Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Angus MacKinnon's Hornpipe

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

ANGUS MACKINNON'S HORNPIPE (R8x32) 3C (4C set) John Bowie Dickson Lothian Collection

1- 8 1s cast and ½ Fig of 8 round 2s and set advancing to end BtoB facing opposite sides
9-12 2s+1s+3s set (as in Double Triangles), 1s set advancing and turn R about to face in while 2s and 3s dance in and turn R about to face out
13-16 2s+1s+3s set (Inverted Triangle formation), 1s dance in and face 1st corners while 2s and 3s dance out all turning R about
17-24 1s turn 1st corners RH, pass partners RSh to face 2nd corner, turn LH and pass partner giving RH
25-32 1s dance reels of 3 across (1L with 2s and 1M with 3s) giving RSh to 4th corner and cross back RH to end in 2nd place on own sides

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

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

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Angus MacKinnon's Hornpipe - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

Angus MacKinnon, Musician

As told by Don Bartlett who formed his own band - The Scotians - in 1972.

Alex Jappy first heard me play piano at Fallingbrook Church. Afterwards he spoke to me, and this was a turning point in my life. Alex introduced me to Angus MacKinnon, who had a band called The Scots-Canadians. A year or two later, Angus's pianist had a heart attack while playing a Hamilton monthly dance. Angus recruited me to replace him. I was still in high school.

Playing with Angus MacKinnon's band led to many adventures:

In those days, we always played real pianos. The band was responsible for moving the pianos on and off the stage; we became quite expert at this. Pianos were not always in best condition. Missing notes, out-of-tune notes, and non-functioning dampers added to the live music experience.

Angus bought us all cummerbunds to wear as a band uniform. He handed one to the drummer as he entered the hall. By the time the drummer got to the stage the cummerbund was missing. We never found it. All of us, except Angus, were grateful because we never had to wear the cummerbunds.

We played once in Edwards Gardens for summer dancing on a night so humid that we received severe electric shocks from our equipment even though we were on a wooden platform. We couldn't even put our hands close to the equipment!

As well as SCD dances, Angus played square dances, some of them in Toronto's tough neighbourhoods. At one place, the stage was beside a building. Occasionally, boys would lob stones at us from the other side of the building; one time police were called and it took fifteen slow minutes before several police cars arrived, all at once.

Once we played a modern (i.e. not SCD) dance on the evening of the fall time change. The organizers wanted us to keep playing and argued that, because of the time change, we had to play an extra hour. Angus put up a big argument. When the organizers eventually paid Angus in cash, he was so angry that he threw the money back at them. We band members swallowed our pride and went on hands and knees to gather our pay.

Angus would sometimes get a fill-in drummer who didn't know SCD music. Invariably, when we would play a lively reel, the drummer would get excited and raise the tempo to be virtually unplayable and un-danceable. Drummers have that kind of power.

We were scheduled to play the Montreal Ball in February. My father made me take the train instead of driving with the band. There was an awful snow storm, and the train was late. In trepidation, I rushed to the Ball to discover I was the first musician to arrive, and there were only two sets of dancers. The rest of the band was safe, but they never arrived. I played solo, with no music, for a mini-dance.

Perhaps the best(?) adventure with Angus was the weekend we played the Kitchener Ball Friday night until 1:30 a.m. Saturday, then we packed the equipment and drove to New York City to play the Saturday Ball for the Jeannie Carmichael Weekend at a YMCA.

Imagine six guys in a station wagon towing a trailer full of equipment. We took turns - driver and conversation partner in the front seat, three guys lying in parallel lengthwise behind the front seat, and me (the smallest) lying cross-wise at the back end.

We arrived at the YMCA in New York about 11:30 a.m. Angus and I went to see the end of the morning class, while the others crashed. The dancers presented a lovely bouquet of flowers to Miss Milligan, who was teaching.

At the dance that evening, the band was not in tip-top shape: as we played Fidget, Miss Milligan marched from the back of the hall, through the sets of dancers, all the way shouting at the top of her considerable voice that the music was "Too fast!" Upon reaching the stage, she recognized me and carefully apologized, saying that, of course, it wasn't my fault. The other guys didn't seem to appreciate my exoneration.

That night we decided the equipment would be safer left in the hall. As we were packing up Sunday morning before the class, Jimmy Darge surveyed the stage and saw a lovely bouquet of flowers, apparently unwanted. Just as he brought them out to the car, Miss Milligan arrived. Seeing Jimmy, she called out, "Young man, those are my flowers," whereupon Jimmy quickly held them out to her saying, "I was just bringing them to you, Miss Milligan."

Angus put the band on a plane to fly home. He stayed Sunday night with his sister, who lived in New York. That night the sound equipment was stolen from his trailer.

(Dance information by Don Bartlett)

Angus MacKinnon And The Scots Canadians
Angus MacKinnon And The Scots Canadians - 1965

Image copyright Ruth Jappy.

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