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Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance

Desert Dancer 16 Sep 11 - 12:26 AM
Desert Dancer 16 Sep 11 - 12:27 AM
GUEST,Julia Wise 29 Jun 12 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,Bizibod 29 Jun 12 - 03:03 PM
GUEST 30 Aug 14 - 04:21 PM
treewind 31 Aug 14 - 04:30 AM
Mr Red 31 Aug 14 - 04:40 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 31 Aug 14 - 06:50 AM
GUEST 31 Aug 14 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,Rahere 31 Aug 14 - 01:48 PM
Mr Red 02 Sep 14 - 03:09 AM
Les in Chorlton 02 Sep 14 - 03:17 AM
GUEST 02 Sep 14 - 03:20 AM
GUEST,leeneia 02 Sep 14 - 07:06 AM
Jack Blandiver 02 Sep 14 - 07:11 AM
Les in Chorlton 02 Sep 14 - 07:54 AM
GUEST,Rahere 02 Sep 14 - 08:30 AM
Vixen 02 Sep 14 - 12:29 PM
Mr Red 02 Sep 14 - 05:42 PM
Les in Chorlton 03 Sep 14 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,Rahere 03 Sep 14 - 01:42 PM
Les in Chorlton 03 Sep 14 - 02:14 PM
GUEST 04 Sep 14 - 11:32 AM
Mr Red 05 Sep 14 - 03:54 AM
Les in Chorlton 05 Sep 14 - 04:28 AM
GUEST,Rahere 05 Sep 14 - 01:25 PM
GUEST,Greenie 27 Apr 18 - 04:12 AM
RTim 27 Apr 18 - 04:46 AM
Senoufou 27 Apr 18 - 09:56 AM
BobL 28 Apr 18 - 04:17 AM
GUEST,ripov 28 Apr 18 - 06:21 PM
Senoufou 28 Apr 18 - 07:25 PM
GUEST,ripov 28 Apr 18 - 08:11 PM
Senoufou 29 Apr 18 - 03:56 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 29 Apr 18 - 06:22 AM
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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 16 Sep 11 - 12:26 AM

Andy Letcher on The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance at SpiralEarth.com

~ Becky in Tucson
(who might have been happier not reviving this particular thread)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 16 Sep 11 - 12:27 AM

actually, http://www.spiralearth.co.uk (oops, bad place to make that mistake!)

~ B in T


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: GUEST,Julia Wise
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 02:13 PM

So dancers in Abbots Bromley are allowed to do their dance to the tune of "Yankee Doodle", but I'm not allowed to do their dance in America and must instead buy an $800 plane ticket to observe it? Sorry, I'll be doing it anyway, and if you don't like seeing it, no one will make you come here and watch.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: GUEST,Bizibod
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 03:03 PM

Saturday 30th June 2012, Abbots Bromley Horn Dancers will dance in Nottingham at the venue below.
Artist Leah Gordon juxtaposes Haitian and British folk culture in her exhibition, Kanaval. During this session we explore these gloriously eccentric ‘folk’ happenings in more detail, and investigate how and why these ancient traditions still exist.
The session will be set against selected excerpts from the BFI’s Here’s a Health to the Barley Mow: A Century of Folk Customs and Ancient Rural Games. From the sexy, savage Cornish May Day rites of Alan Lomax’s Oss Oss Wee Oss, to Jeremy Deller and Alan Kane’s footage of ferociously fought traditional football; this collection of documentaries, television reports and rare silent film footage reveals just how powerful and enduring the folk traditions of Great Britain have always been.
Joining Leah Gordon on our discussion panel will be Haitian artist Andre Eugene; William Fowler, curator of the film and the Abbott Bromely Horn Dancers.
Admission: £4 (£3 concessions)
Age range: All are welcome
New Art Exchange
39 - 41 Gregory Boulevard, Nottingham NG7 6BE




New art Exchange
39 - 41 Gregory Boulevard, Nottingham NG7 6BE


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 04:21 PM

Monday 8th Sept this year.(2014)

Here is a BBC feature from 2013
BBC 2013
(You might need to delete 'mudcat.org/' in the URL)
Or
just google "22 dec 2013 documentary segment about the abbots"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: treewind
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 04:30 AM

corrected link

(you have to include the "http://" bit in front of the url when making the link)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Mr Red
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 04:40 AM

Saw in once in 1983 or 4
to predict the actual day I was told it was the first Mon after the first Sunday after 4th Sept but not every year. Bit like Easter there are clauses that were not specified that might delay it by one week.

The Wiki article prats on about magic rituals, but if you were an illiterate serf with deer hunting rights how would you re-iterate those rights? Much like yearly "Beating the Bounds" (done in a lot of places eg like Lichfield ) defines where the town/city/village was and the privileges and tithes that accrued to residency. Confusing rites with rights IMNSHO.
And the official pamphlet on the subject reckoned the reindeer horns were carbon dated to 1065 +/- 50 years (extinct here by then). And it points to a record from Lichfield cathedral of "dancers going out" in the 1300's without specific reference to horns in Abbots Bromley MAP

As for re-creating it in the colonies (or ex colonies to be PC) may I quote Martin Carthy (touches forelock) and transpose his quote from Folk Song.
"You can do anything to a custom, anything, and it will survive. Except ignore it"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 06:50 AM

To clarify, only one of the horns has been carbon dated. The dates you quote are correct. This of course does not mean that the dance is that old, only that at least one of the horns is.

The village website has this statement:
"The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance, performed at the Barthelmy Fair in August 1226, is one of the few ritual rural customs to survive the passage of time."
There is no evidence at all that this date is correct - it's a piece of fanciful make believe.

Derek


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 06:58 AM

Now that old Christmas carols that the church suppressed have started to be performed outside of their last bastions such as in Sheffield they will have a better chance of surviving and of being appreciated in the long run. There are some traditions that only work where they are rooted like abbots Bromley, but it's probably a weird exception.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: GUEST,Rahere
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 01:48 PM

Why Barthelmy Fair? The Church is dedicated to St Nicholas. My namesake established London's Bartholomew Fair in support of St Barts which he founded after being miraculously healed by the monks of St Bartholomew's tomb in Rome. Did they copy it? If so, then they can hardly complain about plagiarism...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Mr Red
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 03:09 AM

I may still have the pamphlet and the reference as I remember it was 13XX and they did not mention the horn dance specifically, only that "the dancers went out". This would still be on record at Lichfield Cathedral Library (I assume).

The only pamphlet I can find is from 1966 & EFDSS Folk Festival at the Royal Albert Hall - Souvenir Programme. It say little more than the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance was made possible by the acquisition of the duplicate set of horns. Presumably the VW library has a copy, but I can donate it if required.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 03:17 AM

Many things written and repeated by and about Morris dancers are, to paraphrase:

"There is no evidence at all ..... - it's a piece of fanciful make believe. "

That doesn't stop the Morris from being a wonderful spectical. But making up history is fiction


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 03:20 AM

The whole performance is unexciting but no doubt means alot as a tradition or ritual to thos3 who paticipate in it. It is also a unique oddity that deserves to survive.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 07:06 AM

Here's the URL to a YouTube video of the horn dance being danced in Thaxted to the tune under discussion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szGHFYDmqNQ

I'm impressed with the politeness of the quiet crowd.

Too bad the many flashes disrupt the mysterious darkness.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 07:11 AM

The real thing is always so much more mysterious...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYPZdQzNQ_U


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 07:54 AM

Oh, the tunes! The Dam Busters topped it for me - I was then surprised that nothing came from The Sound of Music.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: GUEST,Rahere
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 08:30 AM

The EFDSS Horns are in Trefusis in Cecil Sharp House.

What may be relevant is that the earliest documents of Morris, both here and on the Continent, portray it as a Court-sponsored event from the mid 15th century. Although it could be argued that only Court events got written up, it's nowhere mentioned in the more secular documentation, Chaucer, Piers Plowman and their brethren.
The etymology points towards the Low Countries, and I note that there is a surviving tradition in the Belgian village of Binche, which is documented as originating in the current form from a Court Masque of 1549. However, that in turn raises the question whether the composer Gille Binchois a hundred years earlier was involved, as the dancers are called the Gilles de Binche, the Young Men of Binche, which uses a term from Scots Gaelic, as in the Cumha nan Gillean, the Lament of the Young Men known as The Flowers of The Forest. Certainly Bincheois worked with Guillaume Dufay, who was most certainly very well versed in the older rondelli, the circle-dances of the monastic labyrinths, see Craig Wright The Maze and The Warrior. Equally, it is thought that Bincheois may well have worked for the Earl of Suffolk at about the time of the first appearance of morris as such in this country. This is particularly relevant in the "maze" dances of the North West.

That, however, is a long way from matching it to the documents of the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance. What we have to be careful about is transferring the suppositions of neo-paganism, whether modern or Victorian (not that there's much difference) onto the hard history, putting something of a question behind the supposition that it dates from the Crusades: what did come from there is fairly well documented and does not include Morris. So, if this is correct, then Abbots Bromley may have to stand alone.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Vixen
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 12:29 PM

I was told that Bergman's "the seventh seal" uses the tune that us Americans (and evidently Thaxted) consider the Horn Dance tune.

A quick google couldn't confirm or disprove that, but I'm sure one of us mudcats will know if I have been misinformed.

Not sure what it adds to the discussion, if anything...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Mr Red
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 05:42 PM

Is the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance - Morris?
They don't say it is.
The Horns make it somewhat apart from the genre, that and its uniqueness. And more so than, say, "Molly".

The notion that Morris evolved from Moorish/Morresque is well documented. And moved down-market as fashion inevitably does. But it is tempting to imagine that those that already were doing dancing would incorporate moves and flourishes to mimic what was only able to be glimpsed at. Inevitably there would have been traditionalist who would cling to there own style and have no truck with modern fads. Maybe that is what happened to the Horn Dance.

People were no different then, eg we have arch traditionalist and we have avant gaurde Morris danced in: biker gear, Miss Piggy & Kermet, gangster costumes and even mixed in with body popping on stage. And I hear tell of women dancing morris (whatever next?).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 08:27 AM

"What may be relevant is that the earliest documents of Morris, both here and on the Continent, portray it as a Court-sponsored event from the mid 15th century. Although it could be argued that only Court events got written up, it's nowhere mentioned in the more secular documentation, Chaucer, Piers Plowman and their brethren."


"The notion that Morris evolved from Moorish/Morresque is well documented".


Am I correct in think the first of these statements is based in detailed academic research and the second is a notion with little or no evidence?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: GUEST,Rahere
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 01:42 PM

I work on the edge of the Warburg Institute, specialists in the High Renaissance. I'm not as yet a member of their PRoMS work (although it is probably inevitable come the start of term), as they work with the Capella Pratensis - my own friendships are with Tony Rooley (Schola Cantorum Basel) and Stevie Wisheart (Synphonie Brussels) and I have played with the Chester Minstrels.
The EFDSS might have details to add on the relationship of Morris with the various forms of mumming and morality plays: Dartington Morris see its birth in the Spanish Christians and Moors dance pageants of the late 13th century, with later connections through John of Gaunt, but have no evidence to support it, and are forced to see links a hundred years later. The one thing they understate is the connection between music and pattern, central to the academic norm of the day, the quadrivium.

So all in all, the likelihood is that the second statement is true, albeit that there were some generations in between.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 02:14 PM

how can I put this? I am in no position to comment on the relationship between John of Gaunt and anything but the relationship between evidence based in honest historical scholarship and Morris websites is often slight.

"Dartington Morris see its birth in the Spanish Christians and Moors dance pageants of the late 13th century, with later connections through John of Gaunt, but have no evidence to support it, and are forced to see links a hundred years later"

Sums it up quite well


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Sep 14 - 11:32 AM

Jan van Eyck the painter and Dufay worked closely together on a particular papal project born in the early years of the 15th century, which took van Eyck on mission to Spain and Portugal at the time in question, particularly in 1428 as part of Phillip the Good's embassy in his marriage negotiations for the hand of Isabella of Portugal. van Eyck was well-educated (part of my thesis demonstrating his capacity as a cosmologer) and would certainly have been competent in music, as part of the quadrivium in which he worked alongside Dufay. But it's a far call from being certain.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Mr Red
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 03:54 AM

Am I correct in think the first of these statements is based in detailed academic research and the second is a notion with little or no evidence?

Steve Rowley "considered/was invited" to do a PhD on Folk/Morris. He showed me the chronology of Morresque as it moved down-market and evolved. This was from documents available in museums to researchers. He didn't do the PhD, but moved on to the Giants of Sheffield/Spain.

If you refuse to take this evidence, albeit second hand, consider the movement of (say) "designer" fashion, or Estate Agents' lexicon. The "designer" adjective adds little value today but 10 years ago it was used for expensive tranklements. And Estate Agentspeak, speaks for itself, cottages have 5 bedrooms these days!

No matter how currently superior we choose to be, human physchie is no different in this context. We follow fashion, we strive to think ourselves better, and we are curious of the "new". Or we are arch traditionalists. And most of us are a healthy mix thereof.

Morris is what is left of an absorption of many influences and it is still going on. And whatever happened before Morresque, they danced. The evidence is there.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 04:28 AM

This is absolutley fascinating Mr Red:

Steve Rowley "considered/was invited" to do a PhD on Folk/Morris. He showed me the chronology of Morresque as it moved down-market and evolved. This was from documents available in museums to researchers

Can you give as any more information?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: GUEST,Rahere
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 01:25 PM

As we're looking in Spain, you need to look at the Cantigas as one of the primary sources, the words show various degrees of cultural assimilation - it would be wrong to think of the country as Devotedly Catholic before 1492. Prior to that it was rather a mish-mash of cultures, sometimes partly ghettoised, much like the UK is now, rubbing along as best it may. There are also some dances associated with them, most particularly the estampie, which almost certainly was a major influence in early Morris. This dance was particularly associated with the West of Spain, the area most of the Cantigas came from, so I think if you want to look into that area, you need to get the mediaeval dance forms out of the hands of the twee SCA types and into the hands of Morris dancers.

Going further back than that will probably need an expert in Arab dance of the Golden Age.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: GUEST,Greenie
Date: 27 Apr 18 - 04:12 AM

The link above to Robinson's Tune, in Mary Humphreys' post of 17 Sep 07 is broken.

Can anyone (Mary, perhaps if she is still around?) tell me to which "West Midlands site" we were being directed?

Kind regards
Greenie


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: RTim
Date: 27 Apr 18 - 04:46 AM

Here is another version....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxI6AGaXHSw


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Senoufou
Date: 27 Apr 18 - 09:56 AM

Forgive me if someone has already posted this, but the reindeer horns used in the dance were fairly recently carbon-dated to around 1065AD.
There was doubt as to whether any reindeer existed in this country in those days. It's more likely they were imported, but no-one can suggest why. I wonder if they were brought over by the Normans (as living beasts) during the Invasion of 1066AD.
I find the tune (especially played on a lone violin) absolutely haunting and mesmerising.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: BobL
Date: 28 Apr 18 - 04:17 AM

DNA sequencing might tell us something about the horns' origins.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 28 Apr 18 - 06:21 PM

Senoufou - Abbots Bromley is roughly in the centre of the Danelaw, so the import of reindeer products, if not live reindeer, around 900 AD, is highly probable. And see this site amongst others.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Senoufou
Date: 28 Apr 18 - 07:25 PM

All very intriguing. I wonder if reindeer were actually farmed here, or imported as live animals from Scandinavia to be slaughtered on arrival. Or maybe just the horns were brought over. I can imagine a group of dancers looking at the reindeer antlers and thinking how much better they'd be than our native deer horns for their strange dance.
Apparently, bones and antlers have been found in very ancient 'rubbish tips' in England (many thousands of years old) so we must have eaten reindeer meat at one time.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 28 Apr 18 - 08:11 PM

"Arr - they'm quare lookin 'orns
- we'll use they"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Senoufou
Date: 29 Apr 18 - 03:56 AM

Hahahahaaaaa ripov!! That's just how I imagined it would have been!! :)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 29 Apr 18 - 06:22 AM

A few points of clarification. Only one of the horns was carbon dated, in the 1970s.
The date quoted, circa 1065 AD is about right.
There is no evidence that the horns were used for a dance until many centuries later.
There is no evidence that the Robinson tune was used for the dancing.

Derek


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