Princess of Wales Waltz (1)

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PRINCESS OF WALES WALTZ. English, Waltz (3/8 or ¾ time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCCDD. The melody appears in print in J. Wilson’s Pocket Preceptor for the Fife (London, c. 1805, p. 40). English fiddler Joshua Gibbons originally set the tune in the key of ‘C’ major in his ms. In America, the waltz appears in the music copybook of John Beach (Gloucester, Mass.), an MS dated 1801.

A "Princess of Wales's Waltz" was published in London in a collection of Preston's Country Dances in 1797, one of the early waltz compositions to be printed in England. However, the dance directions describe a country dance rather than a couple waltz: "Set and hands across and back again, lead down the middle up again to the top, turn your partner with the right hand quite round, then with the left, hands 4 round at the bottom right and left." The tune is a true waltz tune, although it was not until around 1812 that the dance appeared in its modern form in England (at which time it was thought to be disgraceful).

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].

Printed sources: Kennedy (Fiddler’s Tune-Book: Slip Jigs and Waltzes), 1999; No. 161, p. 42. Sumner (Lincolnshire Collections, vol. 1: The Joshua Gibbons Manuscript), 1997; p. 81.

Recorded sources:




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