Internet Shakespeare Editions


Dancing masters

Early fiddles. Shrine of Music Museum.

Dancing masters danced and played while giving lessons, so the fiddles they used were made especially small and light.

For a picture of a dancing master on stage, see the title-page of the play The Wits.

Those pictured here date from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In the video clip [available on CD ROM only], a modern fiddler plays a coranto* in the old style with his fiddle held low on the shoulder.


  1. The coranto

    The Italian coranto (the French version is "courante," from the word for "running"), was related to the earlier dance the saltarello ("a small leap"). Click for another example.