Tag Archives: australian history

The Much Admired Australian Quadrille

In 1835, the music for The Much Admired Australian Quadrilles arrived in Sydney.  The colonial the music-seller, Mr. Ellard of Hunter Street, had arranged for his father in Dublin to print and ship the music, specifically for the Australian market. … Continue reading

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Dancing in Fetters at the Redcliffe Museum

Dancing in fetters: the culture of convict dance Discover a completely different aspect of convict life. When we think of convicts, we don’t tend to think of music and dance, but dance was an integral part of everyday life and … Continue reading

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Grenada 1821

6 June 1821; serving Lime juice and sugar to the guard and convicts,… gave permission to dance. Surgeon-superintendent, Peter Cunningham was noted for encouraging the convicts in his charge to dance.  His medical journal of the convict ship, Grenada, was … Continue reading

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Speedy 1799

Dancing on convict ships Anna Josepha King, the wife of Governor Phillip Gidley King, kept a diary describing her voyage to the colony.  Beginning on the day she embarked, Tuesday 19th November 1799, through to her arrival in Port Jackson … Continue reading

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Convict Tune Book

A collection of 12 tunes known to be popular with Australian convicts between 1788 and 1840.  Each tune includes sheet music and historical notes. Developed as part of the exhibition “Dancing in Fetters: The culture of convict dance”  at the … Continue reading

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Lord Morton’s hints

…they should not at first be alarmed with the report of Guns, Drums, or even a trumpet. – But if there are other Instruments of Music on board they should be first entertained near the Shore with a soft Air. … Continue reading

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Tekeli

Tekeli – a convict tune Tekeli was an influential and highly successful melodrama, one of the first of its genre, full of suspense and intense emotions.  The French play by Rene Charles Guilbert De Pixerécourt was produced in Paris in … Continue reading

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Convict music & song

How would you research convict music?  Through police reports, of course! Robert Williams, a black, with a shining face, was charged by constable Orr, with being drunk, and playing the tamborine in Kent-street, at the hour twelve, to the tune … Continue reading

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Off She Goes

From a Police Report in the Sydney Herald, 2nd of September 1833 EIizabeth Fisher, Matthew Fisher, and Hamilton Murray, belonging to the Waterloo, were charged with dancing a reel on the King’s Wharf, at the hour of eleven overnight, to … Continue reading

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Auld Robin Grey

From a Police Report in the Sydney Gazette, 28th of January 1837 William Lee, with a vest of plush buttoned over his chest, which blushed at the position both of itself and master, was called upon to account for singing … Continue reading

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