JAMES WINDER MS.
Wyresdale, Lancashire, England.
The MS is said to be in the private collection of the Winder family.
The Village Music Project has a photocopy, which does not include the cover or the endpapers.
It has been transcribed from the photocopy into abc code for the Village Music Project by Chris Partington , August 2004.
This introduction written by Chris Partington, September 2004.
The main part of the book is 11″ wide and 7″ tall, with six pre-ruled staves per page, bound together with another much smaller book 11″ wide and 5″ tall with four pre-ruled staves per page.
The smaller book seems to have been bound-in at random, as it is inserted between two pages dated May 9th 1835 and May 16th 1835, yet itself contains dates of 1841 and 20th June 1842.
The MS contains 347 items in total, mainly dance tunes, but also some airs and marches.
The breakdown into tune types is as follows, but please bear in mind that deciding which particular pigeon hole a tune belongs in, can be very subjective:-
Country Dances 39
2/4 Marches 37
Triple HPs 6
Slip Jigs 4
Set Tunes 4
Scots Measures 3
Notes on tune types:
1. Appellations changed their meanings over time and distance.
2. Jigs is really too all-encompassing a description, as it includes mostly Country Dances in 6/8, and some Cotillions, Quadrilles, Airs etc., as well as jigs, Irish Jigs, Jiggs, Morris Jigs, Scottish jigs, barn dances, “a jig for a reel or country dance etc.”!
3. Country Dances means those in common time.
4. Hornpipes (common time) in this collection don’t include any written down as being dotted, but may include some or not, depending how you play them.
5. A Quickstep in the early 19thC context usually means a march in 6/8 time, sometimes in 2/4. I mean it as a 6/8 march.
6. Triple HPs = 3/2 time signature and similar.
7. A Set tune, by my ever (r)evolving set of definitions, is a tune in common time for a quadrille figure.
EVIDENCE WITHIN THE MS
I am certain that my photocopy is in reverse order and I have numbered the tunes accordingly.
There are quite a few inscriptions amongst the tunes, all of which I have included in the abc transcriptions.
Evidential inscriptions are as follows:
124-“Nov 9th 1840”
137-“1841 James Winder”
147-“James Winder, Feb.1st 1841”
157-“Easter Sunday 1841”
158-“James Winder, 1835”
161-“May 2nd 1841, James Winder”
188-“May 9th 1835”
210-“James Winder 1841”-(this is in the smaller book)
214-“20th June 1842”-(this is in the smaller book)
223-“May 16 and the year 1835”
288-“Jan 19th 1836”
325-“James Winder 1836”
He also tells us:
Eight times that various tunes are for “Clarinette Primo”
014-“Learners begins with 3 sheepskins”
011-“Thomas Houghton’s way of playing it”
017-“John Winder Dancing Master’s way of playing it”
Many times he comments on the quality of the tunes.”A Gud Reel”etc.
It can be seen that the dates are out of order, meaning that either the tunes were not entered in strict order, or that they have been mixed up since. However, I am certain from the handwriting and the evidence above, that all the tunes were entered by one man, James Winder of Wyresdale, within the eight year period 1834-42. It would therefore serve no purpose to try and dis-entangle exactly in which order they were entered.
Wyresdale is a rural area about 5 miles south-east of the county town of Lancaster. It runs from the Forest of Bowland down to the sea and contains no large towns.
WINDER AND SONS
Newspaper Advertisements and flyers from 1792, 1793, 1796 announce the dancing master activities around Lancaster of John Winder, “late a pupil to Mr. Holloway, London” who has “just returned from London and intends to open a school”. An advert from 1801 says the same and is printed by “Jackson, Printer”. Could this be the H.S.J.Jackson whose 1835 MS is also in possession of the family? You will also find the HSJJ MS on the VMP site.
A newspaper advertisement from Sept. 1831 announces “Winder & Sons’ Juvenile Ball” at the Theatre Royal, Lancaster. Later the same month we find that “Messrs Winder’s Ball…..went off very well”.
There exists a group photograph of the Winder band from 1910. It shows a double bass, a harp, 4 violins, two cornets and two clarinets. It is known that they played for dancing both then and even up to the present day around the Lancaster area. The Morris Dance “Kick My Arse” to the tune of Greensleeves was collected from them by Cecil Sharp in 1911.
It would not be stretching the evidence at all to suppose that James Winder was one of that band, and it is possible that his instrument, at least on some occasions, was the clarinet.
Other people are involved in deeper research into the musical activity this family and of N.E. Lancashire, and their findings will throw further light on the subject in due course.
Chris Partington, Sept. 2004.