THE ENGLISH DANCING MASTER OR, Plaine and easie Rules for the Dancing of Country Dances, with the Tune to each Dance, by John Playford.


Editorial notes: If Playford printed more that one name for a dance all the names are listed individually in the Table of the Dances below.
Comments by the editor, both here and on the dance pages, are inclosed by parentheses ().

Jump to the Table of the Dances


(The original preface. The spelling is from the original)

To the Ingenious Reader

The art of Dancing called by the Ancient Greeks Orchestice, and Orchestis, is a commendable and rare Quality fit for your Gentlemen, if opportunely and civilly used. And Plato, that Famous Philosopher thought it meet, that yong Ingenious Children be taught to Dance. It is a quality that has been formerly honoured in the Courts of Princes, when performed by the most Noble Heroes of the Times! The Gentlemen of the Inns of Court, whose sweet and ayry Activity has crowned their Grand Solemnities with Admiration to all Spectators. This Art has been Anciently handled by Athenaeus, Julius, Pollux, Caelius Rhodiginus, and others, and much commend it to be Excellent for Recreation, after more serious Studies, making the body active and strong, gracefull in deportment, and a quality very much beseeming a Gentleman. Yet all this should not have been an Incitement to me for Publication of this Worke (knowing these Times and the Nature of it do not agree) But that there was a false and surrepticious Copy at the Printing Presse, which if it had been published, would have been a disparagement to the quality and the Professors thereof, and a hinderance to the Learner: Therefore for prevention of all which, having an excellent Copy by me, and gentle censure of all ingenious Gentlemen lovers of this Quallity; not doubting but their goodnes will pardon what may be amiss, and accept of the honest Intention of him that is a faithfull honourer of your Virtues, and

Your Servant to command


J. P.


Jump to: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A TABLE of the Dances contained in this Booke

A Health to Betty - Longways for as many as will

A Souldiers Life - Longways for as many as will

Adsons Saraband - Longways for 6

All a Mode de France - Longways for as many as will

All in a Garden green - Longways for 6

An Old man is a Bed Full of Bones - Longways for as many as will

Anniseed-water Robin - Longways or as many as will

Argeers - For 4

Aye me - Longways for 8

The Bath - Longways for as many as will

The Begger Boy - Longways for 6

Blew Cap - Longways for 6

Boateman - Longways for 6

Bobbing Joe - Longways for as many as will

Broome, Broome, The bonny bonny Broome - Longways for 8

Cast a Bell or Castabella - Longways for as many as will

Cherily and Merrily - Longways for 8

The Cherping of the Larke - Longways for 8

Chestnut - Longways for 6

Chirping of the Nightingale - Round for as many as will

Confesse - Longways for 6

The Countrey Coll - Longways for as many as will

Cuckolds all a row - For 4

Daphne - Longways for 8

Dargason - Longways for as many as will, standing in one line

Dissembling Love - Longways for 6

Doves Figary - Longways for 6

Drive the cold winter away - Longways for as many as will

Dull Sir John - Square for 8

Fain I Would - Square for 8 - contrary

The Fine Companion - Round for 8

The Frier in the Well - Longways for as many as will

The Fryar and the Nun - Longways for as many as will

Gathering Peascods - Round for as many as will

The Glory of the West - For 4

Goddesses - Longways for as many as will

Graies Inne Maske - Longways for 8

Greenwood - For 6. One side man, woman, man. The other w, m, w

Grimstock - Longways for 6

The Gun - Longways for as many as will

Half Hannikin - Longways for as many as will

Have at thy Coat old woman - Longways for as many as will

Hearts Ease - For 4

The Health - Longways for 8

The Hemp-Dresser - Longways for as many as will

Hide Parke - Square for 8

Hit and misse - Longways for 4

Hockley in the hole - Longways for as many as will

If all the World were Paper - Round for 8

The Irish Lady - Longways for as many as will

Irish Trot - Longways for as many as will

Jack a Lent - Longways for 6

Jack Pudding - Longways for 6

Jenny Pluck Pears - Round for 6

Jog On - Longways for as many as will

Kemps Jegg - Round for 6

Kettle Drum - Round for 8

Labour in Vaine - Longways for 6

Lady Lye neare me - Longways for as many as will

Lady Spellor - Longways for 8

Lavena - Longways for as many as will

The London Gentlewoman - Longways for as many as will

Lord of Carnarvans Jegg - Longways for 8

Lulle me beyond thee - Eight, 4 by 4

Mage on a Cree - Round for 8

The Maid peept out at the window - Longways for as many as will

Mayden Lane - Longways for 6

The Merry Merry Milke Maids - Longways for 8

The Milke-Mayds Bobb - Longways for 8

Mill-field - Round for as many as will

Millisons Jegge - Longways for 6

Mundesse - Round for 6

My Lady Cullen - Longways for as many as will

New Boe Peep - Longways for as many as will

The New Exchange - Longways for 6

New New Nothing - Longways for as many as will

Newcastle - Round for 8

The Night Peece - Longways for 6

Nonesuch - Longways for 8

The Old Mole - Longways for 6

Once I loved a Maiden Faire - Longways for as many as will

The Oyle of Barly - Longways for 6

Parsons farewell - For 4

Pauls Steeple - Longways for as many as will

Pauls Wharfe - Longways for as many as will

Peppers Black - Round for as many as will

Petticoat Wag - Longways for as many as will

Picking of Sticks - Longways for 6

Prince Ruperts March - Longways for 8

The Punks Delight - Longways for as many as will

Rose is white and Rose is red - Round for as many as will

Row Well Ye Marriners - Longways for as many as will

Rufty Tufty - For 4

Saint Martins - For 4

The Saraband - Longways for as many as will

Saturday night and Sunday morn - Longways for as many as will

Scotch Cap - Longways for 6

Sedauny - Longways for as many as will, standing in one line

Shepheards Holyday - Longways for 6

The Simphony - Longways for 8

Skellemesago - Longways for as many as will

The Slip - Longways for as many as will

The Spanish Jeepsie - Longways for 8

The Spanyard - Longways for 8

Staines Morris - Longways for as many as will

Step Stately - Longways for 3, 5, 7, or 9 couples

Stingo - Longways for 6

Tom Tinker - Longways for as many as will

Up Tailes All - Round for as many as will

Upon a Summers Day - Longways for 6

The Wherligig - Longways for 6

The Whish - Longways for 6

Wooddicock - Longways for 6