Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Quern

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

THE QUERN (S3x32) 3C set John Bowie Dickson Dunedin 3

1- 8 1s and 3s set and ¾ turn RH into middle and dance ½ reel of 4 up/down ending with 1M+3L turning LH ¾ to face 2s (Man facing Lady)
9-16 1M+3L+2s dance ½ reel of 4 across and end by turning LH to face partners, 3s+1s dance ½ reel of 4 in centre
17-24 1s and 3s set to partners and ¾ turn to opposite side, 1s change places on sides with 2s (1s dance between 2s), 1s change place with 3s (3s between 1s) (All on opposite sides)
25-32 All dance reels of 3 on sides each couple crossing up from bottom place (starting with 1s) and 3s dance out and down to start. 231

(MINICRIB, Dance Crib compiled by Charles Upton, Deeside Caledonian Society, and his successors)

The Quern
John Bowie Dickson   Dunedin Book 3
Strathspey   3 x 32 bars   3 Couple Repeat   3 Couple Set   Lengthwise Set

  1-2   1s 3s set to partners;

  3-4   1s 3s turn ¾ by the right, finishing on the centre line, Ls above partners facing down, Mn facing up;

  5-8   1L1M3L3M half reel of 4 up and down, finishing with 1M3L turning ¼ by the left to face opposite sides;

  9-12 2M3L1M2L half reel of 4 across, finishing with 1M3L turning ¼ by the left to face partners;

13-16 3M3L1M1L half reel of 4 up and down, finishing on the centre line as at bar 4;

17-18 1s 3s set to partners;

19-20 1s 3s turn ¾ both hands, all finishing in partners' places, 1s facing down;

21-22 1L2L cross by the right on the side WHILE 1M2M cross by the left on the side;

23-24 1L3L cross by the left on the side WHILE 1M3M cross by right the on the side;

25-32 2s3s1s modified mirror reels of 3 on the sides, 1s crossing up between 2s 3s to start and 3s 2s crossing up similarly when they reach the bottom of the set, finishing 2s3s1s on own sides.

(MAXICRIB, Scottish country dancing instructions compiled by Reuben Freemantle)

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Information

Quern-stones are a pair of stone tools for hand grinding a wide variety of materials. The lower, stationary, stone is called a quern, while the upper, mobile, stone is called a handstone.

Quern-stones have been used throughout the world to grind materials, the most important of which was usually grain to make flour for bread-making. They were generally replaced by millstones once mechanised forms of milling appeared, particularly the water mill and the windmill, although animals were also used to operate the millstones. However, in many non-Westernised, non-mechanised cultures they are still manufactured and used regularly and have only been replaced in many parts of the world in the last century or so.

Quern Stone Image
The Upper Stone Of A Scottish Hand Quern From Dalgarven Mill, North Ayrshire

Dance Information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence.
Text from this original Quern-stones article on Wikipedia.

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