Nearer CD

"All music is what awakes from you, when you are reminded by the instruments;

        It is not the violins and the cornets —

        It is not the oboe nor the beating drums...

It is nearer and farther than they."


~Walt Whitman


Beautiful English Country Dance and Contra Dance tunes composed and arranged by Rebecca King, except:


Nearer Book Cover

The companion book contains all the tunes and 10 English Country Dances by Gary Roodman,
Andrew Shaw, Brooke Friendly & Chris Sackett, and more.


English Country Dances with Instructions

playAutumn Moon, by Rebecca King
Dance by Gary Roodman

I composed this tune in the fall, feeling wistful about summer coming to an end.  It was written for Christine Gile in exchange for a hand-knit, beaded shawl.  Reprinted from Good Friends, A Fifth Selection of Dances from Gary Roodman’s Calculated Figures.  The tune is in 2/2 time, in B minor.

playA Bird in the Hand, by Gordon Bonnet
Dance for Sue by Nikki Herbst

Nikki wrote this dance in memory of her sister Susan Lefever.  The tune is in 3/2 time, in G Major.

playEssentials (Andrew’s Maggot), by Rebecca King
Dance by Brooke Friendly & Chris Sackett

A maggot is an old term for whimsy.  Brooke and Chris wrote this dance for Andrew Shaw in appreciation for his commitment to the essentials of good English Country Dancing. Reprinted from their book/CD Impropriety Volume IV.  The tune is in cut-time, in A minor.

playO Frabjous Day, by Rebecca King
Dance reconstruction by Andrew Shaw

The figures of this dance are from 1718, for the dance Coridon and Phillis.  The tune was awkward, so Andrew asked for a new tune to fit the figures.  The title comes from the poem Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll. It is in 6/8 time, in the key of C Major.

playThe Sierra, by Rebecca King
Dance by Alisa Dodson

Won at a weekend camp auction, Alisa requested a tune about the mountains, where she and Allen now live after returning to California from the East Coast.  The tune is in 3/2 time, in G Major.

playSt. John’s Meeting House, by Rebecca King
Dance reconstruction by Andrew Shaw

The original dance was Kelston House from 1708.  Andrew requested some changes to the original tune, but this tune spilled out instead. St. John’s Meeting House is found at The Bishop’s Ranch, home of Hey Days, a dance week run by the Bay Area Country Dance Society.  The tune is in 3/2 time, in B minor.

play Storm Clouds, by Rebecca King
Silver Lining, dance by Ellen Riley, Eric Black, Erik Stromberg and Stewart Hall
Also, Storm Clouds, dance by Bruce Herbold and Alan Winston

The tune came out of an evening walk with my daughter.  As the rain cleared we saw beautiful storm clouds, containing both dark and light.  Written for Carin and Larry Buckel, it is in 3/2 time, in G minor.

playTanya and David’s Waltz, by Rebecca King
Dance by David Edgar

The tune and dance were written in honor of Tanya and David Edgar’s 40th wedding anniversary.  The tune is in 3/4 time, in F Major.

playTom’s Song, by Rebecca King
King of California, dance by Tom Senior

Tom saw the figures for this dance in a dream, and asked for a waltz-time tune to fit them.  It is in 3/4 time, in A minor.

Shifting Skies, by Patti Cobb
The Aloha Strathspey, Scottish Country Dance by Bruce Herbold

Patti found that my tune Storm Clouds works as a Strathspey, and her husband Bruce wrote a dance to it.  It was written for Cameron MacDonald and Art Tarsa, Scottish Country dancers who moved to Hawaii. The dance instructions are found in the book, but this version of the tune is not recorded on the CD. The tune is in 4/4 time, in G minor.