A Morris Dance Publisher’s Cautionary Tale
Anthony G. Barrand, Ph.D.
Originally published in the American Morris Newsletter, February 10, 1997. Republished in Morris Matters, v35, n2, July 2016.
In the summer of 1990, John Roberts and I were in Memphis singing at an International Children’s Festival. We were asked to do a Morris dance show with a team of youngsters from St. Louis. We did a jig and then three of the children got up to do their first dance, starting in a triangle formation. The musician played the opening measures of “Over the Hills and Far Away” and I realized they were doing a version of one of my team’s invented dances, “The Barrows House.” “Where did you learn that?” “From a video of three Marlboro Men dancing it at Pinewoods Camp last summer.”
I confess that, despite a firm philosophical belief that any performance done in a public space is literally in the “public domain” and fair game, I had to struggle with the feelings of a treasured possession being taken from me without permission and with no credit given. Of course, it only sort of looked like my dance. These children didn’t look anything like the Marlboro Men and anyone less familiar with both performances might not have recognized any similarity beyond the triangular shape which is not, in any case, unique to the dance. But the feelings were still there.
I think these feelings of ownership are an important part of the human condition, an essential ingredient of the pride we take in our achievements. They do not, however, necessarily translate into a justification for litigious action. Sharp met dancers from many teams who were happy for him to spread the word and the details of their most precious forms of expression. He also encountered teams who were not eager for him to publish and either wouldn’t meet with him or gave him erroneous information so that they hadn’t completely given away their dance.
Perhaps because of the litigious nature of contemporary society, a new line has been crossed. There are now teams who seek actively to prevent others from acquiring the information necessary to perform “their” dance(s). My experience with the phenomenon sprang from my publication of Roy Dommett’s notations of dances from Colne in Lancashire. This is a complex story. I hope that sharing my recent encounters may make some contribution towards bettering our understanding of the issues. Resolution may be too much to ask for.
Where does one learn dances? From a few books which contain notations, from classes, from watching other teams, and from manuscripts or people who had studied them. This is what I did, including field trips to England filming dance performances and visiting selected team practices.
Most useful, however, in exposing me to the vast range of dancing extant in England were a pile of typewritten and mimeographed notes prepared by the man who became my dance mentor, Roy Leonard Dommett. I spent the summer of 1984 editing and organizing a collection (about 1000pp.) of Dommett’s archival and instructional notes. In five volumes as Roy Dommett’s Morris Notes , they include essays on aspects of the Morris, hand-copied manuscripts and field-notes from various collectors, and notations of a wide variety of dances.
Some history of how Dommett made these notes is relevant here. In about 1955, while he and two of his sons were dancing with the Abingdon Traditional Morris Dancers, Dommett had begun filming as much Morris as he could, documenting all of the contemporary display dance repertoire, making notations from these recordings, and drawing together as many previously-existing dance descriptions as he could. His agenda was clear, public, and became well-known: to document and make available details of the full range of English seasonal dance customs. My experience of him working in the field was that permission to film was always obtained and that people were never in doubt as to his intentions for the material. The impact of his talks, film presentations and dance workshops was immense. The information in the notes he handed out at his presentations and mailed on request hastened and supported a rich and solid revival and restoration of many kinds of seasonal display dancing in England. It is interesting that only one group (Chipping Campden) in Dommett’s collection requested that a claim of “copyright” be attached to his descriptions of their dances.
As I understand it, Dommett was assisted at many of his instructional sessions in the 1960’s and early 1970’s by other zealots who were also exploring the memories of old, former dancers in order to record and restore the various once-thriving seasonal customs. One of these co-workers was Julian Pilling who acquired information about several dance traditions in the counties of Lancashire and Cheshire. By about 1975, when it had become clear that there was a burgeoning interest in establishing new teams in communities throughout England and America, Dommett and Pilling went in opposite philosophical directions. Pilling decided that the materials they had been previously been freely sharing and teaching should be restricted to use exclusively within the immediate communities within which they were collected; Dommett continued to feel that the survival of the dance traditions would be best served by descriptive information being made openly available.
A few partial sets of Dommett’s notes made it to this country in the 1970’s as he came to the U. S. regularly on business and did dance workshops and lectures on the side. I decided to make a definitive set after discovering that people were making 4th or 5th generation copies of his notes without knowing their source. Dommett encouraged me, collaborated closely with me and made sure I had a copy of everything. The five-volume sets of reprints were only offered for sale via outlets connected with the Country Dance and Song Society of America (CDSS) except when I have sold copies at occasional dance conferences and teaching sessions in England. Roy felt that there were plenty of copies of his notes available over there. He continued to provide specific items on request and issued new notes as he gave workshops. The raw condition of the descriptions (they are, after all, just photocopies of notes) has pretty much limited the circulation to Morris dance specialists.
Dommett’s activities and notes have always been controversial in some quarters, primarily because of his orientation to assign equal importance to the contemporary performance practice of so-called “revival” and “traditional” teams. In documenting the new teams as well as the few dance groups with more-or-less continuous performance history since the nineteenth century, he flouted the almost-holy reverence with which these groups had been regarded. Most, myself included, felt that Dommett had opened a window on an improperly-closed room made unnecessarily stuffy. Others, including Mr. Pilling, disagreed.
He evidently learned of the existence of an American edition of Dommett’s notes in the fall of 1994 after one of his Colne Royal team members (Alan Seymour) had visited the U. S. to teach at a dance camp and purchased a copy. He was shocked to discover descriptions of two dances, “Colne” and Colne Royal,” with Julian Pilling listed as the collector . While on tour over here, this man had declined to teach the Colne dance in any way even at a workshop with one team which includes a dance they call “Colne Royal” in their repertoire. He stated it was “team policy” not to teach or publish the dance .
On returning to England, the Colne Royal dancer showed the Dommett volume to the team. Julian Pilling wrote to CDSS suggesting that they had infringed on his “intellectual property rights” by reprinting Dommett’s notes of dances on which he had originally collected information. This act, he suggested, “transgressed accepted codes” and “may be an infringement of British law.” He recommended the Morris Ring’s publication of A Handbook of Morris Dances  by way of comparison. It showed, he suggested, “respect” for the wishes of teams who claimed similar rights for their repertoire. Two teams (Abingdon and Chipping Campden) requested that descriptions of their dances not be included in the collection. They were, Pilling implies, thereby protected from becoming what he called “display fodder.” 
Brad Foster, the Director, consulted with dance scholars and legal advisors and tentatively concluded that Dommett’s descriptions of public performances had long ago passed into the public domain and, in any case, Dommett had given full permission for the reprinting. While the notes may have broken taboos and bruised egos, they broke no laws. Nevertheless, Pilling’s letter had a distinct impact for, as the Dommett volumes went out of stock, CDSS have still been too wary to reprint them.
In January, 1995, I wrote at length to Pilling arguing in detail why I thought the English dance customs were well-served by full disclosure. I pointed out that Dommett’s descriptions of “Colne Royal” and “Colne,” were based on two sources: first, detailed instruction Pilling gave at Halsway Manor classes with Roy Dommett and, second, film which he took, with Pilling’s permission, of the Colne Royal team dancing. Pilling wrote back rejecting my arguments. He suggested that I put a desire for scholarly completeness ahead of the wishes of traditional teams. I have suggested the need to make the debate open and public although Pilling implies that there is no room for discussion on the issues involved here. More response came through several letters from a man I did not know (C. P. Clarke) who had seen my letters to Pilling.
Clarke escalated the rhetoric, highlighting the vivid emotional stakes. Publishing the notations, he suggested, was depriving him of “his English heritage.” It left, he wrote, one Morris dancer who learned of it feeling as if he had been “raped.”  He called my actions “racist” because dance performances such as those in the streets of Colne were not given the same deference which he thinks would be afforded Native-American tribes and their dancing. 
Finally, Mr. Clarke wrote that publishing the Colne and other “traditional” dances constituted “exploitation for academic purposes.” Mr. Clarke took it seriously enough to write to the Provost at Boston University complaining about my use of these “traditional” materials. After consulting with counsel, the Provost replied to him that free performances in the street and Dommett’s widely-circulated descriptions of them seemed clearly in the public domain. There was no more correspondence at this point.
There are still deeply held feelings, however, but people on both sides of an argument can have them. I came across an example of this last year (1996) while pulling Ivor Allsop’s sword dance notations together into book form.  Ivor, a former Squire of the Morris Ring, had obtained permission to include a notation from all of the teams he considers “traditional” except for Handsworth, a team he danced with for several years. Ivor was also told by a team official that he could not include the set of tunes which Handsworth currently uses; Ivor felt strongly that he could since he had been part of a small group of three which put the set together. I was told in a letter by the same team officer that it had been Harry Pitts’ (the long-time team captain) last wish that the dance not be published; Harry’s son, John, on the hand, was very supportive of the project. A description of the dance as it had been performed when Ivor was on the team was eventually included.
Reflecting on the Issues
There is, in fact, a slew of points which merit extended discussion, some of which are emotional, some legal, some philosophical and some empirical or practical in nature. What rights should a Morris or sword team or individuals on that team have to prevent others from performing a dance derived from their repertoire? Does it make a difference if the team or the dance is “traditional?” If I make a description or notation of their dance, can or should they be able to prevent me from publishing it? What rights does the “collector” have? The issues are tough ones tinged with questions about ownership, legality, ethics, courtesy, aesthetics, fairness, the concept of tradition, and the nature of the teaching/learning process. They are loaded with personal and emotional consequences and feelings of regional and even national pride. Most of these questions have rarely been asked, let alone, answered. Questions about copyright simply never arose about matters around which there was no financial gain, such as folk dancing.
Such questions, once raised as they have been, for example, by this issue, are now potentially a concern of every Morris dancer. I see seven areas of interest revealed in the story of my own first-hand encounter.
1. Money, Control, or just Credit?
Copyright is a claim. It is a necessary but not a sufficient condition that the claim be formally made. Such a claim must be substantial. It has no substance if the “property” and its components (such as “corners cross,” “up-street,” or “polka.”) have passed into the public domain. Claims of copyright have not, for the most part, been made. Two things are gained by a legitimate claim: money and control.
If I own copyright, I can claim a share of any money made from use and I can charge royalties or some other fee. A share of the debt would be more appropriate for folk dance projects. In Morris dance circles, if any money changes hands it is in small amounts.
If I own copyright, I can control who gets permission to use the material in the first place though eventually that control is lost after the time limit is passed. The D’Oyly Carte Company had exclusive rights to perform the Gilbert and Sullivan operas until the copyright ran out and they passed into the public domain. But Gilbert and Sullivan clearly created the material. Should someone who learned a dance from someone who might have learned it from yet someone else be able to prevent another person from dancing it? With a team dance, who gets to give or deny permission? Consider the Handsworth case described above. Who had the right to give or deny permission: the team official acting with and without broad team approval?; Ivor Allsop or any other person who danced on the team for many years?; or Harry Pitts’ son?.
It needs to be noted, though, that the Library of Congress adopts a highly cautious standard which is common in contemporary folkloric practice. Nothing is used in any form of publication without the explicit permission of anyone who might have any claim to the material. This amounts to a single person having veto power. It might work fine in classic one-on-one private interview situations but it is far from clear that it is feasible or appropriate in the case of a public display of a Morris dance which has been filmed or annotated.
But there are two other rights which go with either ownership or some other creative connection to the property. They have more to do with propriety than legality.
First, the “owner” or a group involved in creating or otherwise shaping a dance also has the right for attribution of credit. This is indisputable. It is legally required in cases where the copyright holder has given permission; more often than not in folk performance genres, credit is acknowledged even in cases where permission is not required or not sought. For example, most singers introduce a song by telling an audience who wrote it and from whom it was learned. I think this is the respect many Morris teams pay when they introduce a dance as “from the village of…” 
Second, in this climate, it is polite, politic, and wise to notify the creator/owner if some item to which they have some attachment is about to be used.
Ultimately, these latter two points are probably the most significant with regard to the world of Morris dancing since claims of copyright are few and far between and, with no money involved, ASCAP and BMI are unlikely to police “intellectual property” usage.
2. The Feeling of “Ownership” for what one dances and/or collects
I understand and have great appreciation and admiration for the obvious pride in and love Pilling has for the Colne repertoire and the team’s performance. They dance like no-one else I’ve ever seen. There is a powerful sense of ownership which goes with developing and maintaining a reliable display dance repertoire in one’s life and community. When one has also been lucky enough to be in a position to receive knowledge from a tradition bearer, as has Pilling, the connection to the dance is multiply reinforced. I, too, know the joys, affections, and anguish which go with creating and being part of a thriving community-based seasonal dance tradition which has been drawn upon by other teams.
I have also been fortunate enough to be entrusted with the responsibility of collecting repertoire from aging dancers. Pilling and I disagree, however, on what the rights and responsibilities are, and to whom, when one has been privileged to learn and adopt a traditional dance. As the dancing begins to fit into one’s life and the lives of people in the community, one becomes, I suggest, a tradition-bearer and the dance is as much “theirs” (the audience) as “yours.” Unlike the “Elgin Marbles,” which the British Museum has but which the Greek government wants returned to the Parthenon, there is no limit to who can take possession of the Morris gift.
3. What is the role of the collector?
For me, the collector is what one might call a “medium” whose job is to learn as accurately as possible what the source knows, to pass the tradition on by making sure that others who were not privileged to be there learn what you have learned, to give it new life in one’s own time, and to provide for generations to come. Traditions which can last and have lasted through several generations are sturdy and durable. If the collector who has the knowledge can become a role model in the performance of the dance to the satisfaction of the informant(s), so much the better. Pilling was like this in the early years when he led the Manchester Morris Men into the north-west repertoire and taught Colne at Halsway Manor classes. In the 1950’s, as I understand it, when he began visiting old dancers and collecting their memories of the details, Pilling was a member of the Manchester Morris Men who were, at the time, dancing “Cotswold” Morris . He taught them the dances and then wanted them to switch to dancing the local repertoire exclusively. They said no and he left to start his own group in Colne, a suburb of Manchester.
There are hints in his letters, however, that he now thinks of his role not as a model but as “property” owner, a guardian of some delicate thing that needs to be protected from contamination by people who will make of it something he disparagingly calls “display fodder.”
Whether it‘s “fodder” or something else, however, the dance has to be created by the performers from a restricted set of instructions, and the mischief, of course, is in the process of filling in the parts left out by the description. This leads to my key point.
4. A description is not a dance
Roy Dommett’s Morris Notes are just what they purport to be and nothing more: Notes. It is a collection not of dances but of written, schematic descriptions primarily of films of dances. A description is fixed once made; a dance is as much an active, living creature as are (and because of?) its performers. As I have seen many times in my dance classes at Boston University, two people making separate descriptions of the same performance can come up with drastically different accounts. And vice versa. Two groups of people starting with the same set of instructions will (even must) produce totally different dances. Even a group trying hard to look just like another produces something noticeably different from the original.
Further, the same group of people performing a single dance over time change that dance, sometimes in subtle and sometimes in drastic ways.  This is fundamental and just as true of a “traditional” side as any other. I can’t imagine that an experienced dance teacher could fail to know that it is no small task to go from a set of written instructions to some performance of them and then to go from that to something with style that is worthy of presentation to the public.
Roy’s notes were produced at his time, money and effort; copyright on the notations (the “intellectual property” if you prefer that oxymoron) is his. I don’t believe Roy ever made any secret of his intentions with regard to asking permission to film. He has been producing and circulating copies of his notes for four decades and they have been indescribably important in providing resources for all the people eager to join the amazing dance revival which has happened in the post-war years
Dommett’s goal was to document, encourage, and facilitate the full range of the English display dance repertoires. The notes were an indispensable contribution to the wealth of dance activity which was spawned in the latter half of this century. The Halsway Manor weekends, in which Pilling participated and freely taught the Colne Royal dances in far more detail than were captured in Roy’s notes, were another.
5. What’s at stake here?
Money clearly isn’t the issue. This is not a case like that of the Kingston Trio’s recording of “Tom Dooley.”  It was collected by Frank Warner from Frank Proffit,  who had the song from his family, and it became a big hit for an extended period. Warner issued a counter claim of copyright, sued and won, but after the song was much less popular. No back damages were awarded. Warner and Proffit shared some money, therefore, but missed the main pile. Copyright clearly has a place when there is money exchanging hands. 
In any case, Pilling does not seem interested in royalties from people who dance “Colne Royal” as “display fodder.” He wants them to stop doing it altogether and leave the dance with a singular existence in its original location. The genie, however, is long out of the bottle and he contributed more than Dommett to its escape. Morris dancers have always stolen ideas from each other. Video tape changes only the speed with which the genie can find the door. How do you think the first guy who thought up “Trunkles” felt once everyone started doing it? Probably much the way Julian Pilling does. The sources of these feelings are real and need to be understood but they are not the final arbiter.
Credit by attribution is a legitimate concern. In hindsight, Roy probably could have added more information to some of his typed sheets when they were first prepared and circulated (some of them 20-30 years ago), though I note that the Colne account lists “J. Pilling, collector.” Most of them were used, however, in situations where Roy was teaching, showing film, and lecturing and, using sessions I have been in as models, passing on more information than most people could assimilate, including where and from whom the original information came and who did the leg work.
I perhaps should have added annotations to the notes when I was organizing them (1984) but after I saw multi-generation photocopies of the notes being passed around among people who had no idea where they came from, it seemed urgently necessary to organize them as they were so Roy could get the credit for the important resource he was providing. The 1980’s was a time when there were unprecedented numbers of people eager to fit seasonal display dancing of some sort into their lives. Where Sharp’s collection and publications and a few manuscript sources were sufficient to inspire and nurture an earlier generation of dancers, that crop were looking to explore all of the wonders of English Morris and Sword. Dommett’s notes met their needs. Some of the work he did with the South Midlands Morris created dances where there was only fragmentary information  and other notes documented the full range of the repertoire from a single location which had only been partially represented by Sharp’s publications  .
6. What damage has been caused by publication?
Speaking of Sharp raises the most important question for me about the underlying issues raised by Pilling: what is to be feared about publication? Has any damage been caused? I confess I have never understood why some teams seek so strenuously to avoid any description of their dances being available and I would argue that it is an abuse of a privilege to do so. In that light, it was a mistake not to make Lionel Bacon’s A Handbook of Morris Dances a complete accounting. Teams inevitably go through cycles of activity, dormancy and revival, but I know of no evidence that publication of dance information for a team has been responsible for the dissolution of the custom in the local area. Was the custom of dancing at Abingdon and Chipping Campden really in danger compared, say, with Headington Quarry or Bampton?
How has publication for most of this century damaged Bampton or Headington? Thousands dance “Bampton” or “Headington” repertoire but who does it as well as the three Bampton teams or the Quarry men? How have Grenoside, Handsworth, or Manley (Royton?) been damaged by Sharp’s or Karpeles’ publications? How, given that my edition of Roy’s Notes has been available for 10 years and many of the actual notes available for 20-30 years, have they damaged Bacup, Campden, Colne, or Abingdon? Teams that dance in one place for many years have a quality that cannot be imitated by a team from another location.
It is very special, for example, to see the Headington Quarry Men dance what they learned from William Kimber. The lineage is visible and that is what they possess and gives their dancing that special quality without a name. No-one else has what they have. They have the streets, the sounds and smells, the stories Kimber told them and the way he told them, the built-in feel of the tunes we all know so well from Kimber’s recordings, and on and on. No publication, no-one else dancing what they might call “Headington,” can take that away. This is also true at Bampton, at Grenoside, at Chipping Campden, at Bacup, at Abingdon, at Colne, and at many other locations, some of which have newer and less heralded claims to traditional blood lines. “Traditions” depend not upon age but on the ways they capture and express a complex web of interactions between a place, a time, the people who lived and still live there, the dancers and musicians who create, recreate, and maintain the celebrations, and a whole host of contributing factors.
Where a team with claims to that complex label, “tradition,” has clearly asked that their dance not be done (for example, at Chipping Campden or Abingdon), other teams have not adopted those dances as part of their public display. This is the respect I think Pilling should be talking about. It’s so powerful that it almost qualifies as a taboo and would be there whether or not some description of the dance is published.
The Colne Royal lineage, I think, is also untouched. I defy Pilling to think of another team that looks anything like his even if there are teams who dance something they call “Colne Royal.” There is certainly no other team that dances in Colne and is seen by the residents as belonging to their town. The Manchester Morris Men I filmed in 1979 didn’t look like Colne Royal and it was, after all, Pilling who taught them.
A good example, I think, of over-caution by a scholar and abuse of privilege by a team anxious not to be copied was the excellent study of the dances from the Bacup region of Lancashire by my friend, Dr. Tess Buckland. In a discussion of the choreographic aspects of the dance, she writes:
Respect for the Britannia dancers’ wish that their tradition not be imitated prohibits a full notation of the dance here. 
I see two problems with this and think that more effort should have been made to get the Bacup dancers comfortable with the idea of publishing a notation: first, there is a huge distance between the Bacup dancers’ request not to be imitated and the reasonable need for readers of a scholarly dance article to want more information than is afforded by broad descriptions; and, second, why shouldn’t there be other groups performing Bacup-like dances? It doesn’t seem to have harmed the dancing in Bampton for there to have been two teams since the 1920’s and three for the last two decades. The article itself points out that there used to be several teams in the Bacup area. Suppose a group wanted to form a team in Rawtenstall or Cloughfold? Where else than Bacup would they look for ideas?
In my more romantic moments (and all Morris dancers have them), I think of “tradition” as similar to the Olympic flame: No-one owns it; a lucky few get to carry it for a while, but then it is passed on. There are other flames which can be lit but these in no way diminish the original.
7. What is the value of publication?
The Sharp, Bacon, Dommett and Allsop notes enable dancers with scholarly or, equally importantly, aesthetic interests to see and feel the place of different aspects of the repertoire as parts of the whole. This is a major function of notations: study. I’d be happy to go on at length about this but since perhaps 99% of Morris dancers would in all likelihood not now be part of the Morris were it not for Sharp’s efforts and the various published sources, I probably can hold off on this one. It seems inconsistent to have based one’s lifelong passion for a hobby on information published by one person and to refuse to provide for the next generation. Fortunately, passing memories onto the next generation is now much easier. Copying and recording technology is not new or uncommon or at odds with the “tradition.” Copying and recording devices have become extensions of our perceptual and memory systems. They are useful both for teams caring for a tradition and for those in the throes of establishing one.
It is usually unsafe to generalize beyond the narrowest of circumstances where things that matter to people are involved. A relatively safe one here, however, is that some people care very much about a dance or a way of dancing that they have. But not everyone concerned may feel the same way. The person with the most intense feeling is not necessarily right but does need to be taken into account both with regard to performance and publication of dance materials. I take the following lessons to heart:
With Regard to Performance:
1. I have always felt and now feel more strongly that teams not privileged to have inherited a repertoire should invent their own dances. To ensure that what one invents is consistent with traditional practice, one probably one needs to begin by borrowing choreographic ideas from books and from watching other dancers. Copying is not only a good thing, it is the essence of being alive. At every stage of our lives, we adopt other people as models for our own behavior. We imitate the people we admire, often whether we want to or not.
2. However, if and when you borrow dances or choreographic ideas created or preserved by other groups:
a. Don’t use their name for the dance. The power is in the Name. Wars were fought over the names of gods. My Jewish students still write “G-d” in essays. Give it some name with local reference; that’s what the original team did.
b. Don’t imitate their costume. My experience is that names and costumes are where most of the emotion resides. I suspect that this is a key issue for Handsworth and Bacup.
3. Remember that even if you try like hell to imitate another team, the key ingredients are to try to imitate how well they dance rather than what they dance and to be identified in your community the way they are in theirs.
4. Just as in retail, the three keys to the Morris are location, location, and location. Movement style comes from a particular group of people dancing at a particular time in a particular place. Emphasize place. Get it right and the rest follows.
5. The real problem lies not with the notation but with other teams who are happy to borrow rather than invent dances. If you don’t want another team to try to copy what you do, either don’t give free performances in public or get the word out that teams should not steal what you do. The latter seems to be effective with the generally considerate people who do Morris dancing. There are a number of teams who have done “Colne Royal” who may need to do some re-thinking right now.
With Regard to Publication:
1. In my view, when a group of Morris dancers goes out into a public space of their own free will to do a free display, their performance becomes part of the public domain. Making a video recording, however, is qualitatively different from making a written description. It is not illegal to record a public performance without permission but it might be rude. Generally speaking though, if you have other plans than the personal use of the tape, you should get permission and make your intentions clear.
2. A notation of any sort only captures the choreography. It is a mistake to identify a Morris dance performance merely with the choreography. Without the people and the place even a “traditional” team is just dancing “display fodder.”
3. There is no movement notation that completely captures even the choreography of a Morris dance performance. A complete Labanotation score can come fairly close, though you wouldn’t know it from the few “Morris dances” that the Dance Notation Bureau has published. In any case, there are at best a handful of people interested in the Morris who can read such scores. Morris dance notations tend to be verbal descriptions in combination with schematic diagrams and a music score. It takes a lot of work to get a meaningful dance from such a description and there are many dances that can be made from it. Although prima facie one seems better off with a video of the original, is still a huge task getting one group of bodies to look anything like another.
4. Whatever the group of dancers “owns,” the notation is “owned” by the person who makes it. Before it is used for teaching, research, or publication, the choice one makes between obtaining permission or sending notification depends on many things, including the sort of relationship you want to have later with the team you have studied.
5. It is still not clear to me what is really to be feared in having a notation of one’s dance(s) published. It takes a rare genius, trying hard, to imitate even some aspects of another person’s movement style. Even if it is achieved, I know from many hours spent watching my collection of over twenty years worth of Marlboro Morris Ale tapes that change happens inevitably as a team grows, ages, and simply continues to perform. A team doing a dance in, say, 1980, may not even look like itself doing the same dance ten years later.
There is much more I would like to write about all aspects of these final points. I have spent my adult life as a singer, as a dancer, and as a teacher of dance attempting to capture the qualities I hear and see in certain traditional performers. I envy them. They were fortunate enough to be born into a situation where the style came as a gift. I was not, but I admire it and I choose to try to achieve that quality without a name . While those born into the “tradition” will seek to protect it as they see fit, I believe the argument needs to be made and can be made that traditional practice is best served when access to the details is open and inclusive rather than exclusive and elitist. I hope I have made a start to that goal in narrating this story.
Footnotes and References
 Barrand, Anthony G. Roy Dommett’s Morris Notes, Northampton, MA: Country Dance and Song Society of America, 1986.
 Ibid, Vol. 2: North-West Morris,
 I have an extended personal history with this dance. I filmed the Manchester Morris Men in 1979 doing a dance they called “a traditional dance from Colne.” It was, they said, slightly different from the one which had been taught to them by Julian Pilling when he was on the team. He had since left to form the Colne Royal Morris Men and had made it clear they should avoid the “Colne Royal” dance. The differences are minor. At Pinewoods in 1980, I taught the dance I had learned from the Manchester Men and most North American versions stem from this source. The most influential interpretation based on my 1979 film was that danced by Goatshead in London, Ontario, under the direction of Paul Handford and Rosemary Donovan.
 Bacon, Lionel. A Handbook of Morris Dances, The Morris Ring, 1974.
 I assume this pejorative phrase refers to a dance being performed outside of the “traditional” legitimate location by a group other than those who have inherited it. In its most extreme interpretation, this dismisses most Morris teams as merely purveyors of “display fodder.”
 I suggested in reply that the man contact a rape counselor to see if his feelings were really comparable.
 I’m not sure what this means since there are films and descriptions of the public display dances readily available. While many of the dances and ceremonies are a part of community life, they are also now money-making and public relations events. The most sacred dances and ceremonies are never open to the public, and are only performed by and for those who will understand and participate in the meaning.
 Barrand, Anthony G. (Ed.) Longword Dances from Traditional and Manuscript Sources,As Collated and Notated by Ivor Allsop, Brattleboro, VT: Northern Harmony Pub. Co., 1996
 I have never liked the announcement because what teams do is often somewhat unlike what comes or came “from the village.”
 Check, for example, Roy’s notes on the Ilmington dances (Barrand, Anthony G. Roy Dommett’s Morris Notes, Northampton, MA: Country Dance and Song Society of America, 1986. Vol. I, Part 2, 414-420)
 The Kingston Trio, Capitol Records, T-996.
 Folk Legacy Records, FSA 1.
 I think it needs to be said, though, that Frank Proffit’s version of the song would not have made money for anyone. I like it a lot but it was not, as they say, “commercial.”
 For example, Oddington, Bessels Leigh; Vol. I Part 2, pp. 454-459, 245-248.
 For example, Bampton, Longborough; Vol. I Part 2, pp. 219-244, 426-447.
 Buckland, T “Black Faces, Garlands, and Coconuts: Exotic Dances on Street and Stage,” Dance Research Journal, (22) 2, p. 4.
 I used this phrase extensively while discussing the aesthetics of Morris dancing in Six Fools and a Dancer: The Timeless Way of the Morris (Plainfield, VT: Northern Harmony Pub. Co., 1991). It is derived from the work of Christopher Alexander (The Timeless Way of Building, New York: Oxford University Press, 1979).