Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Hello-Goodbye Setting

Although Hello-goodbye setting is formally known in Scottish Country Dancing as Set to corners and partner, this more casual name is much more commonly used. In most of the earliest forms (as defined in the RSCDS's 2013 edition of "The Manual of Scottish Country Dancing"), it was treated as an 8-bar Figure in which the final 2 bars were commonly Petronella turn but there were many alternatives to suit the succeeding Figure. Here, we choose to define Hello-goodbye setting as the common 6-bar element which is invariant.

In the standard form in a Longwise, Active set of 3 couples as, for example, in bars 25-30 of Cauld Kail, the Dancing couple, in 2nd Position, Start Back-to-back in the Centre of The set, Facing their First corners. Using a succession of Travelling movements and clockwise rotations On the spot (with Setting steps, only), they proceed anticlockwise round the Inside of The set for 6 bars, Finishing Facing each other on the Centre line, Man between 2nd couple in 1st Position, Lady between 3rd couple in 3rd Position. In detail for this example:

Bar 1
the Dancing couple and First corners perform the right foot Setting step;

Bar 2
While the First corners perform the left foot Setting step normally, the Dancing couple take a large step to the left (as shown in the following diagram) on the first beat to 2nd Place on Opposite sides of the dance and rotate on the remainder of the step to Face each other Across The set;

Diagram, Hello-Goodbye Setting Bar 2

Hello-Goodbye Setting - Bar 2


Hello-goodbye setting: bar 2, Starting Facing First corner. 1st man's path is shown as a full line, 1st lady's as a broken line; both are emboldened. The shaded arrow heads show their Finishing positions after Travelling on the first beat of the bar; the unshaded arrow heads show their Facing Directions at the end of the bar.



Bar 3
the Dancing couple perform the right foot Setting step Facing each other Across The set;

Bar 4
the Dancing couple take a large step to the left (as shown in the following diagram) on the first beat to the Second corners' Diagonal and rotate on the remainder of the step to Face Second corners;

Diagram, Hello-Goodbye Setting Bar 4

Hello-Goodbye Setting - Bar 4


Hello-goodbye setting: bar 4, Starting Facing Partner. 1st man's path is shown as a full line, 1st lady's as a broken line; both are emboldened. The shaded arrow heads show their Finishing positions after Travelling on the first beat of the bar; the unshaded arrow heads show their Facing Directions at the end of the bar.



Bar 5
the Dancing couple and Second corners perform the right foot Setting step;

Bar 6
While the Second corners perform the left foot Setting step normally, the Dancing couple take a large step to the left (as shown in the following diagram) on the first beat to the Centre line of the dance, Man between the Top couple, Lady between the Bottom couple and rotate on the remainder of the step to Face each other Up and down the dance;

Diagram, Hello-Goodbye Setting Bar 6

Hello-Goodbye Setting - Bar 6


Hello-goodbye setting: bar 6, Starting Facing Second corner. 1st man's path is shown as a full line, 1st lady's as a broken line; both are emboldened. The shaded arrow heads show their Finishing positions after Travelling on the first beat of the bar; the unshaded arrow heads show their Facing Directions at the end of the bar.



The essential feature of this 6-bar Figure is the separation of the functions of the right and left foot Setting steps; the right foot Setting step is performed Facing either a Corner or Partner; the left foot Setting step is used for Travelling to the next Position. Note that, all diagrams apply strictly only when the Figure is performed with Pas-de-basque; the sideways movement on the right foot Strathspey setting step would make the Starting Position with the left foot slightly different.

In a Strathspey, the right foot steps on bars 1, 3 and 5 should be made quite short so that the Travelling movement can readily be achieved on the following left foot step.


The following 2 bars vary greatly, depending upon the Starting Positions required for the succeeding Figure. In many early dances, 1st couple Petronella turn to Finish in the Sidelines in 2nd place on Own sides; this involves a discontinuity (often marked by a clap) at the end of bar 6 since the right foot Setting step must be used for Travelling on bar 7. Sometimes, as in General Stuart's Reel, 1st couple Set, Turning on the spot halfway to Finish ready to Give right shoulders to Second corners for Reels of three on Opposite sides. In another common form, as in Wilma's Hornpipe, 1st couple Set, without Turning or Travelling, to Finish Facing Up and down on the Centre line, Man between 2nd couple, Lady between 3rd couple.
While most of the variations in implementation of the 8-bar definition of this Figure are confined to the final two bars, there are a few, materially different, derivative forms of the 6-bar Figure; Double hello-goodbye setting and the Hello-goodbye poussette are covered specifically on other pages.

An especially rare form occurs in bars 17-22 of the Strathspey, The Far Cuillins. This involves a 4-couple set and so requires the same "stretching" Up and down of the Travelling movements as in Double hello-goodbye setting but the major difference is that the Dancing man and the Dancing lady are both replaced by a Dancing couple, each Man behind his Partner, right hands joined and left hands joined. They need to stay close together (in what is often called Angel hold) and the Man must take much larger left foot steps than his Partner in order to maintain his correct Position behind her. The Figure Starts with the Dancing ladies Facing First corners; at the end of bar 2, the Dancing men are in the Sidelines, halfway between 2nd and 3rd places; at the end of bar 4, the Dancing ladies are Facing Second corners; the 6-bar Figure Finishes with both Dancing couples, still in Angel hold, Facing each other on the Centre line. In the following 2 bars, the two Dancing couples Set Facing each other without rotating, finally releasing left hands ready for Right hands across.


Here are examples of those Scottish Country Dances for which we have instructions on this site and in which the term, Hello-goodbye setting, 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:

Adieu Mon Ami
Burning The Water
Cane Toad Jig
Cruives Of Cree
Hello-Goodbye
My Heather Hills
On Suilven In Summer
Thornhill Strathspey
Three Kings Of Cullen
Vive La Danse


Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Hello-Goodbye Setting

Hello-Goodbye Setting Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'Setting'

Figures

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