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NYMPH, THE. Scottish, English; Country Dance Tune (2/4 time). D Major (Aird, Huntington/Litten, Manson, Wilson): C Major (Dale, Gow, Thompson): G Major (Sumner). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (Huntington/Litten): AABBCC (Dale, Gow, Manson, Sumner/Gibbons). A very popular country dance tune judging from its many appearances in late 18th-early 19th published collections and musicians' manuscript copybooks. It was also apparently frequently employed as a marching air, from its inclusion in fifing publications and manuscripts. The Gows printed the melody in their 3rd Collection (1788) in a section of country dances fashionable in Edinburgh in the 1787–88 season. Amateur musician Joshua Gibbons (Lincolnshire) set the tune originally in the key of 'C' major in his music manuscript, although John Carter (England) set his in the key of 'D' in his 1792 copybook, as did William Brown (Romford, England) in his 1797 commonplace book. The tune also appears in musician's manuscript books in America – Eleazer Cary's c. 1797–1799 copybook (Mansfield, Connecticut), for example, and William Patten's music manuscript book (perhaps from Philadelphia, Pa., c. 1800). It was included in America in Norris & Sawyer's Village Fifer, published in Exeter, New Hampshire in 1808.
Source for notated version: the 1823–26 music mss of papermaker and musician Joshua Gibbons (1778–1871, of Tealby, near Market Rasen, Lincolnshire Wolds) [Sumner].
Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 4), 1796; p. 13.
Joseph Dale (Dale’s Selection of the most favorite Country Dances, Reels &c.), London, c. 1800; p. 26.
Gow (Second Collection of Strathspey Reels), 1788; p. 36 (3rd ed.).
Huntington (William Litten's Fiddle Tunes, 1800–1802), 1977; p. 15.
Longman and Broderip's Selection of the Most Favorite Country Dances, Reels, &c., c. 1790; p. 26.
Manson (Hamilton's Universal Tune-Book, vol. 2), 1846; p. 42.
Preston (Entire New and Compleat Instructions for the Fife), c. 1796; pp. 2 & 32.
Sumner (Lincolnshire Collections, vol. 1: The Joshua Gibbons Manuscript), 1997; p. 17.
Thompson (Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 5), 1788; pp. 5 & 100.
Wilson (A Companion to the Ballroom), 1816; p. 90.