John Playford (1623--1686/7) was a London bookseller,
publisher, minor composer, and member of the
Stationers' Company, who published books on music
theory, instruction books for several instruments, and
psalters with tunes for singing in churches. He is
perhaps best known today for his publication of The
English Dancing Master in 1651.
The Dancing Master (first edition: The English Dancing
Master) is a dancing manual containing the music and
instructions for English Country Dances. It was
published in several editions by John Playford and his
successors from 1651 until c1728. The first edition
contained 105 dances with single line melodies;
subsequent editions introduced new songs and dances,
while dropping others, and the work eventually
encompassed three volumes. Dances from The Dancing
Master were re-published in arrangements by Cecil Sharp
in the early 20th century, and in these reconstructed
forms remain popular among dancers today.
Although originally written for lute, I created this
arrangement for Flute Trio.