Belle Isle's March

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X:1 T:Bellisle March, The M:4/4 L:1/8 B:Thompson - The Compleat Tutor for the Fife (1760, p. 16) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:D A2|d2 d>f e2 e>g|d2 d'>b {b}Ta3g|f2 (3afd e2 (3gec|d2 d>d d2:| |:A2|a>ba>g f2f2|g>ag>f {f}Te4|a>ba>g f>gf>g|ab ag/f/ {f}Te2A2| d2 d>f e2 e>g|f2 d'>b {b}Ta3g|f2 (3afd e2 (3gec|d2 d>d d2:|]

BELLE ISLE'S MARCH. AKA - "Belisle March," "Bellisle's March." AKA and see "Monk's March," "General Monk's March," "(Lewis) Proudlock's Hornpipe," "Review (2) (The)." English, March and Morris Dance Tune (cut or 4/4 time). G Major (Bacon): D Major (Keller). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABA (Bacon): AABB (Keller, Sumner). This very popular melody was published by Playford (see note for "Monk's March"). The morris dance version was collected from the village of Longborough, Gloucestershire, in England's Cotswolds. Kate Van Winkler Keller (1992) suggests the title may refer to the small island of Belle-Île-en-Mer, located off the coast of Brittany, that was occupied by the British from 1761 to 1763. The march was published in a song-sheet under the "Bellisle" title to commemorate the occasion on the 27th of June, 1763, when King George III reviewed 3 regiments of footguards in Hyde Park (hence the alternate tite, "The Review"). "Belisle's March" appears in the Scottish Gillespie Manuscript of Perth (1768) and in Longman & Broderip's Entire New and Compleat Instructions for the Fife (London, 1780). A dance by that title was mentioned by MacTaggart in an account in The Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia of 1824 as being taught at a country dancing school of the time.

The march was played in America in Colonial and Revolutionary eras, and appears in the music manuscript copybooks of fifer Thomas Nixon [1] (Danbury, Ct.), fiddler George Bush and flute player Henry Livingston, Jr. Livingston purchased the estate of Locust Grove, Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1771 at the age of 23. In 1775 he was a Major in the 3rd New York Regiment, which participated in Montgomery's invasion of Canada in a failed attempt to wrest Québec from British control. An important land-owner in the Hudson Valley, and a member of the powerful Livingston family, Henry was also a surveyor and real estate speculator, an illustrator and map-maker, and a Justice of the Peace for Dutchess County. He was also a poet and musician, and presumably a dancer, as he was elected a Manager for the New York Assembly's dancing season of 1774-1775, along with his 3rd cousin, John Jay, later U.S. Chief Justice of Governor of New York.

See also a 3/4 time minuet setting of the tune as "Belisle Minuet."

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 5), Glasgow, 1797; No. 54, p. 21. Bacon (The Morris Ring), 1974; p. 260. Elias Howe (Musician’s Omnibus Nos. 6 & 7), Boston, 1880-1882; p. 633. Johnson (A Further Collection of Dances, Marches, Minuetts and Duetts of the Latter 18th Century), 1998; p. 9 (appears as "Belisle March"). Keller (Fiddle Tunes from the American Revolution), 1992; p. 19. Sumner (Lincolnshire Collections, vol. 1: The Joshua Gibbons Manuscript), 1997; p. 73 (appears as "Bellisle March"). Thompson (Compleat Tutor for the Fife), 1760; p. 16. Willig (Compleat Tutor for the Fife), 1805.

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