical notes on the manuscript and its tunes, and thoughtful contributions from John Adams, Vic Gammon and the editors. The tunes are clearly set on A4 pages, and printed in a format readable from a music stand, usually two tunes to a page. They are grouped according to time signature, and have in some cases been transposed for ease of playing on fiddle and melodeon. Some of the tunes will be familiar to those of us immersed in music of this character, but most will be novel, and all are eminently useable. The practice of placing the time signature after the opening repeat signs may be off putting to some musicians, but barely affects the legibility of the staves. Guitar-style chords are provided, along with the caveat that they represent only one of many ways of harmonising each tune.

Both book and CD are well worth obtaining, and worth studying. The reputations of WildGoose and Hobgoblin can only be enhanced by these publications, and the harmonisation of artwork and presentation makes the duo extremely attractive.

Around Kent Folk

Bob & Kathy Drage

The book contains 74 country dance tunes, sourced from a manuscript of R. Pyle, January 29th 1822, held in Hampshire Records Library, Winchester. Most of the tunes have not been seen or heard since then and cannot be found in other collections. Arranged in key signatures with detailed origins and background i.e. original keys etc. Lovely black and white drawings. To be able to look at a tune whilst hearing it played is always helpful. And this CD provides that delightfully.

Some 30 tunes played by Mat Green & Andy Turner, Paul Sartin, Saul Rose, Roger Watson & Bob Shatwell, Tim Laycock, Colin Thompson, Will Duke & Dan Quinn and Bursledon Village Band. Fine musicians playing fine tunes originally played on flute, oboe and C clarinet. Richard Pyle probably played the flute, Southern English playing at its best.

Whats Afoot

Colin Andrews

Richard Pyle (1808 - 1880) was a farmer from Nether Wallop, Hampshire, who began writing down country dance tunes, together with a few airs, song accompaniments and hymn settings in a manuscript book at the age of 14. It is not known for certain what instrument he played, though probably a wind instrument such as the flute or oboe.

Many of the tunes Bob Shatwell found in the manuscript book (in Winchester Records Library) were unfamiliar, and even extensive research failed to reveal much information about some of them . The results of Bob's work can be found in a book, Hampshire Dance Tunes, published by Hobgoblin, and on this CD, which contains a selection of the tunes in 16 tracks, as well as midi files of all the tunes in the associated book.

The CD is an abolsute gem, particularly when one thinks that some of these tunes may not have been heard for over 150 years! It's not only a great album for the tunes, but also the variety of top musicians that bring them to life, in robust, Southern England style; Paul Sartin (co-editor of the book) & Saul Rose, Tim Laycock & Colin Thompson, Mat Green & Andy Turner, Will Duke & Dan Quinn, and the Bursledon Band, with Roger Watson, Paul Sartin, and Bob Shatwell (no mean fiddler himself!) The combinations of fiddle and squeezeboxes - various types concertinas and melodeons provide added foot-tapping interest, and make you want to get up and dance, and, in my case, reach for the squeezebox to try the tunes for myself.

It's hard to pull out any sets of tunes for particular mention since they are all very listenable, and in only a few cases, such as Waterloo Dance, Morgiana & The Triumph, are the names recognisable.

Bob Shatwell has been living & playing folk fiddle in North Hampshire area for many years, though formerly lived in Sussex (He played with Chanctonbury Ring Morris Men at my wedding!) All credit is due to Bob and to all who have contributed in bringing this long-forgotten material to life.