Morning Rout (The)

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MORNING ROUT, THE. English, Country Dance Tune (2/4 time). A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Dance figures set to the Thompson's "Morning Rout" were apparently recycled, having been found earlier with "Ton (The)" in Bride's Favorite Collection of Two Hundred Select Country Dances (c. 1775), with "Mutual Love (2)" in the Thompson's own Twenty Four Country Dances for the Year 1777, with "Ton (The)" in Thompson's Twenty Four Country Dances for the Year 1778. The directions are found with both "Mutual Love (2)" and "Ton (The)" in Thompson's Compleat Collection of 200 Fashionable Country Dances, vol. 4) (c. 1780), and with "The Ton" in Longman and Broderip's Compleat Collection of 200 Favorite Country Dances (c. 1781), although these latter Thompson volumes are but a reissue compilation of their earlier yearly country dance publications.

A ‘rout’ was an early 18th century term for an informal private ball in England, but later in the century came to mean an informal assembly or party. A frequently quoted passage describing a rout comes from a book called An American in Regency England (p. 31) by Louis Simond, an expatriate Frenchman who lived in Amercia, but who traveled widely and kept a journal of a tour in 1810-1811. He writes:

Great assemblies are called routs or parties; but the people who give them, in their invitations only say, that they will be at home such a day, and this some weeks beforehand. The house in which this takes place is frequently stripped from top to bottom: beds, drawers, and all but ornamental furniture is carried out of sight, to make room for a crowd of well-dressed people, received at the door of the principal apartment by the mistress of the house standing, who smiles at every new comer with a look of acquaintance. Nobody sits; there is no conversation, cards, no music; only elbowing, turning, and winding from room to room; then, at the end of a quarter of an hour, escaping to the hall door to wait for the carriage, spending more time upon the threshold among footmen than you had done above stairs with their masters. From this rout you drive to another, where, after waiting your turn to arrive at the door, perhaps, half an hour, the street being full of carriages before the house–then every curtain, and every shutter of every window wide open, shewing apartments all in a blaze of light, with heads innumerable, black and white (powdered or not), in continual motion. This custom is so general, that having, a few days ago, five or six persons in the evening with us, we observed our servants had left the windows thus exposed, thinking, no doubt, that this was a rout after our fashion.

It was a social convention for society women to go on brief visits during the morning.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Thompson (Twenty Four Country Dances for the Year 1787), 1787; p. 22. Thompson (Compleat Collection of 200 Fashionable Country Dances, vol. 5), 1788; p. 22.

Recorded sources:




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