Whether it's Henry Tilney's observations about country dances and marriage or a Mr. Darcy or Mr. Elton giving offense at not being willing to dance, Austen's wittiest or most crushing revelations often come on the dance floor. Because these scenes are so crucial, film makers have endeavored to "get them right", time and again. But where can you find copies of the music that is so evocative of such a pleasant period or scene? Kali Pappas has created what is, perhaps, the most definitive of all Emma sites. There, you can find lists of all the country dances and other songs used in both Emma2 (Miramax) and Emma3(A&E). Some of these even include the sheet music and instructions. One of the country dances in Emma2 was composed by Rachel Portman especially for the movie, and can be found on the soundtrack available from Amazon.com. Of course, the most famous dance in Emma2 is that between Emma and Mr. Knightly. The tune they used was Mr. Beveridge's Maggot. This dance was also performed in Pride and Prejudice by Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. This piece was taken from Playford's Dancing Master, 1695 ed.
While a montage of the various country dances is included on the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack (found in our giftshop), a much fuller listing can be found on the Contradancers of Hawaii page. Also included there are midi files so that you can hear the actual tune. Many of these dances were available on a CD called The Pride and Prejudice Collection, produced by St. Leonard's Hospice and played by the Pemberley players. It is well worth the effort of locating, though there are many other individual recordings to be found at The Country Song and Dance Society. One other cross-over piece is called "Dusky Night" and was written by Thompson in 1777. The name of the actual dance is "The Happy Captive" and was used both in Pride and Prejudice and in Persuasion. It is the dance Anne plays while the rest of the family and Capt. Wentworth dance at Uppercross.
The Dances used in Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park were specifically written for the films. Patrick Doyle's soundtrack for Sense and Sensibility is available in our giftshop. Lesley Barber's Mansfield Park soundtrack is available from Amazon.com.
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