Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Freeman Of Auchtermuchty

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

The Freeman Of Auchtermuchty 48 + 32 x 2 + 48 + 16 R Medley for 4 couples Rod Downey The Golden Bear Collection
A demonstration reel medley for 4 couples, consisting of 184 = 48 + 32 x 2 + 48 + 16 bars.

PART 1, (48 Bars) begins in a longwise set, with 3C and 4C on opposite sides.
1-8 1L and 4M dance figures of eight on the sides around 2L and 3M with 1L giving LS and 1M RS (i.e. dancing in to begin); and similarly 1M with RS i and 4L with LS around 2M and 3L. The ladies have precedence each time. 1C and 4C finish facing in, ready for...
9-16 1C and 2C, 3C and 4C dance double figures of 8 across the set, with 1C crossing down and 4C crossing up, the other couples dancing up/down into the figures.
17-20 All take hands on the sides and advance and retire.
21-24 1M and 2M, 1L and 2L, set and overlink. That is, they set and link, but finish in a line of 4 across the set between first and second places, in order from the men's side 1M, 2M, 1L, 2L, so that 2M and 1L are back to back. Similarly, 3C and 4C.
25-32 Reels of 4 across the set, but 1L and 2M don't pass the last left shoulder. Rather they curl, pulling back RS, to be back to back, with 1L facing the men's side and 2M the ladies' side. 2L and 1M face out. 3C and 4C dance similarly.
33-40 1L following 1M, 2M following 2L, 3M following 3L, and 4L following 4M, dance a chase (6 bars) clockwise around the set (so 1C chases 2C who chases 4C then 3C). On the last 2 bars 1C, and 4C turn RH once and 2C and 3C a ½ turn (RH) to finish in a square set. The order from the top and clockwise will be 1C, 2C, 4C, 3C, and all the men have their partners on their right.
41-44 All set to partners twice, preferably with Coupé and Pas de Basque, or some suitable Highland step.
45-48 All turn partners twice or thrice with propelled pivot (RH) turns, finishing with all facing into the set and nearer hands joined with partner.

PART 2 (64 Bars with two 32 bar parts), begins in a square set.
1-2 All set and petronella in tandem ⅛ around the set.
3-4 All set and petronella in tandem ⅛ around the set.
5-8 All turn partners 1½ times RH and finish with facing in with nearer hands joined.
9-16 All dance 8 hands round and back.
17-32 All dance Schiehallion reels anticlockwise around the set (so passing LS in the middle) with ladies leading and men casting anticlockwise, pulling back RS. Finish facing in with nearer hands joined with partner.
This ends the first part.

1-2 All set and petronella in tandem ⅛ around the set.
3-4 All set and petronella in tandem ⅛ around the set.
5-8 All turn partners 1½ times LEFT hand and finish facing in.
9-16 All dance 8 hands round and back, beginning by going to the right.
17-32 All dance Schiehallion reels clockwise around the set (so passing RS in the middle) with men leading, and ladies following the direction they are going at the end of the circles, beginning by casting pulling back LS. Finish facing partners.
This ends the second part of PART 2.

PART 3 (48 Bars) Begins in a square set, in order from the top, 2C, 4C, 3C, 1C.
1-4 All set to partners twice, preferably with Coupé and Pas de Basque, or some suitable Highland step.
5-8 All turn partners twice or thrice with LEFT hand propelled pivot turns, finishing with all facing anticlockwise around the set ready for a chase.
9-16 All chase anticlockwise around the set (6 bars), and on the last 2 bars form 2 lines of 4 along the set (Note: In fact, the orientation has now rotated 90 degrees so the longwise orientation is across the set.) In the last 2 bars 1C and 4C turn 21 way round, and 3C and 2C turn once LH.
Oriented from the original top at the beginning of PART 1, one line will be 4M, 4L, 3M 3L, and the other 2L, 2M, 1L, 1M. The lines will be a bit wider apart than a set.
17-24 In the lines all dance a LS reel of 4, with 4L and 3M, 2M and 1L not doing the last shoulder to curl in pulling back LS, as if finish with back to back, but slightly less, shoulder to shoulder; with 4M taking 3M's left hand in his right, 4L taking 3L's left hand in her right, and similarly 1L taking 2L's right hand in her left and 2M using his right to take 1M's left. So all are in 2 lines facing the same way.
25-28 All set and reverse overlink (i.e. the person on the right goes in front, and the one on the left casts pulling back LS) to form a set oriented 90 degrees to the original one, and in set order 2,1,4,3. Everyone is opposite their partner. 4C and 3C on opposite "sides".
The description will continue as if the set was oriented as usual but you should keep in mind that it is not so oriented.
29-32 All take hands and advance and retire.
33-40 1C with 2C, 3C with 4C, dance double figures of eights across the set, with 2C crossing down and 3C up to begin. 2C and 3C finish ready for...
41-48 2L and 3M, 2M and 3L dance figures of eight on the sides around the standing 1 and 4 couples. These begin by the active dancers dancing between the standing couples, and again the ladies take precedence. At the end all finish in a line with men having partners on their left in left promenade hold, and hence 2C and 1C face the opposite direction as 4C and 3C. To achieve this 1C and 4C step in on bar 8.
This ends PART 3.

PART 4 (16 Bars)
1-8 1C follow 2C, and 4C follow 3C in a tight clockwise (men almost shoulder to shoulder) chase in promenade hold around the set, to finish in original (i.e. the beginning of the whole dance) places, 2C dancing through original first place and then into second, and similarly 3C through original 4th place and into 3rd. This should take 6 bars and then use pas de Basque on bars 7 and 8 to retire.
9-16 All gypsy around their partner using right shoulder (4 Bars), and then with hands as in Highland steps, turn on the spot once around using pas de Basque (4 Bars). For the adept and fit, this should be replaced by suitable Highland steps such as 8 bars of turning high cuts.

(Dance crib compiled by the deviser Rod Downey, Johnsonville SCD Club Tutor)

Dance Notes

PART 3 is more or less palindromic with PART 1, although I chose not to make bars 25 to 28, reverse link and set, but kept it set and reverse link.

(Dance notes by the deviser, Rod Downey)

Dance Information

This medley, The Freeman Of Auchtermuchty, was devised on 3/5/2020.

The dance name comes from the fact that Jimmy Shand (whose music I teach a lot with) was brought up in the burgh of Auchtermuchty where there is a large statue of him. Jimmy was made a freeman of Auchtermuchty.

The dance was written for a specific set of tunes from a Jimmy Shand CD "Accordion Favourites (2010)", the tunes being "The Drummer (48), Loch Leven Castle (32x2), Glenlivet (48), and The Drummer (16)".

Also the structure of the music is ABABAB for the pipe tunes and AABB for Loch Leven Castle, creating an interesting challenge to devise a dance to.

It is a fabulous set of tunes, played brilliantly.

Suggest music is obvious, but does need to be slowed down. The dance is very energetic so some degree of fitness would be needed.

For the "more mature", it could be danced as a Strathspey, with the 48 bar parts played ABABAB, the 16 Bar, AB, and the 32 bar parts AABB. I would choose a Schottische or similar for all but PART 2, which would work with a traditional Strathspey.

For example, you might try "The Braes of Busby" for PARTS 1 and 4, and "The Banks of Spey" (or something of that style) for PART 2. Clearly, you'd need a musician. The pivot turns would need replacing by left or right hand turns, the Highland steps before the turns by Highland Schottische, and the last 8 bars could be the last 8 bars of a fling.

(Dance information from The Golden Bear Collection Of Scottish Country Dances, reproduced here with the kind permission of the deviser, Rod Downey)

Published in The Golden Bear Collection, reproduced here with the kind permission of the deviser, Rod Downey.

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