New Hampshire Old-Time Country Dance Web Site

Passing On Our Living Tradition


Evolving Chestnuts

I've mentioned that many of the chestnuts have evolved. On this page I want to discuss some of the changes that have happened and that continue to happen.

Much of this was published in the Seacoast country Dance Newsletter; details are included in each section where relevant.

In This Section

In various parts of the Change & Preservation page I referred to changes in specific dances. Here I'm putting them all in one place and getting into a bit more detail on some of the changes. We'll look at a few of the chestnuts, and look at how each has changed over time and at some of the patterns of change that emerge.

  • Money Musk. A discussion of Money Musk and its evolution, and some ideas about its evolution (both mine and others'). I use transcriptions to discuss changes in the timing of the figures as well as what aspects remained the same.
  • Lamplighter's Hornpipe. Lamplighter's Hornpipe changed from triple minor to duple minor, and gained two new figures. I present transcriptions and discuss the two versions.
  • Petronella. Petronella has changed a couple times within the past 50 years. Those changes are discussed here.

About the NH Country Dance Website, Dance Portion

There is a full About page on every New Topic page; these are the pages that are represented by menu items at the top of each page. Other pages have a more abbreviated About page. See the full pages for a more detailed description of the website and for complete photo and graphic credits.

The Website. The New Hampshire Country Dance website is divided into the Music and Dance sections. The Dance section presents stories, history, philosophical discussion and more.

Edited & Published by Peter Yarensky. I am a dancer, caller and dance musician from the Seacoast region of New Hampshire. I play fiddle, piano and hammered dulcimer. I call contras and squares with the Lamprey River Band and am available to call with others. I particularly enjoy calling for beginners due to the wonderful enthusiasm they exhibit. Contact. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or if you find any errors, typos, omissions, or about music and/or dance in the Seacoast region of New Hampshire. Email: peter dot yarensky at unh dot edu or peterynh at icloud dot com (usual substitutions apply).

Musical Instruments
Musical Instruments
Musical Instruments


Website Photos. All photos were taken by Peter Yarensky (website editor and writer of most of the contents) unless otherwise noted. All photos are used with permission.

There are a number of items, used by permission, from the Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA. These include:

  • Photos taken by Patrick Stevens. These are now part of the Patrick Stevens Collection, 1992-2018, MC 331.
  • Dance program booklet, West Swanzey NH, Dec. 23, 1898. Brownlow and Dorothea Thompson Collection, 1802-1994, MC 294.

Other Graphics come from a few sources. All sources allow usage on a noncommercial website. Sources include the Aridi Computer Graphics Vector Clip Art Collection, Vol. 1–5, The Little Book Of Typographic Ornament, downloadable version, the Underground Grammarian, Printers' Devices & parts of their clip art collection, and the Visual Delights collection of graphics.

For more details about all of these sources, look on one of the full About sections at the bottom of any page listed in the main menu (top of page).