You are here

Old Measures

The Old Measures are a series of simple dances that appear to have formed a ritual beginning to Elizabethan and Stuart revels and dances. 

For an overview of the Old Measures I can't do better than suggest Practise for Dauncinge: Some Almans and a Pavan, by Patri J. Pugliese & Joseph Casazza. 

The dances are useful for modern re-enactors: they're attractive, enjoyable, easy to learn, suitable for people of varying physical ability, and they can be danced by many people at once.

My notes for each dance cover only the rough outline, and maybe keep a record of "local custom" - I've generally not attempted a discussion of reconstruction issues here, as the material is so well covered by others.

For further information see:

  • Patri J. Pugliese & Joseph Casazza, Practise for Dauncinge: Some Almans and a Pavan, England, 1570-1650, 1980.  Short book including dances, sheet music arranged or composed for a four-part consort, and a thorough discussion of the reconstruction issues for both dance and music, generally and for each piece
  • D. R. Wilson, Dancing in the Inns of Court, Historical Dance Vol 2. No. 5, 1986/7, pp 3-16. Transcription of each of the manuscript sources for the Old Measures, critique of Cunningham's older article by the same name. 

And of course numerous other books and articles.