Merry Conclusion (The)

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MERRY CONCLUSION, THE. AKA and see "Mr. Kynaston's Famous Dance," "Northern Frisk (1) (The)." English, Country Dance Tune (3/2 time). A Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCCDD. 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 melody appears (as "Northern Frisk (1) (The)") in John Walsh's third collection of Lancashire tunes (Lancashire Jiggs, Hornpipes, Joaks, etc.) published around the year 1731. It also appears in the London Magazine, or Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer of 1758 (p. 93), and in Johnson's Two Hundred Favourite Country Dances (vol. 8, p. 33) of the same year. "Mr. Kynaston's" (without the "Famous Dance" part) appears as the alternate title for "The Merry Conclusion" in Walsh's Twenty Four Country Dances for the year 1716 (p. 24), a copy of which is in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. In fact, Walsh published one hundred and twenty of Kynaston's tunes and dances in various publications, from 1710 to 1719. "The Merry Conclusion" was also published by John Young in his second volume of the Dancing Master [1], third edition (1718) and fourth edition (1728).

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes, vol. 2), 2005; p. 84.

Recorded sources: Wild Goose WGS 314, Belshazzar's Feast - "Mr. Kynaston's Famous Dance vols. 1 & 2" (2003). Persons of Quality - "Next of Kynaston" [2].

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