Thursday, 21 March 2013

New book celebrates local family's incredible music archive

The Winder family came from Wyresdale, near Lancaster, and formed the mainstay of a village band from the late 1700s up until the First World War – and a new book, edited and annotated by leading local musician Andy Hornby, celebrates their important part in keeping an almost forgotten aspect of English music alive.

The tradition of music for village dances is largely unbroken in Scotland and Ireland, but in England it virtually died out with the Industrial Revolution and the Great War.

Fortunately, tune-books that were hand-copied by members of the Winder family have come down to the 21st century and show the repertoire of country dance and song tunes from the early 1800s.

 The Winder collection represents the typical repertoire of a Northern village band between the late 1700s and the early 20th century. They mostly comprise tunes to popular dances  such as jigs, slip jigs and reels, but there are also hornpipes in 3/2 and 4/4 time, minuets, cotillons, quadrilles and waltzes. Many of the tunes are versions of  tunes well  known in Scotland and the Borders.

Andy Hornby's new collection includes complete contents of four related manuscript books, offering over 600 tunes that will delight musicians and music lovers alike - and shed a fascinating light on this little-known and almost forgotten aspect of English music.

The 280-page book also features background information on the tune-books, the music, dancing masters and Georgian entertainment, and extensive notes on the history of the tunes.

• Priced at £20 + £3 P&P For more details or to place orders, contact (include your address and a phone contact): or order online from Andy's web site at

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