Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

4 Couple Repeat In 4 Couple Set

The 4 Couple repeat in 4 couple set is often simply called a 4 couple set but care must be taken to differentiate it from the much more common 3 couple repeat in 4 couple set format.

The Full set requires four Couples and the dance usually consists of four Repeats, each involving all four Couples. At the end of the first Repeat, the most common Progression leaves the Couples in the order 2 3 4 1 so that, after four Repeats, all are in their Original Places; alternative Progressions Finishing in the order 4 1 2 3 and 2 4 1 3 are equally effective. This standard form of the dance continues with each Couple becoming the 1st couple of the Active set and dancing one Repeat, in turn; it Finishes with all the dancers in their Original Places.

Where the dance is symmetrical Up and down, the 1st and 4th couples and the 2nd and 3rd couples are performing the same Figures, albeit with Up and Down interchanged; the Progression may then leave the couples in the order 2 1 4 3 so that only two Repeats are necessary in order to complete the dance, as in Angus MacLeod, though four Repeats may be prescribed when the Repeat is 32 bars or less.

As in the 3 Couple repeat in 3 couple set format, on completing the current Repeat, the Dancing couple(s) must be ready immediately to perform as Supporting couple(s) and vice versa.

In at least one dance, Bonnie Anne, there is no simple Repeat structure; the Finishing order is 1 2 3 4 even though the 1st couple's role is more extensive than that of the Supporting couples.

Here are examples of those Scottish Country Dances for which we have instructions on this site and in which the term, 4 Couple set, either appears explicitly or is implied; note that for a common term these will be a small selection; for a rare term, these may be all that exist:

Balmoral Castle
Bees Of Maggieknockater
Double Scotch
Blooms Of Bon Accord
Honeysuckle And The Bindweed (Bradley)

Links To Pages Related To 'Longwise Sets'

Types Of Sets

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