New Grand O.P. Dance (The)

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NEW GRAND O.P. DANCE, THE. English, Country Dance Tune (2/4 time). C Major. Standard tuning. Gilchrist, in her article "Old Fiddlers' Tune Books of the Georgian Period" (JEFDSS, vol. 4, No. 1, Dec. 1940, p. 22), remarks:

...The "New Grand O.P. Dance" can only have been suggested by the serious riots at Covent Garden in 1809, when after reconstruction of the opera-house and engagement of expensive foreign artists the management raised the prices of the seats, to the great anger of the public. Night after night the opera-goers gave voice to their grieveance and demands for the "old prices" by disorder and rhythmical stamping, accompanied by cries of "O.P.! O.P.!" One can hardly suppose that the "Grand O.P. Dance" appeared till matters had quietened down a little. The notes marked "O.P., O.P." under the tune in the MS. seem to have been vocalized by the dancers and probably accompanied by stamping the feet "right left, right left." In such ways the sturdy Briton, whose irrepressible cheerfulness is always breaking in, turns tragedy to comedy and strife to mockery."

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