Damoselle Cotillon (La)

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DAMOSELLE COTILLON, LA. English, Cotillion (6/8 time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. A part of a cotillion, popular in the 18th century. A cotillion was a latter 18th century dance that originated in the French court, but soon became popular in England. The name, which means 'under-petticoat', may have derived from a popular song that went, "My dear, when I dance, does my petticoat show?" The cotillion (or cotillon) dance was a precursor to the quadrille, and like the quadrille was danced by four couples facing inward in a square set. The piece appears in a number of publications and at least one fiddler's manuscript, including Straight and Skillern's Two Hundred & Four Favourite Country Dances, vol. 1 (London, 1775), Skillern's Compleat Collection of Two Hundred and Four Reels...Country Dances (London, 1780), Thompson's Compleat Tutor for the Hautboy (London, 1790), and James Aird's Selection of Scotch, English, Irish, and Foreign Airs, vol. 1 (Glasgow, 1782). It also appears in the music manuscript book of fiddler James Burk, dated 1821 (very nearly identical to the version printed by Aird). Although nothing is known of Burk, he may have been from the north of England.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 1), 1782; No. 106, p. 38. Straight and Skillern (Two Hundred and Four Favourite Country Dances, vol. 1), c. 1775; No. 29, p. 15. Skillern (Skillern's Compleat Collection of Two Hundred & Four Reels...Country Dances), 1780; p. 15.

Recorded sources:




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