A source for English and French folk music

Over the past few years, I have collected many tunes, mostly English and French, from a number of wonderful players. This website is a constantly evolving 21st century manuscript in the spirit of the great tune books of the past. If you happen to know the composer of a specific tune, please let me know, so that they can be credited. In the event of anyone being unhappy about their own music being shared in this way, I will, of course, remove relevant items. I hope you enjoy playing them!

I play fiddle, viola and English concertina. At the moment, I am in two groups: Boldwood with Becky Price (accordion) and Miranda Rutter (fiddle/viola), playing English music from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries; and Les Souris Dansent with Daniel Wolverson (fiddle/viola) and Kate Moran (fiddle/viola), playing a mixture of French and newly composed tunes for French bals. Many of the tunes we play are included on this site.


Updated June 2012

Published in: on April 3, 2009 at 9:37 am  Comments (1)  

The Bagpipes

This tune appears in the William Mittel manuscript from Kent, 1799. Becky Price and Jon Swayne recorded it on their album ‘Love and a Bottle’.

Nancy Dawson’s Fancy, Burlington Quay

Nancy Dawson’s Fancy

Burlington Quay

These two tunes can be heard here, performed by Boldwood. Nancy Dawson’s Fancy is from Thompson’s Compleat Collection of Country Dances, 1765, and Burlington Quay was taught to Becky Price by Dave Shepherd.

Published in: on June 26, 2012 at 5:49 am  Leave a Comment  

French Morris, Whitehall Minuet, In the Days of my Youth




Boldwood recorded The French Morris and Whitehall Minuet recently. And even more recently, we performed The Days of my Youth and Whitehall Minuet as captured on our facebook page.

Published in: on June 25, 2012 at 6:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Quinn Darrow Hornpipe

This tune, Quinn Darrow Hornpipe, was taught to me by Miranda Rutter, who in turn learnt it from Dave Shepherd. We think it probably had a trip across the atlantic and back at some point…

Published in: on June 25, 2012 at 5:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Michaelmas Eve

Michaelmas Eve, here performed by Boldwood, is from the 1687 edition of Playford’s Dancing Master.

Published in: on June 25, 2012 at 5:59 am  Leave a Comment  

Mrs Savage’s Whim

This 3/2 hornpipe is from John Young’s 2nd volume of the Dancing Master, 1713. John Young took over publication of the Dancing Master after Playford. Here is Boldwood’s arrangement of Mrs Savage’s Whim

Published in: on June 25, 2012 at 5:52 am  Leave a Comment  

Miller of Perth

This 3/2 hornpipe was found by Becky Price in a handwritten manuscript in the British Library. Here’s a version performed by Boldwood: Miller of Perth

Published in: on June 25, 2012 at 5:43 am  Leave a Comment  

June 2011 update


I’ve been doing a little more research recently – here are some great 17th and 18th century tunes from a number of contemporary publications.


Thomas Bray, like Henry Playford, was not a composer, but a publisher. His collection of tunes is important as it was the first English publication of its kind to include a printed bass line. The first edition had this printed upside down, so the two musicians could sit opposite each other and share the music.


John Young took over from the Playford family in publishing the Dancing Master, and the tunes included in this post are from the less well-known 2nd and 3rd volumes (as opposed to the original’s 2nd and 3rd editions).


Learnt from Ceri Rhys Matthews

Published in: on January 2, 2011 at 7:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

Go Mauve

Ian Luff

Published in: on January 2, 2011 at 7:25 pm  Leave a Comment