Button and Whitaker's "Selection of Dances, Reels and Waltzes"

Button and Whitaker's
Selection of
Dances, Reels and Waltzes
for the
With Figures

L O N D O N.

Vols. 8, 9, 11 and 18 so far ...

This directory contains ABC transcriptions of tunes and dances in a series of 3-page booklets published in London around 1810 by S.J. Button and John Whitaker. They were the successors in the publishing company founded in 1731 by Peter Thompson.

This collection is very incomplete. I found several of the booklets online as PDF image files, and transcribed them. If I find more, I'll add them to this collection as I have time. If you know of others not included here, send me a message and tell me where I can see them.

The tunes are in single-tune files, and also in large files containing the entire collection. The single-tune files have names of the form VVPPN_Title.abc, where

VV is the volume number (8, 9, 11, 13 and 18 so far).
PP is the page number, at top corner.
N is the tune number on the page (1-3).
_-= is the separator before the title. It's usually '_', but some tunes have two transcriptions. For those, '-' is used for ABC version 1, and '=' is used for ABC version 2 (which has some features not availabe in version 1 such as two voices on one staff).
The titles are in all caps, which I've preserved in the transcriptions. Initial articles are omitted in the file names, and are in lower-case in the T: lines.

One transcription problem is that some tunes in this collection are written in a "pianistic" style, with occasional "voices" appearing briefly. Some ABC software (e.g., abcm2ps) can handle this with "voice overlays" using the "&" operator, but most ABC software doesn't understand this syntax. Where possible, the music has been transcribed as the closest overlay-free form allowed by basic ABC, using notes in chords. When this doesn't work, two transcriptions are present. They are signalled by "-" or "=" in the file name rather than "_" after the initial number. The "-" version uses voice overlays; the "=" version either has a third voice (when that works), or reduces some measures to a single-voice form that is as close as basic ABC can get.

The BW_SDRW_*.abc files contain all the tunes in one file. BW_SDRW_1.abc is the "basic" ABC version; BW_SDRW_2.abc uses voice overlays when necessary.

All the tunes here are in ABC format. If you don't have ABC software, you can CLICK HERE to use a tool that converts the tunes to other formats.