Arcadian Contest (The)
ARCADIAN CONTEST, THE. English, Country Dance and Jig. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The title refers to a theater piece called The Birth Day; Or, The Arcadian Contest staged in 1787. It was advertised as "A Musical Pastoral, as performed at the Royalty Theatre, Well Street, near Goodman's Fields. Composed by T. Carter." The performance included staged dance, music and songs, however, the Licensing Laws were in effect which stipulated that if a word of dialogue was uttered the performance would be considered a play, and liable for prosecution for running afoul of the law. It met with some success, until at last a few words were uttered by one or more of the players, as a consequence of which John Palmer and Bannister were convicted as vagrants and thrown in jail for several weeks.
Printed sources: Knowles (Northern Frisk), 1988; No. 74. Thompson (Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 5), 1788; p. 11.
X:1 T:Arcadian Contest, The M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Country Dance B:Samuel, Ann & Peter Thompson – Complete Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 5 (London, 1788, p. 11) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:D A|d2d def|gfg efg|afd gfg|efd cBA| d2d def|gfg efg|aba gec|d3 D2:| |:a|aba agf|gec Ace|gag gfe|fdA FDf| (d/e/f)d (e/f/g)e|(f/g/a)f (g/a/b)g|afd gec|d3 D2:|]