For those interested in singing squares here is a page with many. Often
times the dance and the tune are coupled together differently than I know
them. I cannot find any indication that this dance series is ongoing,
On Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 12:42 PM, Rich Sbardella <richsbardella(a)gmail.com>
These are all good points. Many of the tunes are use are 16 bar tunes,
and require musicians to play 14 times thru to complete a singing square.
Some tunes are 32 bars, and perhaps those are better choices. My vision,
and it is not firm, is to host a local dance a few times a year that is
square centric, Patter squares can be included as well, with waltzes,
polkas, contras, and longways interspersed for variety.
As far as the boredom issue, I am not sure if dancers dance the same
square once a month, six times a year, they will get bored. My experience
with square dancers is that they like to dance the "classics" or
"chestnuts". I danced "Just Because" at a local this weekend, and I
not grown tired of it, although I have danced it many, many times. A
caller has the responsibility of insuring variety within the evening, and
also from month to month. When I ran a MWSD club, I was careful not to
repeat many dances in successive months, but I often had requests to call
those same songs.
I carry sheet music with me to contra dances and feel fortunate when a
band is willing to play a singer or two. Without exception, dancers come
up to me after the dance and thank me for including singing squares. (The
older the dancers, the more they appreciate singing squares.) There are
many venues where I know squares, are not appreciated, and so I avoid
them. I have the good fortune of living near Ralph Sweet's barn where
singers are part of the evening, and that is encouraging.
I really appreciate the perspective of a musician, and will include it I'm
my choice of tunes. For the moment, I am trying to assemble a list of
dance tunes that are most popular and accessible.
On Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 11:56 AM, Sylvia Miskoe sylviasmiskoe(a)gmail.com
[trad-dance-callers] <trad-dance-callers(a)yahoogroups.com> wrote:
> Hi Rich -
> I'd like to offer a few opinions about the lack of interest in singing
> squares from a musician's point of view.
> Most of the tunes are simple, often only 8 bars, repeated 4 times, for
> one round of the dance. There is no room for substitution or picking
> alternate tunes. Nowadays, unless the musician has a copy of Ralph Sweet
> and Nils
> Fredland's singing calls book, they may not know where to find the
> appropriate tune. Once found, there is the question of what key to play.
> I have played the same dance in 4 different keys for 4 different callers:
> F, G, Bb and D.
> If one plays the same program for a weekly or monthly dance, boredom will
> set in. For example, Golden Slippers put to the dance 'Down the Middle
> with a Butterfly Twirl'. It is played AAB. One must pay attention to that
> pattern. By the time you finish the dance, you will have played it 24
> I don't want to see singing squares die out and willingly play them if
> asked but a whole evening, repeated every week loses its magic.
> Sylvia Miskoe, Concord NH
> On Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 10:47 AM, Rich Sbardella richsbardella(a)gmail.com
> [trad-dance-callers] <trad-dance-callers(a)yahoogroups.com> wrote:
>> I found this clip online but I could not make out your calls. Would you
>> transcribe them?
>> On Sun, Jun 11, 2017 at 11:41 PM, Robert Livingston rlivngstn(a)yahoo.com
>> [trad-dance-callers] <trad-dance-callers(a)yahoogroups.com> wrote:
>>> Absolutely, among those dancing on a regular basis (and those who drop
>>> 4Poster-Soldiers Joy is #1. Can't go home without calling it (just
>>> fancy goal posting)
>>> Next is Engine #9..."1st couple round the hollow, 2 & 3 will follow,
>>> make an arch and come on thru."
>>> Down in the Caribbean Great beat, Hank Snow song. These tunes are not
>>> that difficult and if I start calling
>>> a cappella someone picks up the rhythm. From the Falltown String Band
>>> and we'll do it Saturday at Chesterfield. (MA)
>>> These are the favorites not found in your usual searches. So many
>>> American tunes were used for squares and are old enough
>>> (1800s early 1900s) to be out of copyright.
>>> Find Tod Whittemore's "San Antonio Rose" figure on line -
>>> different figure and should be brought back..
>>> Bob Livingston
>>> Middletown, CT
>>> *From:* "Rich Sbardella richsbardella(a)gmail.com
>>> *To:* trad-dance-callers(a)yahoogroups.com
>>> *Sent:* Sunday, June 11, 2017 10:12 PM
>>> *Subject:* [trad-dance-callers] Singing Squares
>>> Hello folks,
>>> I am curious what singing calls, if any, are being called nowadays. I
>>> am hoping to build a traditional"singing square dance locally, and hope
>>> use tunes that bands might have heard or been exposed to.
>>> I am familiar with the ones on Ralph Sweet's CD and Bob Dalsemer's
>>> Rich Sbardella
>>> Stafford, CT