Annotation:Aye Me

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X: 1 T:Aye Me. (p)1651.PLFD.005 T:Symphony,The. (p)1651.PLFD.005 M:4/4 L:1/8 Q:1/2=100 S:Playford, Dancing Master,1st Ed.,1651. O:England N:Rest at end of phrase added editorially N:Bar 7, G replaces F in original H:1651. Z:Chris Partington. K:C g4 e4|d2 BA G2 AB|c2 c2 d2 d2|e6 ee|e2 fg a2 cc|c2 de f2 AA| BG e2 d3 c|c6z2:||:A2 AB c2 Bc|d2 G2 G2 ee|e2 de fged| d6 gg|a2 ee f2 ^ff|g2 dc B2 gg|a2 e2d3 c|c6z2:|

AY(E) ME. AKA - "The Simphony" [sic]. English, Country Dance Tune (cut time). C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABB (Sharp): AABB (Barber, Kidson, Raven). "Aye me, or, the Simphony" was a "longways for eight" dance tune first published in Playford's English Dancing Master of 1651 and later editions, and included by the publisher in his New Lessons for the Gittern (1652). Apparently not much more is known about the tune. The great 19th century English collector Chappell is silent about it and Kidson could find no references to it, though he supposed it to be the tune to "some plaintive ditty of the 17th century." Regarding the alternate title, Keith Whitlock explains:

In fact, 'simphony', meaning an instrumental introduction, come into use in the reign of Charles I and was especially associated with William Lawes, who wrote for many masques and plays, in particular The Triumph of Peace (1634). Playford’s Court-Ayres (1655) contained fifty-four pieces by William Lawes. He was killed in a skirmish at Chester in 1645 and

"To musicians and poets at least, the death of William Lawes had become a symbol of the excesses of the Puritan Rebellion."[1]

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Barber (Nick Barber's English Choice), 2002; No. 1, p. 5. Kidson (Old English Country Dances), 1890; p. 1. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 44. Sharp (Country Dance Tunes), 1994; p. 45.

Recorded sources : - DMPCD0203, Nick & Mary Barber & Huw Jones - "Bonnie Kate."

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  1. Keith Whitlock, “John Playford’s English Dancing Master 1650/51 as Cultural Politics”, Folk Music Journal, vol. 7, No. 5, 1999, p. 568