Annotation:Argyll Rout (The)

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X:1 T:Argyll Rout, The M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Country Dance Tune B:J. Gray - Twenty Four Country Dances for the Year 1812 (Bury St Edmunds, p. 4) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:G D|G2D DB,D|G2A B2c|d2B GAB|c2A A2B| G2D DB,D|G2A B2c|d2B {B}AGA|B2G G2|| d|gag fef|gdB GBd|gag fef|b2b g2d| gag fef|gdB GBd|gag fef|g2b g2|| d|e2f {a}gfe|d2d d2B|cBc edc|B2c d2d| e2f gfe|d2d d2c|BcB {B}AGA|G2G G2|| d|g3 g3|a3 z/a2g/|fed def|g2a b2d| g3g3|a3 a2g|fed def|g2b g2|]

ARGYLL ROUT, THE. AKA and see "Weymouth Fleet," "Weymouth Quickstep (The)." English, Country Dance Tune (6/8 time). England, East Anglia. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABCD. According to [1], "A rout was an informal private ball. The Argyll Rooms in Regent Street, London, was a fashionable venue for dancing at this period." A ‘rout’ was an early 18th century term for an informal private ball in England, but later in the century came to mean an informal assembly or party. A frequently quoted passage describing a rout comes from a book called An American in Regency England (p. 31) by Louis Simond, an expatriate Frenchman who lived in Amercia, but who traveled widely and kept a journal of a tour in 1810-1811. He writes:

Great assemblies are called routs or parties; but the people who give them, in their invitations only say, that they will be at home such a day, and this some weeks beforehand. The house in which this takes place is frequently stripped from top to bottom: beds, drawers, and all but ornamental furniture is carried out of sight, to make room for a crowd of well-dressed people, received at the door of the principal apartment by the mistress of the house standing, who smiles at every new comer with a look of acquaintance. Nobody sits; there is no conversation, cards, no music; only elbowing, turning, and winding from room to room; then, at the end of a quarter of an hour, escaping to the hall door to wait for the carriage, spending more time upon the threshold among footmen than you had done above stairs with their masters. From this rout you drive to another, where, after waiting your turn to arrive at the door, perhaps, half an hour, the street being full of carriages before the house–then every curtain, and every shutter of every window wide open, shewing apartments all in a blaze of light, with heads innumerable, black and white (powdered or not), in continual motion. This custom is so general, that having, a few days ago, five or six persons in the evening with us, we observed our servants had left the windows thus exposed, thinking, no doubt, that this was a rout after our fashion.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - J. Gray (Twenty Four Country Dances for the Year 1812), Bury St. Edmunds, 1812; p. 4.

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