Circassian Circle

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CIRCASSIAN CIRCLE, THE. English, Scottish, Canadian; Hornpipe, Reel or Country Dance. G Major (Kennedy, Lees, Raven): D Major (Howe, Jarman): A Major (Kerr, Martin, <Milne, Sweet): B Flat Major (Manson). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Jarman's version is somewhat different. The Circassian Circle is a country dance, which Lake District musician William Irwin directs be played as a 'hornpipe' in his c. 1850 music manuscript copybook. It was, for example, recorded as having been played and danced in the Carmichael district of Lanarkshire, Scotland, around the turn of the 20th century (1900) where it was always the first dance of the evening. The vehicle for the dance was usually the namesake melody followed by additional tunes at the same tempo, capped by a return to the original "Circassian Circle" melody. Canadians have frequently employed the tune "Bastringue (La)" to accompany the figures.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Howe (1000 Jigs and Reels), c. 1867; p. 71. Jarman (The Cornhuskers Book of Square Dance Tunes), 1944; p. 32 (appears as "The Circassion Circle"). Kennedy (Fiddlers Tune-Book, vol. 1), 1951; No. 1, p. 1. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 1), c. 1880; No. 1, p. 26. J. Kenyon Lees (Balmoral Reel Book), Glasgow, 1910; p. 26. Manson (Hamilton's Universal Tune Book, vol. 1), 1854; p. 135. Martin (Traditional Scottish Fiddling), 2002; p. 37. Milne (Middleton’s Selection of Strathspeys, Reels &c. for the Violin), 1870; p. 40. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 165. Sweet (Fifer's Delight), 1964; p. 57.

Recorded sources: Tradition 2118, Jim MacLeod & His Band – "Scottish Dances: Jigs, Waltzes and Reels" (1979).

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