pennsicdance: Musicians and Venues and GOOP, Oh My!

Alex Clark alexbclark at
Wed Sep 7 02:34:49 PDT 2005

At 09:35 AM 9/6/2005 -0700, Greg Lindahl wrote:
>On Sat, Sep 03, 2005 at 12:10:11PM -0400, Alex Clark wrote:
> > The "GOOP" version of Gathering Peascods that I described
>... is not a GOOP. Please, Henry, try to use the term like other
>people use it. . . .

My usage is compatible enough with that of others to be correct.

Nobody is about to prove where the dividing line is between "slightly" and 
"grossly" OOP. "Grossly" is nothing like a universally agreed-upon 
standard. You have your opinion of how out of period "GOOP" is and what 
counts as such, and I have my opinion. You use "GOOP" according to your 
opinion, and I use it according to mine. And nobody can prove that my usage 
of "GOOP" is incorrect based solely on a relatively small difference of 
opinion about where to draw a line between OOP dances.

My point is that there is not, and cannot--or at least should not--be, a 
single universal standard of what is "GOOP". And in the absence of any such 
standard, we should not be too sure that it is right to make specific rules 
against "GOOP" dances, especially if it can be confidently predicted that 
such rules will result in resentment among those whose favorite dances are 
temporarily or locally suppressed, while disappointing those whose least 
favorite OOP dances or versions are exempted.

In other words, excluding GOOP dances turns into a way of playing favorites 
between the various dances that may be considered to be "GOOP".

>. . . the reason that the term was coined was to avoid constant
>hand-wringing over what we aren't dancing before midnight. . . .

The policy-making use to which you want to put the term proves nothing 
about what it means or should mean.

>As a by the way, I would hope that any dance manual containing a
>reconstruction of Gathering Peascods would do a good job of what
>Playford says verses how it's commonly danced.

Del's online has a footnote about clapping on the third or fourth beat of 
the double, but not about the number of claps. Your cheat sheets comment on 
differences between SCA groups, but do not analyze the possible 
reconstructions based on Playford. My book, by now Grossly Out Of Print, 
has a paragraph about where Playford's instructions say clap and where they 
don't, and why I reconstructed it the way I did. Rose & Nefr has all the 
claps and doesn't mention the issue, but I doubt that it was a current 
issue back in 1989. My recollection is that a new "clap, clap, don't clap" 
version was being pushed heavily at the 25th Year Celebration.

All of these except your cheat sheets agree that the circle goes around the 
middle to original places, though Del's uses the potentially confusing word 
"position." Mine and Rose & Nefr comment on the difficulty of doing this 
correctly in larger circles, but neither mentions the option of circling 
less than all the way. Perhaps the question had not yet been brought up 
(that we knew of) and the possibility that Playford's "come to your places" 
should be disregarded had not occurred to either of us.

Alex Clark/Henry of Maldon 

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