This website is an Open Educational Resource (OER) with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license. Permission is given to use and adapt any material on this website for non-commercial purposes, as long as attribution is given.

Every dance in every edition of The Dancing Master is included in this site, with step-by-step instructions, modern music notation, and thorough indexes of publication information, musical aspects, and every dance step used in each dance.

The First Edition included this personal note from John Playford:

To the ingenious reader:
The Art of Dancing, called by the Ancient Greeks Orchestice, and Orchestis, is a commendable and rare quality fit for young gentlemen, if opportunely and eivilly used. And Plato, that famous philosopher, thought it meet that young ingenious children be taught to dance. It is a quality that has been formerly honoured in the courts of princes, when performed by the most noble heroes of the times: the gentlemen of the Inns of Court, whose sweet and airy activity has crowned their Grand Solemnities with admiration to all spectators. This art has been anciently handled by Athenaeus, Julius Pollux, Caelius Rhodiginus, and others, and much commend it to be excellent for recreation, after more serious studies, making the body active and strong, graceful in deportment, and a quality very much beseeming a gentleman. Yet all this should not have been an incitement to me for publication of this work (knowing these times and the nature of it do not agree), but that there was then a false and surreptitious copy at the printing press, which, if it had been published, would have been a disparagement to the quality, and the professors thereof, and a hinderance to the learner. Therefore for prevention of all, which, having at the time  an excellent copy by me, and the assistance of a knowing friend, I did venture this ensuing work to the view and gentle censure of all ingenious gentlemen lovers of this quality, not doubting but their goodness will pardon what may be amiss, and accept of the honest intention of him that is a faithful honourer of your virtues, and
	Your Servant to Command, 

Questions or comments? Contact Scott Pfitzinger at pfitzburg[at]