Merry Conceit (2) (The)

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MERRY CONCEIT [2], THE. English, Jig. F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABC. The melody was composed by dancing master Nathaniel Kynaston (1683-1757). Although very little is known about him, Kynaston appears to have been active from 1705 to about 1722 in the Shropshire/Wales border area. Walsh published some 120 of Kynaston's tunes and dances over several publications. The Selattyn parish register in Shropshire records that a "Nathanial Kynaston, gent., & Mrs. Elizabeth Davies, both of Oswestry" married on August 25th, 1719-although whether this was the dancing master is unknown. Kynaston appears to have been a not uncommon name in Shropshire, and the family includes Sir Humphrey Kynaston, a notorious 16th century highwayman and Robin Hood figure, who preyed on the wool merchants of Shrewsbury.

"The Merry Conceit" was first published in John Walsh and P. Randall's New Country Dancing Master, Second Book (London, 1710, p. 8), later also printed in Walsh & Hare's The Second Book of the Compleat Country Dancing-Master (London, 1719) and The New Country Dancing Master Third Book (London, 1728). London publisher John Young also included the melody in all four editions of the Second Volume of the Dancing Master [1] (1710-1728), although the figures for the dance in the latter two editions are different than those given in the first two editions.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes, vol. 2), 2005; p. 83. Christian (A Playford Assembly), 2015; p. 69. Young (Second Volume of the Dancing Master), 1710; No. 183.

Recorded sources:




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