User Tools

Site Tools


<big>Playford Wiki – Playford's Progeny</big>

This wiki began as an experimental wiki repository to permit explorations of information related to English and American folk dance. John Playford published “The English Dancing Master” in 1651 (the text of this has been entered and can be found at; a f his lead.

From the sign made by Holly Lennox for the Ottawa English Country Dance Club, with permission. This logo is NOT part of the Creative Commons license for these pages.


In order to avoid wikispam and other nasties, only registered users can contribute material. For the moment, ask the moderator for an account by sending email to nashjc _at_ (even here we must avoid the robots!). Later, we anticipate a more d

To allow for ordering and easy navigation, an attempt will be made to develop Conventions and Formats for these pages. There will be some false starts and mistakes, but hopefully we will eventually have a structure that works well for most users.

NashJc 09:49, 7 October 2007 (EDT)

Goals and Principles

The main goal of Playford's Progeny is to share ideas and content related to English and American folk dancing. This includes tutorials, dance instructions, music, and recordings.

From the point of view of the moderator and instigator (Prof. J C Nash - NashJc on the wiki), the content and usage are a tool to investigate how to permit users to modify the data management process as well as the content. That is, new tools, views,

The moderator is also interested in patterns of use of the system – the social engineering of community projects such as this. Possibly other researchers would like to participate in this activity. Note that it is NOT intended to spy on users. Instead, i

A parallel goal of the pp-wiki is to enlarge and/or render more efficient the marketplace for dance-related materials. CDs and books on dance are rarely available in local bookstores or libraries. Can they be distributed efficiently on the Internet? If th

Given that the main goal is sharing, there is always the issue of unreasonable use, freeloading or downright unauthorized use of material. This wiki is set up to use the Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike Creative Commons copyright scheme. This means

  • - you can use any material where there is not an explicit statement to the contrary in your own works, provided
  • - you attribute such material to its authors and/or to this site as appropriate, and
  • - you are not making money from it.

This does not mean you cannot make money from derived works – you just have to make sure you have appropriate separate agreements with the creators of the material.

What about recordings? It is hoped that musicians and producers will put samples on this site e.g., like the Bare Necessities low-frequency samples. People can hear what the recordings sound like, but the sample is not useful for dancing etc. As the site

Possibilities and Issues

A meeting place such as this web site offers an opportunity for dancers and musicians to exchange ideas and develop new and interesting aspects to their shared activities. Some of these are:

Music for Dancing

It's hard to dance without music.


Recorded music often provides some of the best musicians, but sometimes they don't play for dancing. On the page RecordedMusic you will find lists of recordings, and hopefully dancers will add their opinions (politely!) to assist other dancers. Can we

Sound Systems

Dance callers use a variety of systems for playing recorded music. In the OECDC, we have in the last 20 years used

  • cassette tapes played on systems that allowed the speed to be altered. Karaoke machines proved to be the most economical form of these, and have a reasonable “power” for medium-sized rooms
  • CDs are easier to use than cassettes, since the tracks are selectable more quickly. Some (quite expensive) players allow for speed changing. CDRs allow the caller to burn a “program”, though this is likely a copyright infringement. (Comments welcome
  • MP3 and OGG compressed music files allow computers and digital music players to store large numbers of “tracks”. With inexpensive powered computer speakers we have been able to use a laptop to hold most of the club collection of dance music with the

Sheet Music

Sheet music is needed for those who play. Thanks, of course, to Peter Barnes ( for his justly famous books, that is, Volumes 1 and 2 of “English Country Dance Tunes”. See SheetMusic for references and n

Dance Instructions and Style Hints

Please observe the warning regarding copyrighted work. However, most callers write down their own versions of dances, and if you are willing to add your dances to the collection here, please do so, if possible including notes about where you learned the d

The link for these instructions is Dance Instructions Index.

Note that there are various Internet resources for dance instructions. One of the very best is The Round, alias Cambridge University English Country Dance Society, see I (NashJc) had hoped

Ottawa English Country Dance Club

A private area exists for the Club callers to help select music, dances, etc. If you are one of the callers with authorization, click here to be redirected. This area is private as some material is or

A public area for listing what we have done, upcoming events etc. is OttawaEnglishDanceClub

Other groups are welcome to add pages. If there are several, we will create an index page to them all so navigation is easier.

Please NOTE: this is at the moment an experimental research service hosted by the Telfer School of Management of the University of Ottawa. While announcements of dances and community events are welcome, as are discussions of where to acquire music and rec

NashJc 09:49, 7 October 2007 (EDT)

Pictures, Videos, and Animations

I know there are some out there?? Anyone?

If you do contribute, please put a link here and create a new page with prefix “PIX:” e.g., PIX:Pinhey's_Point2006.jpg or Media:Bare_Necessities.wmv, or copy examples on the Pictures_and_Videos page

NashJc 22:15, 7 October 2007 (EDT)

How to write and edit Playford Wiki pages...

Editing a Wiki page is very simple. There is a little tab button at the top labelled “edit”. Click on this web page and you are editing the current page. You can also click one of the section editing buttons at the right labeled “edit” to edit only the

The great thing about this wiki is that any logged-in user can edit any page. There is a history function, so administrators can undo vandalism and such. When editing, three buttons appear beneath the text, offering the options of “Save page”, “Show pre

When editing, links to other wikipedia pages can be added by putting a word in double brackets: [[Example]]. If you add a link to a page that doesn't exist, you can then save your page, and click on the link. A new

After you create or edit an article, people may rewrite or extend your work. This is not considered bad form in a collaborative workspace. Adding references or additional facts; correcting spelling and grammar; and even refactoring long articles into a

More details on how to edit can be found at the How to page.

Have fun!


main_page.txt · Last modified: 2014/07/18 15:57 (external edit)